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Old 31-08-2017, 16:20   #16
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

Forget it! Most modern and cheapie inflatables do not have very strong attachment points of the oars to the hull tubes. The "rowlocks" themselves are also very weak. They only work for very short rowing distances in fairly light winds. Get a brisk NE on Pittwater and you will break the rowlocks like I did. And that is with the little aluminium oars.

Bite the bullet and invest in a 2hp outboard, preferably something like the Honda 4 stroke.

Whatever mode of propulsion, a design with an inflatable keel helps a lot with directional stability.
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Old 31-08-2017, 16:49   #17
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

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There is no reason not to use wooden oars other than getting them to fit the smaller than average rowlocks on inflatables. Regarding alternatives, I have a Walker Bay 8 with additional inflation tubes on the gunwales, it is incredibly easy to row, is extremely stable( I can stand on one of the side tubes and the boat won't tip) and will carry three people and contrary to what some others have said on this forum is quite light enough for me to lift on my own without assistance (I'm 69 years old)
I used to have a WB RID (as they called them w tubes). It had better oar lock attachment points than most inflatables. I added larger wooden oars to it. Rowed pretty well.

All depends on the inflatable, some have really puny attachement points and dont row well anyway.
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Old 31-08-2017, 16:52   #18
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

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..
Wonder if I can graft those Walker Bay tubes on to my 8' sailing dinghy. That may be the best of all possible worlds. Are the tubes made out of Hypalon??
I think you can. They slide into a track via an attached bolt rope. So, If the basic dimensions are right, you should be able to attach tacks to your dink and slide the tubes on.

The tubes I had were hypalon.
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Old 31-08-2017, 17:29   #19
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

IF one really likes Rowling i ve found that a hard dink is the only way to go. Inflatables never rows well, a D as someone already mentioned they do not move well under power either!

A typical 100-150 kg heavy "deflatable" ( yes, they all become self deflations within a few years) with 10-15 hp outboatds seems to be the norm to prpulse what for all technical and practical reasons is but a Powered Raft. That same outboard could be enough to move then other ship in most caset! Talk about carbon footprint. It always bemuses me to see cruisers arrive in an anchorage in their 4-5 knot boats just too take off at 10+ knots in a dinghy minutes after droppens the anchor.

Why are they all in such a hurry all of a Sudden?

An infaltable kajak is a beter alternative than the infaltable small dinghy/Raft IF one prefers to do without outboard engine
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Old 31-08-2017, 18:03   #20
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

I purchased a pair of the best oar's when i was in OZ back in the 60'S, made there, the shaft was stainless steel and the handle and spoon was made out of a really good plastic, really bullet proof,hopefully the companty is still in business, n.b., the the plastic was an orange colour, i row my RIB all the time, works great.
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Old 31-08-2017, 18:10   #21
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

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I purchased a pair of the best oar's when i was in OZ back in the 60'S, made there, the shaft was stainless steel and the handle and spoon was made out of a really good plastic, really bullet proof,hopefully the companty is still in business, n.b., the the plastic was an orange colour, i row my RIB all the time, works great.
I think I had those oars originally with my twin hull dinghy. They were great oars. I live in hope of finding another pair second hand one day.

It is very hard to buy anything other than mediocre wooden oars here now.
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Old 31-08-2017, 18:55   #22
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

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Dear All,

I have just bought myself an inflatable dinghy at the Sydney Boat Show a fortnight ago. It's sort of an upgrade from my hard dinghy that we call "The Dinghy of Death" because it's always tipping me out - even when reaching out to grab the jetty. That's how unstable it is. Added to that, our boat is a 28 footer and it's difficult to stow the dinghy on the cabin roof or foredeck. Towing isn't an option because we have to cross Broken Bay near Sydney, a bay where 3 waterways plus the open ocean converge and it gets a huge swell on most days, making towing impractical or even dangerous.

Looks like the inflatable is the way to go. I like being able to row my hard dinghy and realise that it's not practical on an inflatable but don't really want the extra hassle of an outboard.

I have a spare set of wooden oars at home in the garage and was wondering if it's possible to use them on an inflatable. This raises the questions:
  • Can you modify either the oars or the dinghy to take wooden oars
  • Can you actually row the dinghy with wooden oars instead of the cheap plastic paddles they give you.
  • Has anybody else tried this out - Mrs Google and the Cruiser Forum search didn't give any results.
My new dinghy is a Sirocco AirHull 220.
cheers
Andrew
In the past, I've had a 13.0' Zodiac with wooden oars which I used regularly. Worked fine.
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Old 31-08-2017, 21:16   #23
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

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In the past, I've had a 13.0' Zodiac with wooden oars which I used regularly. Worked fine.
I agree, buzzstar, Jim and I used 7' wooden oars with our 13 ft. Zodiac, and rowed together, side by side. We found that leaving the engine in the water gave it more directional stability, too.

