My seventh boat was David Beede's
Summer Breeze but it was my first row boat. Consequently, I knew
nothing about how to make oars or oarlocks or any of that. In my
ignorance, I went down to West Marine and bought a set of bronze
oarlocks. That shot the entire oar budget leaving me to make
a set of oars. That was not too bad. I used the ubiquitous
closet rod and some ply and presto: a set of mediocre oars.
Then it hit me that I had no sleeves or
leathers or any way to protect the oars from the locks. I know
about Jim Michalak's idea of wrapping twine around the shaft of the oars
and varnishing, but I really wanted instant gratification.
Somehow, I came up with the idea of using an old bicycle inner tube.
I cut about an eighteen inch piece, slid it on the oar, and rolled the
end up. Surprisingly, the rolled up end does not tend to unroll,
especially after it has been there overnight. After a couple of
weeks, you can't even unroll it easily. It keeps the oar in place and
protects it too.