rowing ergonomics

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by river runner, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    Before the weather turned cold, I was working on getting the seat and oarlocks possitioned on the boat I built, and I was struggling a bit. What are some rules of thumb as far as the relationship between the rower's seat and the oarlocks? What is a good rule of thumb as far as how far the oarlocks should be above the waterline?
  2. sabahcat
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: australia

    sabahcat Senior Member

    What have other boats got?
  3. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I'd think there would two positions in RiverRunner boat.

    One for normal rowing to get the boat moving in a straight line where you might row for 1/2 hour or more, and another for rapids when all hell is breaking loose.

    Maybe even two sets of footholds.
  4. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Most rowboat builders suggest that the row locks be placed 12 inches aft of the seat if the seat is fixed. I think that the stature of the oarsman will play into this dimension. Obviously there should be some adjustments for guys with long ape like arms as opposed to shrimp sized fellows. Many designs have the seat height arranged so that the oar handles are about even with the bottom of the oarsmans rib cage. In white water, I'd think the handles should be higher than that so that the blades operate deeper and closer to the boat. But if the handles are too high, like nearer the shoulders, fatigue will come much sooner.
  5. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Hmm....the question is not the location of the oarlocks in relation to the oarsman but the oarlocks location in relation to the boat... I prefer just aft of Beam max. The seat is then moved fore and aft on its rail to accommodate the rowers geometry . Oarlocks just foreward of Bmax are good when powering to windward. Again you must move the oarsmans thwart to accomodate.

  6. Dirteater
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Canada

    Dirteater Senior Member

    when I was setting my oar locks up I found it was a matter of inches.
    I first had to established my seat hieght, (which in the end should be done a float) I then sat in my dry boat on land, and played with the positions. I found I only had about 3 inches of position choice. then it was a matter of comfort and functionality.

    now that said,... I still have to put in another set for rowing backwards (facing down river). this of course is subject to the design of the boat.

    hope this helps.

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