Forward-facing rowing systems are nothing new. You’ll find many old patents for devices that use gears or pivots and connecting rods to get rowers to see where they’re going. The Forward-Facing Rowing system from Gig Harbor Boat Works (GHBW) was inspired by a mechanism from the late 1800s and was redesigned to be manufactured in welded stainless steel. Each unit weighs just under 7 lbs, including the base that is bolted to the gunwale. The upper part of the mechanism pivots on the base to allow the vertical motion of the oar blade in and out of the water. The spoon-bladed spruce oar is in two pieces—a 30″ handle and a 72″ blade section—each bolted to a cradle that pivots on a 1/2″ bronze pin. A connecting rod joins the cradles and transfers the swing of the handle to the blade.
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