new design for rowing rig

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by river runner, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 172
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    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    My two objections to the traditional rowing rig is that you face backwards (drift boats and river dories excepted) and the oars stick out so far they can't be used in limited space.
    I have an idea for a rig that eliminates these problems, but creates a few of it's own. If the new problems can be overcome, I think I have a winner.
    My limited skills with the English language (my own language) might prevent me from conveying my idea adequately, but here goes.
    Picture a shaft accross the top of a row boat (Jon boat?) extending about a foot on either side. This shaft is attached to sliding rails on either side of the boat. Extending down from the ends of the shaft are the paddle blades. They can pivot back, but not forward. When you pull back on the shaft, the blades dig in and provide propulsion. When you push the shaft forward, the blades pivot up and skim over the surface of the water.
    With traditinal oars, you keep the boat going straight with subtle changes in pitch, depth, length of storke, etc. This woudn't work with my design. One posibility is employ a gearing system so that turning the shaft twists the blade so that it is at an angle to the water.
    How do you turn, or back up? Possibly a release lever near each hand, like brake levers on a mountain bike. Pulling them releases the stop that prevents the blades from swinging forward so you can switch which side the stop is on. So one blade can swing forward and one can swing aft.
    Anyway, something to think on this winter.
  2. kvsgkvng
    Joined: Jan 2012
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    kvsgkvng Senior Member

    You forgot that regular oars act as a magnifier to a speed and length of rowing stride with which oar blade moves through water. With relatively small movement of your arms, you get faster and longer stride at the end of oars.
  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    River Runner we've been trying to dream up a forward facing rowing rig for ages. There are some geared rigs that actually work but they are heavy, clumsy, and expensive.

    A practical arrangement is to scull rather than row. A long single oar over the transom, and a considerable degree of skill, will do the job very competantly. Sculling is usually done from a standing position and the operator can get his leg muscles involved. It is possible to scull from a sitting position but not as efficiently or powerfully. Sculling is quieter and dryer than rowing too.

    I have watched 9 year old Bahamian kids scull their Abaco dinghys with great admiration. They make it look so easy, that it bums me that I can not do it with the same aplomb.

    I wonder how the thrust of a sculling oar compares with the thrust of a conventional pair of oars when sum of the power of the strokes are averaged over a given time interval. Any one out there have any information or opinions about that comparison??? Sculling cadence can be much faster than rowing cadence when you consider that thrust is generated in both the push and the pull directions and no catch interval is involved as with oars.
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