How to Refinish Cataract Oars

Proper Refinishing and Maintenance of Your SGG, SGX & X Wound Cataract Oars

Yes, even though Cataract Oars uses an ultra-tough, proprietary marine urethane system on our shafts, they may eventually need to be refinished. Fortunately, they’re easy to recoat. For a quick refinishing of your Cataract oars, follow the instructions below.

Recoating Cataract oar shafts: the process.

All you’ve gotta do is scuff the oar shaft surface with a red ScotchBrite pad – or similar product – clean the surface, dry and coat with 2-3 coats of Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane (Clear Gloss). It’s a matter of minutes and a few dollars. Now you know the answer to keeping the finish on your Cataract oars looking like new. Minwax spar urethane is sold at most hardware or home improvement stores. When refinishing Cataract oars, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for coating and for drying times between coats. The spray can gets the clear coat on to the oar shaft with the least amount of fuss.

Storing oar shafts correctly will extend the life of their finish.Blue-Cataract-Oars-SGX-oar-shafts-on-blue-Hyside-inflatable-raft


To extend the life of your oar finish even more, we recommend storing your Cataract oars out of direct sunlight, because UV rays will degrade their surface faster. Don’t have a good storage option? Allow us to introduce you to our amazing Portage and Storage Bag. Now you have no excuse.

An additional protective surface on your oar shafts?

For even more UV protection, consider applying a top coat of 303 Protectant.

The 303 adds another layer of oar shaft protection for those who want to go overkill in preserving the finish of their Cataract Oars.

Cataract Oars SGG oar shaft refinishing: a case study.

A client brought his old pair of SGG oar shafts to our shop for refinishing. After years of sun exposure on the river, the finish on these oar shafts was nasty. As can be seen from the photos to the right and below, the original marine varnish has worn and faded badly. Which, of course, is to be expected. After all, as tough as our urethane is, it is not invulnerable to years and years of exposure and wear.

This pair of composite SGG Cataract oars are badly in need of a spar varnish refinishing after many years of sun exposure on the river

We initiate the oar refinishing sequence.

Unfazed by the ugliness before them, the Cataract Oars refinishing experts took up their red ScotchBrite pads and went to work. A few moments later, both oars were much smoother. The old finish—or what was left of it—presented a solid, integral and sufficiently scuffed surface for the new varnish to adhere to. Seizing their cans of Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane, they coated the two oar shafts. Let them dry. Coated them again. And so on, until three gleaming layers of spar varnish enveloped each shaft in a glistening armor. See the photo below, and compare to the one above. Yes, those are the same oar shafts.After a refinishing job this pair of black SGG carbon fiberglass composite oars is ready for many more years on the water

The oar shafts get a new rope wrap. And Cataract Oars labels.

Once the new finish had cured on the SGG oar shafts, our resident rope-wrapping maestro entwined the center portion of each shaft with a fresh rope wrap. All that remained was some new Cataract Oars labels, and the two oars were finished and ready for many more years of use on the river!