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Discussion Starter #1
I Bought a Star Slice, and now I'm thinking of building up a oar rig for it. I am looking at a 48" x 50" frame, that would put rails and cross bars on the the center of the tubes and thwarts.

Per that size frame, NRS recommends 7ft oars( total length plus blade). I called NRS to talk to someone about sizing and the lady(while very nice, was not a rower).

I have only been able to sit on the paddle cat in my garage with a 2x4, and that length seamed good. but I wasn't able to seat in water and see how much catch/ where the blades would sit. I also didn't have the frame so wasn't sure how much the Oar mounts would affect it.

My questions?

1. Is there any downside to going to 7.5 ft Oars to be safe?

2. The Oar frame will be for class III or easy IV, used as a gear hauler for some short overnight trips. Looking at the NRS Carlisle Oar. Any reason to go higher end?
 

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faja
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If it's possible for you, I recommend borrowing oars from friends and trying them out. The recommended length is just that, we all have our own preferences.

For example, we got the Slice XL and put a 48" X 48" frame on it. For the oars, the complication is the 22" tube diameter. When the oars are the "right" length (1/3 above the oarlock, 2/3 below) they have to be at quite a steep angle to reach the water. Thus the recommended length is too short (for my taste). We tried a friend's 8'6" oars and they were a bit too long. So, we cut down an old pair of Carlisles to 8"3" and that's a good length for an XL, although they feel a bit heavy.

The Slice has 20" tubes so you can definitely go shorter than what we did. I think 7'5" will not be too long, and it's easy to make them shorter.

Good luck with choosing your oars and enjoy your new boat. We have really enjoyed ours. Very fun to R-2 or R-4 and also to row. We took it down the Rogue with the oar frame (but no gear) and it was a blast.
 

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Oars depend on a lot of variables including rower size, frame width, oar tower height and angle, seat height, tube diameter (distance above water), etc. For my paddle cat (hyside), I have a 48" frame and run 8' oars- I think for my setup 7' would feel way to short even though it may be the recommended size.

For what it's worth, I started with 9' oars on my 66" frame on my current larger raft which was on the low end recommended length- I hated how short they felt so I now run 10' oars which feel just right even though they're on the longer side of recommended.

The suggestion to borrow (or maybe rent from somewhere) some oars before you buy is a great one if you can pull that off.
 

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Here's another data point for ya: I have a RMR Phat Cat (23" tubes) and run a 52" wide frame with 8" oar towers. 8.5' oars are perfect.
 

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I have a cat frame that with my tube are identical to an Airtight Inflatables Shredder...the slice is very similar in size... I run the 7'6" mini mags, now rebranded as KBO from cataract.
 

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Other factors like tower height, DO make a difference on oar length.
I run 8’ Carlisle’s on my 11’ cat, with 48” wide frame, and 8” towers.

A small cataraft is funner than shit, to row!

Oh, that’s with 19” tubes. Tube diameter is part of the equation, as well, bigger tubes, taller towers, both put the fulcrum point further from the water, increasing how long of an oar shaft you need.
 

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Can you buy blank shafts, a couple handles and cut them to your length?
I just shortened a set of cataract SGX and it was a piece of cake. As a plus I got the counter balanced handles, which you probably wont need.
 

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I too have a Phatcat and am running 6" towers with 8.5' oars. Seems just right for everything. Rowed Selway loaded with gear, Lochsa @ 22k and all my local runs here in MT as well as some stuff back east. It is a blast!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys for all the help, I ended up going with 8ft oars. Going to set everything up this weekend and see how it feels. Leaving next Saturday for a multi nigher, cant wait.
 
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