Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Oar and blade suggestions needed (which size/type/brand)

  1. #1
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default Oar and blade suggestions needed (which size/type/brand)

    I have a 14' 4" Sotar non self bailer. I have a breakdown frame being fabricated now. I am in need of, well... everything else. First thing on the list is oars. I will be looking for some 9' oars that will break in half lengthwise for transport. Beyond that, I am clueless. Aluminum, graphite, fiberglass... Any suggestions for the lightest, yet strong, oars? Another big question is what size blade. I used my raft just once since buying it a few months back. The guy I bought it from (Goo Vogt of Alaska Wildwater) was kind enough to send me a frame and some oars to use on that float trip. They were 8" blades and seemed to do fine. But this was my only experience in a raft. As I am looking for oars and blades, I see very few 8" blades. Many choices in the 5.5" and 6.5" range. Sawyer is one example. They have some nice stuff, but I am not seeing many blades wider than 6.5". Do I need 8" blades? Pros/cons. From what I can see, it would sure be easier to purchase 6.5" blades. My intended usage will be on Gates of the Arctic and ANWR float trips. Lots of class II with some occasional class III in isolated places. Our float trips are for solitude, scenery, and fly fishing. Point is, I won't be out doing major white water. Just the stuff mentioned above. And of course some float trips in SW Alaska on I/II rivers when fishing is the priority of the trip. Any thoughts most appreciated.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  2. #2
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Paradise (Alaska)
    Posts
    1,543

    Thumbs up Oars and such...

    D-rock,
    I like Carlisle oars. Two piece Carlisles oars because its easier to ship smaller parts. I believe you will want 8 inch blades for the class II, and spots of class III that you will do. And keep in mind that you prefer to bring along a lot of beverages that adds weight to your boat. So you need 8 inch blades to move your boat around most efficiently. Get three oars and three blades. The extra oar is your replacement if an oar breaks, bends, or jumps out of the oar lock like a javalin after getting stuck in an entrapment.

    Use oar uprights as opposed to pins and clips.

    Use a foot pump if your back is always sore like mine is. Get a double action hand pump if you are a speed pumper!

    ....IMO....

    Dennis
    AK TAGS

  3. #3

    Default

    For blades...I'd recommend the 6.5 inch ones. The idea is less power required for each stroke which adds up over the course of a day or weeks. Less overall fatique vs. needing more power move the oars the same distance through the water. So, less work with each stroke essentailly. Also, in whitewater, it's less surface area to get wrenched and torqued all over the place and they are easier to break free when it's stuck down in powerful currents. Get what you like, no right or wrong...I'm just explaining some of the rationale behind the sizes.

    For oars, I'd just keep it simple and effective with carlisle two piece oars. The other stuff feels nice,ect but carlisle is just simple, reliable, get the job done oar for remote trips. Sawyer's wood has a great feel aswell,ect but wood and rocks don't mix well.

  4. #4

    Default

    i would love the same info re: packraft paddles. i'm sorry if this hijacks the thread, but it is very much in line with my ?'s re: packraft paddles, specifically an alpacka yukon yak. any comments/suggestions when shopping for a packraft paddle? thanks for any info, abel6wt

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    Composite oars are lighter and stronger than the aluminum Carlisle oars. I have broken several Carlisle breakdown oars just by pulling real hard on them. You can do this when you have enough adrenalin flowing. They break right at the joint, and become suddenly worthless. Also the composite oars have more flex in them. This tends to reduce fatigue, and just feels better too. Getting composite oars as breakdowns will make them special order, but I remember you had a talk with with a manufacturer about this, and they were willing.

    I have only rarely used 6.5" blades, and didn't think they made much difference for most things. I would think that a wider blade would gain more traction when you needed to move your boat quick, but I haven't used the narrower ones enough to make a good judgment about them. You're a pretty big guy, so I would get strong shafts and wide blades if I were you.

  6. #6

    Default

    It's a good question:

    I have only rented without paying too much attention to the particular dimensions, but whatever they were, seemed to work OK - last ones were aluminum two-piece; I thought they were 6.5 inch blades but not sure; check with the outfitters up there, and post what you find out. I see both advertised here out west. The only thing I can remember about the width was that I was glad they weren't any wider because of the difficulty in stowing the extra paddle inside (barely fit). I have seen some boats with the extra paddle strapped outside.

    Rentals typically come with an extra paddle for reason mentioned above. I have heard of a guided trip where a paddle was broken in half on the rapids of the upper alagnak - - - and no backup. That musta been difficult.

