Rowing - Oar Selection

Gas prices got you down?   Need a little exercise?  Then row, row, row your Duroboat.

Duroboats are light and a pleasure to row.     Bench model Duroboats from 14 ft down have oarlock sockets installed.  The sockets accommodate a 1/2 inch post.  Walk Through model boats don't have sockets.    They can be purchased if you are going to add a bench or board to make your walk through row able.   

We get a lot of calls  asking,           What size oars do I buy?

The answer is a very definitive, that depends!    Serious rowers will have their own preferences and my know more than we know on the subject.   They should do their own thing.   Let us know if you have better advice than this.  This info is for the rest of us.   Truth is we don't row that much but we have picked up tips from those that do.  What follows is somewhat hearsay but it makes sense.

Generally long oars with big blades will propel you faster.  They will require a harder pull.  Smaller oars will be easier to handle and pull easier, but you may not go as far on each pull.  So you can use the rule of thumb that follows to get a baseline oar length then add or detract to fit your preference.  

Hint: If you are getting the oars for infrequent rowing of a dinghy or as back up for your motor you may want to go smaller as short oars are lighter and will stow easier.   If you don't plan to use them much keep life as simple as possible.

Your oars will typically mount 1/3 in the boat 2/3 out.   The 1/3 that is in should have the ends of the oars just miss each other on a back stroke.    So, If the distance between the oarlock sockets is say 60 inches the distance from one oarlock socket to the center of the boat is 30 inches.  On the angle at which the oars will be stroked the distance might be 31 or 32 inches from socket to center. 

Multiply that   lets say 32  x 3  =96 inches.   Divide that by 12 inches and you get 8 ft.  That is the length of an oar that will work for you.    

Go bigger if you want to work a little more and go faster, ( putting more than 2/3 of the oar outside the boat) . Go smaller if you want oars that are easier to handle. or stow.