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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    Kind of got sidetracked, this post is really about oars but you may find the other stuff interesting, I do get to oars

    I've been running the same boat for over a decade now after upgrading to the ATEC Sockeye 1860. Back in 2012 I put a new Honda 90 hp jet on the transom and that called for additional modifications.

    The one mod that really acted as a gamechanger was the addition of a pair of custom built float pods welded to the rear of the hull.



    The motor weighs 370 pounds and you can see that the driver seat and console are near the rear also. This created a problem. When you stopped that boat the rear sank deep due to the load. This meant trouble when you tried to get underway again because the jet will suck up gravel or mud if the intake is on or within inches of the bottom. Getting a boat like that up on step results in the stern end wanting to plunge even deeper that it already is when static so I had some difficulties reaching places I was accustomed to going and then parking the boat.

    Those pods keep the foot of the motor way high and I can jump up from a dead stop in about a foot of water and do so in a very short distance, that's huge!

    When that motor went on I had a riser made as well as a set of struts to strengthen the transom because the torque produced when that 90 snaps the boat from dead stop to 30 mph in short order is immense.



    The struts are the round aluminum tubes that angle down from transom to floor and attach to the transom near the angular riser you can see welded atop the original transom. A solid rig, other upgrades were things like a fresh finish of the interion and addition of that little windscreen.



    Many years as a motorcyclist aided in coming up with proper seat height and the 26* angle and height of the deflector. That thing combined with the pods save me one gallon of fuel on the long haul trips to the cabin. The pods create a longer hull allowing better balance as I trim the jet output for perfect plaining on the surface. The windscreen adds an aerodynamic that was lacking because of the air flow striking my upper body. I also gained one mph on my top end with the additions.

    Here's another little mod that really made a difference.



    That little foil of UHMP extends the flow of water that is compressed by the short and shallow tunnel that is on the hull bottom just ahead of the intake. That tunnel is what makes it possible to run through areas less than 3" deep when the chips are down. The plastic extension gives the foot maximum intake capability regardless of depth of water but excels when things get shallow.

    This wasn't about those things when I started the post...… I just thought they may be of interest if you have a jet boat of your own. This is about oars!

    I've been running all these years with a couple halfassed paddles stowed in the back of the boat. Every fall when I'm focused on trout / steelhead fishing I want to be able to motor about 16 miles upriver then drift down hours later to sneak into the best areas I selected as I drove up. Paddles don't cut it so I finally cracked and bought oars.

    I first came home with a pair of those blue Carlisle oars that are sectional like I had with my big Cattaraft and then the blue got to me! They were expensive because I needed the whole setup locks and all but that blue?

    I try not to be vain but you gotta maintain your Zoot Factor even at my age and my little tricked up jet sled has some Zoot. The blue oars weren't gonna make the cut. I made another trip to Anchorage to Alaska Raft & Kayak to swap them and some more cash for black carbon fiber oars. Now that's zoot factor right there, no sense looking like I use the cheap stuff on something as important as my secondary transportation mode here is there?

    Behold what around $800.00 will get you and be advised I could have dropped over a thousand on the top of the line counterbalanced carbon oars. I had no idea how expensive oars could be!



    I need 4 more 3/8" stove bolts and cap nuts but the hardware store is closed today. Even the hardware to mount the blocks was expensive because they aren't big box store types. I tried to cheap out with a single mount bolt but it's obvious that the stress of back watering a boat this size & weight will loosen a single with haste.....



    I'll be first to admit that the single bolt looks pretty lame

    I wasn't brand shopping because this isn't a drift boat but it appears I have Sawyer carbon shaft oars with the low water blades. I am more at ease with the black shafts and once I was into nearly $690.00 for the blue I just threw in the towel and said better get what will make you happy. And of course raise my zoot factor when all the guys with the blue oars look at the rig parked at a boat launch

    Oh yeah, the first picture on the thread? That 30 gallon and ugly gas drum is my long range tank. It don't look cool but it's a 150 mile round trip to the cabin so you better have more gas than zoot. When I'm home fishing local I have my 15 gallon color coordinated tank strapped in.....



    Always the fashion conscious fisherman here but in reality all these things make perfect sense to me here. Hopefully this gave you something to read in the Alaska forum threads today.

    Oh, here's a chum...


    I've been catching a bunch of them, they go around 9 to 12 pounds unless you get involved with a big one and that can be a little more weight. The trout have been steady but not large...



