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Oar Sleeves from inner tube...
CLoarsleeve.jpg (22289 bytes) This tip from Chuck Leinweber of Duckworks Magazine fame.  Visit his internet nexus of back yard  boat building!
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.

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