  7. #7
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Default Oars

    Carlisle does not sell replacement halves.
    I have contacted (Johnson outdoors watercraft Inc )
    The owners of Carlisle ....
    Have asked if I can somehow purchase the separate pieces.
    I told them that I would like to purchase several pieces so I could fix the many unusable good halves.
    I was told no.
    I have been told yes by my other suppliers.
    But I have not broke any of those yet.
    We have about 9 sets of Carlisle still in use, they work fine, but I will not be purchasing any more.
    I like the composite oars my self, I like the flex, and I like the counter balance weighted handles, makes week long paddles a dream.
    As far as blades go ? I like 6.5 in ... They seem to be able to trap as much water as I can pull. And are lighter.
    You can get some fiberglass oars
    For about the same price as the aluminum plastc coated carlisle.
    We really like these for our needs.
    Also you can get these oars wrapped.
    And get the moveabe stops.
    I just can't afford to not be able to replace parts.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Thanks for the insights. I always appreciate it. I got an email from Sotar and they mentioned selling a lot of Sawyer oars. I have heard the name, but know nothing of them. I got an email that said ...

    "Sawyer makes three levels of oars, small diameter basic fiberglass pole cat shafts, mid level heavier duty fiber glass shafts in large or small diameter, and their high end graphite oar shaft in large or small diameter."

    The same email said that Sawyer makes wood, synthetic, and fiberglass blades. Any thoughts on these materials? Most all of my float trips are on gravel lined rivers in arctic Alaska. Not sure which material would hold up the best on the rocks. I was also told that you can get a graphite reinforcement strip on the wood blades to keep them from getting scuffed up for about $18/blade.

    Anyone familiar with Sawyer oars/blades? Good/bad/ugly...

    I got the raft, frame is being fabricated now, just need some oars
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  9. #9

    Default Sawyer blades

    I have a set of composite oars that I purchased from Northfork Outdoors this year. They have a curved composite Sawyer kayak blade on them. Personally I really like them because they are very strong and very light. I rowed my buddy's AK series 14' raft with 10' carlisle oars and was exhausted. Then I rowed my 13' cat with my oars and couldn't hardly feel them, but had complete control. I talked to Dave Scadden at Northfork and he said that he has sold a lot of those oars to guides in Utah, Idaho, Montana, etc. because they are so light and they can row all day through all types of water without getting tired. Hope that my experience helps.

  10. #10
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default Sawyer Pole cat oars....

    Anyone familiar with these? I see Sawyer will make these in three pieces. That would make them easy to fly with for sure. Any thoughts appreciated.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  11. #11
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Default pole cats

    yes I am familiar with the Pole cats from Sawyer
    we now outfit our rental fleet with these oars
    we are a distributor for them, and we keep several sets in different length here at our place,, but you can buy direct.
    I order mine in with 2 lb counter balance weights in the handle, this makes them feel so light at the blade.
    I have the light blades also with the Kevlar wrap. they are much lighter than the plastic blades and are very strong.
    I carry the standard outfitter blade too in 6.5 inch
    I have the take down oars and have had no failures on remote river trips, but I have not tested them on heavy white water.
    I like the way I am treated at Sawyer and know that if something busts that is not my fault, it will be taken care of..
    you can have your oars custom made to order. they make your oar up after you order it.
    I think Sawyer makes a good product. I am not saying that they are better than anyone elses product, because I an not sure of that,, I know we are pleased so far.. we have used them for 4 year now.. not a single oar has failed yet.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  12. #12
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Max,

    Thanks man. That is just the kind of feedback I was hoping for. The Sotar rep told me that Sawyer would custom make these into three equal sections for easy transport. Looks like these will do nicely. I guess oar sleeves with locks and some lightweight blades would round out the package.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  13. #13
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Default This PoleCat?

    This basic model?
    (http://www.paddlesandoars.com/frame_oars.html)


    PoleCat Oar (HPC)
      
    From 76" to 10; The PoleCat is Sawyers solution for the cost conscious oar buyer who wants the lightweight strength advantage of a fiberglass shaft with the history of superior design and durability only offered by Sawyer. Offered in white and black shafts the PoleCat comes standard with a 5 1/2" x 30", aluminum cored, fiberglass filled, polypropylene Sawyer Synthetic blade. The PoleCat grip is smooth laminated Douglas fir.





    Also found at Ak Raft & Kayak online store:

    Polecat Oar Shaft and Sawyer Duramax Blade

    $118.90
    Sale: $107.01
    Save: 10% off

  14. #14
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Thats the one man. I just don't like the 5.5" blade. I have only used an oar one time, and that was 8" Carlisles on this Septembers float. Any suggestions on blade width?
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  15. #15
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Thumbs up Give them a try

    I bet that we will have about everykind of oar width at the spring float this May..
    I know you are wanting to rig your boat this winter, but with the places around that carry oars,you will be able to purchase the ones you want after you try a couple of different ones..
    I know that Alaska Raft carries several different oars and blades, and I am sure others of us do too..
    Some folks really swear by those cataract oars
    http://www.cataractoars.com/sgg.html
    I have not used them much.. only on a drift boat once.. They seemed fine also..
    You have brought up some great points in this thread about what people like and don't care for in this thread.. ie ( blade width etc.)
    My advice would be to hold off.. If you need to borrow a set of oars for the spring float,, I can bring a few different sets and styles..and blades
    infact.. I will bring a set of clip setups and a set of stirrups and interchange them if someone wants to try either or...
    it just takes a second to swap from clip oars to yokes..
    If you would like to try the Sawyers or the Carlisles I can bring you some..
    What length are you planning to use on your new boat?
    The price that Alaska Raft is selling those Pole cats is a great price with the 10% discount.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  16. #16
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Good idea man, but I am 4,500 miles away. Won't be coming up till June when I am floating the Kongakut in ANWR. But thanks for the offer to try out some oars. That would be an ideal thing to do. The Pole Cats sound nice, but I have read where some people complain that they are too heavy. Could be really weak people saying this, not sure, but something I am growing cautious of. Same thing with the Carlisle 8" blade. Many people say they break easy and one online retailer said that they don't recommend you buying them (and they sell them) and if you did, you are not allowed to return them. Apparently, Johnson Outdoors, which acquired Carlisle, is ruffling some feathers in the rafting industry. They changed the plastic I am told and it has resulted in blades that break prematurely. Scared me off anyway. So if going with Sawyer blades, I only have the 6.5" wide option. Not sure how much of an impact that would have over 8" blades. Then even if that was figured out, the Sawyer blades come in Duramax and Dynelite. So much to figure out. I wish I would have just got some 9' breakdown Carlisles with 8" blades before reading all this crap
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  17. #17
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by abel6wt View Post
    i would love the same info re: packraft paddles. i'm sorry if this hijacks the thread, but it is very much in line with my ?'s re: packraft paddles, specifically an alpacka yukon yak. any comments/suggestions when shopping for a packraft paddle? thanks for any info, abel6wt
    Did you check their website? Looks like some nice offerings there. The Sawyer paddle is designed specifically for pack rafts. Sweet!

    https://www.alpackaraft.com/store/in...yID=56&do=list

    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  18. #18
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Default hey

    Its just money!!!!
    I have used the Carlisle oars for many many years.. I probably still have a set or two around that may be 20 years old... still in service..
    I am not sure about the change in Plasitcs for the blades,, but yes ,,I have a bunch of cracked and chipped ones laying around here..
    OK,,,,
    If old Max is going to outfit this own boat..
    I buy the two piece Pole cats with the 2 lb counter balance weighted handle. the blades are the dynalite..
    If money is not the issue.. go with the Graphite oars, with the counter balance weight and the dynalite blade..
    whats a few hundred dollars more??? lol
    Merry Christmas..
    p.s.
    you can interchange Carlisle blades and Cataract blades in all of the Sawyer oars... so you got that going for ya..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  19. #19
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    Getting composite oars as breakdowns will make them special order, but I remember you had a talk with with a manufacturer about this, and they were willing.
    .
    Jim,

    I got shafted on this one.

    The guy at Advanced Composites, maker of Cataract oars, told me he would make some custom break downs oars for me. This was three months ago. I was extremely clear with my intended usage and goals for an airline friendly rafting set up. His exact words, "We can do it, $30 a section. How many pieces do you want, two or three". So I go out and design a 6 piece breakdown frame that weighs under 25 lbs. Longest piece is 40" long. It fits in a duffle bag man. Now that the frame is being fabricated, I contact the guy about the custom Cataract oars, and he says he won't do it. Won't even tell me why. Told me to look into technology being utilized in the sculling industry!!! I would take a butter knife and carve my own oars from a pine tree before I would buy a Cataract oar. I can tolerate just about anything but being lied to.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  20. #20
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    I buy the two piece Pole cats with the 2 lb counter balance weighted handle. the blades are the dynalite..
    If money is not the issue.. go with the Graphite oars, with the counter balance weight and the dynalite blade..
    Max
    Sounds easy enough man. That is a nice sounding outfit. One thing I know I like is that Sawyer will make the Pole Cat in three piece. So I would have the 30" Sawyer blade and two 39" oar sections. This would pack nicely in a duffle bag.

    Could you comment on the Dynelite blades? I read where they are only 2 lbs each but have found very little info otherwise. I do see that they are double the price of the Duramax synthetic blade. Are the Dynelites worth the extra dough? I am getting three oars and the difference in these blades will near $200.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •