Paddle Length Reduction?

A little off-topic for a boatbuilding forum, but I thought that the ingenious people here might have solved this problem before. ;) I'm delighted with my new Shearwater, but I discovered that my paddle, selected to clear the unchamfered gunwales of my old 'yak, is too long. Its an Aquasport with plastic blades, and carbon-fiber shaft. Is there a way to cut it down? Id probably use a pipe cutter to cut the shaft square, but how & where? It locks together (see photo), and all seems firmly glued together.Lock" mce_src="" alt="" border="" hspace="" vspace="" width="" height="" align="" />

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RE: Paddle Length Reduction?


Sounds like an excellent opportunity to purchase a new paddle.

RE: Paddle Length Reduction?

After building a Shearwater, building a Greenland paddle would be a piece of cake.  Then use that paddle as a spare or loaner.

Or call the manufacterer and ask their advice.  They might offer to shorten it for you for a reasonable fee without ruining it.  Others here might chime in with DIY procedures.  Good luck.

RE: Paddle Length Reduction?

Oops, second sentence in previous post should have said:  " Then use your old paddle ..."  Sorry.

RE: Paddle Length Reduction?

You've built a beautiful boat, now it's time to build a paddle to match.  I am a fan of greenland paddles but I made a couple of euro paddles as well.  It's an easy process and they look fantastic with just a short amount of time invested.  Also significantly cheaper than buying, in my experience.


RE: Paddle Length Reduction?

blades are generally glued on using a hot glue or an epoxy.

 Make corresponding marks on blade and shaft so that you can line up again later to retain the paddles current feather.

Heat up the blades/shaft and see if they pull off.

if they come off alright, then cut down shaft to required length with a hacksaw.(equal amount either end to keep ferrule in centre)

Epoxy blades back into place

Shame to waste a CF shaft. Maybe consider making some timber blades to replace.



RE: Paddle Length Reduction?

I'm with Gene. Time to stimulate the economy.

I would be extremely hesitant about cutting down the manufactured length. 


RE: Paddle Length Reduction?

We can build our own boats but a simple mod to a paddle is a problem???

Do the mod and if it doesn't work out then look at other options such as new paddle or build a gp.

RE: Paddle Length Reduction?

Jim, what did Aquasport tell you? You did contact them, right?

RE: Paddle Length Reduction?


FrankP can you help me!!!!!!

you did say you have made couple of euro paddles.  Can you tell me where I can find info on making them? or can you make some instruction fore it?  I really like to try making 1 or 2 :) When on my own boat I really like to us my own paddle to :) it make´s it more fun I think :) 

I have made 1 GP but still not good in using it but someday I will learn how to us it :)




RE: Paddle Length Reduction?


Basically I found the length I wanted for my paddles and then did some layups of strips of woods that I liked.  One paddle used maple, basswood, mahagony and walnut.  Another paddle was basswood and purpleheart.  You can use your current blades as a template for the blade shape/size you like and then just build to the correct length.  I layed the blanks up with a center shaft about 5 cm by 2.5 cm and blades about ~2.5 cm in thickness.  This gave me a final oval shaped shaft about 2 cm by 4 cm after shaping and blades of the appropriate shape that were way too thick.  I rough cut the shape of the blades on a bandsaw and then sanded/planed the whole thing down and shaped it.  My blades ended up about 1 cm thick and were way too heavy. (I've never actually used mine for paddling because they're so heavy.)  I'd recommend making the blades at most 6 mm thick otherwise they're incredibly heavy.

Another thing to consider is not using epoxy for the glue lamination but some other woodworking glue and use lighter weight woods than I chose.  Cedar is a preferred wood for making lightweight paddles.  You could also use ply "leftovers" from your kit panels (if you have any) as the blades.  Doing this you could just "slot" the end of the shaft and then slide the blades into the shaft slot and glass in place.  Glass the blades just like you did your boat and carry the glass 10 cm or so down the shaft and you should have a perfectly usable blade at the right length.  Best results will be if you epoxy the whole thing and varnish it, but I've never bothered with doing that for any of the paddles I've made.


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