Oars Revisited....

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by BirdyinBOI, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. BirdyinBOI

    BirdyinBOI Member

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    I didn't see this discussed in the last year so I'll throw it out there...You guys with 10" Maxxon's or other 10-11' tubes...what are you finding to be the best oars in 7 1/2 or 8'. I think were sort of in no-man's- land here as far as oars. We don't have "toy boats" and not full size river cats/rafts either. For the 10' 'toon I'm building with the Maxxons, it feels like the standard Cataracts and Carlisles are just to heavy. Overkill on a lake for sure and maybe even for whitewater. I've found two oars that seem like good possible options. One is the Cataract Mini-mag oar. It looks like they don't come in 8' but only 7 1/2. A guy over at a "famous" Portland store told me they've had lots of problems with the blades. They just won't take a beating. The other oar is by The Creek Company. They come in 7' or 8'. I saw some at Cabela's here in Boise and they are 7' so they won't work for me. I wish they did. They're on sale for $33/ea. They look like a pretty strong oar. They're 3-piece which wouldn't be my first choice but they still look OK. They're lighter than the C's and C's mentioned above. It doesn't look like Cabela's carries them anymore but you can order from the Creek Company. Someone told me they thought Carlisle made them.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

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    I have the 1018 Creek Company boat. I had a lot of problems with the toons so I bought some Maxxon toons for it. These are only a half inch bigger around but that dimension is sustained along the tube. This had me sitting much higher out of the water than the CC toons. I ended up putting 1' extensions on the oars I had, bringing them to 9'. Worked out much better.
     
  3. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    I've always used 8' oars on my 9 and 10' boats. Currently running 8' cataracts on my 10' steelheader with custom frame. Used it on lakes and rivers. It comes down to how much oar you can handle. That long oar with REALLY scoot you across a lake with ease.
     
  4. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    I used the 7.5' mini-mags on my 10' Skookum. That would be my suggestion. The 8' and longer oars are thicker shaft and heavier in the hands. As you can see, 3 replies and 3 different suggestions. Of course, I don't mind being right..... again. ;)



    Edit to add: I've had a couple different pair of mini-mags that I beat the snot out of and they held up just fine.
     
  5. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL PT. I used the 7 1/2 but I have man hands and man strength so the girly minis ars too light for some of us. ;)
     
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  6. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

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    PT, like Jerry said. It comes down to how much oar you can handle. :D
     
  7. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Let my guard down for 1 post..... :(
     
  8. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

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    It was the " Of course, I don't mind being right..... again." that got me.:)
     
  9. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    I've got a pair of 8' Sawyer Light's you could borrow for a day.

    Just noticed you mentioned Boise.
     
  10. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    The only reason that you might not want the cataract mini-magnums is that the blade size is not the same as the magnums. I like the mini magnums on solo boats. I've got some in 7.5 if you would like to try them. Don't let those "large hand" guys fool you, the narrow shaft is as stout as you will ever need and much lighter than the larger diameter bigger oars like the Cataract SSG' (which I run on my 14' and 14'9" inflatable boats.
     
  11. BirdyinBOI

    BirdyinBOI Member

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    Hey thanks for the "test run" offer you guys. I may like to try them out. My frame is not finished yet and so it may be a couple weeks. I'm also not sure whether I'll need 7.5's or 8's. PT and Ed...are you guys both in the Boise area? I'm a "large hand" guy but the SSG's feel too big to me, especially for the 10' 'toon.
     
  12. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately both PT and I live in the greater Puget Sound area. Maybe a reason for someone to take a road trip? Have you considered the Sawyer oars called "power stroke" made for Scadden? http://www.northforkoutdoors.com/2012catalog/page17.html Small diameter shafted oars, 7'8" in length, concave blade that pulls really nice in the water. I have a set of the Power Stroke oars too, I like them a lot. A close second to my Cataract mini magnums.
     
