Canoes with oarlocks

Anyone know of any canoe with oarlocks? Preferably sets of oarlocks. Or if anyone knows of any good row boat with two sets let me know- i cant find any!

You might want to take a look at…
Guideboats. They have singles and doubles.

Jack L

Check Old Town
Old Town used to sell oarlocks, but of course they can be purchased lots of other places. It’s a pretty low-tech item. They are fairly easy to install on any canoe with square-sided gunwales (like vinyl), though a pair of oversize reinforcing plates would likely be a good idea (one between the oarlock and the gunwale and another on the other opposite side, against which to tighten the nuts), so you don’t crimp the gunwale due to the clamping force that’s needed.

Forget the advice for guide-boats. First, you told us in your previous question about the amount of money available for this project, and these are too far out of your price range (even used ones - a very rare find - are quite pricey). Second, guide-boats do well with either one or two people on board, but when carrying two, one person rows and the other paddles, and that’s not what you said you want (balancing the boat to make it possible to use both rowing stations at the same time requires overloading the boat with a third passenger, which is a mighty poor option).


– Last Updated: Jun-28-13 8:19 PM EST –

Reply to you
"Anyone know of any canoe with oarlocks? Preferably sets of oarlocks. Or if anyone knows of any good row boat with two sets let me know- i cant find any! "

  1. Where does this say anything about money ?
  2. a second seat and second set of oarlocks can be installed in a guideboat. There are all kinds of variations. I have seen them

    Jack L


– Last Updated: Jun-29-13 8:32 AM EST –

1. This person has already started an extensive discussion about his plans for setting up a two-person rowing boat on another thread, and that discussion included setting up a canoe for two-person rowing. Of course, you already know that because you posted there and said you'd be watching the replies closely. I don't know about you, but I kinda figured that if his supply of spendable cash had suddenly quadrupled so that he could afford a guide-boat he'd be back on his other discussion asking how to find the boat he already said that he REALLY wants.

2. The guide-boats I've seen or heard about are not set up for two people to be rowing at the same time. All guide-boats that I've seen or heard about DO have two rowing stations, but one of these stations is at the center seat, to be used when rowing solo, and the other is at the front seat, which is used when the boat carries two people. Since the rear seat is located at the stern of the boat (just like a canoe), the boat is in proper trim for two people when one of them sits in the front and the other sits in the rear. You can't install a rowing station at the rear seat if it's mounted at its normal location because there would be no room for the rower's legs (sit facing backward in the rear seat of one of your canoes and see how much legroom you have). Therefore, for boats with the normal seating locations, positioning two people at the two available rowing stations will cause the boat to be woefully out of trim. The OP is definitely looking for a boat for two people, with both of them rowing. I imagine it's possible to set up a guide-boat so that both people could row at the same time and the boat would be in trim, but it would need to be custom-built or greatly modified by the user after purchase, since both the front and rear seat mounts would need to be built into the hull at very unorthodox locations. I'm not a racer like you, but I've seen a lot of photographs of guide-boats with two people in races, and in each case they've propelled the boats in the traditional way (front person rowing, rear person paddling).

I just did some looking online, and I DID find couple "guide-boats" set up for doubles rowing, which didn't require any modification since they used drop-in sliding seats. One of them wasn't a guide-boat by any stretch of the imagination, but the other was (it had a square stern though, and I'm not sure how common that was on the originals). There's still that issue of price, and with racing-style oars and sliding seats with outriggers, for a new one the price will be 5.3 times as much as what the OP wants to spend, but MAYBE a used one could be located which the seller will part with for such a small fraction of original cost.

Thanks for the help
also the advice is pretty good. I found a place called wenonah canoes that seems to make canoes that have the option for two sliding seats. However, it looks like to me from all th info I have recieved, that canoes dont do well for slide seat rowing, generally b/c there isnt a lot of room. THis apparently leads to hitting your hand with your knees or on the side of the boat. Is this true? or could I solve this with smaller paddles?also, canoes dont seem to have outriggers (i think thats what they are called) - the things that stick out so there is more room for larger paddles. true? here is the link to the website.

while these are expensive, at least i know that canoes can be made this way…startign to save up some money, it may take a while to get one of the more expensive boats, but it seems to be my only option. :frowning:

Jensen canoe with oarlocks
20 years ago I had a Wenonah Jensen 17 canoe with oak gunnels that I dropped a Martin Marine oarmastersliding seat rig onto to row with 10 ft sculling oars. The Jensen had an efficient hull and the oak center thwart was easy to remove to give room to row a sliding seat rig. The oak gunnels were stiff enough without the center thwart. The Jensen was a fiber glass tuff weave layup and I devised a 2x4 cross mount support that locked into the ribs in the Jensens hull so it was easy to mount the oar master and remove it for normal canoeing. I also mounted a sail rig and lubber boards that hung off the hull on the Jensen but its narrow ( for a sail boat) beam made it a bit hairy to sail in much wind ( no one would go out with me twice). If I can find any old photos of the Jensen 17 with oarmaster rig I will post them.

