Originally Posted by ejlindahl
I made a similar reinforcement for the oar locks. I think the longitudinal aluminum
bar along the black plastic "cap rail" I used is is longer than yours but I still get a lot of intolerable flex of the boat sides as I row. It flexes at the end of the reinforcing bar now. Its worse the warmer it is.
Do you still have considerable flex of the boat sides when you row with those long sweeps?
I suppose I could reduce the flex by running the reinforcing bar all along the side of the bote, but the curve of the bote-side/cap rail would limit that and it would make the bote heavier and harder to fold. I'm just wondering what your experience is with flexing bote sides as you row.
It's all in the form. When I was teaching sliding seat rowing to new customers of Indian River Marine
shells and dories, I cautioned the typical newbies to concentrate entirely on form before putting in any power as power exacerbates any errors.
So what I would do is make sure that you are in whatever position you prefer(I used my knee patella joint locked into the seat aft of me for the reverse thrust, e.g.), and then do just paddling-strength movement of your arms (and feathering, if that's how you are rowing - and, ideally, the side-view would not be the typical rowboat circle, but a pretty tight rectangular box - up at the end, back just enough off the water to avoid crabbing, and down far enough - only - to cover the blade. Both fore and aft strokes should be parallel to the water.). After 100 or so consecutive strokes without any distortion, start adding power in very small steps.
As you continue to add power without distortion (the thrust, to be effective, should all be in a line forward, no L-R or top/bottom rotations), you'll get to the point where the rowlock should rotate on the pin, and nothing else...
Hope that helps.
PS Everything should be relatively relaxed. You can (and might, when you're really exercising) feather with your fingers alone, and the place for your thumbs would be on the end of the handle, not clutching it.
Also, you'll find much more power with wrists, palms, and first joints parallel to the water, wth the last 3 joints carrying the load (think of carrying a bucket of rocks by the bail-handle; you would not normally use the flat of your first joints from the palm to support the load). At least, that's the case for the typical relatively-thin oar handle; if you were on a sweep oar, you likely would involve the first joint just because of the radius of the handle...