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How to Figure Out the Size of the Oars You Need for Your Boat

By William Pullman

Oar size is an important consideration when purchasing or making your own oars for your boat. You need to take several factors into consideration when choosing your oar size, including the size, weight and maneuverability of the boat. Oars that are too long or short will have a negative impact on your ability to control your boat in the water. Learn how to choose the right oar size for your boat to ensure a good boating experience.

Measure the widest part of your boat, which is commonly referred to as the beam of the boat, and multiply the number by two. This provides a rough estimate for the size of your oars, according to DIY-Wood-Boat.com. You can also determine proper oar size by measuring between the oar locks, as described in Step 2.

Determine the distance between the oar locks with measuring tape, divide the result by two and then add two. Divide the answer by seven and add 25 to determine the proper oar length for your boat, according to ShawandTenney.com.

Consider the weight of the boat and the ease with which you can control it in the water. Lighter boats require longer oars and boats that are difficult to navigate require shorter oars. Start with the rough number found in Step 1 and make adjustments based on weight and ease of navigation.

Start with an oar larger than the number derived in Step 1 and test it with your boat. A larger oar size will allow you to shorten the oar should you find in your tests that it does not efficiently drive your boat.

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