Just from personal experience When I was younger and running non-bailing raft 16' on 20' waves I ALWAYS used pins and clips !! As the time changed I personally learned to use open oar locks with out the "training-wheels" of "oar-rites". on smaller 10'- 14'-15' rafts.
Learn to feather your oars and build up your skill and build up your wrists and arms!
For a boat of that size I would for sure go with pins and clips. Open locks are Easier to pull in-and out, besides feathering on slow to fast water. Pins and clips lets you go where the river takes you.
Very old question and what works best for each person.
Just my thoughts--
go where the river is taking you!! go where the river takes you. In ALASKA where you have to move fast.
Again just Goo's thoughts--
For got to say I always put a mark at the 90 degree angle of the blades, by doing that you can always know the angle of your blade! Always tether your oars!! Hard to run with one!!
I think it's a personal choice and both can work well. That said, I prefer oarlocks. But I wimp out with with stoppers and uprights. I just like the feel of oarlocks over pins & clips. Oddly my boats are setup with pins & clips and I've never spent the money or taken the time to change them, so I guess I don't care all that much.
One advantage of pins & clips is they are far more easy to adjust their height than with oarlocks. If you get an over long pin (12") you add a couple 1" spacers under where the pin goes through the frame or oar mount. Then if you decide to raise your seat or some such foolishness, you can move one of the spacers above the oar mount to raise the pin an inch. This is especially helpful if you are switching from a conventional seat to a cooler seat, etc. It is also a quick way to adjust for a tall oarsman. Use a quick releasing keeper pin on the end of the Thole pin (oar pin) to make this fast work on a riverbank.
Another trick that I have used is to cut in half the plastic sleeve that the oar clip clips onto and put in a 2" washer to separate the top & bottom halves of the sleeve. Normally your oar will use only the bottom part of this sleeve anyway, and all will still be within the bounds of the oar stirrup. Now whenever you want the oars raised up, you quickly pull the oar in to release the clip from the pin and them re-clip the oar back above the washer. It's very fast and you can do it one handed with a little flick of the wrist. The reason you might want to do this is to lower your oars to provide a better use of your back in rowing distance on easy water, but doing this will put your oar handles into your knees if the boat starts rocking in white water. With the split sleeve setup you pop your oars into the upper position and you're quickly ready for some rockin' and rollin'.
Hey Jim, a very nice write up. It is always good to get another preceptive of your years of boating, thank you.
Just seems like too many moving parts, with unmovable oars, pins that can stick through you in a flip!! non---moving -up and down- in plastic keepers, and very hard to put a dislodged oar back. Just tie some line to the open oars and the frame? Sure I have sold and made lots of plastic keepers. Bob Carlson is a good friend, who came up with this idea, Mainly for Grand Canyon stuff.
Just my thoughts-- If you are a decent rafter-- no need on smaller boats. Again my personal experience- For a boat this size I say 100% pins and clips.
Play with your craft and see how she responds with the opinions you can give her?Again just my humble thoughts.
Stay warm!! It is really different this year!!!
I am not really accustomed to "feathering" the oars anyway. I see how this could be beneficial and hard to live without if you were used to it. But I have always had the "training wheels" of oar rights or pin/clips.
I do like how easily aor locks/rights are to recover when your oar gets punched out of the oar lock. You can typically get it back into position with one hand. Where an oar with clips can take two...depending on your set up.
I have set my pins up with a washer as Jim mentioned and that is very handy as well. The only downside to the pin/clip's that I saw was the plastic sleeves wear over time, and the clips can get bent and allow the oar to feel pretty loose/sloppy. But both of those are pretty easily remedied.
I have felt like the pin/clip set up has been the more robust of the two options, and can better take the abuse of heavy loads, which this boat will definitely see!
Thanks for sharing. Thats helpful info and good reminders!
I will probably stick with the pin/clips for this boat!
Smart move for such a large craft. To each their on, hope my input was helpful. I just tend to use smaller boats and like I said oar-rites, carsile, glass and sleeves did not exist. when I started boating-- only wood and rope wrap, just the way I learned.
I have both types on my rental boats. Pin/Clip are fool proof for novice users but the Yokes are much more desirable for rafters who have time on the river. Pins and clips are also less $$.
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