Oarlock riser and oar length

i need to replace a cracked and separated oarlock spacer. While doing this I am considering placing oarlock risers in an effort to clear my knees and bring the handles  lower into my chest rather than high into my shoulders. My dry land mock up made me think the 8' oars I'm using are to short. I used the Shaw & Tenney oar length formula and calculated a 9' oar is needed for the 55" beam of the NE Dory. Does anyone use an oar longer than 8' ?  At 6'4" I sit on two cushions with my butt just about on top of the daggerboard trunk so I can extend my legs. Seat 3 is screwed in and not removed during solo rowing, however I may rethink that because I removed it for this trial and had much more room. Any thoughts from tall rowers in a dory are appreciated. Thanks Dan

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RE: Oarlock riser and oar length

 I'm curious to know too.  Hope someone has an opinion or experience.  

RE: Oarlock riser and oar length

I have 8' flat oars and 8.5' spoons from S&T in my dory. In the solo rowing position the 8.5s almost touch handles on recovery. If they were 9' a crossed hand recovery would work, it's common for rowing shells. The extra length should come inboard from the oarlocks and would balance the outboard weight better. I'm just able to use the 8' and 8.5 in the tandem positions. The combination seems to be about the right set of compromises for me. Besides, it costs a lot to ship oars over 8.5' according to S&T.     



RE: Oarlock riser and oar length

   Silver Salt, thanks so much for the response. Do the 8'6" oars work better in the stern or bow rowing position.  dan 

RE: Oarlock riser and oar length

Hey Dan, right off the bat, I've never had any instruction in rowing, just figured things out as I went so take my input with some salt.
Doesn't seem to be a lot of difference but the stern position is a little wider and seems a little better for for the longer oars. Both positions require a crossed hand recovery when tandem. Sometimes I wish for nine footers but overall the 8.5s seem fine and are more versatile, think it would be hard to use nines tandem.
At 5'10" can't help much with the oarlock riser question. Sounds like you might be on the right track with a removable third seat to extend your legs though. Somewhere on this site John H. says that's why he designed the seat to be removable. Should be easy to retrofit hangar bolts for easier removal of third seat. 
If you get some more knowledgable input from off the board please post it here.

RE: Oarlock riser and oar length

I'm 6' 2" so I share your difficulties. When I row solo from the center thwart, I always remove the rear thwart to get the extra leg room. It works best for me to row without sitting on anything more than a half-inch of cushioning. Then I don't seem to need risers. 

One can also remove the foam flotation under the thwart and leave the thwart in place when rowing. You have to splay your feet at a wide angle to get them under the bench for the added leg room. But it does work.

RE: Oarlock riser and oar length

   This is my first post. This topic is exactly what I was looking for. I'm 6'4" and must decide how to rig my NE dory. She has never been set up to row. Should I install risers now or side-mounted oarlocks? Where should they be positioned for a taller rower? 

RE: Oarlock riser and oar length

   My dory doesn't have risers and the three sets of oarlocks are the same (i.e., the kind that comes with the kit). I'm 6' 2" and can row comfortably, but I have removed the foam from beneath the forward side of the rear thwart so that I can extend my legs with my feet widely splayed under the thwart. The forward rowing position (which I use when rowing tandem with my wife) is fairly comfortable, too.

I placed the oarlocks where CLC suggests.

If I were doing it again, I think I would put the risers at each of the three rowing positions. And I would move the central oarlocks a few inches further aft than the CLC-suggested position. I have long arms for my height and would benefit from the additional reach. The way things are, my butt tends to get pressed up against the daggerboard well. That might still happen since it is caused more by the cramped legroom than by arm issues.

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