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I know that there was an article in Open Water a few issues back on oarlocks. It looks like few people are making oarlocks that have sockets with bushings. This seems to be the current thinking as what is on offer cast is rattling junk. It looks like I will have to use some sort of bushed socket on my row/sail project. Does anyone know of a socket out there that has enough meat to be drilled to accept a bushing? Has anyone had experience with the open lock offered by Alden as to the accuracy of the shaft diameter? Has anyone had a look at the locks offered for raft rowing which have a 9/16 shaft as i recall. I have some of the 1 1/2 bronze ones that used to be available with lanyard holes but they are for a different boat. These are what we used on the Green Machine at Mystic. No one has put a lanyard hole on them ( although you can fix that with a drill press. ) The bigger question I guess is that if someone were to tool up for a lock with a turned half inch shaft and a socket that is precisely drilled to a few thousands larger would people pay the dough? I have some like that on the ducker and they are only now starting to rattle after 20 years and several sets of oars.

-- Ben Fuller (bfuller@midcoast.com), March 10, 2000


Ben, There are at least two oarlocks I know of designed to include a Delrin bushing in the assembly. The Connecticut River Oar & Paddle Club has a particularly gracefully-shaped lock that they have made in very limited production. With a half-inch shaft, it is mounted on the CROPC boats in a drilled bushing that fits a drilled oak unwale. Contact Jon Persson, president of the club, at (860) 388-2343 for details.

Another lock with a Delrin bushing is made by Bob Asay, Asay Surf-Rescue Boats, 1001 Boardwalk, Asbury Park, NJ 07712. Phone (732) 776-5424. Bob's oarlocks, also with half-inch shafts, have a number of other good features, including the ability to retain the oar until a certain level of upward force springs it free.

Both locks are pictured, along with others, in Issue #6 of Open-Water Rowing.

An ingenious way of modifying a normal Wilcox-Crittenden captive oarlock to accept a Teflon bushing was developed by Joe Angilello. You can see photos of how it's done in Issue #12 of Open-Water Rowing or contact Joe directly at (914) 967-8335.

Please let me know if you find more, as I would like to feature them in a coming issue.

-- David Stookey (dstookey@openwater.com), March 13, 2000.

BEN: I've used Alden's open top locks in many boats for twenty years. It is a good design, but your suspicion is correct, they are too loose in the socket which leads to excessive wear. The Delrin sleeve seems right, but I have never rowed with it. Keep pullin'

-- John Mullen (mullen@connect.net), March 28, 2000.

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