Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gloucester, MA
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How you set it up is really a function of the boat. The critical dimensions in it are the seat height, oarlock height, distance between oarlocks and oar length. Things like the fore and aft placement of the seat and oarlocks do matter but are not as important.
Usually the first thing to figure out is where you can put oarlocks. If you have a cockpit coaming, it is usually an easy place to bolt on a set. I have also seen people who make a standoff block that bolts through the deck and has an oarlock on it. For boats that don't plan to row a lot, you can wrap a line around the oar and the jib winches (assuming you have them) and it works okay.
Next, you need to figure out where you can sit. Usually a removable seat across the cockpit seats or on top of the centerboard trunk works best. If it isn't fastened down, this will allow you to play around with fore and aft position. The height is important and easiest to figure out sitting in the boat with the oars in the oarlocks. You want the oar handle to be somewhere around shoulder height with the blade just fully buried. If you always row in calm water, you can have it a bit lower but if you row in rough water, you need to keep it high so that the blades don't hit the waves on the recovery.
I hope that this helps.