  13. BirdyinBOI

    BirdyinBOI Member

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    Well, I checked out the power stroke. Definitely out of my price range. Do you feel like the blades on the Mini-magnums are built well enough? Are they solid plastic? They look from the photos like they might be "filled" with something. Injected? Will they take a good beating on the rocky bottoms. I know a lot of times I've found myself trying to row in 12" of water and it can be hard on oar blades.
     
  14. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    The mini-mags are an upgrade to just about any oar on the market. You can beat the hell out of those things and all you'll see are some scuffs on the blade. I don't just dig rock and gravel with mine. In some of the real tight spots they are used to push, pull, stop, using exposed rocks to get me thru the boney sections. There may be a better oar of that size out there but I don't know what it is.

    .02

    My last word on this. I'm not saying the 7.5's are better than any other length. They worked for me. The longer oars were fine when rowing but heavy in the hand when holding them out of the water for any period of time. If you can borrow a set of each before buying you'd be money ahead.
     
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  15. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Stop the presses! I totally agree with PT on this one. My mini-magnums have seen their share of rock banging, pushing and clanging with very good results. I have not had the Power Strokes long enough to bang them about on rocks. Unsure they will outperform the cataracts, I consider the cataracts very stout and capable of taking anything you'll throw at them. (I'm not a hard core whitewater guy, but everything I've rowed has been quite easy with the cataracts)
     
  16. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    The ultimate oar length will be determined by choice/preference and frame width. I used 8' SSG's with my first few 10' pontoon boats and while they were nice, after trying the 7.5 Mini Mags, I preferred the lighter Mini's better. I kinda want to try a counter balanced SSG before I actually decide what I like best though.
     
  17. BirdyinBOI

    BirdyinBOI Member

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    Nice comments guys...thanks so much. You've sold me on the Mini-mags. My frame will be 55" wide and I'm guessing 58-59 at the oarlocks. I like to row with my hands about 10" apart. I think'they'll be OK. Thanks again.
     
  18. veilside180sx

    veilside180sx Member

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    The other option is Lamiglas makes a carbon/graphite pontoon oar as well that comes in 7' and 8'. I like them a little better than the Mini-Mag's.

    For a 9' or 10' it's hard to beat the Lami pontoon or Mini-Mag's. Those boats, even in pretty heavy whitewater...just take so little to move that a full blown oar is unnecessary.
     
  19. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    I knew I had a pic here somewhere. But this is my 10' Steelheader with my old whitewater frame (I had it custom built before most on here outside of whitewaterers ever touched a pontoon boat). This frame is the proper dimension for a 16' cataraft back in the day (per tube/frame equation). Sitting on my 10' tubes sits nicely, rows like a dream, and setup for big oars (I used these exact 8' cataracts with two 1' carlisle extensions per oar on my 16' cataraft). Plus with the bigger oarlocks, I can toss in my sawyer oars (this setup now has my pin/clips in it). It's really up to the person like I said. Those equations are not a hardset rule (hence most small boat frame dimensions are usually within the specifications). I like a wide frame. My 16' fishing cataraft had a 48" wide INTERNAL frame width. Plenty of storage and comfort with multiple people (could put 3 plus rower in when needed).

    The key with any of these boats and options is really to find people who have what you want and try it. I had the mini mags on my old original steelheader (and I mean the original all made in Redmond boat). I sold them off, took one of my extra set of 8' cataracts and wrapped it and put doughnuts on it, and put bigger oarlocks on and used it that way until the day I sold it. I like the longer oars, I can handle them with ease, and I like the feel of a standard oar. I never liked the smaller diameter oars. But did like the collapsibility of the mini mags I had. But again, didn't like the small feeling of them.
     

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  20. BirdyinBOI

    BirdyinBOI Member

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    Thanks for the pic and the info Jerry. I'll check out Lamiglass. Say, those galvanized clamp-on fittings that I see on the Steelheaders for attaching the blocks for anchor lines...what are those called and where does one buy those?
     

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