Fixed rowing choices for canoe : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

I have a canoe that I'd like to adapt for solo, fixed seat rowing but still maintain it's use for paddling. There doesn't seem to be much available in the way of drop in fixed seat outrigger units. I'm thinking of just adding oarlock sockets to the gunwales which would give a 36in spead. Would this be worthwhile? And what oar length would be right for this narrow setup, 6ft?

Any other options would be appreciated.

Thanks, Davy

-- Davy Haynes (, June 30, 2003


Dear Davy,

This subject has come up several times on this site. You could pick up some useful advice by going over some of the earlier submissions. See especially "Riggers: They're Not just For Sliding Seat Anymore" under Gear. The folding bronze riggers mentioned in that thread are excellent for your purposes. I've been installing them in paddling/rowing craft since the late 1970s. They only give problems when you try to push them beyond their intended application. Of course, the simplist and cheapest solution would be to install angle mount sockets with the sockets on the outside. Depending on the depth of your canoe, this might accommodate a pair of 7' Shaw and Tenney spoons. If so, you'll end up with a very versatile craft. Good luck.



-- Andre de Bardelaben (, July 01, 2003.

Davy, I got the same thought a few months ago. You also have to think about the seat height and foot braces as much important things as oarlocks. If the gunwhales ares strong enough, think about a removable and adjustable oarlock sockets, made of wood or aluminum, with a spread of 43 to 45 ". If possible, use a metal plate bolted into the inwhale, to hold the removable out rigger. You could paddle with the plate in place.The heigh btw the top seat and socket shoulb around 7" Michel.

-- M.Jan (, July 03, 2003.

might be worth a try as you originally suggested.... 36 inches is pretty narrow though. ....means your inboard is gonna have to be some where between 18 & 20 inches. traditionally you want 3 to 3.5 as much outboard as inboard. so 6 ft overall sounds about right.

what you may find though is that to completely bury traditional long narrow blades in the water you may end up pulling through so high that it makes rowing uncomfortable with traditional long narrow flat blades.

BUT i've be playing around making my own wooden wide bladed hachet style oars (including hollow shafts) ala the competive rowers in shorter lengths for fixed seat rowing in my narrow HHoff Rowboat(44 inch spread). am finding this style blade & and short oar works well in this application.

short oars however do make for a shorter rowing stroke. but this is offset somewhat by the fact that there's dramitcally less slipage of a wide blade through the water versus a traditional blade. this is because I've got about 15% more blade to grab more water & any water you do grab has to travel about 30% further to slip off the face of the blade.

i guessing here but i'm confident these wide blades row as though they're at least 6 inches (maybe even a ft) longer than they actually are.

I think they'd definitly would work much better than regular oars in this application.


-- mike reiner (, September 15, 2003.

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