Rowing canoe.

The thread on the Mohawk Blazer reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about doing for some time. I want to install oarlocks on My Blazer.

I need information on where to place the oarlocks and whether or not I need outriggers for proper placement. I’ve a third seat that can be installed, what is the best placement for the seat in relationship to the oarlocks?

might be worth looking at…

how wide is a blazer?
i suggest you research they have a great site. i’d guess you can use 6’ oars. locate your seat where your weight trims the boat level or a little toward the stern (a little more forward if racing) the oarlocks should be about 9" behind the aft edge of the seat.

Most canoes need a lower rowing seat
The seat that you row from must not be too high or you will experience oar / thigh contact during recovery strokes. A seat 4-6 inches up from the floor of the canoe leaves plenty of room for high blade recovery (good for avoiding wave crests during rough water rowing). Up around 8-10 inches (and higher) off the bottom is where interference may occur. I set up most of my oarlocks about 13-14 inches back from the aft seat edge … but I have a long torso and like the extra room to avoid having to row with the handles near my crotch at the end of each stroke. Putting the sockets just outside of the gunwale generally works best (and is by far the simplest to engineer) although canoes more narrow than 33-36 inches may need outriggers to pivot longer oars. I use the Cannon spoon blade oars from Springcreek outfitters (about a hundred bucks, but worth every penny).

Lastly … if you have problems engineering a permanent rowing seat, use a small to medium sized bean bag to row from … they are cheap and supremely comfortable. Great in camp too !

Try here…
Try these…if you paddle, paddle facing forward so you can see where you are going…

paddle in the summer SuperTroll
In the summer you want to paddle facing forward into the wind and the wave to get all the ccoling you can.

In the winter you want to row so you are facing away from the wind and waves. Your jacket and hat keep you warmer this way than when the wind is in your face.

Fancy forward-facing rowing
There are a few different forward-facing rowing kits out there. By my way of thinking, what they DON’T have is the robust simplicity and long-term reliability of regular oarlocks and oars. Also, don’t forget that a decent rowboat with traditional oars is virtually silent, while rigs like that are just plain noisey (too many moving parts with metal fittings). Some may like them, but honestly, I’ve been rowing for more than 30 years now, and have never had any complaints having to do with facing the “wrong” way.

I figure I can just get
a bicycle mirror for my glass frames if it bothers me not being able to see. Don’t see investing in a front facing rig, better to get a good set of oars and locks.

oar locks
there is great article on a rowing canoe in the current issue of Wooden Boat Magazine including plans for building one as some great photos. May help to show you where to place oar locks

oar lock placement
13" from the oarlock to the edge of the seat was the designer’s recommendation for 15 foot long x 42" beam boat I built last summer. It feels pretty comfortable there. Even at this beam, which is probably at least 6" wider than your canoe, I have to row with oars overlapped at the grips. This is really no big deal, but some type of outriggers would do away with this problem and give you more leverage.