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. Presto... oars.

(click to enlarge)

Steven Roberts