I am having a local company make a pair of oars for me and I was wondering what the dimensions for my oars should be. I've looked at most of the discussions about the subject but I was wondering about the diameter of the shaft. I will be using my boat (it's a 14' perfect mac kit) on the rivers and lakes around central Wisconsin. Any input on the subject will be appreciated.
Jacob - if you haven't already made your purchase, I'll offer some food for thought. I certainly don't consider myself an expert but I am on the river 60-75 days a year for 30 years and consider the McKenzie essentially my home river. Used to boat the Deschutes a lot, still do the Umpqua, most of the coastal rivers and points in between all the way to the Clearwater in Idaho. Oars are REALLY important. Besides the obvious reason, its all about the fit, and part of that is your physical makeup. The length of the boat is immaterial really. Bottom width and oar lock heigth are more important. I see a lot of weekend warriors with 16' standards going down the river with 9' oars. They'll survive. Personally, I'd be rowing with an 8.5 but I probably run more technical water. If you have high sides and a standard 48 bottom, 9' works better. I've rowed 54" bottom boats with low locks using 8.5's. Sounds like your 14 footer is probably standard at the locks, I'd recommend 8.5's. Good luck and good boating.
Well there is bad news they can't build the oars because the lathe they have can only handle 1-3/4" diameter wood and the modification they have made put to many imperfections in the shaft. So for the time being I need to find a cheep pair of oars and some what stick to the 9.9 Johnson to get me where I want to go.