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Left to right, Vireo, Flint and an Adirondack Guide Boat (T. Clarke)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Oar Outrigger Options

Following are examples of oarlock outriggers… some elegant and some not, but all do the job of providing spread to the oarlocks enabling the use of longer oars.

Selway-Fisher 15' Adirondack Guide Boat Outrigger
Outrigger on a Selway-Fisher 15’ Adirondack Guide Boat for David O' Dempsey. Note the thin metal plate on the outboard side of the gunnel that absorbs the torque of the rowing stroke. These outriggers fold 180 degrees to enable coming alongside docks and other boats.

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Custom Wayland Marine Merry Wherry Outriggers
Chris Duff, a long-distance ocean rower, had these outriggers built for his 19 foot “Northern Reach”, a modified Wayland Marine Merry Wherry.










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Monfort’s ‘wing’ outrigger is similar to many commercial outriggers. I would make the interior angle greater than his 60 degrees for fear of hitting my knuckles on the ‘catch’ portion of the stroke. I would also have a third bolt at the apex of the wing attached to a cross beam or the forward edge of the aft deck.

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Simple 'Hinge' Outrigger

















“RowerWet” uses this simple outrigger on a canoe as described in this "Instructables" article. I would be concerned about rowing torque either twisting the hinge and/or loosening the fastenings. Fastening a 3/8 or 1/2 inch triangle of plywood to the bottom of the hinge, with the base of the triangle (6 inches) a tight fit against the outside of the gunnel and the apex at the end of the hinge, would provide sufficient strength to prevent the twist from doing any damage.

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Model of Gavin Atkin's OarMouse Outriggers
Galvin Atkin’s OarMouse plans show another outrigger. Based on those plans, I made a model and here are photos of the outriggers. The outriggers slide under two vertical “L” shaped runners attached to the inside of the topsides as shown in this photo.





Side View of the Outrigger
This is a side view of the outrigger. The oarlock socket would be mounted on the upper right. The angle of the (white) top to the vertical slide accomodates the flare of the topsides.








Two Braces Support the Oarlock Platform


There are two braces to support the top of the outrigger.












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Outriggers that Slide on the Coaming and are Removable
These outriggers (from a model) hook onto the coaming. They can be slid on the coaming to make room for a passenger and/or to adjust the rower’s location for fore and aft balance.









End View of the Sliding Outrigger Model
This side view of the outrigger shows the ‘hook’ that goes under the inner strut on the coaming.












There is no single best outrigger… they each have their pluses and minuses. Hopefully, these samples will give you ideas on how you can make outriggers for your oar cruiser.
In the next blog, we'll introduce another New Jersey rowing venue.

16 comments:

  1. I put folding S&T outriggers on my Gig Harbor Whitehall. The oars are captive, folding the riggers stows the oars for coming alongside as you say. Here is a picture with one folded and one out: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ricks_boats/23777538150/in/album-72157662995418505/
    Have you seen any outriggers that pivot on a vertical axis? I am considering building a narrow race boat, thinking that if the riggers can swing back flush against the gunnel they would be OK for docking but not take up space in the boat. A line to a cleat could secure them open.

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    1. Hi Rick... The S&T outriggers are nice (and expensive). I would assume you can adjust the span (oar lock to oar lock distance) by how/where you mount the outrigger.
      I've not come across any that pivot on a vertical axis. I'd be concerned about using cleated line to prevent movement... too much play and you'd need one going forward and one aft. How about a 'strut' (1/4 inch threaded rod as a prototype) with two downward facing "L"s that drop into a hole in the gunnel and a hole at the end of the outrigger...

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    2. Another thought on pivoting outrigger... install a long (2.5 times thickness of outrigger 'plank' plus thickness of gunnel) threaded stud up through the gunnel at outrigger location... build triangle outrigger platform with hole, for stud, center of triangle base... apex of triangle hold oarlock mounted on a 'riser' (so oar clears the wing nut on stud during recovery... on underside of triangle, glue/screw long block that butts up against the outside of the gunnel... this will prevent outrigger from pivoting... to use, clamp the triangle down with wing nut on stud... to stow, undo wingnut to almost top of stud, lift triangle up (so that block clears the gunnel) and pivot 180 degrees, drop it back down and tighten wing nut... now all is inboard. Yes? No? Maybe?

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    3. Tom - You're going to have to sketch that one, I'm not following...

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    4. I'll post a link to a drawing.

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    5. Here's a link to Dropbox for a sketch of the outrigger I was suggesting above...
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/ukupwx7f9adod4v/Another%20outrigger.jpg?dl=0

      Back off the wingnut, lift the outrigger up and turn 180 degrees (slope of the gunnel in the INSIDE would have to be vertical, not matching the slope of the hull), drop it down and tighten the wingnut... outrigger is now totally inboard (or stored in a compartment). Multiple studs give alternative locations for oarlocks...

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    6. Just noticed you put up the sketch, thanks. Yes, that looks strong and easy to make. It would take some time to stow when coming alongside, though.

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    7. Agreed, it's not just a "flip it in" stow... If I were using it, just before I got to the dock, I'd back off the wing nut, then get to the dock, arm's length away and hold onto the dock to steady the boat, then lift the platform, with oar, spin platform 180, and then re-grab the dock, hoping that I haven't been blown off... doable, but a little dicey...

      Tom

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  2. Several members of the local TSCA have narrow Natoma Skiffs that use simple laminated outriggers similar to the Atkin ones. This is not a member boat but is the best photo I found on the net:
    http://dsrnotes.blogspot.com/2009/02/boatbuilding.html
    Stow by lifting and turning to face inward.

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  3. These outriggers are really nice... as you say, the same idea as Gavin Atkins' shown above, but more "elegant"...
    You carry your bike with you... I assume you trailer to a location, launch and row one way...land, bike back to trailer and then drive back to pick up boat... Or is there some other nefarious rational, such as a hidden pedal driven propeller...

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    1. Nooo, no hidden mystery drive. It's for row down/bike back trips as you guessed. Good for rivers especially. Works with the Walkabout too:
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/ricks_boats/5583772740/in/album-72157615244295923/

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  4. I really like this blog.. Great to have all these different types all in one place, rather than having to go look for them.

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    1. Hi Tom... Thanks!

      I asked you a question about your comment in the Vireo conversion ("Can we make an oar cruiser in 12 feet?") comments. Will the 2" foam be strong enough (when used as a deck on the Vireo [as pictured in the post] with a king plank down the center) to crawl on by a 190 pound person?

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  5. Wow, I forgot about my gate hinge outriggers, I had to add a pin through the hinge to keep it from lifting when holding water to stop.
    The hinges would twist slightly, and deflect downwards in the most powerful part of the stroke, then release that energy near the end of the stroke.
    This worked fine for seven years, if I was to do it again, I would have two hinges per side, and a wood rigger for the oar locks

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    1. "Wow" is right... I'm surprised that the hinge arrangement lasted 7 years! I like your revised plan (last sentence), not elegant, but high 'utility'...

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  6. Wow, I forgot about my gate hinge outriggers, I had to add a pin through the hinge to keep it from lifting when holding water to stop.
    The hinges would twist slightly, and deflect downwards in the most powerful part of the stroke, then release that energy near the end of the stroke.
    This worked fine for seven years, if I was to do it again, I would have two hinges per side, and a wood rigger for the oar locks

    ReplyDelete