Shaw & Tenney of Orono, Maine - Hand Crafted Wooden Oars and Paddles since 1858Skipnav
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Wooden Rowing Oars

Wooden Rowing Oars
Since 1858, Shaw & Tenney has been handcrafting the finest traditional solid wooden oars for boats throughout the World. From miniature oars for children's boats to 21' oars for rowing craft in Saudi Arabia, we can make any length oar. Our oars are used in gondolas in a Las Vegas casino, traditional rowing craft in Norway, and Whitehalls in Germany. We have made sculling oars for large sailboats and specialty oars for Disneyland.

As the third oldest manufacturer of marine products in the United States we have the knowledge and experience to assist you with all you wooden oar needs. We can custom make oars for virtually any application.

Our traditional rowing oars are described below. We also offer specialty and sculling oars, including St. Lawrence Skiff oars, square loom oars, and others, as well as Adirondack Guide Boat Oars.

oar selection guidelines
Wood Selection
Spruce Oars
The best all-around oars for most all boats. Very light, yet its strength to weight ratio makes it dependable for all but the heaviest pulling boats. Our Eastern Red spruce oars are made from the finest clear stock available. If you row for pleasure or exercise, these are the oars to use.
Ash Oars
We recommend Ash oars for very heavy boats or extremely hard usage, such as drift boating, racing, or commercial applications. While not as heavy as most ash oars that are commercially available, they are quite a bit heavier than spruce, and thereby less pleasant to use.

oar length

Oar Length
We are glad to assist you in selecting the correct length oars for your boat. We have an extensive knowledge of most rowing boats and can recommend both the correct length and blade style for your boat and rowing style.

Shaw & Tenney Oar Length Formula for Correctly Fitted Oars
  • Inboard length of the loom equals ½ the span between the oarlocks + 2"
  • Total length of oar equals 1/7 of inboard length multiplied by 25
  • Leverage Ratio is 7:18
  • Distance from the center of leather to end of grip equals 7/25 of the total length of the oar

oar length

Tapered Grip  Barrel Grip
Grip Style
The tapered grip (left) is standard on all oars of 7-1/2" and longer. The barrel grip (right) is standard on 7' and shorter oars. While we can supply non-standard grips on any oar, it requires an additional charge.

We also offer a double grip (for two hands) on all oars over 10' in length.

Flat Blade Oars
Narrow Blade Oars
Flat Blade Oars Go to Online Store
Well suited for almost all boats, flat blades are our most popular oars.

Our flat blade oars are available in lengths from 4'-6" to 21' in 6" increments. The standard flat blade (top) is 5-1/2" wide and the blade length varies in proportion to the oar length.

Our narrow blade, (bottom) measures 4-5/8" wide. We recommend this blade for oars longer than 8' to reduce outboard weight. For those who prefer its classic appearance, this blade style is also available on shorter oars.
Spoon Oars Shaw & Tenney Spoon Oars Go to Online Store
Our own design, these oars provide maximum efficiency in pulling boats. Extremely functional, the narrow width makes them very forgiving in rough waters. A distinct complement to any fine rowing boat, they are available in lengths of 6-1/2' to 8-1/2'.
Inlaid Hardwood Tips Go to Online Store
Providing both durability and beauty, inlaid tips are offered on both Shaw & Tenney Spoons and Wide Blade Spoons. The hardwood protects the ends of the oars from damage and splitting from rocks, coral, and other obstacles.
Inlaid Hardwood Tips
Standard in Cherry (shown), Walnut, or Mahogany.  Other woods are available on request.
Wide Blade Spoon Oars Wide Blade Spoon Oars Go to Online Store
A more performance-oriented blade style for when the rower's preference, or boat weight or size, requires this blade configuration. While this oar has the same blade area as our Shaw & Tenney Spoon oars, its shorter, wider shape brings the center of effort further outboard, increasing efficiency. They are produced in 6-1/2' to 10' lengths. Shown in Standard Spruce (top) and with Inlaid Walnut Tip (bottom).

Oar leather instructions.

Oar Leathers Go to Online Store                                           Leather kit
Highly recommended for all fine oars to preserve their beauty and protect your investment. Oar leathers are applied to oars to prevent chafing in the locks.

sewn Leathers

Oar Leathers



oar bag Go to Online Store         

                                     oar bag

Protect you investment with our custom oar

bag.  Made from Weathemax material it is breathable, water resistant, and UV protected.  Fully lined with soft Velex material with a Velex divider creating a seperate pocket for each oar.  Includes a hand and shoulder carrying strap. Available in 6' to 7' or 7'-6" to 8' lengths and custom lengths by special order.

marine tallow  Go to Online Store

oarsman marine tallow Tallow is a superior treatment and preservative for oar leathers and any leather intended for marine or outdoor use. It also is the ideal lubricant for oar locks and sockets.

Basic Package: One (1) quarter-pint tin of Oarsman Marine Tallow and One (1) 2 oz. tin of tallow/beeswax topcoat.
Comes with complete instructions.




Used instead of leathers, the D-sleeve and Douglas oarlock combination orients the blade at a 6% inclination to the water for maximum rowing efficiency.  Also commonly used with our wide blade spoon oars for traditional rowing shells.

Available seperately.


Oar Finish
Our oars are supplied fully finished, coated with our specially formulated marine varnish unless otherwise requested.

P.O. Box 213, 20 Water Street, Orono, Maine 04473 - Toll-Free: 800-240-4867 or 207-866-4867
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Shaw & Tenney of Orono, Maine - Hand Crafted Wooden Oars and Paddles since 1858