This post is a request for anyone going to the AGM on 10 April who might be able to bring along what they believe to be a good oar for a cruising dinghy.
I have bought some heavy 11ft oak oars which appear unfinished. My plan is to shave them down to the right proportions for my Falmouth Bass Boat. The attached photos show how the blades are very crude (or unfinished) but maybe this is how they were supposed to be - I was told they were lifeboat oars. I know oak is heavy but I think I could take a great deal of wood out of the oars before they become too weak for my purposes.
I also hope to learn to scull and any advice on a transom rowlock and special features of a sculling oar would also be welcome.
Hours on the internet have failed to provide any useful oar dimensions and there don't appear to be any oar design books out there either. I am confident with my woodworking abilities having recently produced a new main mast. If anyone can offer advice or allow me to copy the dimensions of a good oar I would be extremely grateful. Hence my request for an oar to inspect at the AGM.
This is from Shaw & Tenney, in Maine, US
It's really just a length formula, but there may be some other info (and certainly a lot of pictures) on their site.
I will say, I have a set of 10' spruce oars from them that I use in my 15' Mercury, and they are a WHOLE lot thinner at the blade tips than those oak ones - You should be able to take a lot off .
Hi Roger. I know my way round your book very well and most of my kit has been chosen on the advice in there - thank you sincerely for that. Regarding oars, I chose the 11ft length of my pair based on your calculations. It is the proportions such as blade thickness, shaft diameter and weight in relation to the weight of my boat which now illude me. The oars I have could certainly do with loosing a few pounds and I am sure the blades should be shaved down.
Hence the request to see a good oar at close quarters. If I could weigh one up in my hands I am sure I could recreate something similar. There appear to be too many variables to expect to find a prescriptive plan anywhere for my requirements.
Yes - For years, Norm Wolfe has used nothing but a yuloh for auxiliary power. I've seen his rig and it is very efficient. The sculling motion of a yuloh requires that you keep it captive in the transom. He has an ingenious quick release system for locking in the oarlock.
One downside is that his yuloh is very long. I think it may break apart in two pieces but even so, it is very long.