photos by Simon Atkins
Lately I've been kind of obsessed with painting stripes on oars.
I'm fully aware of the fact that most gondola remi never have anything but a clear finish. And having spent a fair amount of time lately, I think I know why - it takes time and effort to essentially "make the remo blade look pretty".
I would argue, however, that it's not just about aesthetics:
in fact I believe the main purpose of painting brightly contrasting stripes on the blade of an oar is for safety. Think about it - if you operated a rowing boat with a single (very long) oar, in waters where there were lots of other boats buzzing about, and if you wanted to make sure the pilots of those other boats could easily spot, and thereby avoid that oar, you might want to paint it bright red and white.
A while back I realized that one of my remi needed some varnishing, and with my new stripe-painting obsession, I considered going with the classic red and white chevrons. The problem was that the wood grain looked too good to cover up.
The solution: red stripes over varnish.
After the red stripes had cured, I threw a few more coats of clear varnish over the whole thing to seal in the painted areas.
I think it looks pretty snazzy.
What do you think?