If you plan on being on a boat sometime soon, you better get yourself some oars. Otherwise, you are not likely to get anywhere (at least not where you were planning). To say the least, being lost at sea is not a favorable outcome. So, we have decided to help you out by providing you with this review of what we consider to be the best boat oars on the market. In this article, we will share our comprehensive assessment of 5 different boat oars, going over the good, the bad, and the ugly. In just a few moments, you will have all the information you need to get the best boat oars for your next seafaring adventure.

Product FAQ

1. What Are the Different Types of Boats

Unlike a ship, a boat is a small vessel that excels in maneuvering through waters near the shore and inland waterways. Today, they continue to have immense recreational value, as well as practical value. Many people mistakenly assume that unpowered boats are outdated and serve little purpose apart from entertainment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Traders and sailors constantly use unpowered boats to transport passengers and cargo over short distances. In many of such situations, these smaller boats requiring oars are nothing short of necessary.

Broadly speaking, boats can be broken down into three main categories: unpowered or man-powered (such as a kayak), sailboats, and motorboats. Within these categories, there are many, many different boat types. We will go over some of the most common types for you.

First, there is the fishing boat, which, as the name suggests, is mainly used for fishing. These boats are viable in both salt and fresh water and can be manned or unmanned. Their typical strengths include being stable and durable.

A second type of boat is the catamaran boat. This type has multiple hulls and is particularly well-suited for fishing and leisure. These boats are on the small side, and they are of the manned variety requiring oars.

A third type is the cuddy cabin boat, which is mainly used for fishing, yachting, sailing, and other water sports. They have a closed deck over the bow, which creates a storage space and makes navigation a breeze. These boats are unmanned, and they are quite popular today.

A fourth type is a dinghy boat, which is small, inflatable, and made of rubber, most of the time. They are unmanned boats, also commonly referred to as sailboats, rowboats, or inflatables. They are immensely useful in narrow or shallow waters.

A fifth type is a sculling boat, a smaller vessel that requires the use of oars and the sculling techniques. These boats are often used for competitive rowing.

2. What Are the Different Blade Types that Boat Oars Can Have?

In general, there are four different types: wide, narrow, and shoal cut.

3. What Qualities Can I Expect from the Best Boat Oars?

The best boat oars will be the ones best suited for your particular kind of boat. They will be easy to use over long distances and durable.

4. Where Can You Buy a Boat Oar?

You can sometimes find boat oars in sporting good shops. You can reliably find them in stores selling boating goods. You can also get them online, on sites like Amazon.

5. How Often Should You Replace a Boat Oar?

There are no hard and fast rules for when you should replace your oar. However, be sure that your oar is completely intact before you hit the waters. Specific parts of the oar, such as the blades, the sleeves, or the grip, can be replaced individually when they are worn down.

How We Reviewed

boat and oar

The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. We chose these parameters in order to give our readers the most comprehensive and least biased review of these ten products possible. We believe that with this information, the average consumer will be able to find the right oars for his or her needs.

Best Boat Oars Comparison Table

1. Carlisle Wood Economy Boat Oar

Carlisle Wood Economy Boat Oar, 6-Feet & 6-Inches
  • Blade Material: wood
  • Shaft Material: wood
  • Length: 6' 6"

Features

The Carlisle Wood Economy Boat Oar has a blade made of wood, a shaft made of wood, a length of 6′ 6″ and a shaft diameter of 1.375″.

PROS

  • It has a natural look
  • It has the perfect balance between strength and flex
  • With its wooden design, it keeps the hands warm

CONS

  • There is a reason why Carlisle oars are popular. We could not find any major flaws with this oar

2. Shoreline Marine Oar 6' Aluminum

Shoreline Marine Oar 6' Aluminum
  • Precision Molded Blade
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Shaft
  • Fits Standard Oar Locks

Features

The Shoreline Marine Oar 6′ Aluminum features a precision molded blade and a heavy-duty aluminum shaft. It fits standard oar locks, and it has been designed to be lightweight for smooth, easy paddling.

PROS

  • It is quite affordable at around $25
  • It is lightweight and easy to use

CONS

  • It lacks durability
  • Its power is not sufficient for all types of water

3. Sun Dolphin Oar Assembly

Sun Dolphin Oar Assembly (6-Feet)
  • Set of oars allows the boat to be rowed from the rear or center seat. Set includes two oars and two oar horns.
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Allows the boat to be rowed from the rear or center seat.

Features

These are 6-feet oars that come in sets of two. Each set also includes two oar horns. Sun Dolphin Oars are designed to be usable from either the rear or center seat. Their shafts are constructed from aluminum.

PROS

  • These oars are lightweight
  • They can be used from both the rear and center
  • They are compatible with any size or type of boat

CONS

  • Their durability could be better

4. Marine Gray Finish Wood Oar by TRAC-Outdoor Products

Marine Gray Finish Wood Oar, 6.5'
  • Lightweight, but built for performance
  • Multi-ply laminated construction for strength
  • Waterproof polyurethane finish

Features

The Marine Gray Finish Wood Oar is lightweight and designed for optimal performance. It features a multi-ply laminated construction to improve strength. It also has a waterproof polyurethane finish and a brown epoxy blade tip for the ultimate durability.

