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The WoodenBoat School

Traditional Oarmaking

Creating beautiful, balanced oars that turn minimum effort into maximum power.

Tuition: $800

Materials: Cost will be determined by student’s choice of design.

Note: This is a five-day course ending Friday evening.

Anyone can immediately feel the world of difference between properly shaped and balanced oars for recreational rowing, and those heavy, clumsy slabs of timber that so frequently pass for oars, turning many against rowing for the rest of their lives.
To design…a pair of oars, shaving and shaping them, balancing and tuning them, can be an intensely interesting and pleasurable experience in itself. Quite possibly the ultimate in rowing pleasure is not possible until one is rowing with a pair of oars that he (or she) conceived and crafted, balanced and tuned, him (her) self.”
John Gardner
Wood working in the shop

Coherent instructions for oarmaking are scarce or out of print, hard to pick up on your own, but will be generously shared in this course. After a week in a pile of shavings, you will leave with confidence and a new knowledge about oars and rowing, along with your very own set of beautiful oars.

Brad Dimock brings years of experience as a boatbuilder and oar maker, and has designed this exciting course to teach the theory and dynamics of proper oars and guide students through the fundamentals steps of making and finishing their very own pair. You’ll mill blanks, choose a pattern, taper, round the looms, shape the blades, and tune and balance the oar itself. Each individual will have the opportunity to choose the oars they want to create. Everyone will learn the intricate methods and knowledge required to craft a lightweight, strong, and balanced oar, making rowing a great pleasure. In addition, you’ll learn the art of leathering oars, and for those interested in rough water rowing, how to gracefully armor the tips without sacrificing weight or bulk. Come Friday, students can try their new oars out on a number of the small rowing and pulling craft in WoodenBoat School’s fleet.

Brad Dimock’s passion for his craft was very evident throughout the McKenzie River dory course. His knack for explaining the intricacies in a coherent manner for the lay person was outstanding. Brad’s teambuilding and delegation of tasks to achieve our goal and keep us on task was very impressive. An incredible week!”
D.P., Nantucket, Massachusetts


WoodenBoat School, 41 WoodenBoat Lane, PO Box 78, Brooklin, Maine 04616 USA
Tel: 207-359-4651, Fax: 207-359-8920

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