Radisson paddles (oars)

Our 13’6" 1973 Radisson double-point ended canoe is in need of oars. I want to row it again. Does anyone have some used ones to sell or the specs so I can buy a suitable substitute?

Thank you,


No particular specs to follow

– Last Updated: Jun-02-14 4:41 PM EST –

I looked at the Radisson website, and the "oars" they provide are nothing more than cheap wooden canoe paddles with clamp-on oarlocks attached. Yikes, surely you want something a little better. Those "oars" are MUCH shorter than any kind of oar which will make propelling that boat reasonably efficient, and they don't even have proper handles.

If I were you, I would look at various places to buy oars, choose a style based on how much I wanted to spend, and for your boat, I would choose a length of 6 or 7 feet. 5-foot oars would work in a pinch (I have one low-performance boat that has always been rowed with 5-foot oars, or maybe 5.5 feet, I'm not sure), but they work poorly. On the other hand, if you are mostly on really narrow creeks and aren't going far, 5-footers might be fine. Oh, and it occurs to me if the seating arrangements aren't correct for rowing (odds are, the designers of that brand didn't give this any thought at all), you may need a shorter-than-normal oar just so the handles clear your legs on the recovery stroke.

Ready-made oars are pretty standard in terms of where the oarlocks are mounted. That is, the ratio of inboard length to outboard length is just about the same regardless of the length of the oar. If you use clamp-on oarlocks, try to match the standard ratio of inboard to outboard length pretty closely. I can't recall what that ratio is off the top of my head (I can find out later), but based on experience and assuming that your boat is 38 inches wide (that's the width of the most-similar model shown on the Radisson website), 6-foot oars would have no overlap of the handles when the oars pass center, and 7-foot oars might have a few inches of overlap. A little overlap of the handles is easy to get used to.

You might want to try Caviness paddles. Great company good customer service. They sent me 2 free paddles because I wrote a e-mail to them about some bad feedback on the net. The owner sent a e-mail and ask some questions and said thanks.

Steve, since '73, have you experienced
a real canoe? Get something a coupla three feet longer that has some real glide.