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Thread: Fun with oarlock sockets

  1. #1
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    Default Fun with oarlock sockets

    Over the past couple of summers of sailing Rumsey – a Don Kurylko D18 Myst beach cruiser – I’ve found a few ways to utilize the four oarlock sockets when they are not being used for rowing that I thought might be of use to others, especially those having boats with two rowing stations.

    Myst rowing stations


    These are the parts and pieces that have found good use thus far


    The first was not my idea, but was suggested by Don based on another forumite’s invention – swiveling camcleats for the jib sheets made by mounting a camcleat on a platform fitted with a 5/8 inch dowel. I immediately found that I needed a downstream lead in order to make the cleat point at the sheet-handler, which was accomplished by adding the triangular piece shown, with the slot cut high enough to allow for releasing the cleat. I also added a D-ring through the dowel to prevent the whole affair from lifting out of the socket.



    These have the added advantage of allowing the swiveling camcleat to be placed at the forward station when sailing with crew, or moved to the aft station when single-handling, putting the jib sheet right next to the main sheet. They have worked great for two seasons with no signs of weakening or breaking, with just a hardwood dowel.

    Next up was the need for a better way to strap Rumsey to the trailer without damaging the coaming and trim rail. The two grooved strap guides accomplish this very well, leading the rope I use as a belly strap over the coaming and outside of the trim, down to an eyebolt on the fender of my trailer. I don’t have a picture of these in use, but they have been used from many trips over a full summer and have proven to do their job well.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    And lastly (for now), I needed a place to stow oars and the main sail when I put up the tent. Somewhere on a thread long ago I saw a painting of a boat having some sort of large, u-shaped brackets on the rail for this purpose. My implementation uses scrap pieces of mahogany and another 5/8 inch dowel.



    Oar storage in use with tent mounted




    And of course I needed a place to store the oarlocks when not in use. Rumsey lacks adequate tie-downs generally, so these, added to several frames just above the deck, serve that purpose and oarlock storage as well.


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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Smart stuff. I think it was Small Boat Journal that used to have a regular feature of readers' ideas like these. A fishing rod holder would be another use. Sockets to take a fiberglass bow to support a tent or awning. You've got me thinking.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Sockets to take a fiberglass bow to support a tent or awning.
    Jeff Saar - builder of Myst hull #1, added a third set of oarlock sockets for his tent/awning.


    I'd like to do something similar - for shade and for shelter when setting up the backpacking tent isn't called for.

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Those storage forks were typically made from tree forks in the old days here in Österbotten. They fitted into the square mortise for the removable thole pins. A very common way of storing oars and masts while hauling the nets.

    Great to see this old concept taken up anew on the other side of the planet and put into a modern context.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim.Montana View Post
    And lastly (for now), I needed a place to stow oars and the main sail when I put up the tent. Somewhere on a thread long ago I saw a painting of a boat having some sort of large, u-shaped brackets on the rail for this purpose. My implementation uses scrap pieces of mahogany and another 5/8 inch dowel.


    I'm gonna copy these. The 10' oars take up a lot of space onboard.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Oarlock sockets are incredibly useful. Aboard Bucephalus, I either use them for the practical, like a "Knoticator" streaming knot-meter that drops into place in the socket and is held secure by an expansion plug at the bottom of the stem (no photos of it in place, I'm afraid):





    The prosaic, a rubber stopper on the end of a cord, that jams into the oarlock and holds the bench seat up while I'm accessing the lockers beneath (the stopper stows by jamming into the hole in the batten on the underside of the bench):



    Or the completely frivolous, a Winchester 10ga cannon on a home-made swivel gun mount (you wouldn't believe the lengths I went to to strengthen that oarlock to take the recoil):







    Alex

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Wow - shut this thread down! Nobody is going to top that cannon - absolutely beautiful. Makes all other possible oarlock socket uses seem pretty mundane.

    A coworker from long ago had a homemade cannon mounted on a huge "canoe" that he used to lob golf balls down river while floating the Wild and Scenic section of the Missouri. He also was known to enjoy a campfire built in the middle of the boat while floating. I'm thinking maybe Bucephalus has not had the campfire experience?