It rowed well for one person but I had to launch thru mangroves on the intercoastal and the oarmaster out riggers 20 foot wing span made this a pain plus navigating narrower parts difficult.

I doubt you could modify this for two persons though , especially two rowers.

I also owned a Little River Marine rowing shell built locally in Florida that was advertised to allow a second non rower but this use was marginal ( I think they discontinued this model) .

They do make a double high performance type rowing shell but this links thread indicates this may be tippier than what the posters are looking for,

For two rowers I suggest a adirondack guide boat or other traditional rowing boat such as

I hope to demo with my wife their guideboat up in Vermont in a month or try one of their boats when they come to Florida . If I do I will let you know.

Single versus double, as already noted

– Last Updated: Jul-04-13 8:53 AM EST –

You won't be rowing "doubles" with an Adirondack guide-boat unless it's a very non-traditional model, and preferably a very long one. The ones made by the company you provided the link to are fantastic boats (I've been rowing mine for close to ten years and couldn't be happier with it). However, they are quite traditional in how the seats and rowing stations are placed, so they are great for two people with one rowing and one paddling, but if you put both people at the two available rowing stations you'll need additional ballast, nearly equal to the weight of the bow-station rower, piled into the stern. Total weight in that situation is "do-able" but far beyond what would be a "high-performance" payload. In fact, if both people weigh around 200 pounds, I think adding close to 200 pounds EXTRA just to balance the trim would overload the boat (600 pounds in a 15-foot boat!).

guideboat with two rowers
My wife will probably want to row at the same time as me ( as opposed to alternating rowing) soI noticed the dual rowing setup on this guideboat which however needs a third person or significant ballast to balance with 2 rowers.

Thanks for the Alden link.

Since I will also be in the Boston area in August I should also be able to row an an Alden Whitehall which has a much lighter hull for cartopping but at double the cost of the guideboat that is probably too high unless I sell most of my kayaks. I also don’t know if I want the hassle of sliding seats and outriggers and 10 ft oars again.

If in the Boston area you should try Charles river kayak which rents out many types of high performance kayak and canoes for paddling the Charles in a more rural ( than Boston) stting. Over the years I have paddled there the various Epic 18 models and the v10sport, the Outer Island kayak, wenonah canoes, and plan to try the Stellar 18 or their surfski.

guideboat with two rowers?
I didn’t see Guideboat Guys post when I did my previous post which was more directed at Jackl since he owns Jensen 17 and 18 canoes like I used to and wants to modify them for rowing.

For the Guideboat, luckily for me my wife weighs 120 not 200 lbs like Guideboat guys post suggests, but if he owns this Guideboat and says 2 person rowing is not feasible then we will demo it more with the intention of our alternating rowing duties.

Guideboat guy do you cartop it or use a trailer? I would prefer not having to buy a separate trailer until old age forces me to.

Love that Jensen 17
We just bought our second one.

When we bought the first it was advertised as the only canoe that could be paddled tandem or solo and was the fastest rec. canoe on the market.

I tried it solo several times, but I was a tad too short for paddling it solo.

Both of ours have aluminum gunnels, and I have added, changed and reconfigured thwarts, sliding seats and portage yokes.

Maybe when we get too old for racing, I might just try changing it out for rowing.

Jack L

The Alden 18 looks like a hoot

– Last Updated: Jul-04-13 10:05 AM EST –

18 lbs!

$5185 in carbon. I have lived in the Adirondacks and know what I have seen in guideboats. And never two rowers at the same time. Does that mean you never can have two paddle a guideboat though? NO. I just have never seen it. Probably because you need three people.. One is ballast

This is a wonderful story from Willem Lange one of our areas premier storytellers.

Addressing Questions

– Last Updated: Jul-04-13 10:26 AM EST –

Yes, I tossed that 200-pound figure out as an example, knowing that the original poster wants to put two adult males in the boat. I don't know how much those two adult males will weigh (maybe not that much since I get the impression they are still pretty young), but since I'm a lightweight myself, I tend to notice that the majority of people past their late 30s weigh a third to half again as much as I do, and that very few of them weigh less than 200.

If your wife is 120, I think you'll still find it a bit difficult to get good end-to-end trim when using the two rowing stations. However, with one of you in each end (as the boat is designed for), carrying some gear with you and putting it at her end is bound to result in better trim (as long as you don't weigh more than twice as much as she does). Still, because the stern seat is tucked more tightly into the pointy end of the boat than the bow seat, you'll find it easier to trim the boat when she's in back than when you are in the back.

With one rower at the front and one paddler at the rear, the boat really cruises. Paddling isn't as efficient as rowing, but believe me, as the rower, you can really feel the difference in speed (and how hard or easy it is to pull the oars) between times when the stern person is paddling and when they are not. Sometimes it's nice that the stern person is facing forward to see what's ahead, and to help with the steering too.

