Mark Wallace's Black Skiff

Saturday, June 11, 2016

An Oar Cruiser for Still Waters?

Gavin Atkin’s Oarmouse plan is for an open row boat 14’ (4.3m) long and 33.4” (848mm) wide that will be very fast for its length due to the deep “V” hull… no immersed chines.

I built an 8:1 concept model from the plans to create a easily built, light weight, fast oar cruiser for inland waters.
An Oar Cruiser Based on Gavin Atkin's Oarmouse

The OarMouse Oar Cruiser is shorter, by 17” (432mm), than the Larsboat conversion.
Compared to the Larsboat Oar Cruiser

The profile view shows the blunt pram bow and low free-board.
Profile of the Oarmouse Oar Cruiser

This duck’s eye view shows the deep “V” bottom which helps to make her so fast (plus the narrow waterline width).
Duck's Eye View of the Bow

The interior shows the floor board (here simulated as plywood) and the ‘hoops’ to support a custom tent at night. The tent could be removed while rowing, or rolled from each end to provide sun protection for the rower.

What changes were made to convert the Oarmouse, as designed by Gavin, to an Oar Cruiser for Still Waters?

  • The center frame was cut down to enable the floor board to lie flat resting on the forward and aft frames
  • Curved deck beams were installed at the top of the forward and aft frames, even with the top of the gunnels.
  • The top of the two transoms were raised so that they had the same curve as the deck beams.
  • A foredeck was installed, running from the bow transom back 5’ 3” (1600mm).
  • Side decks, 6” (152mm) wide, were installed each side of the cockpit, which is 1’ 10” (559mm) wide and 3’ 9.5” (1156mm) long (inside of the 1/4” x 3” (6 x 76mm) coaming).
  • An after deck was run from the back end of the after coaming to the stern transom.
  • ¾” x ¾” (19 x 19mm) wood was fitted to the inside and outside top edge of the side pieces of the coaming to accommodate the new outriggers. These outriggers provide a 4’ (1220mm) oarlock span.
  • Two ‘hoops’ were laminated to provide headroom, 40” (1016mm) from the floorboard at the rower’s location.

What would I do differently?

  • Replace the plywood floorboard with strip wood  to provide air circulation.
  • Include an access ‘hatch’ in the floor boards to enable bailing and sponging out the bottom under the floor boards.
  • Extend the floor boards at least 6” (153mm) aft of the aft frame so that the sleeping position puts the sleeper’s head out from under the foredeck.
  • Reduce the ‘bluntness’ of the bow transom in order to better handle boat wakes, head seas, etc. Could do this by adding a separate bow piece, or extending the panels forward to make a much smaller bow transom. Other possibilities exist.
  • Provide for flotation: Foam blocks fore and aft, net bags filled with sealed plastic jugs, etc.

We’d really like to hear your thoughts and suggestions about this oar cruiser.

In next week’s post, we’ll share ways to handle body eliminations in a small boat (thanks to all who make suggestions).

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