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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Can you post some pics of what you have on the side to work with, it might make ideas easier to come by. Wingnuts come to mind to mount something removable, but mounting outside would not work good for the rivers here trying to get past trees in the river and obstructions. Probly wont pertain to your set up but I had to raise my oarlocks and found longer shaft locks from Regal online. You can adjust them with spacers.


I don't have the gunwales finished.  I was hoping to find some ideas for the oar lock outriggers before I finished the gunwales in case I needed to do anything different.  Basically, the sides of the boat are 1/4" marine fir plywood.  I will make the outwale 1-1/2" x whatever thickness??  we'll say 5/8" for now, and the outwale will be against the outside plywood.  Inside, I will glue spacers to the plywood sides lets say 5/8" x 1-1/2" x 3" with 2" spaces between.  The inwale will go against the spacer blocks and again be 5/8" x 1-1/2".  So, just like you would do the rail on a McKenzie.  Here is the issue.  The beam on this boat is 50" at the oarlocks.  The sides are only 15-5/8".  I would like to widen the beam as much as I can within reason.  I have Sawyer Composite Oars that are 7'9" with Angler Pro blades.  Raising the oarlocks will keep me from having such a low seat height which will make for a more comfortable fishing boat.

So longer locks is not a issue. I would think you could make a L shaped block, the only thing you have to mount to though is the rails, but you could bolt them to be removed. The stress hanging outside though....the portion of the block fitting between the rails could hang down a ways and be blocked in with a pc of wood between the frames for added strength ( and less tension on the rails) Not a very good sketch, but its a idea!!

You could pick up 5" on both sides.  (drawing not to scale,lol)

Im sure you've seen towee's solution but if not here you go

Yes.  Thanks!  I don't need quite that much length, so I would rather build something from wood that just bolts on.

I couldn't  think of a way to articulate this idea but maybe a bracket like the old dually mirrors had with three mounting points

maybe a better image

Heres a modified idea to get more height. You could mount a block on top and pick up 3" in height, also giving the lock more through thickness. I incorporated my oarlock blocks ;) to the tops, but just for ideas.

This is sorta what I have in mind.  Thought their might be some slick idea I haven't thought of.  I think this would work.  I'm curious as to how much pressure would be put on the oarlock outriggers.  The boat is the RiverRunner I posted pics of.  15' and approx 250 lbs.

I think most of the stress would be on your rails, and the only place to mount them too. Thus the reason for dropping that block down inside the rails and having a cross support to take the stress off the rails. That way they could be removed and not have anything bolted through the sides. Some good white oak would be pretty strong.

Another idea would involve aluminum fabrication. Could mount a alum square (like a pipe of sorts) in between the rails, and fab up the outrigger bracket to drop into it

We`ll let the master minds chime in :)

I have the rift sawn white oak for the rails, so they should be good and solid. I think I will build a wood outrigger like you drew. That's kinda how I was thinking it should be done. I like your recommendation on the bolt placement. Not sure I would have done it like that, but I will now. Would it be best to plan the location of the oar lock block first? Then layout the spacer blocks the oars to the bow and from oars to the stern? Or, should I layout the spacer blocks first and remove the ones I have to for the oar lock block? Hope you follow what I'm asking.

well you have to think you're using an 8 foot (probably 5 1/2 foot from the oarlock to blade tip) lever to move a boat weighing around 600 lbs? depending on load

The other thing to consider is how much the gunnels will flex while rowing.  I've heard guys say gheenoes will squeeze like a ketchup container when rowing a full boat with the factory oarlocks they offer(no reinforced gunnel)

I didnt see the inside of your boat. Does it have frames? If you can put your spacer blocks anywhere then I`m gonna guess you dont have frames. All you can do is mock up everything, sit in the boat and see how it feels. I was thinking about the 1/4" bolts and epoxy for added security reasons. You have some expensive oars. I was thinking the cross pc on the inside below the rail would add alot of strength, but with no frames to mount it to, only other option would be to epoxy it to the insides after you have the permanent location figured out. Might be over kill, but something to think about. I found this step to be one of the hardest steps with the boat build. Seems like most struggle with seat heights. I`m tall so I wanted my seat a little higher than the standard.

I was faced with limited spots to mount my lock blocks because of the frames. I opted for a couple holes for locks, and mounted my rowers bench on pipes for adjustment. Turns out the bench will probably never get moved from the far back position, and I`ll probably never use the extra lock hole either. Unless I ever get someone pretty short rowing, then I do have a little adjustment. Even with my mock ups, the first voyage brought out all the problems. I had to move my frt seat forward a little to stretch my arms forward with the oars. My biggest issue was the lock height, being able to lift the oars out of the water. Ended up making another set of blocks, and still needed more height and went with the extra long locks.

Thats where proven plans are nice to go by as someone has figured that all out. So for me it was more wheres theres a will theres a way.


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