    We just returned from Cody Wyoming, home of the largest firearms collection I've ever imagined. Nothing like this cannon on display . . .

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Ingenious adaptations sir!
    I offer my own rail gun that is fore hatch mounted. Not nearly as clever as yours but it does go BANG!
    Jay

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    What great ideas, love the outboard oar storage (going to copy also) and the cannon.

    How about a folding bimini that fits into the sockets?


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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    I just have a second set of oarlocks in front with round bronze locks for the handles of the oars, and always keep my oars on the gunwale, what the Kiwis call "torpedo style". Friends tie them in a bundle hung from the oarlocks and hang them outboard to save space.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    My oars get stuck over the bow Norwegian style as I often sit on the rail of Ran Tan. For those historically inclined have a look at the double oarlock fittings on a whaleboat where oars had to get stowed and retrieved fast. Other useful things to do with sockets is to use them for the bows for a winter cover. I've also plugged the base of an old VW Bus mirror for rowing. It goes in the after socket when I am rowing solo in the dory, or the amidships one when rowing two up.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Some fantastic stuff here! I must say that the cannon does steal the show...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    I think you could expand beyond the rowlocks and come up with a whole new horizon of boating concepts! I can even see a coffee table book on it!
    Jay

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    I like that bimini cover!

    I also *really* like the lashdown fairleads / protection in the OP. I may need to build some of those for my sister's Sid Skiff.

    I don't have any photos to expand the thread a bit, but there's also a lot that can be done with the oarlock sockets used for sculling locks. Bucephalus's sculling lock socket doubles as a socket for her flagstaff.

    Jay, I love your cannon! What is it? I also want to hear whether you've had any trouble when lighting it off. Oly PD all but promised they'd lock me up and throw away the key if I set mine off within their jurisdiction. "Illegal fireworks."

    Alex

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    I think we can all agree that the cannon is the cover photo on the coffee table book. And - I need to add one to Rumsey just for the cool factor.

    rgthom - I want the bimini, but I want it to roll up into a nice cylinder for storage. How about a demo of how yours folds away? A bimini is a great idea in that it could be set up in the forward sockets or aft sockets, depending on where one needed the shade at the time. Did you make yours?

    Ben - love the mirror idea. I get a sore neck every time I row - cranking my head around. I normally row from the aft station, but could try moving forward, giving me the aft socket for the mirror. Gotta be a VW bus mirror.

    I do normally leave the oars in the oarlocks - when not in use I pull them inboard until the blade is caught in the lock, then tuck the handles under the gunnels. They are pretty much out of the way. However, even in that position, they get in the way of the tent, thus the outboard storage. Also needed a place to put the main/yard/sprit boom when tenting.

    More ideas please. I'm anxious to get back in the shop.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    I like that bimini cover!

    I also *really* like the lashdown fairleads / protection in the OP. I may need to build some of those for my sister's Sid Skiff.

    I don't have any photos to expand the thread a bit, but there's also a lot that can be done with the oarlock sockets used for sculling locks. Bucephalus's sculling lock socket doubles as a socket for her flagstaff.

    Jay, I love your cannon! What is it? I also want to hear whether you've had any trouble when lighting it off. Oly PD all but promised they'd lock me up and throw away the key if I set mine off within their jurisdiction. "Illegal fireworks."

    Alex
    I was about to delete that photo as I didn't want to take the focus off of your posting of great ideas!

    This small cannon was once used by the New York Yacht Club for starting races. I think it is over a hundred years old. When I got the cannon, a gift from a friend, it was missing a few parts so we had to machine a few new ones, a firing pin and the shell ejector set up.
    It still has the makers plate on it which says "B & H Yacht Cannon #4". Which tells me that it was set up for four gauge brass blanks once. Before I got it, someone had sleeved it down to ten gauge which is loud enough! We used it for many years to open and close the Wooden Boat Festival here in Port Townsend. It is fired by yanking on the lanyard that swings a small hammer that hits the spring loaded firing pin. It is a bit Rube Goldberg but effective and fun! We always use it for festive occasions and have yet to be busted!
    Jay

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    I think we can all agree that the cannon is the cover photo on the coffee table book.
    Perhaps, but it's wildly impractical, an abberation in the theme of your OP, and I'm a bit chagrined at having overwhelmed a thread of otherwise very useful ideas. I really expected more weird stuff like mine, that mine wouldn't stand out so much.

