Thursday, 3 April 2014

One thing...

...that Francois Vivier said that I didn't agree with. He likes the oars used in Irish currachs, like these ones. The hole in the flange goes through a thole pin, which keeps the oar nice and vertical but means you can't feather them.
Now feathering is an art and a pleasure, as well as reducing the windage on the blades on the recovery. Also, a feathered blade skims over the tips of the waves instead of clipping them and throwing water all over the crew. The old currach oars avoid that problem with slim blades that can't have much grip on the water.
And I suspect that the friction between the flange and the gunwale is quite significant and probably becomes a bit of a drag after an hour or two.
So give me rowlocks any day.
Though I must admit the currachs in the Great River Race go like stink...

3 comments:

Patrick said...

Yorkshire Cobles traditionally used a similar oar pivoting on a pin. I always assumed it was useful to keep the oars from going overboard when fishing, yet still ready for instant use if needed.

ToneS said...

And the Finnish chuchboats (14 rowers in pairs) use a similar arrangement, but using a small nylon plate with a camphered hole, and a metal plate atop the gunwhale to reduce friction.

ToneS said...

Finnish churchboats (14 rowers in pairs) use a similar plate, but made of nylon, and with a metal plate atop the gunwhale to reduce friction there.