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Dipping in a steering oar

Option  A
-- For Sculling
Now here's a turn up for the manual.
The steering oar or steering board is an oversized oar or board to control the direction of a ship or other watercraft prior to the invention of the rudder.It is normally attached to the starboard side in larger vessels, though in smaller ones it is rarely, if ever, attached. The steering oar was crucial in the invention of larger vessels in a time when the technology for rudders did not exist. Steering oars were the typical steering mechanism on larger Viking ships.
Since I use a steering oar -- I'm learning that they are not handled or designed in the way that rudders are.As Gary Dierking has pointed out in regard to proa sailing canoes:To bear away from the wind quickly, sheet in hard and angle the oar deeper.

Option B
--Viking Ship
I was out in some gusty blows the other day where the wind would go from zilch to maybe 16 knots very suddenly. Fearing a capsize I'd lean my body quickly to windward while also plunging my windward side blade deeper into the water, bringing it closer top vertical. In a sense the 'oar' behaved like a centre board and the pitch to the side was anchored so the craft stayed upright.

This raises the question of how should a steering oar be designed? In most instances it's just a longer oar/paddle -- but I suspect more design issues are at stake.

In  Sculling, steering oars usually aren't required to deal with wind shifts or choppy waters for a craft that will track reasonably straight. They are little more than navigational skegs separate from the boat.Whereas a traditional broad blade oar -- such as used on Viking long boats -- was deployed in all weather conditions. It was a board rather than an oar.

Option C Proa
This video below, shows some interesting steering oar technique, but without the plunge option being deployed. These oars -- plural x 2 -- are  a simple pole with a blade end. You'll also note that the angle of the oar -- effected by raising the fulcrum above the deck -- seems to play a part in enabling a larger range of motion. (But then, thats' what you'd need, says I, if your blade was tacked on the end of a stick).



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