Good day all!
Thanks for the great input on this thread. I have been bogged down lately tackling other boat projects and the oars have taken a lower priority. However, oars are not forgotten!
One thing I did note this spring was that the placement of the oar locks (if going with two-oar solution) is a bit tricky. Before making the oars I decided that I would have to mock up a seat to get the position of the locks correct. When I briefly looked at this in the spring I was concerned that placing the oar locks between the two winches (as I had intended) positionned the rower too far forward and the companionway would interfere. Further to this, pay attention to the position of the oar lock -- as one shifts aft the boat tapers and the correct dimension of the oars change. Also, is one mounting the oar lock on the gunwhale or on the cockpit coaming? Again, the dimensions change.
I believe that the oars and the Yuloh both have a a role aboard. I would expect that oars would offer more power in open water but the Yuloh would be better for marinas etc.
With respect to Golliwobbler's question of where to stow the oar when not in use, my intention was to use two part oars, making their length much more manageable. If I end up with less than 12 feet then I may stow them as I have the spinnaker pole -- hanging it from the pulpit and a lifeline stanchion.
There is a thought -- get some double use from the spinnaker pole. Could an oar be made light enough for use as a spinnaker or whisker pole? Could a blade be adapted to fit the existing pole? Another question to sleep on I think.
Good luck with these projects!