Monday, April 25, 2011


Over the years we have discussed rowing as a means of propulsion, a method of physical enhancement and mental enrichment. You all know Doryman does not advocate nor propound the internal combustion engine in any of it's historical reiterations.

He has a compulsion about rowing.

Today, in fact, was spent shaping a new oar to match an orphan languishing in the shed.

As serendipity may have it, Webb Chiles sent me a note in the midst of shaping and sanding, to ask if you the reader can help him. Webb is a mariner of repute and an author of renown. He has circumnavigated the world several times and has even been cast to the mercy of the sea when his boat sank. If you have not visited his journal, you owe it to yourself.

Webb is looking for input on the use of oars as auxiliary power on a racing dinghy. The boat displaces just over a ton (US) and has a 2hp outboard which came with it. Being a man of wisdom and insight, he disdains the motor. He tells the story much better than I.

In the Doryman fleet, all vessels have oars for propulsion, even those with power. The Doryman cruising dory, Mistral can be propelled at nearly two knots with one fourteen foot long oar, even though she weighs five tons.

Rowing is a passion of mine and I hope to row until I die. I'd like to think you all share my obsession and some of you can offer Webb advice, mariner to mariner.

Please offer Webb Chiles some wisdom about how to abandon that 2hp Mercury stinkpot.

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