I car-top the boat and have no difficulty doing so. This boat is more awkward to swing up onto your shoulders than a canoe since there are no thwarts or "solidly mounted" seats (the center seat is tied in) to grab during the initial part of the lift, but you could always tip one end up while the other end is on the ground and get underneath it that way. My method is to bend down and grab the gunwales at opposite sides of center and simply swing the boat up over my head and onto my shoulders. I usually just put the front edge of the middle seat across my shoulders, but the center seat is pretty close to the floor (you have to tilt the front of the boat up and tilt your head down a bit), so if I had to carry it a really long distance I'd attach a portage yoke. Back when I bought mine, the catalog weight was 65 pounds. I see that they've changed the listed weight to 70 pounds since then, but I don't know if they weigh more now, or if they've redefined the average weight. In any case, to me my guide-boat always "feels" lighter than my Nova Craft Supernova (canoe), which supposedly weighs 58 pounds (I seem to remember verifying this on the scale once too). I have no idea why the heavier of those two boats always feels lighter to carry.

If you have a long vehicle and a short distance between your cross bars, you may have problems with having enough clearance between the gunwales and your car's roof, because of the pronounced end-to-end curvature of the gunwales.

Jensen 17
Both my Jensen 17 and 18 had oak gunnels and thwarts and cane seats that earlier idiots had stepped on and damaged so I swapped out the fixed cane seats with bucket seats and sliding bucket seats in the bow.

The oak gunnels though heavier allowed me to remove the thwarts for the sliding rowing seats.

guideboat cartopping
I currently have a vw Jetta wagon with Eurorails and thule racks that can mount up to 46 inches apart from front to rear.

Can you pivot the guideboat upside down on the brass plate at the bow to swing it around and on the flat rack crossbars on a car?

I weigh 185 lbs.

Could my 120 lbs wife paddle from the rear seating station with a longer kayak paddle ( while I am rowing in front ) or does she need to use a canoe paddle?

What about vice versa for when she wants to row?

More answers

– Last Updated: Jul-04-13 11:09 AM EST –

You can pivot the boat as you describe, but I think you'll find you want to put the end of the boat on some kind of pad. The brass plate you speak of is tiny (only big enough to mount a painter ring), so any irregularities on the ground are going to chew up the wood. Also, brass will get chewed up pretty quickly too if you are on any kind of pavement when you do this.

Your cross-bar spread of 46 inches should be enough on a car that size. I don't think you'll have to worry about gunwales hitting the roof.

If you carry the boat solo, you can simply walk up behind your car so that the front of the boat overlaps it, and squat down so that one end of the boat is on your car and the other end is on the ground. Then just pick up the low end and slide it on. I think you can probably get your rear cross bar close enough to the back of the car to make this work, but otherwise you could lay a blanket or something (I used to have a home-built "rear-extending" cross bar used just for loading, until I mounted my rear cross bar a few inches farther back). OR, you could probably get a tall bucket or something on which to rest the back end of the boat for that initial loading position. With the back end a little higher, you'll be able to rest the front end on a cross bar without risk of gunwales contacting the roof. With two people loading the boat, you should have no problem (there are still some tricks you can use to make things easier).

If you guys want to have your wife row from the front while you paddle from the back, trim will be more of an issue. All I can say is try it and see, but the more stuff you bring with you to put at her end of the boat, the better your trim will be. I haven't used the boat all that much when out-of-trim due to differing weights of the occupants, but I've done it enough to know that having perfect trim usually isn't essential.

I'm sure you could use a double-bladed paddle, but I see no reason to. But then, I love single-blade paddles and technique. Anyway, you can apply stronger effort close alongside the hull with a single than with a double, and you won't get all that water dripping into the boat. Also, if you can synchronize the paddler's strokes with those of the rower, that's a better way to go, and it's much easier to synchronize a single-blade paddle with the oars (you could synchronize every other stroke with a double-blade, but I think the cadence would be less natural).

If the rear person is single-blade paddling, it will help if the paddler knows how to paddle a canoe from the stern and apply a bit of correction to every stroke, but if not, the rower can apply that correction with the oars. The rower should learn to paddle equally well with either hand crossed in front of the other. The hand that starts out with the longer reach can very easily and naturally apply a bit of turning force to the boat, so being able to put either hand as the farther-reaching one means you can counteract the paddling of your partner no matter which side they are paddling on.

I think a visit to the Adirondacks is
in order to actually paddle one. Some are quite light and some relatively heavy (lapstrake). There are dozens of local builders in the Adirondacks and some are happy to let you paddle.

The Adirondack Guideboat is very much alive in the Adirondacks and there will be several at the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Assembly.

BTW women are pretty quick to pick up on stern steering techniques as its about detail rather than power. A guideboat is ideal for rowing and for the stern person to stop being a sport and paddle!

My Guideboat
I built a guideboat with plans from Nick Schade

I used 8mm paulownia strips with 6oz glass and it weighs about 55lbs although if I was more careful and made a few small changes I could have dropped anothe 10lbs.

To load it on my Mazda6 wagon I hoist it onto my shoulder and walk it onto the cradles. I carry it upright because the curve in the sheer causes it to hang a bit low in front of the windscreen.

The reason for two rowing stations is so it can be rowed solo from the center or from the front with a passenger. A single rower can reach “hull speed” so two rowers would not be a great advantage. Facing each other makes it much more social than a canoe where you stare at the back of your partners head.