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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the site, and am looking for suggestions to get set up with the proper oars for a new frameless raft I bought. As a disclaimer, I am not really a whitewater rafter, or looking to raft whitewater, but actually a fishermen looking to float the delaware river (class 2-3) strictly for fishing purposes.

The frameless raft is a Dave Scadden North fork outfitter assault Drifter (I've read all the flame reviews, but again, I'm strictly fishing with this and believe it will serve my purposes). the raft fits 3 people and will likely be rowed with 2-3 pepole each time, and is 14' long and 75" wide, and uses the scadden style oar pin system.

I was going to put 7.5 foot cataract mini mag oars on the boat, but heard that they may not be suitable for a 14' raft due to their 1 3/8 inch shaft and length.

What oar length would be appropriate for my raft, and should I be looking at 1 7/8 inch shaft oars instead? What oar setups (shaft and blade) are good combos that won't break the bank? Again, it doesn't have to be super crazy, but something that works and is comfortable, and doesn't need me to put more work/money into the setup with things I don't understand like counterbalancing. Oars that can breakdown into 2 pieces would be preferable. I will also be using oar clips to fit the oars to the pin style oar locks, rather than drilling the oars. Thank you very much for the help!!
 

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Have a look at these:
Carlisle 2-Piece Oar Shaft at nrs.com

I have no experience with those boats, but it seems to me you want a reasonably strong oar to move a 14 foot boat with three people in class 2-3. (Their one-piece is less expensive.)
Oh, I've got 9.5' oars on my 14' raft, but I have a 66" wide frame and the oar stands are shifted out a bit (so maybe 8.5' would work for you -- your raft is narrower and no tilt to your "oarstands" (rule of thumb is one/third in from oarlock, 2/3 out, leaving roughly a fist width between the handles; measure twice) -- others will reply.
If you want to keep it inexpensive, the Carlisle blades will do (you might consider upgrading just a bit to the Cataract blades that float).
 

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Sell it- seriously. Just move on to a well designed, well built and well backed alternative. Something from a reputable whitewater manufacturer- or the Outcast line from Aire. I've been there- it took a year of frustration for me. Now I've got the equipment I need to enjoy my time on the water.

If you need to suffer like I did, here is the issue you will eventually realize. That 14' boat with three people and their gear is going to weigh something on the order of 700 lbs. That pin style oar is absolutely NOT suited to propel that size load. Any oar you buy and drill is going to be compromised in its effectiveness by the fact that it is adhesivly attached to a flexible inflatable tube. Pull harder=flex more. Flex that much for too long=failure. That oar was marginal in my 1 man Watermaster- so I built some better oars out of 2 carbon shaft kayak paddles. It is "better" than the aluminum oars, but you still can't make much headway compared to real oars with adjustable oar towers to suit your size. I had one if his boats with an actual frame (sort of) and the cheap aluminum knock off "Cobra" oarlocks broke in pieces...all the valves failed because they are not Halkey Roberts valves as he said in his YouTube videos- they are similar, but a halkey inflator fractures the Bravo valves he uses and they break. Once you realize that you've been mislead, all your valves are damaged and need to be replaced. Try to find "Bravo" valves......

The list goes on.....

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you guys for the responses so far.

@Johnovice- Thanks for the suggestion. I am looking into it, but seem to be having hard time finding enough reviews for the product. I also saw the Cataract SGG shafts, and they look to be decently priced shafts, and have great reviews. I would be willing to spend around $200 total for one oar shaft+blade, for around $400 total for the entire set. Would the SGG be a better choice?

@Osseous - Sorry, selling it just isn't an option. His boat was the only option out there that fit my needs (I live in an urban city, so no space to keep a drift boat, frame, or trailer, and therefore need something that completely deflates and packs down). As for the pin system, would upgrading the pin style oar locks fix that problem? Any tips to prevent breaking the valves? How did you break them? I read that I should be using a clear tubing to attach to the pump/valves when inflating his boat. Would this suffice?

Thanks! Looking forward to more input on the discussion.
 

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You can gain lifespan for the valves by using a piece of tubing instead of a Halkey attachment. It is a little wonky, but you can make it work. The issue with those pins is also angle- longer oars means a lower hand position and there's nothing you can do about it.

