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Oar Length and Installation

I recently refinished the oars for my rowboat. When I put the oars back on I wanted to have a proper installation. Google provided a few suggestions and found a site that provided the nerd details that I was interested in. Of course I determined my oar length was a foot short after the fact; go figure.

There is an image and details part way down the page that provides the formulas and explanation. In case this site is unavailable I wanted to write the length formulas here just for reference. The list below is verbatim for lengths:

  1. Inboard length of the loom equals ½ the span between the oarlocks + 2″
  2. Total length of oar equals 1/7 of inboard length multiplied by 25

Now, I will attempt an example and a bit of translation:

  1. Measure the distance between the oarlocks in inches. Take that distance divide by 2 and add 2″. This is considered the inboard loom length where the oar are positioned from the top of the handle for the oarlocks.
    1. Example: Total distance between the oarlocks is 52″.  Divided by 2 equals 26″. Adding 2″ makes 28″.
  2. To determine the proper length of an oar take the inboard loom length divided by 7 multiplied by 25. Although not mentioned I would round the oar length to the nearest foot. To do this divide the length by 12 and round.
    1. Example: Inboard loom length of 28″ / 7 * 25 = 100″; 100″ /12 = 8.333 round to an 8′ oar.


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