Wherry: no crossed oars?

Posted by Kelly on Aug 3, 2004

I originally wanted to build an Adirondack guide boat, but realized that it was just too much of a project for me to tackle. But the boats just sound wonderful; incredibly light and fast.

A guide boat uses very long flexible oars, that are pinned into the oarlocks. The oars are so long they cross in front of the rower, and one has to row hand over hand. I gather that guide boat rowing technique even involves tipping the boat slightly, to account for the crossed oars.

I just received my oars for my wherry, and since I'm not using a sliding seat, I ordered the recommended oar size: 6'6". This seems really short, and the oars are dead stiff. Why doesn't CLC offer a guideboat type of oar, that can be pinned at the oarlock, and is longer for better mechanical advantage?

Sure, I could get a sliding seat. But the mechanism is close to $600, and the fancy carbon fiber oars are about the same price. And with a sliding seat, the wherry isn't really a pleasure boat anymore, is it? There doesn't appear to be much room for a passenger with all that hardware in the boat.