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    An excellent article on oar power from Bob Harland on the website. – maybe the petrol heads can take time off (refrain from shaft jokes) and read it.
    I have often thought about how well a W can be made to row? I use the longest oars I can stow in my MkII – cut exactly to length less than 8ft, however this is woefully short, interested to find out you can fit 9ft in a world.

    A few minor points with Bob’s article.

    Spoons – unless you have self feathering rowlocks the windage may be too great causing arms to ache when coming forward , too fragile to lie on the floorboards and risk your lovely 300.00 GPB blade get trodden on.
    Also the W is a heavy boat – too much grip on the water is not good for the back , a bit of slippage on entry to the water gives less strain on the oarsman,s lower back – I would go for straight sea oars even on flat water.
    With all that power of a long oar you need to secure your feet , I wrap mine around the toestraps, but a cut out or shall board in the floor would work better.
    To row/scull effeiciently you need to overlap your hands , if you do the calcs on the Collar web site , the oar would need to be about 11.5 ft long!!
    I have a lovely pair of Sims of Twickenham sculls left over from my racing days 9ft 6″ long – they move Diddle along at around 4kn , far too long for stowage but too short for efficient rowing.
    Anyway I am in training for the “man vs machine” challenge – Honda vs Human , Seagull vs Sweat – any takers?


    Great posting. Shouldn’t be allowed to sink without a trace so here’s my tuppence worth (probably overpriced!)…….you win everytime, oars are a perfect back-up. I just doubt any Wayfarering sailor with an outboard relishes the petrolhead label, infact I would bet we hate the sound of them (relief when they start followed by can’t wait to turn it off)…..the motor just comes in handy sometimes …..keep stirring


    Thanks Dave – Your right it was probably a rather rude expression that may offend those who legitimately enjoy the reassurance of cruising with an engine – apologies. After all who am I to pontificate, I drive a 4×4 and travel many miles to find a good launching slip!
    However I do find not having an engine does focus the mind on passage planning.


    I have had some very pleasant short trips with just oars, but it is very rare to find an enginless wayfarer who refuses a tow !!


    My new rowing setup (Wayfarer World):

    – a pair of Carlisle 9.5 foot two piece oars with “oar-rights”
    (actulay these are three part oars designed for rafting)
    – a cca. 2.5m length of rope with spliced eyes on each end

    The oars are long enough for achieveng a nice gearing ratio, and can
    be stored on the floor along the centerboard case (with blades
    stretching underneath the rear locker). The only downside
    of these oars is that they are heavier than wooden ones, so one needs
    to impose somewhat greater force to raise the blades out of the water
    at the end of the stroke. But I did not find this to be a serious
    problem, and it could probably be perfected by introducing weights
    into the inboard ends of the oars.

    The rope is used to help avoid sliding my butt of the thwart and to achieve a better transfer of the force throu the feet. It is layed
    over the centerboard case, stretching each end underneath the thwart.
    The eyes are then put over each foot and the length adjusted with
    a knot so that I can push my feet against the tight rope rather than
    having to push against the slippery floor of the boat.

    Average speed on 1-2 miles legs = 2 knots (easy rowing with a bit of chatting along the way, boat packed for cruising with 2 persons average build).
    Haven’t tried it on longer legs (there was no need yet).
    After 9 days of enginless cruising in the Adriatic with Ralph Roberts, satisfaction: 99%

    Best regards,



    Did you ever wander why the “no motor” purists always seem to carry a long tow line?


    What do you do with the boom and sail when rowing? I find the boat is full of these, and I am dodging round them when rowing. The same is true when tied up to a buoy for lunch.

    And what about night times, with the boom used to hold a tent up – where does the main go then?




    Hi Richard

    What do you do with the boom and sail when rowing?

    Most people will ‘brail’ the Mainsail either with a topping lift or with the first reefing line:
    as you can see, there is plenty of room to manoeuvre then!

    And what about night times, with the boom used to hold a tent up – where does the main go then?

    Most people just roll or flake the main around the boom – tent then goes over the top of this:




    In my Wayfarer World I have fitted my oars by slinging them under the side benches (front and rear). To get them out I slide them half way forward and then to the rear over the hard stern box I have fitted. I cannot remember exactly how long they are but I am sure they are over 8 feet.

    That said I have not used them yet, as for close in short manoeuvering I use a paddle and I do confess to having an engine – and yes it was amazing how many people on the Calshot rally wanted a tow!


    David – you realise you have exposed my ‘comfort bottle’ to public view!


    In my Mk 1a two 2.7m oars are easily accomodated. However I can’t tell you how well the boat rows because the first thing I did when I bought her was to fit a rowlock socket on the stern. The Wayfarer sculls like a dream. It is so useful to be able to scull out of a crowded harbour, or off a pontoon then point head to wind and hoist the main. If the main is already hoisted I use the first reef line to brail the sail.

    It takes about 10-30 minutes to learn to scull.



    Thank you all for the advice. As I currently have neither reefing line made up nor topping lift, I suppose the best thing is to use the main halyard with stays to lift the boom up, roll the main sail under it and row away.

    I plan to put the fittings on the boom to take a reefing line – for the time being I simply move the clew outhaul up to the reefing cringle – but that has led to other problems, as the jammer on the clew outhaul must be replaced. That, however, is another story.

    Thanks again – especially for posting pictures, very helpful. Are there lots of pictures of cruising setups somewhere?



    Good idea – online technical photo album.


    Hi Gordon – how do you mount a rowlock on the stern without an OB bracket? – would like to see a pic.
    Getting the boom out the way when sculling and to support the tent – more good reasons for a topping lift!!! Personally I do not like using the reefing lines. My lines are 3mm and not up to it , whereas my topping lift is 5mm and built for the job.


    Dear Q,

    As I use a bridle for the mainsheet (anything that replaces metl fittings with string is an improvement as far as I am concerned!) I do not have a track on the transom, just a rather tatty strip of wood covering the GRP.

    I bought a standard galvanised rowlock socket, drilled an over sized hole down through the top of the transom which I then lined with some epoxy “gunge” – epoxy thickened with silica gel.

    I placed the socket on some more gunge and screwed the whole fitting down onto the transom. For sculling facing the stern the rowlock should be offset slightly to port…this is easiest for beginners and enables the sculler to develop more power. Flash scullers might prefer the rowlock to starboard so they can scull facing forwards…real sophisticates like me learn to scull with the left hand.

    One thing makes life very much simpler. I drilled 2 holes in the rowlocks and threaded a length of light line through the holes. The line is tight enough not to fit over the oar blades or the epoxied turks head that serves as a stop on the oar, but moves freely between the blade and the stop. No more searching for rowlocks as they are always on the oar!

    Epoxy has the advantage that if you want to remove a screw set in epoxy you heat the screw with a soldering iron and the epoxy softens!

    I don’t scull with the main up very often, not enough to justify installing a topping lift.

    Sculling is like riding a bike – if you do it right for 5 minutes you will retain the skill for a lifetime!

    Breton fishing boats used to carry a scull as long as the boat -any ideas how to carry a 16ft sweep on a Wayfarer?


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