The current issue of Messing About in Boats has a very interesting article by Tom Fulk outlining a swivel he has designed for the rowing boat he uses for trips round Puget Sound off Seattle.
The boat is Phil Bolger's Spur II, a 15ft 4in pulling boat that features in Boats with an Open Mind.
Bolger designed an ingenious new swivel (being American, he calls it an oarlock) for the boat, as in the drawing on the left. It consists of a fixed steel pin and a brass strap that is bent round the loom of the oar to hold it on.
Very simple and robust, and Tom made it even simpler by replacing the brass strip with a stainless steel wire.
However, in use Tom found it irritating not being able to take the oar out of the swivel easily when docking, so he developed a new version with a brass retaining horn that slides up and down the fixed steel pin, as shown in the photo above.
In normal use, the oar is securely held against the pin. When you want to ship the oar, you simply raise it and the brass horn rises over the end of the pin and the oar pops out, sweet as a nut.
A split pin or rivet stops the horn coming off the pin entirely.
Tom clearly enjoys his rowing. He concludes the article by writing: "My wife always knows where I am going and when to expect me home. Sometimes she can see my smile with binoculars from home."
Thanks to Joe Deslauriers for the headsup.