One thing to remember to is the drop in your boat effects your seat height, I worried I would be up too high on my boat on a DRE type seat but ordered it anyway, it's easy to remove. What I noticed on my boat almost 16' is that I'm almost touching the cooler under my seat, essentially the same height as sitting on the cooler. So no way to avoid "weird geometry" that I can see if I want the boat to do what it's meant to do basically haul a lot of shit. The cooler is only a 120 qt, not one of the bigger ones becoming more common. Speaking of guides I noticed also that many guides in ID are going with overlapping oar handles. I asked one of them what the reason and the answer I got was "more leverage", so I guess everyone has an opinion about what they like even guides and I can promise you pushing a loaded commercial boat on the Main Salmon is going to be different then the Ark.
But if I had to hazard a guess I think this guy needs 9.5" oars based on his measurements, the standard drop for a 14' boat is 13" so more then likely if he is sitting on a cooler or drybox he's stuck at a certain height. But here's somebodys formula who builds oars: Wooden Rowing Oars - Shaw & Tenney
Originally Posted by climbdenali
I've been guiding on the Arkansas for over a decade. I've been observing guides liking longer and longer oars. Personally, I run 10' oars on my 18' raft that I use for overnight trips. On our 14' commercial boats, I run 8' oars. We have one 8.5' set that I use occasionally now. The advantage with shorter oars is quicker strokes that don't take so much umph to get going. I also find a shorter oar less grabby when you dip a blade into slack water.
You can avoid the weird geometry referred to above by not having overly tall towers. If you use the DRE style chairs over top of a cooler, you're going to have goofy geometry because you're sitting so high up, taller towers required to clear your knees, and consequently,longer oars are needed. I always sit directly on the cooler.