Friday, December 11, 2020

Finishing Up the Guide Boat

    New oars on the left; old oars on the right.

My latest guide boat is essentially finished; just adding varnish.  I also built a new pair of oars for the new boat.  Using published formulas for proper oar length, standard oars would be about 80 inches long according to the boat beam, but I also read a note, "Guide boat oars are usually 7 1/2 or 8 feet long."  I have a fairly large stack of scrap wood which I need to use.  From the scrap pile, I found some nice straight pieces to bond together creating 92-inch long oars with the inboard ends left with a chunky square profile to help counter balance the somewhat longish outboard shafts and blades.  I am not going to go into oar construction because there are already plenty of Google instructions posted.

Taken on the US Air Force Academy.  We are still discovering more trails in the Colorado Springs area; although we also took the bikes to Arkansas and Montana this summer.  They are a great source of exercise and fresh air away from crowds of people (and COVID).  Building boats is more enjoyable when the weather turns cold.

I want to apologize for the slow progress in recent months.  Progress has been slow to non-existent during the better weather of Summer and Fall because my wife and my own infatuation with the new e-bikes we purchased.  With the mountain e-bikes we feel confident to go further and steeper on our outings than we would with regular bikes.  It has been a godsend letting us travel forest trails with fresh air, ample exercise, and no crowds.

The hull ends are symmetrical and the oarlocks are set about a foot ahead of the hull midpoint. When rowing with two people onboard, the rower sits ahead of the oars.  When rowing solo, the rower sits at the hull midpoint facing the other direction.

    Seat positioned amidships for a solo rower.  Yes, it is snowing outside.

Now that winter is here, I'll be looking for a project in my wood shop to keep me busy.  Still working at the clinic, but only 2-3 days per week.  My present thought is to build another guide boat using what I have learned building this one.  Always trying something new; I anticipate using a 14' length (more easily cartop-able) and a wider plank keel. I was able to buy a length of flat lumber 12'2" long and 10.3" wide. I'll see how the wider keel changes the hull stability.