Hollow shaft wooden sculling oars used to be standard for competitive sliding seat rowing. It wasn’t until the 1980s when Olympic rowers started switching to lighter synthetic substitutes. While carbon fiber oars are lighter than wood, the difference in weight is not as great as one might assume. A well-made wooden hollow-shaft sculling oar weighs about 4.5 lbs. (weight varies slightly depending on wood density and finish), while a carbon fiber oar of equivalent length is about 3.5 lbs. This difference in weight, while important in high-end competitive racing, is not such a big deal for performance recreational rowing.
The engineering behind our design is not new. The shaft is constructed to the same specs that have been developed by top engineers, and tried and tested for decades in the competitive racing world. We have, however, tweaked the blade shape and design to simplify construction as much as possible. Most importantly, we have spent months dissecting the build process, distilling it into a simple step-by-step method that can be accomplished by first time oar builders.
Click on the image below to view photos of the Hollow-Shaft Wooden Oars.
Our full-sized plans are printed on a 10’ x 3’ sheet and are accompanied by a 27-page illustrated manual.
The oars are 9’ 6”, the standard length for sculling. Length, however, can easily be customized for personal preference. Please note that all sculling oars require oar buttons (collars to keep them in position at the oarlock).
Expensive specialized tools are not required. The main tools needed are a table saw, chisel, block plane, utility knife and an assortment of clamps.
Please view our Build Gallery below to view the step by step building process. There are images and a description of each step of the building process (click on the 3 dots below the description to see the rest).
Additionally, Andre J Bachman produced a beautiful video of the construction process, which you can see at this link.
Can these Plans be Used for Fixed-Seat Oars?While these instruction/plans are for sculling oars, they can be adapted for building solid-shaft fixed-seat oars. The refined shape of sculling blades provide unsurpassed looks and performance suitable for all rowing craft.
Find out what other people have to say about their experience building Hollow-Shaft Wooden Oars.
| I'm an happy builder /rower from Norway. Last winter I built a boat and sliding seat rig clc boat and glen l marine. and oars from your plans. The plans were very good. Oar works great. Thank you.
- Stein O., Norway
|Thanks so much for these designs, blown away every day. - Carter W., Alaska|
|Almost finished with the oars. Everything went smoothly and the plans worked great. - Dave G., Connecticut|
|Thank you very much for your plans and your instruction, both are easy to understand and to use :-). - Ruedi S., Switzerland|