I have just about completed my CLC Skerry. Of
course, it has been unusually cold here in New England, so the
building process has all but halted. Thankfully, a bunch of
the other Skerry builders and myself have put together a forum
(which is making a strong comeback after I accidentally deleted
it, last week) for discussing ideas surrounding the Skerry.
So, although it’s too cold to be in the shop for more
than 5 minutes I can still be productive.
One of the topics that came up was how to stow
the oars while under sail, in the event that Mother Nature isn’t
cooperating and oars are required to get home . The layout of
the Skerry is such that if sailing with crew, there is really
no convenient place to put oars.
The Skerry carries a sprit sail where the sprit
is about 12 feet long. So, I got to thinking out loud to my
fellow Skerry Builders that it should be possible to have a
2-piece sprit that breaks down into two oars. I would have left
it that, but they then went and encouraged me to “go with
it”. Well, the following is the result of what I came
up with on paper (I have not actually tried it, yet). This is
not meant to replace ones everyday oars, but would be available
should the need arise while under sail. Since, this idea is
not limited to the Skerry, I thought your readers may find it
of interest. If anyone should try it before me, please let me
know how it turns out.
My apologies for the crude drawings, but I think
they get the point across. It is a 2-piece sprit that screw
together like a 2-piece pool cue. The slots on either end are
for the snotter and the peak of the sail.
When oars are needed, take down the sprit and
unscrew it so that it's in two pieces. Screw on the rowing handles,
slide the oar blades into the slots, and bolt the blades in.
(click to enlarge)