Pinned Oars and set-up Pitch

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Russ Kaiser, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Russ Kaiser
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Location: Winston-Salem, NC

    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    I am setting up some oars for an aluminum fishing boat, 14 foot, V-hulled, Lowe, circa 1973. This boat will be rowed by myself, but also by my kids. I know that almost everyone considers pinned oars evil, but I would like to make it hard to lose an oar over the side and we're not rowing for sport, just to get to a couple of fishing holes close to the ramp when I don't feel like mounting the motor.

    My question is, what is the angle of the blade relative to vertical that the oars should be set up? Should the bottom of the oar blade be closer to the stern, closer to the prow, or straight up? If it's not straight up, what angle should I set them?

    Thanks.
     
  2. gonzo
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Pinned oars are usually set vertical. If you want to learn how to row the wrong way, they are the ideal setup. You can use the circular oarlocks instead, which will let you feather the oars and won't let them fall off. Actually, when oars fall off means that you are not rowing right, and is a good feedback.
     
  3. Russ Kaiser
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    Location: Winston-Salem, NC

    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    I don't have to pin the oars with these oarlocks but I thought pinning them would make it simple for my children. I have seen ring type oarlocks in catalogs but not locally. I can make collars for the oars that would keep them from slipping through the locks and take a wire across the top to keep them on.

    What so bad about rowing with pinned oars; you certainly see a lot of oarlocks with the pins?
     
  4. messabout
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    You do not actually need pins or collars. Some clever oarsmen, who are also tinkerers, use a piece of crab trap line. Tie the small line on the shaft of the oar near the blade. Tie the other end of the line to the oar lock so that the oar cannot escape. If you want to be clever about it you can use some cam cleats to fasten the inboard end of the line. Now you can shift gears by adjusting the length of the strings. This does not restrict pitch angle or prevent you from feathering if or when you choose to get fancy.
     
  5. Russ Kaiser
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    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    I like the cord idea

    The cord idea seems like a great compromise; simple, inexpensive, and reversible. I think I'll try it.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If the oars have leathers and buttons, they shouldn't slide. A line dangling from the oar is likely to get snagged. Keep it simple. The traditional setups are the results of millennia of trial and error.
     
  7. messabout
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Gonzo, the bits of 1/8 polyester line are not prone to snagging. The lines are snug to the oar shafts when the oars are let out to the predetermined ratios. I have been using this scheme for a very long time and so far I have not had a moments problem. The best of the method is that it costs only about thirty cents to try it and gives you the option of abandoning the notion for some other, more complicated or irreversable fix....like pinned oars. It also gives you the option of bringing the oars inboard without unshipping the locks. Cheap and dirty is worth a try as long as no danger is caused.
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    What happens when there is debris or weeds?
     
  9. Russ Kaiser
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    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    I'll give a review

    I am definitely going to try using cords and probably very soon. The weekend weather is looking good for it. When I get around to it I will post some photos and let everyone know how it worked for this application.
     
  10. SaugatuckWB
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    Location: Saugatuck,MI

    SaugatuckWB Junior Member

    Give the cords a try. That may be the best of both worlds. Otherwise, use pinned oarlocks set at 90 degrees. Its not like this is some fancy boat to row around in and prove you know how to ... "row". Oars are just a supplement to motors. I've used pinned oars since I was a kid to move our fishing boat around and never had a problem or concern. Much easier to stow and use. Kids will never lose them overboard.

    If someone decides they really like rowing, then you can build them a decent row boat.
     
  11. ancient kayaker
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Adirondack guide boats - the quintessential fishing boat - traditionally have permanently pinned oars. it allows the rower to drop the oars to grab the fishing gear, and to get them quickly back into operation to avoid rocks, weirs, and inattentive power boat operators without catching crabs in a panic situation :)

    This is a normal, reasonable and entirely proper ptactice for fishing purposes and no amount of tut-tutting from the non-fishing fraternity will make it otherwise. Use them with pride :cool:
     
  12. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I learned to row on commercial fishing boats and they were set the traditional Spanish way: tholes and strops.
     
  13. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    First time I rowed a boat with that system I tried pushing the oars against the tholes, having never seen such an arrangement before. The owner was most indignant . . . :confused:
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    That's a hanging offense ;)
     

  15. Russ Kaiser
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Location: Winston-Salem, NC

    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    Feedback on cord secured oar locks.

    It's been over a couple of months but I finally got a chance to leave some feedback on Messabout's suggestion of using cords running from below the locks to the lock to regulate the inboard length of the oars. This was suggested in lieu of pinning the locks permanently to the to the oar and a much cheaper route than buying or making oar leathers and buttons. Also using cords instead of pins would allow the oar to be feathered.

    So far I have had three outings with my modified arrangement of Messabout's suggestion. First I need to describe my oars. They are made from 1-3/8 poplar shafts with a milled slot for 1/4 inch blades. The edges of the blades are glassed and the blades are covered in epoxy resin. Cheap and effective. The poplar has a nice spring and is fairly light. I chose poplar because it is available locally while spruce must be mail ordered. I glassed the oars with left over epoxy from another project and it was starting to get a bit set, I hope to finish the oars a bit nicer than they currently appear.

    [​IMG]


    I lashed 1/4 nylon braid around the area where the locks would fall. Originally I put a small cord through the pin holes on the lock and then ran a second cord from that loop down to the shaft below the lashing. On my first outing the cord through the pin holes frayed and gave way. After that I made a bail from a piece of TIG wire and the system has worked very well.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    The combination of the lashing and the bail wire prevent the oar from coming out of the lock while the cord tied from the bottom of the bail to the shaft below the lashing limits the inboard length. The oars are easily feathered and the cost for the entire setup is negligible.
     
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