View Full Version : As I approach the final steps, a few more questions
Progress towards completing my Lumberyard Skiff has slowed while I rebuilt a portion of my screen porch that had rotted from the inside out due to a slow roof leak, so my end of September launch went by the way side. I am down to the final steps, but have much sanding, fairing, painting and varnishing ahead of me. At this point, my new target launch date is Thanksgiving weekend. It will likely be cold here.
Question 1: I am thinking about making oarlock sockets from some spare white oak, which I will affix to the side planking with adhesive (will probably try G-Flex) and screws. Are wood-only oarlock sockets a bad idea?
Question 2: Any issue with an initial launch into cold water? Is take-up impacted by either ambient air temperature or water temperature?
Any advice is appreciated.
Michael D. Storey
10-07-2011, 08:13 AM
When I read the title of this thred, I thought that you were going to die. Always thinkin the best, here.
10-07-2011, 11:04 AM
I'm pretty sure Robert Baker used all wood oarlocks on his Wesport Skiff. They'll wear after a while but I like the idea. One think you might consider is drilling the holes large enough to keep the 'locks from sticking if the sockets get wet and swell up.
10-07-2011, 11:14 AM
Just a heads up, painting and varnishing take a LONG time. I finished my Nutshell Pram about 2 months ago and I am just starting on the inside paint/varnish, then again I've gotten rather OCD about the finish. Looks like we are both aiming for the same launch date, I plan to hit the Potomac that weekend!
10-07-2011, 11:30 AM
We had a little punt that had wooden oarlock sockets, they worked fine for many years. And I don't think cold water should have any significant impact on your launching, just don't fall in.:)
And I don't think cold water should have any significant impact on your launching, just don't fall in.:)
Actually, after I wrote that, I stopped to think - I wonder if our Appalachian lake water in late November is any colder than the ocean off of Maine in the height of summer.
10-07-2011, 12:36 PM
I have wooden oarlock sockets on my white hall for eight years as a live aboard, and I used it every day as my shore boat, and they worked great! I made them longer then the bronze ones so that the load is distributed over a greater area. About eight inches long. Use the hardest wood you can find. I used purple heart, varnished up real nice. I mounted mine on top of the gunnel instead of inside like the bronze ones do. I had to modify mine after a while becuase I did not originally have a drain hole and dirt would build up in the hole, that was difficult to to clean out. An eigth of an inch drain hole angled down at a 45* angle worked to solve the problem and if it got plugged with sand a blade of grass or a little stick could ream it out and a couple of hand fulls of water would wash out any dirt and sand. Make the hole snug (tight enough to slide in without any wiggle room, but not so tight you have to force it) it will enlarge some over time. I also put a few drops of oil in the hole from time to time. Hope this helps. Capt. Z.
10-07-2011, 02:19 PM
Hardwood oarlock sockets work fine, but oak is not very stable. The hole will swell and shrink.
One can overbore, fill with 404, re bore, and grease.
Or use different wood.
10-07-2011, 02:55 PM
If you want to make a really nice setup that won't wear at all, and have minimal cosmetic impact, choose a set of Ultra High Molecular Weight bushings from McMaster-Carr for $8.38/each.
Say your rowlocks are 1/2" OD on their shafts. UHMW Bearing Flanged, for 1/2" Shaft Dia, 5/8" OD, 1" L, 7/8" OD. Your bronze or galvanized steel rowlocks will glide silently for years needing no lube, and no wear on whatever wood you choose. If you are careful, you can bore a shoulder into the wood, so these sit flush or sub-flush.
You can also get them in solid Teflon.
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