There are few joys in propelling a boat over water that compare to pulling or pushing a set of well-designed and balanced oars that you have crafted yourself. From the grips to the flex, the leathers to the balance, a proper set of oars sized both for the boat and the rower is a truly wonderful thing–in contrast to most commercially available oars (which could more aptly be described as bludgeons). Building a set of oars for oneself is one of the most satisfying and rewarding projects that a person can undertake. After a week in this course, students will walk away with not only a beautiful custom pair of oars, but an understanding of their evolution, how one set differs from another depending on use and intended craft, and myriad tricks for efficiently creating a functional and well-balanced set of oars from raw lumber.

The course will begin with an overview of oar design, as well as a discussion about the use and care of a selection of tools that will prove indispensable in the oar-shaping process. After choosing a design, students will select and mill lumber for blanks, shape them into oar profiles, taper and round the loom, and shape the blades. We will continue with carving grips, fastening leathers, and various finishing methods.

Joel is a new instructor for us, but he comes to the Boat School with nearly two decades of boat building and teaching experience.  Most recently, he was the Managing Instructor for the International Yacht Restoration School’s  Boatbuilding and Restoration Program.

Sign up soon, with only 8 spots open, this class will fill up quick! Register here: