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Thread: Oars

  1. #1
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    Default Oars

    Just bought a 16' drift boat and the oar shafts have cracks (fiberglass). Can this be covered or do I need new oars? Where is the best place in Anchorage to buy oars?

  2. #2
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default How much structural compromise?

    I'll be interested to hear comments of others, but offhand, that would be my question - do the cracks you see represent material weakness not visible? I don't have a drift boat, and part of the answer would probably depend on where you row (risky turbulent water where the cost of oar failure is high? or calm, low-risk places). Maybe call some of the paddling outfits around for expert opinion? Best of luck.

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    Took a closer look tonight and it looks like the outer plastic covering is cracked but there is an aluminum tube inside. Does that make any sense?

  4. #4
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    Lightbulb Cracks and such-like...

    The oar shafts you described in second post are not glass-fibers or composites... sounds like a set of Carlisle shafts. These oar shafts are polyethylene thermoplastic sleeved over aluminum pipe that is cork-filled.

    Cork gives the oar shaft a little flotation, keeps most water out so as not to change the weight dynamic, provides density to dampen vibration, adds rebound character, and helps keep inner diameter from easily kinking under stresses/inpacts.

    The thermoplastic sleeve is protection or armor for the outside against rocks and overall taking on the daily beatings. Cracks are not a bid deal here (mostly cosmetic) w/ the very significant exception/possibility of the sleeve rotating on the aluminum shaft so that oar-sleeves with rights or clips do not stay put in the locks.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default what HE said-

    Brian nailed it. The plastic sleeve is there for protection. A crack in it is not something to be concerned about, other than for cosmetics.

    If you were using composite shafts (you mentioned fiberglass), I would have advised you to replace them. Once that stuff cracks, it usually breaks under stress.

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  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone! I tried them on the upper Kenai yesterday and they worked fine

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