Rowers, I'm getting ready to order

oars for the BHC. I calculated total oar length with Shaw and Tenney’s formula and it said I needed 6’6" oars. That just doesn’t sound right.Guideboatguy, what length are yours?

build your own?
Wooden Boat magazine has a nice article on how to build your own.

Might be the way to go if you’re experimenting with lengths.

Mine are 8 feet

– Last Updated: Dec-31-06 11:38 AM EST –

I looked at the instructions for figuring out oar length on that Shaw and Tenney site and something seems goofy. Using their formula, it tells me to use a really short oar too (6.25 feet). In addition, their stated leverage ratio doesn't even match the actual oar dimensions, but perhaps that was my mistake. In any case, it looks like their oars have a different ratio of inboard to outboard length than anything I've ever used. I'd guess that their "regular" oar style is designed for propelling rather heavy, cumbersome boats, not boats that have a bit of get-up and go.

My guide-boat oars are 8 feet long, and the distance from the tip of the handle to the oarlock pin is 24 inches (the oar handles overlap by 6 or 8 inches at the center of the stroke). Using Shaw and Tenney's specs, one of their "regular" oars with a 24-inch inboard length would have a total length of just 7.1 feet, which would probably work okay, but I doubt I'd like it as much.

I see that they also make oars of the Adirondack guide-boat style, but since these are square-ish in cross section for much of the length, I'm sure they will be more expensive (the big square design on the inboard side adds weight there which reduces the effort needed to lift the blades from the water). They also sell another model of square-loom oar, which perhaps can be customized to give the inboard/outboard dimensions you'd like. For that matter, you could probably ask them to customize the oarlock pin location on their regular oars too.

How wide is your Guideboat? The BHC
is 38".

Depends how you measure
I think the published maximum width is 38 or 38.5 inches, but that must be the hull itself because I just measured a width of 40 inches including the gunwales.

The width, including the gunwales, at the oarlocks for the center rowing station (these oarlocks are a couple feet rear of center) is 38.75 inches.

It sounds to me like your boat would handle the same oars I use. Having overlapping handles is not hard to get used to, but of course that’ll be up to you.

square looms
I do not think the square looms would be more expensive, as all the oars I have made, or seen made, started from a square or rectangular stock. If you wanted square or eight sided looms, it would actually save work.

2 spruce 2x8 and a few hours is

– Last Updated: Dec-31-06 8:50 PM EST –

worth $200. I'll give 'em a shot.
Another question. I see several suggested building methods where the board is ripped and then the blades glued back on. Why not make the oar out of one piece?
And 2 more : How long should the blades be and how wide?

7 feet and 38 inches
My other boat is 40 inches wide and I like the 7 footers best, but I often use the take a part 6.5 foot oars because they are easy to put in the trunk of the car.

here a good link to oar making instuctions:

You use several layers of wood glued together instead of one piece so it is less likely to warp.

I think this is why:

– Last Updated: Jan-01-07 11:33 AM EST –

I think they are more expensive because it's not a rectangular block of constant dimension, but it tapers on the outboard side of the oarlock. I've heard it's much less labor-intensive to create that taper with a lathe than a saw. Maybe that's because with square looms they saw the shaft AND cut it in a lathe (the corners are rounded off, and the end near the blade is round, and the handles are round). That means there are two shaping steps instead of just one. Maybe I've heard wrong, but what I've always heard is that square-loom oars cost more.

i like 7’
sevens are plenty powerful for a light boat like a canoe. i like mine pinned, guideboat style. i have short bolt-on removable “outriggers” that give a little more space between the oarlocks

[URL=<a href=“” TARGET="_new"></a>] the pictured oars are clunky cut-down (to 6’8") 8’s. my daughter was on the c of c rowing team so i set it up for her. she likes it!

i made a traditional pair of 8’s
for my skiff from plans by rd culler. they go from oval handles to square to oval to diamond sections at the tip. they were a LOT of work to carve. did you look at they have good info and prices.

Thanks for all the responses.
I should be able to make some with all these instructions.