Welcome! Need support, you got it. Or share you ideas and experiences.
I apologize if this isn't the appropriate forum for this question. I'm looking for information on an "backwards" rowing system. I saw them in the movie "US Marshals", Wesley Snipes used them in a boat he stole to go through a swamp. The oar system was in the shape of a "Z" and it allows the operator to face the direction he is going while still "pulling" the oars. Do you know of this rowing system? If you do, please pass on any information you can.
Thanks Thom V,
That's exactly what I was looking for (the "Z" system). I found another place that sells them. I think it's actually the place where they were invented. Calhoun Boat Works out of Tiptonville TN. They dont have a web address but I found some info and pictures at:
Thanks again for your help.
No apologies necessary… This IS the place to ask that quality sideways query on any aspect of Small Boats including their propulsion systems. Looking deep into the SBF stash of boat stuff we found 2 forward facing rowing systems. One appears to be a system that has a ‘center post’ ahead of the rower. The hands and feet appear to facilitate the ‘backward sweep’ of the oars to move the boat forward as one sits facing the bow. The system is installed in a canoe. Go to www.FrontRower.com to see what Ron Rantilla of Warren Rhode Island has developed.
The other-- the ‘Z’ type forward facing rowing system you speak of--appears to be the system offered by Gig Harbor Boat Works in Gig Harbor Washington. This system apparently was developed in the South by ardent duck hunters in the late 1800’s. Gig Harbor has improved and toughed this quite simple design. Click on the link below.
If you proceed to purchase and install a forward facing rowing system on your boat please consider submitting a report to the SmallBaotForum. We would gladly post an article with photos on the Adventure page as many may be interested in your project!
Now, anybody have any experience with either of the above Forward-Facing Rowing systems?
Seeing as I am the builder of the forward facing 'Z' type units, perhaps I can shed some light on it....
I originally was looking for a simple system and stumbled on one of the originals made in the late 1800's. It was very clever but I could not figure out why they made it from cast iron which seemed to be the least likely material to use for any marine device. So I built a similar type device from aluminum and it distorted into the shape of a pretzel in just a few strokes. I found that the original, although very clever, has a serious design flaw that mandated the use of a very hard material to have any reliability. My research also showed that the recommendations for the original was to "keep liberally coated with grease". I have a hard enough time keeping clean even without my boat being covered with grease...
So I took the originl principle and did some cad/cam design work followed by experimental units. We took out the design flaws to the point where it could be used successfully when made from a soft 17,000 p.s.i aluminium. However the long term reliability in open water heavy use was still marginal so I decided to manufacture them exclusively from a high tensile completely non corrosive silicon bronze alloy with a stength of 72,000 psi (almost as hard as cast iron.)
We have been building them for two years and some of our customers have rowed well over a thousand miles with no problem. See the website for testimonials.
I hope my answering this query does not violate the 'no selling' rule, but I cant talk about these without having a measure of pride...
You can find lots of information at the website; Also you can link to it through our main site at www.ghboats.com
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