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11 Best Value Boat Oars: Compare & Save

Searching for a new pair of oars for your rowboat, dinghy, raft, pontoon boat, or inflatable but don’t want to shell out a fortune? Our top list of the best value boat oars has tracked down the best options when it comes to balancing cost and quality so you can select a suitable pair for your boating needs without breaking the bank!

Price: $ – $
11 Listed Items

How to Choose the Right Oar Length

Selecting the proper oar length has everything to do with their performance on your particular vessel. A great pair of oars will be nearly useless to you if they're not sized accordingly, and a budget pair of oars can work out wonderfully if they're nicely suited for your boat.

According to West Marine - "If your oars are too long or hard to pull, they may not clear the water on the backstroke. Oars that are too short won’t dig into the water or allow the rower adequate leverage. Narrow-beam boats and low-freeboard boats require shorter oars."

It all makes sense when you give it a bit of thought, so wise boaters will do a bit of measuring and calculation before making an oar purchase.

West Marine claims in order to properly size your oars you should use the following equation:

1/2 beam (distance between oarlocks) x 3 + 6" = oar length

The brand furthermore conveniently offers a sizing chart with some clear guidelines you can view here.

Wooden Oars

A set of wooden oars is preferred by a lot of boaters for their feel, weight, and aesthetic. Wooden oars need to receive a treatment of varnish, polyurethane, or something comparable of your choosing in order to be effectively water-resistant and last the test of time, but the occasional maintenance is well worth the performance for those who spend a lot of time actively rowing.

A few of our top picks offering quality performance at a reasonable price point include:

Aluminum Oars

Aluminum oars are typically cheaper than wooden alternatives and offer impeccable corrosion resistance without needing any treatment.

They are exceptionally lightweight (this can either be a pro or a con depending on your personal preference), and typically float if dropped in the water. 

Some aluminum oars are furthermore designed with a 2-piece construction, allowing for more compact, efficient storage onboard already cramped vessels.

Some of our favorite picks include: 

Backup or Emergency Oars

Simply seeking a pair of back-up oars in case your trolling motor or boat engine fails and you need to get back to the landing? If the answer is yes, there's no need to spring for a higher quality, more cumbersome oar option - a set of two or three piece aluminum oars will suit you just fine.

While the following options don't neccessarily offer the most impressive performance (especially for heavier vessels) they will get you home if and when you need them. Here are a few particularly affordable top picks for back up or emergency oars: