Thole pins instead of dinghy rowlocks/ oarlocks

  • 14 Aug 2019 01:09
    Reply # 7826863 on 7826751
    Anonymous wrote:

    When the galleyers were chained to theirs oars, there was no theft problems!

    Len is passing this idea on to his sons... hmm, frowny faces, head shaking even.
  • 13 Aug 2019 23:46
    Reply # 7826751 on 7820777

    When the galleyers were chained to theirs oars, there was no theft problems!


  • 13 Aug 2019 22:40
    Reply # 7826644 on 7820777

    David thanks for the pics.

    My curiosity in thole pins was more in line with a low tech solution of oak pins and greased rope grommets for abuse and theft of rowlocks.

    I think I will play with them and see if they are practical.

    That's some hardware in those boats though!

  • 13 Aug 2019 19:56
    Reply # 7826377 on 7820777

    So here I am at Killybegs, and young lads from the local rowing club are taking out two four-oared skiffs. The thole pins are of stainless steel about 1" diameter, and quite high.

    5 files
  • 12 Aug 2019 08:36
    Reply # 7823423 on 7820777

    I shouldn't worry about it too much, if I were you.  I don't think your average thief would know what to do with a rowlock, these days: very few people seem to be able to row, any more.  Indeed, s/he would probably ignore a 2 hp outboard motor as being beneath contempt.

  • 09 Aug 2019 20:36
    Reply # 7820887 on 7820777

    I haven't used a single thole pin with rope grommet. I have used a single pin with an oar which widened out at that point such that there can be a hole through it to accept the pin; or with an oar that has a fitting affixed to its side that accepts the pin. Examples of these are found in the Irish currach/naomhog,

    the Northumberland and Yorkshire Cobles, and the boats that are launched from  Chesil Beach. I made a miniature currach for use as a tender, years ago, and found this single thole pin to be just as appropriate as in an inshore fishing boat. In both uses, you need to be able to let go of the oars to attend to something else. I find them much easier to use in a seaway than the more usual horseshoe shaped oarlock.

    In all cases, the oar blade tends to be very narrow, as rotation to feather the blade is impossible. The thole pin plus grommet, as used on a Norwegian Faering, is generally used with a quarter round sectioned loom to the oar. The coble and currach use a square sectioned loom.

    There are also boats with pairs of thole pins, with the oar working between them. I have no experience of those.

    Last modified: 09 Aug 2019 20:55 | Anonymous member
  • 09 Aug 2019 19:52
    Message # 7820777

    Pondering small tenders and dinghies and how expensive/ complicated/ theft prone oarlocks are.

    Has anyone used wooden thole pins and greased rope grommets instead?

    I recall a "conversation" with a German fisherman in Italy when I saw my first thole pins.  I rubbed questioningly the slippery substance covering the ropes made into the grommets to hold the oars.

    The jolly German struggled for a word I would understand then grabbed his belly and shook it.  I immediately realized they were rubbed together with lard.

    It struck me as such a low tech easily replaced system that I wondered why we don't see more of them.

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