Oar length and oar handle over-lap for canoes

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I have a Old Town Discovery canoe. I recently installed the factory oar-locks for use with the factory oars (7' in length, I think).

I went by what the dealer told me when installing the locks, and was told that the oar handles should not over-lap but be 6" apart. width of the canoe is around 40". My first question is should the oars over-lap, and what length oars should be used. I am using the factory seats, no slider. Thanks for the help.

-- Steve Kline (stevpropserv@hotmail.com), October 10, 2003


Dear Steve,

Without a whole lot of details about your boat and its fittings (hull depth, seat height, oarlock spread oar pattern etc...), I'd say those seven footers should work well for your canoe. I use 7.5' oars to row a 14" deep boat with a 41" oarlock spread. You should check out some of the answers to some previous queries. See particularly Placement of Seats and Oarlocks in a New Boat, under Boats. Good luck.


Andre de Bardelaben

-- Andre de Bardelaben (middlepath@aol.com), October 11, 2003.

My canoe is very similar to yours, 15" deep with a 40" spread. Seat hieghth is unknown, I'd have to go measure. Thanks.


-- Steve Kline (stevpropserv@hotmail.com), October 12, 2003.

I have the Dicovery 160 and 7 foot oars. I had the oars so they will not touch each other but they were within a half inch of touching. I hated not being able to slide in the oars and not being able to feather them so I got different oar locks that are just bronze rings I had to get rubber collars to keep the bronze rings from scaping up the oars. I really like this set up but for long distance rowing I'd lower the seat until the handles of the oars were at my navel or an inch higher.

-- Frank Ladd (Ladd333@nospamaol.com), October 13, 2003.

Steve, I just noticed Shaw and Tenney's faq page with a formula for determining oar length, loom length, and etc. Go to their page and click on "faq." Ed Atkeson Albany NY

-- Ed Atkeson (edatkeson@earthlink.net), November 10, 2003.

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