    How did you set up the stems on those cam cleats? Are they just dowel? I'm never sure how much strain a 1/2" oak dowel can take --even when the strain isn't something so dramatic as cannon recoil. And do you have trouble with wood stems swelling and locking "accessories" in place?

    I've been putting some thought into some way to mount Bucephalus's sea-swing style stove in her oarlock sockets, for use at anchor, since there's more room in the cockpit than down below. I haven't yet come up with that perfect arrangement. (And no, no floating campfire experience. I'm trying to avoid that, actually.)

    We always use it for festive occasions and have yet to be busted!
    That's encouraging. They're common enough on the east coast that I didn't think they'd be a big deal out here, but local law enforcement sees things differently.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    How did you set up the stems on those cam cleats? Are they just dowel? I'm never sure how much strain a 1/2" oak dowel can take --even when the strain isn't something so dramatic as cannon recoil. And do you have trouble with wood stems swelling and locking "accessories" in place?


    Alex
    I have a set of open cams for RANTAN for the mainsheet that go into the windward oarlock sockets. I used SS 1/2 inch bolts. I have had trouble with 1/2" oak dowels for my winter cover on TIPSY the dory, solved with some plane nibbles and sand paper after driving the dowels up into PVC pipe.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim.Montana View Post
    I want the bimini, but I want it to roll up into a nice cylinder for storage. How about a demo of how yours folds away? A bimini is a great idea in that it could be set up in the forward sockets or aft sockets, depending on where one needed the shade at the time. Did you make yours?
    The bimini is made from laminated wood bows, 3/4" dowels, plastic bimini fittings and some leftover fabric. I don't have any demos but it just folds down onto the aft deck, or the dowels pull out of the bows and it all rolls up into a bundle. It is not really much windage, and my wife is much happier out of the sun.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    an abberation in the theme
    I disagree. Theme was "Fun" and what could be more fun than a cannon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    How did you set up the stems on those cam cleats? Are they just dowel? I'm never sure how much strain a 1/2" oak dowel can take --even when the strain isn't something so dramatic as cannon recoil. And do you have trouble with wood stems swelling and locking "accessories" in place?
    My sockets take a 5/8 inch dowel. I admit I was worried about an oak dowel taking the strain - thought I'd have to switch to brass or SS. So far - after probably 25 sailing days - they are holding up fine. I inset them probably 1/2 inch into the platform, epoxy or titebond glued - I can't remember. I have seen some swelling, but nothing I haven't been able to overcome by twisting the accessory out. The dowels are finished with a marine oil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    I've been putting some thought into some way to mount Bucephalus's sea-swing style stove in her oarlock sockets, for use at anchor, since there's more room in the cockpit than down below.
    Years ago, when we first began work on Rumsey, I bought one of those marine kettle grills, intending to mount it in an oarlock socket for use at anchor (in a very quiet setting, as no way to gimbal it that I can see). The thing has seen a lot of use on land, and I actually like it, but I've yet to mount it on Rumsey.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    The bimini is made from laminated wood bows, 3/4" dowels, plastic bimini fittings and some leftover fabric. I don't have any demos but it just folds down onto the aft deck, or the dowels pull out of the bows and it all rolls up into a bundle.
    That's what I wanted to hear. I'm thinking with minimal curve to the bows and the dowels easily removed from the bows, storage rolled up below deck would work. I'm going to give this serious thought for lunch on the water, fishing, or just nap-time. I'd planned on something that stretched between the two masts, but right now I'm liking this solution. Care to throw out some dimensions to get a guy started in the right direction? Did you make the fittings for the end of the bows?