    I really should get a smaller net, that one made his move soon as I touched the fish and escaped quickly. Basically I have not passed 14" all season but know they are here in much larger models.

    If you really like this Alaska stuff then go to my profile page and get on the blog tab. You'll need to figure out navigation through the pages depending on what device you use for access but there are over 100 articles there. Many about fishing techniques, some are photo displays and others just opinion and ramblings about the fishing etc.
    Last edited by Ard; 07-28-2019 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Copied to blog

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.


    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    Hardware store opened at 10:00 AM so I got additional stove bolts and cap nuts, added some fender washers to the mix and I'm off to do some measuring & drilling. Just the stove bolts, cap nuts (don't want any rough edges) along with the washers ran the cost up another 20 bucks, this is becoming a premium cost project

    Final photos forthcoming...........



    Now they look serious, I'm going to drag out the pressure washer and spit shine that ride then head to the boat launch yet tonight. Taking a freestanding tent to throw up upriver so I can arrive around 10:30 PM and sleep there, that way I just may catch a few silvers at the crack of dawn. Of course before I depart the launch I'll just hang around to see if anyone notices the oars

    You know I'm kidden right?
    Last edited by Ard; 07-28-2019 at 06:03 PM.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.


    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Eastern Iowa, Southern Driftless
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    Default Re: Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    Oars are for people with inferior marine mechanical skills.

    OK, that comment may not fly around here lol. I know oaring skills are important to the drift boat guys. I'm going to guess serious white water canoers and yakers have to lock up their oars when unattended. And I am trying to imagine how much fun it would be to paddle your barge very far. You have the wingspan to get it done I guess. I'd have to run back and forth to get in a stroke.

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  6. #4
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    SF Bay area California
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    Default Re: Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    The best thing about oars is if you run out of fuel, just eat something and you can get going again. No need to hit the gas station or fuel dock. Albeit it is much slower and harder to go upriver but...

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  8. #5
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    Eastern Iowa, Southern Driftless
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    Default Re: Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    Quote Originally Posted by tcorfey View Post
    The best thing about oars is if you run out of fuel, just eat something and you can get going again. No need to hit the gas station or fuel dock. Albeit it is much slower and harder to go upriver but...
    I never even considered that Todd. As long as the chums keep biting there is some small chance Ard could paddle on up to the cabin before the river freezes over. I think I'd rather wait for a helicopter. Nancy will surely miss him eventually.

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    Ard

    I feel your pain, but in the long run you will see the advantages of the upgraded oars. When I bought my new Clacka Eddy in 2017, I opted for the upgraded Sawyer wood oars with the carbon fiber and I think it was a $500 upgrade from the standard oars, but having used them I don't regret it one bit. Those new oars are just awesome.
    Larry


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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    If I understood the guy at the shop, the shafts are carbon tube and the handle plug is hickory or ash, could be oak, I didn't look real close.

    Tim & Dewayne, the oars are for when I want to motor up then do a controlled drift for several miles down in order to sneak in on the trout / steelhead in the river. They will also be the only way I can get through the weed growth at the south end of Hewitt Lake. I'll run the motor all the way up then sit on the dry storage box at the bow (counter balance) then pull the hull through until I'm over deep clear water.

    The weeds have gotten real bad this year rendering the jet nearly useless. You give it full bore until the intake clogs then do what I described.

    I've need to do this for a long time and am very fortunate that every problem I ever had I was able to fix and get back under power within a couple hours.

    Leaving to fish at 4:00 AM. it took a long time to spit shine the boat

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.


    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  13. #8
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    Default Re: Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    I figured it had something to do with drifting some particular steelie and trout runs you had in mind. And wow your entrance to Hewitt must be really bad. I figured you guys had a path cut through it with your boats by now. Guess there's not enough traffic for that.

  14. #9
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    Default Re: Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    Leaving to fish now, just checked e-mail and spotted this post, should have left last night.....

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.


    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  15. #10
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    Default Re: Oars, Whoever Would Have Thought?

    Two days in a row now (no pun intended) I've been driving upriver and then using the oars as I drift down. These are 10 foot graphite oars with some long blades on them and they will move my jet boat really well. Last night I had Nancy with me and she was using a spinning rod so I did the drift boat thing and things worked out great.

    This is great for drifting through runs and actually being able to take stock of how many of what species are holding in each run. I'm enjoying being an oars owner

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.


    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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