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@Johnovice- Thanks for the suggestion. I am looking into it, but seem to be having hard time finding enough reviews for the product. I also saw the Cataract SGG shafts, and they look to be decently priced shafts, and have great reviews. I would be willing to spend around $200 total for one oar shaft+blade, for around $400 total for the entire set. Would the SGG be a better choice?

SGG oars are an upgrade from the Carlisles for sure -- used by many folks with larger rafts hauling gear for multi-day trips, but perhaps more than you need -- I'm thinking weak link in the chain -- your oar stand attachment might fail long before the less expensive Carlisle oar shaft. Hoping others will chime in on that.
 

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SGG'S would be a total waste with those pins. You'd never get em to flex. What length came stock? I can show you the carbon oars I fabbed- they are a big improvement over aluminum and would likely work for you if you sized them up accordingly. Did you look at the Flycraft?

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If you won't sell it and upgrade, you need at least a real frame and real oars -and real OFDs and a throwbag. In CO it's not hard to find a used frame for a reasonable price, new simple frames are not horrendous and they come in breakdown configurations. Maybe even a stern frame will work and kill two birds with one stone as you use shorter oars with a stern frame. Look at NRS and downriverequip for examples.
BTW, if the Delaware really is Class III, take it seriously and get real gear and the knowhow to use it. People die every year on Class III.
Peace,
the Capt
 

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Not familiar with that boat and pin system, I will agree with johnnovice that carlisle oars are fine. Iv'e run them for years, It's what many commercial outfitters use, been happy with em in big white water like cataract. With a built in pin system they would not be the weak link.

I now duct tape cheap ankle weights to mine so that they are counter balanced, which makes them sweet to row with.

There are nicer, more expensive options, if you want though, Being poor white trash, i run the carlisles .

The 2 piece system is there more expensive setup, but would save storage space for sure.
The classified section hear some times has good deals on oars.

I think it would be relatively easy and inexpensive to find a day frame that breaks down, swedged tubing with clips might be easiest to break down, all nrs frames easily break down with a wrench.

Good luck!
 

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Capt. has a good point. You're going to be putting a lot of leverage on those glued on towers. Might be okay for flat water and relatively easy rivers. But class 3 is legit water with consequences. You should row something with a frame if you'll be hauling 3 people plus gear. It might work fine for paddle rafting.
If space is an issue how about a cataraft with a breakdown frame?
 

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I'm almost certain you cannot use Cataracts or std size Sawyers on those pins. Look at the diameter of the aluminum oars on that boat- the knobs on top screw down against the oar shaft to secure it....those pins will not reach thru the larger diameter whitewater oars. Cataract and Sawyer make a smaller diameter oar- Scadden sells a version. I wouldn't use those with a knob and pin oar lock system either.

The recommendation for a frame is your best bet- it is the only way you're going to get the power you will need for even 2 people- let alone 3. Jacks Plastic sells a small fishing raft with a small frame- take a look at that for an idea of what would work. It would need beefing up- but it gives you an idea


https://www.jpwinc.com/proddetail.php?prod=4306-Mosquito

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You might take a look at O1000 Caviness oars. I have some for a lake row boat and they are a little nicer than Carlisle for skinny oars (1.5") I thought and cost about the same. Make sure to buy a spare too.

Caviness® - Caviness®
 

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Won't work.

Your plan to use oar clips on your "pins" won't work. First, oar pins don't have the vertical movement that your "pins" have. This will cause all kinds of unintended forces and surely rip out the glued on pins.

Also your pins are at the center of the tube. True pins are on the ends of oar towers that sit 2/3 to all the way at the full width of the boat. This allows for the longer whitewater oars to still adhere to the 2/3rds rule of oar length. In short you would have to keep the same short oar length or risk heavy rowing oars puttng way too much stress on pins that were not designed for it.

At that time you will find out all about scaddens horrific warranty service bUt he would actually be in the right because you tried to attach whitewater oars to a lake boat.

Your best bet short of selling for a loss (by far the best and most responsible option) you should get the caviness oars, drill them on and stick to class 2 and below.

You simply bought the wrong boat for the activity you desire to achieve because you were driven by storage concerns not on water performance. My advice is to realize the mistake and correct it. Throwing more money at the mistake will not correct it. I know it's a crappy lesson to learn, but that's why you can read real reviews on sites like this. Scadden didn't kick any of our dogs. You read "flame" post here because he makes cheap products and sells them to hard working but uninformed consumers who like you, find out that the equipment can't handle what they thought it would.
 
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