How To Select Row Boat Oars

If you are a frequent reader and if you have been paying attention, you know that I recently painted my Harbercraft fourteen foot aluminum boat. My intention then and now is to turn it into the cottage rowboat. That’s to replace the old wooden rowboat that has unfortunately, at nearly 60 years old, seen better days.
"old wooden rowboat"
The new aluminum rowboat is painted and floating nicely tied to the dock. I had a pair of spruce oars that we used with the wooden rowboat, however, they are not quite the right size, or so I figured out when I had the new rowboat out for some “sea-trials” recently.

The aluminum boat is much wider than the old wooden rowboat and much lighter, which has an impact on the size of oars required for effective rowing. (I said “effective” but I meant “easy”)
"aluminum boat"

How To Select Rowboat Oars

I am slowly coming to realize that there is a “science” to everything. I would have just gone to Walmart or Canadian Tire and bought the first pair of oars I came across that looked good. However, that would be wrong….very wrong.

Turns out there is some actual calculatin’ and figurin’ (to coin a Lonesome Larry phrase) to selecting rowboat oars. Uh-oh, get out the calculators, there is some math involved here.

According to an article written by Frank Whittemore for here is the calculation for how to select rowboat oars.

1) Calculate the proper length of the oars by first measuring the span of the boat from oar lock to oar lock.
2) Divide the span measurement in half, then add 2 inches to determine the outer loom length, which is the length of the oar from the end of the grip to the fitting that holds the oar in the oar lock.
3) Divide the span measurement by 7 and multiply the difference by 25 to calculate the approximate length of the oar needed for your rowboat.

Frank offers some additional useful information to help you select the right oars for your particular rowboat. You can read his article here: – How To Select Rowboat Oars

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