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Thread: Maintenance of cord wrapping on oar

  1. #1
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    Default Maintenance of cord wrapping on oar

    I've just upgraded my SOAR with a row saddle and 7.5 ft Cataract oars. This is my first set of oars, so new territory for me.

    The oars came with cord wrapping around the high wear areas in contact with the oar locks.

    Anyway, I did my first two days of tooling around in one of the 5 lakes that surround Mt. Fuji. I did 6 hours of pulling the first day, and 4 hours on the second.

    Packing up the gear, I noticed that the cord wrapping on the oars had what appeared (to my novice eye) to be significant wear.

    The oar locks are not particularly rough, and I have no frame of reference. I know all of you on this forum have infinitely more experience with these oars.

    1. At what rate can I expect the cord to wear? Does it reach a steady state after some initial flattening, perhaps?
    2. Do the cords require any maintenance like waxing, etc?

    Many thanks!
    Jim

    PS...some pictures on Motosuko Lake. One with Fuji in background, the other with younger son posing with new rig...
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  2. #2
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    Yikes...lots of views, but no replies....

  3. #3
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Jag, I cant address your question, but great pictures! You might be our first from Japan. If anything, post some pictures in our photography section...they'd be a hit.

  4. #4

    Default oars

    I would not worry about your rope wrap. CATARACT has been around for a long time and they know what they are doing. I personally have an old set with rope wrap that has well over 1,000 miles of river use in 14' - 15' rafts with no problems. You may want to check your oar locks to be sure there are no rough spots on them, but like Cataract, Sawyer usually has great quality control. You can always contact Cataract with your concerns.
    Good luck--
    Goo Vogt
    ALASKA WILDWATER

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Konichiwa Jim

    Quote Originally Posted by jagfish View Post
    I've just upgraded my SOAR with a row saddle and 7.5 ft Cataract oars. This is my first set of oars, so new territory for me.

    The oars came with cord wrapping around the high wear areas in contact with the oar locks.

    Anyway, I did my first two days of tooling around in one of the 5 lakes that surround Mt. Fuji. I did 6 hours of pulling the first day, and 4 hours on the second.

    Packing up the gear, I noticed that the cord wrapping on the oars had what appeared (to my novice eye) to be significant wear.

    The oar locks are not particularly rough, and I have no frame of reference. I know all of you on this forum have infinitely more experience with these oars.

    1. At what rate can I expect the cord to wear? Does it reach a steady state after some initial flattening, perhaps?
    2. Do the cords require any maintenance like waxing, etc?

    Many thanks!
    Jim

    PS...some pictures on Motosuko Lake. One with Fuji in background, the other with younger son posing with new rig...
    Hello Jim -

    That's an easy one...

    Question #1 with regards to expected wear on the rope wrap:

    The rope is a braided cord with water and UV protective ingredients in the fibers. There will generally also be a harder sealing/impact resistant coating added at both ends of the wraps. Wear issues will develop... ranging from mileage/time on the oars, rowing techniques, orientation of the frame/locks and the stability of the row system, in addition to loads or how much torque ya put on the oars. All of these factors cause friction on the rope wrap and locks leading to visible wear and tear. You'll see some spots "flattening out" or fraying somewhat over time... only use and over time will tell. This will never reach a "steady state" --- in fact, it will likely incrementally worsen to a greater and grater degree in those same problem spots as the space between the locks and the oars increases over time.

    So what do you do here?

    You have a fine set of Cataract oars... Yet, you have determined a visual issue (while catastrophic failure is not likely).

    Your seeing exactly what others have found with these oars or similar set-ups (if they've used them enough and inspect their equipment regularly).

    You'd like a solution... suggesting a maintenance idea, added on protections, or how to make rope wraps.

    Maintainability Ideas:

    ...are maybe doing what you are already doing... Keep your stuff clean and make visual check-ups (make sure there is no grit/sand/dirt in the rope wrap or the locks). Place a little anti-seize or white lithium grease in your stands to free some friction in the locks. Use spring and washes under the locks to reduce upward kinetic energy and play. Make sure you keep the open oarlock 'gapped' to propper new-like specs. (not too open)

    For certain keep the stand and oar-lock positions rock-solid stable to prevent the slop that leads to greater friction throughout the whole row-system.


    Added Protection

    You could rub even hot wax, or go with some boot waterproofing of the rope wrap... but while that would help waterproof/protect it may also entrap grit over time sidetracking this logic. You could use sealers... however UV will turn most ugly brown and wear just the same or faster.

    Rope Wrapping Traditions:

    Two traditional ways to go about this...
    A.) rope wrap the oars
    B.) rope wrap the oar-lock and forget about the oar wrapping or sleeves altogether

    Ether way, you must learn how to rope wrap! My best suggestion here is to visit a custom fishing rod shop/builder... any good one worth their salt will have this down and know how to show you this system.

    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/06/...ping/index.htm take a look at this site or others like it to show you online. It is really kind of fun and you can get creative. For example... I do my foot-bars on my rowing frames like this as well as sealing up my excess running ends on rescue ropes, chicken-lines and grab-lines around the rafts.

    Best wishes & see... not a problem!

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone for the replies, especially Brian.

    I think your point about oar lock stability is a valid one. There is a bit of play in the system, I will be taking some steps to see what I can do there.

    Learning cord wrapping...yikes yet another skill...LOL

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