    Jim

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim.Montana View Post
    That's what I wanted to hear. I'm thinking with minimal curve to the bows and the dowels easily removed from the bows, storage rolled up below deck would work. I'm going to give this serious thought for lunch on the water, fishing, or just nap-time. I'd planned on something that stretched between the two masts, but right now I'm liking this solution. Care to throw out some dimensions to get a guy started in the right direction? Did you make the fittings for the end of the bows?

    Jim
    Well, you made me go take some pictures . The bows are the same width as the socket spacing, which is 54" on my boat. I think that I would make the bows a little smaller, it would look better if the bimini was smaller and the supports leaned in a bit. Front to back is about 38".

    Since making the bimini I got better at bows while making a folding dodger/tent. This bow has cotton/phenolic tubing epoxied on as the dowel socket. It has more curvature than you would want for a bimini:



    And this is the folding support - 1/2" diameter tubing, a wood block, and a bimini hinge. A stainless screw passes through with a thumb nut to secure it into the oarlock socket, that's probably overkill:



    -Rick

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Thanks much, Rick. Lots of good information here. Definitely going to give this a try. Heading back to the coast (grandchildren, Christmas) for a few weeks, so this is looking like a January project. There's a small chance that it could be made to fold onto the aft deck when not in use, but more likely it will be fully removed and stored. As I said, it might even be mounted in the forward sockets at times.

    Looking back at the photo of your bimini, I see that you have also employed a rowing mirror. Nicely done.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    You guys in Montana, Maine, or the PNW may find no use for this... but on the Chesapeake in the Summer, we like to heave-to and swim on a hot day. Climbing back in using my rope ladder doesn't work too well for anyone over 25, so I made this oarlock socket mounting swim ladder.

    It's a little bulky, but stows under one of the deck grates and installs instantly when needed. Of course I don't always carry it on board, but it's nice for a family outing. A stainless steel pin holds it securely in the oarlock socket.

    Not very pretty, but I wasn't sure the whole project would even work so I didn't want to waste expensive materials. Maybe the next one will be a beautifully crafted piece of workmanship. Nah, I'm pretty sure this functional piece will be all that I ever make.




    It needed a little engineering to span the mainsheet cleat. Laminated plywood side rails, teak steps, and the top piece is oak to handle the strain of the pin.
    Last edited by dktyson; 08-07-2017 at 04:35 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Hi Kent -

    It all sounds very interesting and useful. However, your pics will not display. Tried my phone and desktop - neither works.

    I've not tried getting in from a dunk and have made no provisions for doing so. Probably need both - the emergency rope sling and the swim ladder.

    And now that you have bumped this thread I'll have to get busy and post pictures of my (very slow) progress on a bimini.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Really marvelous and visionary, this thread is destined to become a classic.
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
    E. Cayce

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim.Montana View Post
    Hi Kent -

    It all sounds very interesting and useful. However, your pics will not display. Tried my phone and desktop - neither works.

    I've not tried getting in from a dunk and have made no provisions for doing so. Probably need both - the emergency rope sling and the swim ladder.

    And now that you have bumped this thread I'll have to get busy and post pictures of my (very slow) progress on a bimini.

    Jim
    Anybody else having trouble with the pics? I linked to google photos like I always do. I'll email the pics to you Jim. kent

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    I could not see the pix at #25. Others fine

    A number of superb ideas. Great thread.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    I could not see the pix at #25. Others fine

    A number of superb ideas. Great thread.
    Nor can I.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Nor I.

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Can't see them here, either. I'm using Firefox on a Mac.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    A more mundane use for oarlocks mounted on the outside of the gunnel as on an Adirondack guideboat is to use them to bolt the boat to a roof rack. You can use them as drill guides to drill through when making the rack to ensure a perfect fit.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    I could not see the pix at #25. Others fine

    A number of superb ideas. Great thread.
    Do the pics show now on post #25? Can't tell because I can always see them.

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    Default Re: Fun with oarlock sockets

    I can see them now.

    Great thread. I'm just starting to set up my trailer, so I plan to steal the tie-down/coaming protector idea.

    Wish I had a cannon!

    Kenny
    "Oh my god, Triscuits are, like, the best." L.F Herreshoff, The Compleat Cruiser

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