Rowing outrigger oar lock block (for lack of a better name)

I need to make removeable oar lock blocks that will attach to a gunwale that is scuppered.  I would like to extend the oar locks outside the outwale by 2"-3" and possibly also raise the oar lock height slightly.  Anyone have any pictures of anything that would give me some ideas?

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found this on the net.looks good not sure how strong it is though.I wanted to do the same years ago but just ended up raising them and that has worked for me

I have looked at that too.  Pretty slick, but I thought the same thing and wasn't sure how strong they would be.  Pretty slick way to do it though.

thats exactly what I meant by gluing a block below the rails, but that looks pretty flimsy for other than easy pond rowing.

Eh. The leverage on that style lock is gonna cause you to break it at some point. There is a lot of stress on oarlock blocks. I've broken them before. My first boat went thru multiple sets of uhmw block in 3 seasons of guiding. I see u are down south and Mabye not running difficult water but think what will happen when you smack a canyon wall. Looks like a possible 1 oar disaster in the making. Outrigger style locks are not necessary in a drift boat, or at least they haven't been needed in the 70 year history of these boats. Adding height can be accomplished by using raised blocks like mike has but I wouldent go any taller than what he has. Again, leverage is high in this area. Crab an oar with too tall a block and you'll crack it right in half. Getting seating position, height, and oar placement and angle is not a one size fits all ordeal, but with the correct length oars for the boat should not be difficult. You are looking for shoulder width apart while you stroke, or 3-6 inches between the handles with your hands together. Ideally your stroke should be about breast height of your chest as u push. Everyone's body is differant but if you adjust block and seat height along with stopper position and follow those rough guidelines it should get you to a good position for comfortable rowing where you won't need goofy lookin outriggers

Chris, Thanks for the reply. The beam on this boat is only 50" at the oarlocks. I have 7'9" oars that I plan to use. Also, the sides are only 15". That's why I am trying to get a little more beam between the oarlocks and a little more height. Otherwise, the seat will be extremely low and I think the oars will still be long. I can cut the oar shafts down, but I would prefer not to. I will be using this boat in extremely mild conditions, not even class II water. Mostly just shallow shoals and riffles on the TN rivers I fish. I get what you are saying, but I don't think damage or excess stress will be an issue. Maybe I should try it first with just a slight riser.

When you say the beam is 50" do you mean measurement at the outside of the floor or at the location of the oarlocks. If you mean at the oarlocks you must have a very narrow boat. If your boat is 50" wide at the outside of the floor I would suggest that 7'9" oars might be a bit narrow. I would be willing to bet that most of the McKenzie River style drift boats use 8' 6" or 9' oars.

I have to inquire whether or not you have rowed a drift boat with oars that short? Again, to better explain to us your boating experience how much drift boat rowing have you done? I ask these questions so that we may better understand where you are coming from.

I am with Chris in that in many years of experience I have never seen a a need or an actual pair of such oarlocks in a drift boat. When rowing a raft in the Grand Canyon our big, ungainly NRS raft did have the oarlocks mounted in an extension to raise the base of the oarlock about 11 or 12" from the top of the rowing frame as it was just about level with the oarpersons seat.

Do you have anyone that can loan you different sizes of oars to try out?

There are obviously many ways to outfit a boat for rowing. It will be interesting to see what you determine. We would love a report on the results!

Rick Newman

Rick, This is not a McKenzie River styled drift boat. This is a shortened version of the boats that were used on the North Fork of the White River in the Ozarks. I will be using this boat in shallow rivers similar to the North Fork. It is drifted down the river and oars used just like you use oars in your drift boats. Look at my other thread titled "RiverRunner". That is the boat. I should have asked about this in that thread I guess, instead of starting a new thread.

To answer your question, I have not been on the oars in a drift boat more than a couple of times. You are correct that 7'9" oars would be short. I think the boat I rowed had 9' oars. It was a 14' ClackaCraft. I have no idea what the beam was at the oarlocks. I'm guessing 80" or so, but the other difference was much more freeboard than this boat will have.

On another note. I received plans for a Don Hill drift boat from David Edwards last week. As soon as I am done with this boat (which won't be long) I will start work on the Don Hill. I have the plywood, CVG Fir for frames, and S2S 1x white oak for the gunwales, chines, caps, etc.


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