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Rowing

Our shop is located on Water Street, a stone’s throw from the famed Penobscot River, and a block over from the one stoplight you’ll find in our hometown of Orono. Amidst the cloud of perpetual saw dust that looms over the shop, and through the hum of saws and sanders, sits the same lathe that’s turned the vast majority of oars we’ve made since the day we opened in 1858. That’s a lot of oars. Our most popular are the 7’ clear spruce oars. Clear spruce is hard to come by. In fact, only one board out of every 2,000 is truly clear spruce. Free of knots and other blemishes, it’s significantly stronger and significantly lighter than any other North American softwood. A 7’ oar tips in at less than 2-1/2 pounds. And while, of course, there have been advances in technology that would make our old lathe look downright arcane by today’s standards, our business has never put efficiency before quality. And never will.

Rowing

Traditional Oars

As the second oldest manufacturer of marine products in the United States, we have the knowledge and experience to assist you with all your wooden oar needs.

Our most popular oar –well suited for dinghies, skiffs, and rowboats

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$229.00
Ideal for casual rowing of pulling boats and fine rowing craft. Excellent in rough water.

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$279.00
Our performance oar for traditional boats. Fast, efficient, and powerful.

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$299.00

Sculls, Adirondack, Specialty and Large Oars

We offer a wide range of oars for a variety of applications, from miniature oars for children's boats to 21' steering oars for whaleboats. You’ll find our oars in gondolas in a Las Vegas casino, on wooden sculls in Norway, and in plays on Broadway. We can make custom oars for virtually any application.

The finest oars you will find for your guideboat.

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$469.00
Scull your small craft with one oar off the transom.

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$299.00
Beautifully complements your vintage or new rowing shell

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$695.00
Fine crafted custom oars for virtually any application

Marine Hardware and Accessories

We offer a wide selection of oarlocks, oar sockets, specialty hardware, and accessories to complement fine boats.

Our oar sockets and standard oar locks are made in the USA by Perko. We manufacture our patent swivel oarlocks, outrigger oar brackets, and #1-1/2 horns.

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$99.00

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$69.00

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$69.00

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$69.00

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$39.00

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$39.00

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$135.00

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$57.00

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$22.00

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$16.00

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$299.00

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$199.00

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$11.00

How to Size Your Oars

To determine the correct length oar for your boat measure the distance between the port and starboard oar sockets. Then apply the Shaw and Tenney oar length formula to determine the oar length that will provide the correct 7:18 leverage ratio. This length will provide an oar where 7/25 the length is inboard of the oarlocks and 18/25 of the oar is outboard of the oarlocks. It is the ideal ratio to row almost all boats. Sized correctly, when rowing your hands will be 1 to 3 inches apart and you will be pulling directly towards your abdomen. If you are popping out of your oarlocks when rowing your oars are far too short. If you prefer an overlapping grip, add 6” to the calculated oar length. If you have more than one rowing station in your boat, measure both. Typically they will require two different length oars which is fine if you’re going to be rowing tandem and need two sets. Otherwise you’ll need to compromise the correct length to work properly in both stations. If you are rowing more than 75% in one station size the oar to that length. As always feel free to call us and were happy to help you select the correct oar length and blade style for your boat.

The Original Shaw & Tenney Oar Length Formula

To help our customers size their oars correctly, we’ve been using the same formula since 1858: Measure the distance between the center of the port and starboard oar sockets, which hold the oar locks on each gunnel. This is called the “span” between the oarlocks. Divide the span by 2, and then add 2 to this number. The result is called the “inboard loom length” of the oar. Multiply the loom length by 25, and then divide that number by 7. The result is the proper oar length in inches. Round up or down to the closest 6” increment.

How to Size Your Paddle

For traditional wooden paddles the ideal length for the Stern paddler is the bridge of your nose or 6 inches less than your height. For the bow paddler the paddle reaching the cleft of your chin or 9 inches less than your height is correct.

For our Racine paddle if you are over 5’6” tall select the 63-1/2” length and the shorter paddle if you are under5’-6”tall.

When paddling solo we typically recommend a bow length paddle. For Canadian style solo most paddlers prefer an even shorter paddle.

For paddling canoes when standing (yes our mother let us do this) a 69 inch or 72 inch paddle is usually about right.

Stay In Touch with Shaw & Tenney

© 2014 Shaw & Tenney, Inc.

Have a question or need some help?

Call us at 800-240-4867 or click here to send us an email. Thanks!

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