PROS

  • They are relatively affordable
  • The sleek gray finish is easy on the eyes

CONS

  • There have been many customer complaints regarding its durability
  • They do not come with rubber grips

5. Natural Finish Wood Oar with Comfort Grip by TRAC-Outdoor Products

Natural Finish Wood Oar with Comfort Grip, 8'
  • Lightweight, but built for performance
  • Multi-ply laminated construction for strength
  • Waterproof polyurethane finish

Features 

The Natural Finish Wood Oar with Comfort Grip by TRAC-Outdoor Products is a lightweight oar optimized for speedy and stable performance. It features a traditional shaft and grip, and it comes with brown epoxy blade tips. Its finish is waterproof polyurethane, and it has a multi-ply laminated construction. This oar is a great value when comparing price vs. quality.

PROS

  • The natural wood finish gives the oar a classic look
  • It has a multi-ply lamination
  • These oars are lightweight
  • They are relatively affordable

CONS

  • There have been some complaints regarding quality control

6. Caviness Unfinished Oar

Caviness UVBW50 Unfinished Oar, 5-Feet
  • 5-Foot Unfinished Oar is a DIY project
  • Paint to match your boat or finish with any high quality preservative
  • Largest company in the paddle and oar industry

Features

Caviness is an outstanding oar and boat accessory manufacturer brand. The Caviness Unfinished Oar is 5 feet long and left unpainted for you to design to match your boat. It features quality craftsmanship, and it is also available in a 6-foot long version.

PROS

  • These make for an excellent DIY project
  • They end up saving you a great deal as it is much cheaper to design your oar yourself
  • The oars’ construction is high-quality and reliable. These are among the best boat oars to get for a fisherman on a budget

CONS

  • We could not identify any notable flaws with the Caviness Unfinished Oar

7. Outcast 2-Piece Oar

Outcast 2-Piece Oar 6'
  • 1-3/8" diameter
  • Comes with sleeves
  • 2 piece break down oars

Features

The Outcast 2-Piece Oar is a premium boat oar with a diameter of 1-3/8″. It comes with sleeves for your convenience, and it features a 2-piece break down design. This is the same oar that comes included with all Outcast and Fish Cat pontoon boats. It comes with a generous 1-year warranty.

PROS

  • Outcast provides a 1-year warranty
  • The oars come with sleeves
  • The oars have an elegant, no-frills design
  • It is durable and strong, capable of handling most situations

CONS

  • We enjoyed this oar immensely and could not find any major issues with it

8. AIRHEAD 53'' White Oars - Pair

1 - AIRHEAD 53" White Oars - Pair
  • See description below for full features and details!

Features

The Airhead 53″ White Oars are inexpensive oars that come in pairs. They have been designed to be used with Airhead and other inflatable boats. Their shafts are made up of two sections of aluminum, making them durable and lightweight. They come equipped with 15-inch high impact plastic blades, and their grips have been optimized for rowing efficiency and comfort.

PROS

  • The grips on these oars are excellent
  • They are durable and reliable
  • They are some of the best oars for anyone working with a tight budget

CONS

  • Some people may find the white finish to be a bit plain

9. Hampton Nautical Wooden Huxley Squared Rowing Oar with Hooks

Handcrafted Model Ships Wooden Huxley Squared Rowing Oar with Hooks...
  • Overall dimensions: 50" L x 2" W x 6" H
  • In business since 1959 - Buy with confidence - 100% money back guarantee
  • We ship daily - Free Shipping to the lower 48 US States - Express and overnight shipping available - Contact Us

Features

The Hampton Nautical Wooden Huxley Squared Rowing Oar comes equipped with hooks. It is a solid wooden oar that has been handcrafted. It is a decorative oar, and with the hooks included, you can hang your keys, towels, hats, and more. With its contoured handle, you can get the true feel of a rowing oar. It makes for a fantastic decoration for any home or office.

PROS

  • It has been handcrafted by master artisans
  • It has a solid wood construction
  • It has an authentic handle
  • It comes with hooks you can use to hang up your belongings, like keys and hats

CONS

  • It is not an actual oar, just decorative

10. Cataract Raft Oar Blade

Cataract Raft Oar Blade
  • Lightweight composite core
  • Most buoyant Cataract blade
  • Great for fishing or whitewater rafting

Features

The Cataract Raft Oar Blade has a lightweight composite core and a buoyant construction. It also features push-button locks. Its spline, which sits inside the shaft, is grooved to eliminate the hassle of silt buildup. It is ideal for fishing and whitewater rafting.

PROS

  • The spline is grooved to prevent the buildup of silt
  • It comes with push-button locks
  • It is lightweight

CONS

  • It is relatively expensive, but that is to be expected from a high-quality product. Just keep in mind that this is an oar blade, and not an entire oar

The Verdict

kayaking water sports

After reviewing these 10 different oars, we settled on one undeniable victor and a runner-up for anyone on a budget.

There is no question that the best oar of the bunch is the Carlisle Wood Economy Boat Oar. It has a beautiful natural look, and with its wood construction, it keeps the rower’s hands warm for long periods of time. It is strong, flexible, and durable.

If you would like to opt for a cheaper oar, we recommend the Caviness Unfinished Oar. By being unfinished, it provides rowers with a more affordable alternative and a fun DIY project. In terms of quality, though, it stands with the very best.

Last update on 2021-05-09 at 11:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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