Thursday 14 May 2009

'Estrop' versus grommet



I’ve always rowed OB with a rope grommet holding the oar to the pin. I have now changed to an estrop, however, and am trying to ascertain the pros and cons of each.

When rowing there isn’t a marked difference though the grommet does seem to hold the oar to the pin more firmly. Comfortable rowing depends on the grommet or estrop having the correct tension—too loose and the oar’s all over the place. Tension varies as the rope stretches and the amount of stretch depends on the type of line and how wet the rope is. The estrop is adjustable and, having three turns of rope, stretches less than the grommet but a well-made grommet shouldn’t stretch beyond what is normal for the type of rope.

The most obvious advantage of the estrop over the grommet is that, being attached to the oar, it’s more difficult to lose. The last time I had an oar come off a pin the grommet plopped into the sea and sank. The other advantage is that when I take the oars off the pins and stow them in the boat for sailing in rougher weather, the estrop, with its long trailing end is good for attaching the oars to the thwart. This needs a picture to explain and I’ll post one soon.

For the moment I shall continue to row with estrops but in my heart I think I actually prefer grommets.


Osbert said...


Thinking of thole pins for my boat, do you row with the oar pushing against the pin, or pulling against the grommet /estrop?



Ben said...

Pulling against the grommet.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it's not "estrofe"?

estrope in Castillian means spoil, while estrofe means
Strophe - Greek στροφή, turn, bend, twist

of course, Catalan is always a little different.


alvaro said...

Hi, Ben.

I've been trying to tie an "Estrop", but haven't succeed. The last try, my girfriend told me that "nobody would be able to move an oar with this shit on it" :((

So... ¡please help! Do you have some kind of diagram, or a photo-how-to, or a web reference where I can get more information?

Thank you very much.

Viagra Online said...

thanks for showing this, I would like to see more pictures to know how to make it step by step because I'm not skillful at doing this boat stuff

Unknown said...


I am planning to wrap my oars and found your article very interesting.

I'l like to know what type of rope to use and the name of the knotting of the rope button, so I can google how to achieve it.

Thanks in advance

Byron Bay