Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my dinghy cruising blog about my John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. Built over three years, Arwen was launched in August 2007. She is a standing lug yawl 14' 6" in length. This blog records our dinghy cruising voyages together around the coastal waters of SW England.
Arwen has an associated YouTube channel so visit to find our most recent cruises and click subscribe.
On this blog you will find posts about dinghy cruising locations, accounts of our voyages, maintenance tips and 'How to's' ranging from rigging standing lug sails and building galley boxes to using 'anchor buddies' and creating 'pilotage notes'. I hope you find something that inspires you to get out on the water in your boat. Drop us a comment and happy sailing.
Steve and Arwen

Monday, 29 July 2019

building wooden oars for a sailing dinghy 8

The oars have been painted - three undercoats and two top coats - that should do.

Now, they have to be positioned in the rowlocks and this position marked off ready for locating the protective leathers.

Just enough to do both oars

Can you smell that leather - wonderful........

I'll leave it a few more days for the paint to thoroughly dry before doing this last job. I should have just enough leather to do the protective sleeves and some strips left over to build up some protective strip button stops - my technical name for them - basically the rim of those black plastic oar collars you can get.

Final verdict? They will pass the 'look great from 20 feet away' test. Rustic rather than professional. A good bit of carpentry learning...which to be honest.....I won't be repeating in a hurry again!

My oar making journey

Bought CLC  plans

Drew out the templates

Cut some thin ply templates

Glued up three pieces of douglas fir

bought some new show respect to the wood you know.......

hand cut out the two oars because the band saw couldn't do it....and three days later 

....started shaping the oars and creating piles of fantastically smelling shavings

and the planing and spoke shaving continued...........

....until eventually oar shapes emerged and I was at risk of making them too light and too thin......

three undercoats later

and two final top coats........

Voila! A pair of rustic looking oars - in perfect keeping with the state of poor old Arwen

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