Years ago, when I first launched my sailboat, I took it to Fort Morgan on the Alabama Gulf coast. As My father and I were rowing out from the boat ramp into Mobile Bay, one of us caught a wave and the oar lock went over. Bought a small trolling motor shortly thereafter and haven’t really used the oars much.
More recently, however, I built a rowboat, and I’ve been using split rings to keep the oarlocks in the socket (learned my lesson!). I liked the idea of oarlock chains, but paying nearly as much for the chains as I paid for the oarlocks offended my tightwad sensibilities.
Here’s my new solution: a bit of takeout chopstick (one chopstick made enough for three retainers, enough for my new pair of oarlocks and my orphaned extra), some tarred marline, and a bit of sail twine for whippings. I used an anchor bend on the oarlock and a topsail halyard bend on the stick, but I don’t think the knots are critical. I hope to get out on the water this weekend, so action photographs should follow soon.