The sculling oar I use on Annie is a modification of a design I was given in Cedar Key a few years ago by Alan Hall, a friend and Drascombe Coaster sailor from the mountains of Georgia. It is a long 12' 5" oar with a bent blade. I made it out of lumber yard spruce... two 2x4s for the shaft and a 1x6 for the blade. The blade drops 5 degrees from the line of the shaft. That helps me to keep the blade down in the water.
|Steering with the sculling oar. Photo by Steve Early.|
|Alan and Ann Hall at Cedar Key. Photo by Ron Hodinett, WCTSS.|
It was glued up with WEST epoxy and reinforced with bronze ring shank nails. The blade is 5 1/2" wide.
Transom mounted sculling oars are common to Drascombes especially Luggers, Longboats and Coasters. I remade the sculling lock more robust by adding additional teak reinforcement, a larger oarlock that the one furnished and braided a tarred marlin lanyard to prevent the oar from jumping the lock. Marlin was also added to the inside of the lock to fill it out.
The chafing leather is more than required for I have moved the bearing point to get the best balance while sculling from the cockpit.
The oar is actually more important for steering. Although the rudder kicks up, you cannot retract it if aground. The lower portion tucks up underneath the hull. The drill is to pull up the rudder and scull steer when shallow water is detected. I do that by dropping the centerboard, holding the hauling line and when the board hits ground and the line slacks I pull the rudder. The centerboard is deeper, warns first and gives me time for the tiller to oar move. What can I say.... it's a Drascombe thing.
|Photo by Melinda Penkava, TownDock.net|