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Thread: Counter-balancing oars ?

  1. #1
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Counter-balancing oars ?

    I have a pair of Carlisle oars that I want to counterbalance. But, I don't want to use the exterior Cataract sleeves.
    I'm considering mixing some epoxy and lead shot, pouring it down the shafts toward the handles, and letting it harden.

    But, I'm open to other (better) suggestions.

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  2. #2

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    Hey Dave- Just my thoughts- Unless you are using 10' + oars on a heavy rig you really do not need the extra weight. A long time ago I bought some - 10 ' for a custom wide raft. In the end i cut them down to 9'. What I found was rebar glued to the handles. Maybe for wide drift boats, but not for me on remote rivers, just extra lbs. for cub 185 work, to pay for and personally did not like the feel.
    I think your idea will work. I also Have 2 of them - brand new with rope wrap 9' sitting here at a steal if you want , black cataraft.
    Goo

  3. #3

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    I had a pair of Sawyer CB on my Aire Super Puma to narrow of boat and oars to long. Best way is to extend oar locks out and use a LW oar.

    Oars were to heavy and it got old backtrolling. Bought a set of very LW oars for my narrow Saturn Kaboat and put the oar locks out as far as possible.

    How wide is your boat?

  4. #4
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Goo - Thanx for the offer, but, I'm already using 8-footers, and may even trim these ones back a little, before I'm done. Balance is not a matter of overall length. It's a matter of how much of the oar is on each side of the oarlock. Some 10-footers could be perfectly balanced, if used in an appropriately wide frame. While my 8-footers are poorly balanced due to my very narrow frame. So, I'm going to add some weight near the handles, and I'd rather add the weight to the inside of the shafts, for a clean look.

    kk - My oarlocks are now 60" apart. I've already adjusted them as wide as they can reasonably go. I don't want them to hang far outside the beam of the boat, where they might catch on passing obstacles, or bang into the dock, etc. So, unless I want to cross my hands during the pulling stroke (and I don't), the longest possible length inside the oarlocks is only 30" each. While the center of balance point for my oars is more than 50"+ from the handle end. And like you, I'm tired of pushing down so hard with each stroke. I want the boat to carry my oars, not me. I've looked at lighter, thinner (shaft & blade) oars, but, I also like the full power that full sized oars can provide. Besides, these are paid for, so to speak.

    So, does anybody have an alternative to a bag of birdshot and a can of glue?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  5. #5

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    I put a frame on my Saturn Kaboat narrow boat 50" wide extended oar locks out as wide as I dared and bought 7 1/2' oars Cataract mini magnums.
    http://cataractoars.com/mini_magnum.html they seem to be suited for this aplication. I did not want another to tip heavy oar on a narrow boat.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluNosDav View Post
    Goo - Thanx for the offer, but, I'm already using 8-footers, and may even trim these ones back a little, before I'm done. Balance is not a matter of overall length. It's a matter of how much of the oar is on each side of the oarlock. Some 10-footers could be perfectly balanced, if used in an appropriately wide frame. While my 8-footers are poorly balanced due to my very narrow frame. So, I'm going to add some weight near the handles, and I'd rather add the weight to the inside of the shafts, for a clean look.

    kk - My oarlocks are now 60" apart. I've already adjusted them as wide as they can reasonably go. I don't want them to hang far outside the beam of the boat, where they might catch on passing obstacles, or bang into the dock, etc. So, unless I want to cross my hands during the pulling stroke (and I don't), the longest possible length inside the oarlocks is only 30" each. While the center of balance point for my oars is more than 50"+ from the handle end. And like you, I'm tired of pushing down so hard with each stroke. I want the boat to carry my oars, not me. I've looked at lighter, thinner (shaft & blade) oars, but, I also like the full power that full sized oars can provide. Besides, these are paid for, so to speak.

    So, does anybody have an alternative to a bag of birdshot and a can of glue?

    Thanx, Dave.
    Short-torsoed, lightweight (108#) woman here. I have to use counterweights because the handle ends of my oars are at armpit height when the oars are horizontal and I'm sitting down. It is therefore impossible for me to float with blades out of the water unless I stand up to press down on the handles with straight arms. Anyone who's ever tried to hold heavy oars out of the water by using wrists and forearms only knows this can't be done for long -- and it tires me out so much I have nothing left for actual rowing.

    I have a pair of 8 lb Carlisle counterweights that slip on to the inboard section of my oars and are positioned by tightening them. You don't need sleeves between the weights and the oars. They do change the handling characteristics of the oars for actual rowing -- the oars obviously weigh more and have more momentum once in motion -- but once you get used to this, it's no big deal. And, for me, it's a joy to be able to get the blades out of the water using only the weight of my hands, and to row with the blades barely submerged instead of crab catching on every stroke.

    Good luck figuring out your rigging -- oarstand height can also be an issue.

  7. #7

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    AKRivers, Looks like you did your homework!! The beauty of rafting!! Have FUN and be SAFE!!
    GOO

  8. #8
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    I recently did this with 2 sets of Carlisle oars. Mine were 10 and 10.5'. I drilled a 1/4" hole 16" from the end of handle, use thin wire to make sure the cork stopper is not above the hole, they were on 5 out of the 6, pound the oar as necessary to get the stopper below the hole. I put 4lbs in each 10'and 4.5lbs in each of the 10.5 to reach my desired counter. I put in a tsp of water and gorilla glue, it expanded nicely and the ooze out the hole cleaned up fairly easy. Rowed ~ 170 miles in the past 2 weeks, worked as I desired.

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