I took my pram out for a spin the other day. Much to my surprise, when I laid hard into the stroke, the port side (ring style) bronze oar lock failed. The shaft snapped right off. Fortunately I was close to shore and could paddle the pram back to the ramp.
I went home and got a second set of oars. I was even more surprised when the same thing happened to this set of oars. Again, I was close to the ramp and could paddle the boat back.
These oar locks are not old. I finished building the boat about three years ago. I bought the oar locks from Jamestown Distributers. Each set was purchased about 1 year apart.
I wrote to their (amestown Distributers) customer support and explained the situation. I asked if these failures could be the result of a problem in their manufacture. The reply that I received was:
“This is not a failed product, they are cast and unfortunately they do break. Sorry. “
Personally, I find it hard to believe that it is usual for these things to fail given normal day to day use. While I like to believe that I am endowed with super strength, reality tells me that I should not be able to snap 1/2 “ cast bronze that is only a few years old.
It makes me wonder how secure I should feel when rowing my pram if every time I row hard there is a risk of breaking the oarlock.
Has anyone else had similar failures that would support Jamestown’s claim?