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Locking in the oars

Apr 20, 2015
Peter Stoops' improved oarlock design has an inverted U bracket that slides down on the gunwale and is through-bolted. Foreground unit is stainless steel, background oarlock is in bronze.

Peter Stoops' improved oarlock design has an inverted U bracket that slides down on the gunwale and is through-bolted. Foreground unit is stainless steel, background oarlock is in bronze.

Ocean sailor and ON contributor Peter Stoops was frustrated with the oarlocks on his dinghy. As he writes:

"…the ones you usually buy are screwed into a gunwale with two wood screws on the side, two on the top. They cover they top and one side of the gunnel. If you have a fiberglass dinghy, chances are the gunnel isn't too thick. So when you heave on a pair of 8-foot oars, that variety of oarlock eventually loosens up and then it's impossible to refasten. And, when they do loosen, they rip the bejesus out of the gunnel. Mine are made to cover the top and both sides of the gunwale, and are thru-bolted to each side by a hex bolt so they never loosen up."

So for a winter project, Stoops designed his own (see plan below) and had them made of stainless steel (below installed on Stoops' dinghy). Then ON publisher Alex Agnew decided he'd like a cast bronze version and so had Bristol Bronze in Tiverton, R.I. make up a pair in bronze. Sometimes it's the small improvements that are the most satisfying! 

 

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