Dont ask a petrol head if you want to know about oars Stevem.
I regularly row my SIBS and I enjoy the exercise on a good day. If you donít have an aux engine as backup..be sure you can row your boat or you will need help from others if your engine breaks down.
Dont get paddles..they are as much use as rubber oars when there is only you in the boat and if there is an off shore wind.. you wont make headway back to land.
Get yourself a decent pair of wooden oars.. I find they are best. I donít like the light weight aluminium oars that most sibs come with. My oars are 5.5 feet long. They split into two for storage. Because a SIB is quite low in the water compared to ďnormalĒ row boats..if your oars are too long..it will be hard to draw the oars forward in the air without skimming the water..so I would suggest 6ft max will be fine.
You donít store oars in the bottom of a SIB either..not if you do it the way other SIBs do it. They are held in the rowlocks by an elastic loop. To stow them..you just lift to oar out the rowlock and the elastic holds the oars in place beside the rowlock. You can then slip the handle end into a rope loop to hold the oar parallel to the boat. Or you can get plastic fittings like on my seago..which the blades sit in.
I sometimes row as much as 5 - 10 miles if Im in the right mood and the weather and wind is fair. It is true that SIBs donít row as well as traditional boats..becase they are light and the wind tends to skim them across the water..but you can certainly row them.
My avon redcrest 5.5ft wooden oars
My Seago came with 5.5ft aluminium oars which I dumped and use my Avon oars as I prefer a bit of weight in them.