But the 220 in the nomenclature of Mouette's dinghy probably means 2.2 meters, or, roughly 7'2", which is a short dinghy for rowing.

Our rowing setup consisted of one large hypalon (the dink was hypalon) patch, about 18" x 8", onto which was bonded a piece of timber around 2 " tall, with a metal lined socket in it. We shortened regular rowlocks to fit the socket.

If you set about making something like this for your boat, the big deal is the large patch to spread the load, and placing it correctly. If your dinghy is pvc, use pvc, and pvc compatible glue for the job. The dinghy, of course, will not roll up as nicely with the clunky rowlock timber. Any s/s bushing will do to line the hole for the rowlock.

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Old 01-09-2017, 04:26   #24
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

I bought an Aqua 2m inflatable from Whitworths in Sydney a year ago. It was a nightmare to row until someone stole the aors and I bought replacement ones which are shorter. Now really good to row with far more directional stability. You could use timber oars but you would have to drill a hole in them to fit the pin rowlocks and they would be a pain plus storing them on board and in the back of your car. My boat is 28ft and I just don't take the dinghy as it does not stow well on board and is a pain to tow.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:39   #25
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

Just thinking of rowing the inflatable makes me think about the "manual outboard" that I bought at last years show. Bought it for around $60 and I noticed that it was $160 at this years show. I only went to the show to tell this bloke how useless his hand cranked outboard is only to find that one of the big retailers has picked them up as distributor.

Bloke told me that I must have used it wrong. After a few goes at this piece of kit I threw in bin. Retrieved around four times by yachties wanting to give it a go. Asked him if he had actually used it and he had to admit that he had not.

The only saving grace is that my mate insisted on using it and gave many hours of mirth to the yachties of Mosman Bay.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:49   #26
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

I wouldn't have anything but wood oars. They can be one or two piece and it's essential that the length be correct. A good seat is also essential. Even set up properly, inflatables usually are a bear to row.
However, it can be done, even in windy conditions, with patience & lots of practice, remembering that certain wave/ wind conditions may make it necessary to tack.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:23   #27
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

Both of our Avons came with wooden oars & functional oar locks. Inflatables are poor row boats at best & good oars are essential. That being said we always have a good anchor and rhode in our dinghy just in case. More than one person has been blown out to sea because they could not row their inflatable well enough.
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Old 03-09-2017, 06:57   #28
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

I've used wooden orders on my dinghy for a while after I lost one of the cheap aluminum ones and I've learned a few things. One if your drill holes in to make it work with the dinghy it doesn't work I broke one as it weakens the oar. Need to find a better way to mount oars, but they do work out well if there long enough. I bought a Highfield inflatable 8'6" hard bottom aluminum last year and couldn't be happier with it. I Hear they are big in Australia. It has a deep VE hull very large tubes, and it only weighs 64 pounds! Does everything well and planes quickly with an engine.
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:21   #29
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

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I really mourn the loss of Avon Inflatable Dinghies. Avon had the ONLY decent oar locks in the inflatable world. All the others are Mickey Mouse affairs intended to appease the need for a way to get the dinghy a short distance when the motor fails. Their pin type oarlocks do not have the necessary depth to counter the force of the oar stroke on the pin. They'll work for a while but have seen more than a few that have failed.

The Avon's large rubber 'thole pin' type of oarlocks would stand up to constant long distance rowing use. Because of a cranky outboard was forced to row our Avon 9' Redcrest all over French Polynesia. The Redcrest wasn't the easiest boat to row but was very rowable. I got very good at rowing the dink sometimes for miles with a passenger or two aboard exploring and the multi daily trips ashore from anchorages. It's great exercise and highly recommend it as conditioning exercise as well as a way to get around. When my Redbreasts finally give out will cut out the oar locks and have them glued on to whatever dinghy I'm forced to buy.

Wonder if I can graft those Walker Bay tubes on to my 8' sailing dinghy. That may be the best of all possible worlds. Are the tubes made out of Hypalon??
Our first inflatable was a Redcrest & I rowed it a lot. Not a great rowboat but it worked for many years & the boat was just about indestructible. Here's some floats for your sailing dinghy:

https://www.ghboats.com/2017/06/the-new-dinghy-dogs/
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:28   #30
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Re: Wooden Oars on an Inflatable

Ask & ye shall receive! The best inflatable boat oarlocks:

Avon Replacement Oarlocks
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