Rowing sucks!(rowers help)

At least it did this weekend. The Big honkin’ Canoe is a great boat , but I had a terrible time with the oars.As best I can determine, 7’ is way too long. I could not keep the oars in the locks to save me. With 18" in the boat and 5’5" out , the mecanical advantage is all oar.

Should I :

Cut the oars back a foot each and get pinned locks?

Make outboard extensions so I get the mechanical advantage?

Put a motor on it?

There is a way to row
With arms crossed over each other and the handles overlapping each other. You may want to re-position the “deals” to do this.

Get pinned locks
Many moons ago I used to love to row, and I did my best with oar locks that were complete rings and were pinned.



Learning curve
There is a steep learning curve with rowing, and I think you will leran to cotnrol the oars in regualr horn locks just fine very soon. As mentioned earlier, you will have to learn to row cross-handed (with the oar handles overlapped) unless you make outbaord extensions. Are you using 7 foot oars with a 36" beam? That is pretty long.

The outriggers for your oarlaocks make rowing a narrow beam boat much easier and as you note will give you more leverage. THe disadvantage is having all that hardware hanging over the side if you want to come along a pier or seawall. There is at least one manufacturer who offers a narrow beam rowing shell with folding outriggers (I think it is heritage rowing shells) whick I have never tried but look like a good idea.

Question and Comment
What do you mean you can’t get the oars to stay in the locks? How are your oarlocks designed, and what part is coming apart on you? My first time out in my little packboat, the water was really rough and I had a little trouble keeping the oarlock pins from coming out of the sockets. To this day I’m not sure if that was operator error, or the fact that on that boat, the pins have a pretty sloppy fit and can pop out fairly easily.

Regarding mechanical advantage, it sounds like your inboard length is a bit short. I just measured my own oars for comparison. The packboat oars have a ratio of inboard to total length of 0.24, and the guide-boat oars have a ratio of 0.25, and I remember that when I’ve done this before, my other oars with factory-set oarlocks are in the same range. The ratio of inboard to total length on your oars is 0.21, which is a bit short on the inboard side. With a 7-foot oar, you’d be better off with about 21 inches on the inboard side. Can you make that adjustment without changing anything else at this point?

Oars too long? Not by many standards

– Last Updated: May-20-07 7:18 PM EST –

My guide-boat is about the same width as String's Big Honkin' Canoe (38 inches), and I use eight-foot oars and find the length to be perfect. It is, after all, more than a 100-year-old design, and back when these boats "worked for a living" their operators really did know a lot about rowing, and having an efficient boat was what they needed to make a living, competing with other guides in the region. I think that most people who think a seven-foot oar is long just haven't had the chance to see for themselves how much better such oars perform than the ones they've used on basic aluminum fishing boats. I've posted the reasons for that here numerous times, and can do so again if anyone wishes. There's no need for outriggers for seven-foot oars unless you are using a pretty narrow boat.

GBG, I was hoping to hear from you.

– Last Updated: May-20-07 9:39 PM EST –

Yes, I can easily make that adjustment, and will.To answer your question, the pins stayed in the mounts just fine. Somehow The oars kept falling out of the horns.
I wasn't having too much trouble until my friend got in the back , which completly unbalanced the boat. And then the wind started howling.Here are some photos.

More questions: how steep an angle do you use to row? and when pulling, do you pull one at a time or both together?

This is what you need

Answers and more comments
I can see why it might be a little tough to keep the oars within those “horns”. Release the stroke pressure at the wrong time, and if the oar is deep, it’ll just float out of there. Maybe better technique will do the job, but I’d start by taking some string and wrapping it tightly around the recurved part of those horns to create a “top” to keep the oars where they belong. It shouldn’t affect how the oarlocks function.

What angle do I row at? Hmmm. As far as forward and backward angle, I reach about as far forward as is comfortable for me, and pull back about the same (the longer the oars, the farther you can pull without reducing blade efficiency too much). Halfway in between approximately my sitting-straight-up, arms-straight-out position. As to vertical angle, you only need to dip the blades all the way beneath the water. There’s seldom any reason to push them lower. Make sure the blade really is all the way submerged and that’ll be enough.

Both hands together or one at a time? I do both together. For me, this means crossing the oar handles at center. To avoid dipping one oar blade deeper than the other, I cross one hand in front of the other rather than one above the other. Since this slightly changes the amount of “pull” on one side versus the other, I usually alternate which hand crosses in front on successive strokes, but that isn’t really needed. When the boat has a tendency to pull to one side due to wind, it’s advantageous to always cross hands the same way, with the hand on the oar which needs to deliver more power is the hand that reaches farther. When heeling the boat way over to aid in turning (this works on really well with my packboat, but does almost nothing with the guide-boat) or to counteract the effect of a strong crosswind, I cross hands with one one on top of the other to help keep the oar blades at similar depth (this is why you should ignore any advice to mount one oarlock higher than the other; doing so makes it impossible to lean the boat very far to both sides with equal ease (such advice comes only from racers, not from anyone with substantial experience in a general-purpose boat)).

A good way to counteract the off-balanceness of having a passenger is to have the rower and passenger sit at opposite ends. In a small boat, you can use the same oarlocks to row either from the center seat or from one of the end seats. In that case, which end of the boat is the “front” depends on which seat you are rowing from, because it reverses when you change seats. In a longer boat, the oarlocks for the center seat will be too far away from the stern seat to row from there with the travel directinl reversed, and in that case you would need to install a second pair to be used from the boat seat.

Those oars could probably be made lighter and more graceful. The blades look really really thick. I seem to recall that you were going to plane them down, and maybe you haven’t done that yet. The blades on my 7’ 3" packboat oars are only 1/4 of an inch thick around the edges, and barely any thicker than that over the entire outermost one-third (just guessing about that proportion right now) of the blade. The center of the main part of the blade is thicker, up to 3/4 of an inch thick, but that center zone of thickening tapers down to nothing toward the end of the blade. The shafts can be made thinner too. On those same 7’ 3" oars, the outboard portion of the shaft ranges from a little more than 1.25 inches thick near the oarlocks to about 1.25 inches thick near the blades.

Thanks again. Yes, the oar blades
will get planed and glassed. and I will close the tops. All good modifications for the next trial run.

Screw the oars,get 1 of these. Might need 2 to balance out the canoe. Says they are for recreational boaters.LOL

Why rowing for a guy with a bad back,when you don’t have a sliding seat? That will be a back killer.

Happy Rowing billinpa

Honda makes a 2.2 Hp , 4 cycle OB
that would be perfect.

The rowing didn’t bother my back at all.

Add a rowing rig.
The widespread oarlock let you use oar over 9 feet long for leverage.
The sliding seat lets you use the power of your legs.

The two main reasons that oars on a canoe are rare, 1. you can’t see where you are going 2.the narrow beam of a canoe makes for awkward geometry.

I like to row rafts and especially drift boats. The rower faces downstream and uses a lot of back ferrying to control the boat. The beam is wide and there is much better balance at the oars.