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Thread: Help refinishing oars?

  1. #1
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    Default Help refinishing oars?

    I just bought a used drift boat (But we'll pretend it's a raft since this is the rafting forum...) & while the oars are definetly salvagable, they need some work & I want to refinish them.

    The oars have plastic sleeves on the shafts, rope wrapped, with wood blades & handles & look like they were really nice oars at one time. They have not been well maintained.
    There is a little splitting on the handles & the finish (varnish?) is peeling on the blades. Blades still look pretty solid. There is a thin rubber like protectent material peeling off the last 4" of the blades.
    Should I coat the handles with fiberglass resin to seal & rotect them (along with insuring their integrity) & then put thin foam covers on them?
    On the blades, sand them lightly to remove finish & then put a strip of glass tape sandwiching the edges & resin over entire blade? Would it be better to glass the entire blade?
    The plastic sleeve on the handle end of each oar has a split about 3" long. Fill with epoxy, cover with seran wrap, & squeeze with a hose clamp till set then sand smoothe?

    Thanks...
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  2. #2
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Rather than glassing the blade you might consider a rubber blade guard. I have them on mine and they werent that expensive.
    They slip on the blade end so it is covered about 1/3 to 1/2 way with the rubber "Sheath". This will help the blades last longer after you refinish them..
    Also before modifying your handles too much be sure and check them for fit. What I mean by that is see how they fit your hands now. Then temporarily add what ever wrap you might be considereing and see how comfortable they are. If your handles are too big or not smooth you can easily get sore hands. Any lumps in your glass wrap is a blister waiting to happen after a long day on the oars.
    I currently have Sawyer oars with counter balanced fiberglass shafts,wood blades,and foam coated wood handles. The blades and handles on mine are replaceable but I might just refinish the blades after this season because they are looking fairly worn.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  3. #3
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    Thanks Chris.

    I was thinking about the tip protectors, but this set of oars has a slight bit of seperation on a lamination & appears a little "soft" on the side that was left up & exposed to the weather so I figured the glass might be in order. The tip protectors would probably be worth it over the new glass though.
    As for the handles, I was just figuring on letting the resin soak in & seal them, not do any building up.

    Have you ever cut down Sawyer shafts? I heard a rumer Sawyer also sells a 6" extension handle but can't find them listed so will need to call them. I just picked up a mismatched set of Sawyer MSXG oars. Belonged to a guide friend of mine who just bought new squaretops. He said they were 9's. tossed them in my trk & looked good to me. Stuck them in my wifes van & realized one was 6" longer! Called & asked if he had a problem with his Willie going in circles. He siad he had bought them new & used them for 3 yrs & never realized they ddn't match!!! He wanted to buy them back but since he only charged me &75 for the pair told him I would keep them.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  4. #4
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    No I have never tried cutting down an oar shaft.
    I am also not aware of any extension for Sawyer oars. Then again I have never considered or needed such an option.
    I got into the driftboat thing because I lived in Kasilof and got a boat and trailer for a steal from my dad who had just bought it for the same price. The guy he bought it from was a coworker who had left the state and had left his boat and trailer stored at work.
    He had suffered an injury riding his motorcycle and moved to be closer to family in washington .
    A year later he needed some cash so offered it to my dad at a great price and I bought it from my dad shortly thereafter. My dad is more of a power boat guy.
    I added a trolling motor to mine for lake fishing and it works great for that when not on the river.
    You should have fun with this boat.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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