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post #1 of 8 Old 09-15-2011 Thread Starter
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how to: Oar

I am looking at making myself a set of Oars. I would like to know if anyone has made a set for there Sailboat and how you went about measuring for them.

Did you make a set(2) or a single for over the stern?

How well did they work for you, what would you do different?

Where do you stow them/it.

Thanks and have a nice day. Marty


my boat is a 25 Venture swing keel

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1985 Venture 25
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-15-2011
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I've made many canoe paddles. Oars.. maybe someday.

Length is the factor. generally 1.5 times the span (or beam) where you will be rowing from. Standing vs sitting would have a bearing on length also
Spruce is best weight to strength. Ash is great but much heavier and flexes allot on long shafts.

Really good site and makers of oars and paddles here.
Wooden Rowing Oars - Shaw & Tenney

Inboard length of the loom equals ½ the span between the oarlocks + 2"
Total length of oar equals 1/7 of inboard length multiplied by 25
Leverage Ratio is 7:18
Distance from the center of leather to end of grip equals 7/25 of the total length of the oar

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-15-2011
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I made a pair of 10' oars from spruce staging planks. Initially I used both to row a 20' sloop, later just one to row a 26' yawl. I put the tiller over a bit to couter the turning force. She rowed slowly, about half a knot without trying too hard. You will not be able to row much against wind or current.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-15-2011
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I don't know if anyone's aware or noticed that to row/paddle with a short dig and pull at a higher cadence produces more power or speed on the stroke then would a long slow pull on the oars or paddle. I think it has something to do with keeping the inertia up rather then allow it fail before the next stroke, worked for me on long long canoe trips and also when paddling a 18ft sea kayak I guess to row a sailboat would be difficult to get it moving.. but the inertia should help somewhat. Rowing could be handy for purists that don't want to motor at all.

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-16-2011
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Check this out.
CLC Wooden Oar Plans, Patterns, and Kits

I used to row my Rhodes 22. A very effective way to move a small sailboat with the correct size oars.

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post #6 of 8 Old 09-16-2011
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I had a Town Class sloop, a 17' dory-type they still race up in Marblehead. Being a dory they are low enough amidships that you can rig a single oarlock, sit on that side to heel her and reduce freeboard more, and row pretty nicely. Much better than paddling or sculling (though some of us had a transom oarlock too for emergency steering). You need someone to steer with the tiller and swap out with you from time to time.

this could work with some other low-freeboard sailboats. The Townie weighed about a thousand pounds, so not a lightweight, but still moved along well in calm water.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-16-2011
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Yuloh - Asian single oar

The Yuloh, or Asian single oar, is twice as efficient as a Western pair of oars. First, it provides motive power on each stroke, back and forth, while the rowing or paddling we are familiar with provides propulsion on one stroke and wasted motion (for the rower) on the return. Second, the yuloh is mounted to a pivot point at its middle, on the boat's stern, with the force to move the boat transferred directly from the yuloh shaft to the boat. In contrast, the rower's arms and shoulders, back, feet, and butt are the mechanism which transfers the motive power from the oars to the boat.
There is an excellent article explaining this in far more detail than I can here located on the Junk Rig Association's public domain pages here
It has historically been normal for the yuloh to move much larger boats than oars, with less physical strength required.


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post #8 of 8 Old 09-16-2011
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Keep that weigh issue in might when selecting the species of wood, by all means. If you are going to go 1 1/2 times the beam, and that equates to say 12', that can get real heavy, real quick. I like the idea behind the "stern" oar, (can't remember the name at the moment) and from what I've read and heard, it seems to be very effecient. Plus, that might allow you to make it a little smaller, because don't forget you've got to store it when not in use. Keep us posted on what you go with.
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