No, we’re not talking FedEx ground here… To ship your oars means, in it’s simplest term, to stop rowing and pull the oars inside or next to the the boat.
You can do this a number of ways and for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re approaching a narrow rowing spot or coming close to the bank, or another boat. You can point the blades forward, backward or simply pull them across the boat with blades still sticking out. The video below from Gear Garage does a great job of explaining the different ways and why you would do such a thing.
Now as many of us here are anglers as well boat-folk I thought I’d share a little system I stole from the big whitewater world on a semi-permanent way to ship your oars using a small loop of rope both towards the bow and stern sections of your boat. This way you have the choice of putting those blades forward or backward.
Why would you do this? Feel free to disagree with me, but I love getting the blades out of the water when I’m anchored and they are making noise against the boat, if I’m tethered up with other boats on either side of me and most importantly when I’m rowing and need to tend to other business in my boat, I can quickly throw one or both oar handles in these loops and not have to worry about the oars touching the bottom, rocks on shore, or potential injuries to myself or anyone else in my boat should an oar pop out. They are easy to make, install and can be done on drift boat gunnels or any raft frame. Try it, I bet you’ll like it.