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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I chose Sawyer Sq Tops w standard dynelite blades and cobra oar locks to come w my Willie drifter. It won't be ready until prob mid to end of January. There are so many good options out there, and everyone seems to have an opinion, so I'd love to hear yours. What is your favorite combo? I think I'll be happy with this set up, but it's not too late to get something else. Interested in hearing about the v-lams, shoal cut, and pro-loks. Those are the other options I've been considering. Not sure if Willie deals w pro-lok though.
 

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I originally had that exact same oar and oar lock set up on my Hyde drift boat, but soon changed to the V-lams with the shoal cut blade because I found I preferred the narrower, and seemingly lighter, shaft and blade of the V-lamps, and didn't need the heavier duty Dynalite blades for the rivers I float (and I don't often wedge my oar blades between rocks, or use them to push off gravel bars, etc.!).

However, I recently sold my Hyde and am ordering a new Clackacraft for this coming spring, and will be getting the Sawyer Mountain Driftboat oars (a custom variation of the Squaretops with Dynalite blade, designed a by Gary Beebe in Victor, ID). These oars are sold directly by Clackacraft for their driftboats, and by Beebe also.

However, I am not going to go with the Cobra oarlocks on my Clackacraft, after using them for the past 4 years, and after talking to Beebe at lengthy about them - he knows a lot more than I do about them, and I think what he said makes sense. Among other things, he said that these oar locks are designed for your oars to be able to pop out if needed in a dangerous whitewater situation, such as in whitewater rafting situations - I'm probably paraphrasing what he said, and I don't need or want that on my drift boat - perhaps your usage might be different. Plus, even after carefully tuning the Cobras to my oars. I didn't find them to be particularly easy for rowing. For that reason, I'm going back to getting good ole standard brass NRS oarlocks for my new boat.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I originally had that exact same oar and oar lock set up on my Hyde drift boat, but soon changed to the V-lams with the shoal cut blade because I found I preferred the narrower, and seemingly lighter, shaft and blade of the V-lamps, and didn't need the heavier duty Dynalite blades for the rivers I float (and I don't often wedge my oar blades between rocks, or use them to push off gravel bars, etc.!).

However, I recently sold my Hyde and am ordering a new Clackacraft for this coming spring, and will be getting the Sawyer Mountain Driftboat oars (a custom variation of the Squaretops with Dynalite blade, designed a by Gary Beebe in Victor, ID). These oars are sold directly by Clackacraft for their driftboats, and by Beebe also.

However, I am not going to go with the Cobra oarlocks on my Clackacraft, after using them for the past 4 years, and after talking to Beebe at lengthy about them - he knows a lot more than I do about them, and I think what he said makes sense. Among other things, he said that these oar locks are designed for your oars to be able to pop out if needed in a dangerous whitewater situation, such as in whitewater rafting situations - I'm probably paraphrasing what he said, and I don't need or want that on my drift boat - perhaps your usage might be different. Plus, even after carefully tuning the Cobras to my oars. I didn't find them to be particularly easy for rowing. For that reason, I'm going back to getting good ole standard brass NRS oarlocks for my new boat.

John
Thank you for the info! I'm in Oregon and will be banging these around on lots of rocks. I can think of very few gravel bars on any of the rivers I fish. I need some tough blades. I'm still not sold on the Cobras. I've only used standard oar locks, and on my 2-man pontoon. I thought I would spend the extra $20 for the "upgrade", but not sure I'll love the Cobras. I'm pretty sold on the square tops. I like the idea of a relatively counterbalanced oar that will float if lost. I also think they look neat, with a blend of real wood with more modern materials. Are the shoal cut blades lighter? That might be a selling point. I'll look it up.
Edit: looks like they are the same weight.
 

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The big advantage of the Cobras over standard is the vertical range of motion. If your oar locks lean out a little this can limit how high you can raise the blades (clearing a rock your drifting next too, opposed to retracting the oar)

Both types are designed to allow the oar to pop when jammed. (no matter what kind of water your rowing, you WANT them to do this) If your oar locks are limiting your rowing, it's probably a problem with the block they are mounted in rather than the lock. Try some lithium grease.

My opinion on shaft type was limited by my budget at the time. What ever you get, make sure it balances out well. Nothing worse than tip heavy oars when rowing.
 

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I like the ability to stand while rowing...only with cobras. the pro-locs im not a fan of..new shafts bend too much..plus i like my training wheel oar rites when im feeling lazy. . .i row Sawyer counterbalanced with dynalights.. easy on the shoulders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good info. Reinforces what I've been reading. I'll stick with the Cobras for now. I'll get a set of standards as backups. If I like 'em better, the Cobras can be my backups.
As far as oars, still feeling good about the Sq tops w standard dynelites.
 

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I have squaretops with standard dynalites and the previously mentioned rocky mountain driftboat oars with the shoal cut blades. I like the standard dynalites in bigger water and the shoal cuts in mellow, slower moving water where I'd take my Clackacraft. The shoal cuts are really nice in skinny water.
 

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I like the ability to stand while rowing...only with cobras. the pro-locs im not a fan of..new shafts bend too much..plus i like my training wheel oar rites when im feeling lazy. . .i row Sawyer counterbalanced with dynalights.. easy on the shoulders.
I stand up and row all the time with standered locks in my boat.... wait so have you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, little side note. For those of you who use a motor, do u use any transom protection? I'm sure u could just mount on their standard transom...

...which is what I'm getting. Or they have the option of adding a (yes, diamond plate) motor pad...

Pricey at an additional $175! I don't mind some scratches from a motor. Is this even worth considering?
 

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That diamond plate doesn't even make sense. Why would you want such a rough surface for the clamps? A wood block works way better, you can tighten it down until the clamp pads compress the wood. Way less likely to vibrate loose.
 

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Personally, I would want something to protect the transom, but I don't see why you couldn't make something relatively inexpensively if you don't want to spend the $175.00.

I used a piece of a rubber pad folded over the top of the transom on a Clackacraft drift boat I once owned, had a factory installed motor mount on my Hyde, and am getting one as well on the Clackacraft I have on order.
 

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Do they offer a option for a removable section in the transom? It allows you to go with a shorter shaft motor.
 

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Shoal cuts for me. NRS oar locks provide all the rowing g range of motion I need, but I have cobras too and like them. Right now cobras are in the spare parts bag.
 
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