The Right Oar Length - SailNet Community
Contributing Authors

Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 244
Thanks: 0
Thanked 13 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 18

The Right Oar Length

What size oar do I need for my dinghy?

Mark Matthews responds:

While oar length is yet another question of personal preference, there are a number of factors to consider. You can start by examining the stowage characteristics of your dinghy. There is no sense in having a set of oars that won稚 fit inside the boat. Take in account other passengers, the outboard engine, if you have one, and its tanks, if there are any, as well as other gear that may end up in the way of the rower. Generally speaking, the longer the oars, the more power you値l be able to get out of them and the less strokes per minute you値l have to use to get where you are going. Of course longer oars can make maneuvering in close quarters somewhat trickier.

For the purpose of this brief treatment, we値l assume your dinghy isn稚 an inflatable. Rowing an inflatable is inefficiient and can be a fairly futile experience, and it's usually a sign that the outboard has gone on sabbatical. Some rowing dinghies have two sets of oarlocks, depending on whether there is one person in the boat or if crew and gear are also along for the ride. You値l also want to have some kind of collar on the oar that prevents it from slipping through the oarlock and beyond your grasp.

Still can稚 decide what size oar will be right for your dinghy? Try this formula from the good folks at barkleysoundoar.com. The example they give is better suited for a large dinghy, but you'll get the gist. Take one-half of the dinghy's beam measurement in feet (taken at the oarlocks). Multiply that figure by 25, divide the result by seven, and round the answer up to the nearest six-inch increment if the boat is over 10 feet long, or down if the boat is under 10 feet long. Let's say that your boat has a four-foot beam and it's roughly 12 feet long. Multiply two (half the measurement of the beam in feet) by 25 and you'll get 50. Now divide that by seven and you'll get 7.14 feet. Take that and round it up to seven feet, six inches and that's the length of the oars that you need. Good luck and happy rowing.

Mark Matthews is offline

Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.

## Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
OR

## Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

 Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)