Saturday, October 6, 2018

______________________ AUXILIARY PROPULSION _____________________

With a sailing dinghy of 'Scouts' size, stowing the oars is a problem. Having them tied to the top of the seats is a clumsy and uncomfortable way to stow them when sailing. Sitting on top of, or clambering over the tops of the oars every time the boat tacks is asking for trouble.

The best place to stow them is under the seats. This is easy enough to do if your dinghy has removable stern and bow seats. 'Scout' doesn't have these, rather she has buoyancy chambers fore and aft. This makes her safe in a capsize but creates a problem for oar stowage. The problem is that the correct length of oars for 'Scouts' length and beam are simply impossible to slide under the middle seat.

The only solution to the problem is to use shorter oars. This is a compromise because with shorter oars the dinghy doesn't row as well. But considering that 'Scouts' main propulsion is under sail I am happy to make the compromise. I took a pair of five foot six inch long oars and cut off slightly less than two inches off their lengths (from the hand grip end) to obtain a snug fit inside under the seats.

The oars are held under the seats and against the hull using short pieces of cord and jamb cleats. They are firmly in place and won't move or rattle around when sailing.

The oars are slid in and out of place place through the stern area, looped through their respective  restraining ropes and cleated off.

With the oars in place it leaves the cockpit area clear. I am well pleased with the solution. I am also pleased with the way these old oars have scrubbed up with a lick of new paint and new sleeves and rowlocks. I shall try the new oars out on the next sailing trip with 'Scout'. Some time under way rowing will soon tell me whether I have cut the oars too short!


Kate said...

Perfect solution. Two inches isn't much to lose. I am so impressed with this lovely wee vessel. I can feel the love that has gone into her.

Alden Smith said...

Thank you Kate. I have obtained a great deal of satisfaction from taking it from an old wreck of a boat to what she is now. Renovating is not art as such, more a journeyman / cottage industry type of landscape, but full of creativity none the less.

Ben said...

You have shown beautiful craftmanship.
Happy sailing with Scout and Mariner

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Ben. It has certainly been a labour of love. Renovating and maintaining boats is good exercise for both my body and my brain!

'Scout' is now completed and I am happy with everything except for the weight of the boat. If I was to do it all again I would use lighter timber. The wood I used (Iroko) is very heavy and durable but has added significantly to 'Scouts' weight. This in itself is ok when I am sailing 'Scout' but makes hauling her in and out of the water on a steep launching ramp hard work for this old sailor.

Ben said...

Every advantage has its disadvantage as an old Dutch saying goes made by a famous soccerplayer

Alden Smith said...

Yes, true enough - a saying related to the law of unintended consequences!