I just finished restoring some 1983 Smoker oars for my drift boat and the oar stoppers are cracking and splitting.  The replacements I found online and at our local raft shop have a 1 5/8 inch ID, which is too small for my oars. I need at least 1 11/16".  The raft shop guy and I heated them and stretched and pulled and pushed and couldn't get the 1 5/8 inch versions to even start to slip over the handle end, much less the rope wrap.  Any ideas as to who might carry these larger older(?) style oar stoppers?

The photos show the larger size on the left and right and the new smaller size in the middle. Interesting tidbit; the stopper on the right has a raised rib and appears to be quite old.  It is stamped with the name of  Wilcox Crittenden & Co. Middletown, CT. I looked them up and they were a manufacturer of metal grommets for sails in the late 1800s then other metal boat parts but they were sold to other companies in the early 1960s and I cant find any connection to oar stoppers. Today the name is associated with marine toilets!

Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

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I just stretched a pair of the 1-5/8" ones on 2-1/4" shafts.  I boiled them in a pot, put gloves on, then lubed them up with rubbing alcohol.  It took some effort but it works. 

Since my stoppers are in place, I can't measure them.  The way I have put on stoppers is to coat them in liquid detergent before pushing/pulling.

Thanks Dave, I like the boiling water idea. Raft shop used their ski boot liner heater, which probably didn't get as hot. I used oil to get the old ones off, so I will try alcohol as well. 

I have always found it easier to roll them on. Put them in a pot of hot water like Dave Z suggests which will make them very flexible. Slide them on the oar as far as you can, then with palm of your hands at the very outside of the stop on each side, pull down and it will roll inside out down the shaft. Worked well on 10ft smoker whitewater's for our oar boats and the shafts are 2+ inches.

Thanks Kurt, these are stiff and haven't rolled, but maybe with more heat they will. 

Kirk, here is an article about Frank's custom oars, third picture down shows Frank seating an oar stop. Necessity is the father of invention.....


Ill second the heat it up method, took mine and threw them in the oven till they were a little too hot to hold with bare hands.  Stuffed the blade against a baseboard, straddled the oar and rolled the sucker on.  No drama, pops right on.  My oars are 2 1/4" at the wrap.  Copied the technique from Sawyer Oars.  While the oven was hot I put some parafin in a can and got it melted down then brushed it onto my wrap.

Sawyers video on the matter


Damnit the video was taken down but its pretty self explanatory

Thanks for the input. Boiling water and a good roll did the trick with a little canola oil too. I did the float down to the Wooden Boat festival and they stayed put, so all is good.

Nice to meet you at the Wooden Boat Festival. Good job on the oars, they look great.


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