A Beginner’s Guide To Rowing

The current issue of Wooden Boat magazine, December 2009, No. 211, comes with a lovely 8-page supplement about oars, oarlocks, and rowing. It is “A Beginner’s Guide” and it is written and compiled by Karen Wales, who is the associate editor of Wooden Boat magazine.

However, before you dash off to a newsstand or wherever you buy your magazines, be aware that the supplement is restricted to work and pleasure boats, only, not narrow competitive racing shells (including the wider Alden Ocean shell). This means that the rowing technique depicted in the article is for fixed seat. The oarlocks, or rowlocks if you like, are not swivels, the oars shown are made out of wood and for skiffs, pulling-boats, etc. The most peculiar thing, for a former or active competitive sculler is the page describing “sculling”. Here it means one-oar sculling, not two-oar sculling, which, I have to confess, is the first thing I think of when I hear sculling. But Wooden Boat is to be congratulated for a very nice supplement.

The Wooden Boat magazine has previously had very informative and nice articles about [two-oar] sculling. I am going to go through my magazine stacks to see if I can make a little list to post in a future entry.


  1. Fixed seat rowing is becoming extremely popular here in the UK, with Cornish Pilot Gigs being built all over the south west, Celtic Longboats crossing the Irish sea almost every week in the summer, and a new four oar rowing boat becoming available for offshore rowing in Scotland. See rowingforpleasure.blogspot.com for the latest on the St Ayles Skiff!

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