Shaw and Tenney - Maine Crafted Since 1858

Shaw & Tenney Blog

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Everyone at Shaw & Tenney is a craftsman, what we do is unique and really a lost art.

We regularly make long oars from 12’ up to 21’ for all kinds of vessels.  From Monomoy lifeboat oars racing in the Bay Area Whaleboat Racing Association in San Francisco to a single 17’ oar serving as the sole auxiliary power for a sailboat circumnavigating the World. Large 15’-2” Lifeboat oars for Carnival Cruise Lines lifeboats are no exception. We recently completed 20 of the oars shown here with a few of our craftsmen for one of their cruise ships. We are the only manufacturer of long oars in the USA and one of a handful in the World.

The Making Of A Shaw & Tenney Wooden Canoe Paddle
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Our craftsmen have been making our handcrafted canoe paddles the same way for over 150 years. Today we still use much of the same equipment that we did when water-powered in 1858.

2015 ACA Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver Competition
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The American Canoe Association National Championships are something that any paddler looks forward to every year. The exciting five-day event boasts a variety of challenging rapids. Paddlers of all ages from all over the country arrive to participate and watch the races.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Recently, our general manager Sam Martinelli and a few of his close friends spent a week paddling solo Old Town Trippers on the Baker Lake to the Allagash Village stretch of the St. John River, wielding an arsenal of Shaw & Tenney paddles… the annual R&D trip.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer is finally here If you're like us you're out on the water every chance you get. Share your favorite picture of boating, canoeing, or just fun on the water by August 15th by filling out the form and uploading the image at the link provided below. And don't forget to add a title and description!

Click Here To Enter

Voting period begins on August 16th and goes through August 31st. Make sure to share this and tell your friends to vote!

Entry with the most votes win an awesome prize! The prizes are pictured above.


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.

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