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Gaco Oarlock Sets

Standard - w/ 4 sockets (?) - $31.59
Bushed - fits 1/2" sockets - $28.77

To fit oars up to 2 1/4 inch (56mm) diameter. 

Why it works so well:

Ordinary rowlocks develop friction and wear because of the uneven pressure where the pin rotates in the socket. In the GACO rowlock the pin does not rotate in the socket. Up and down movement of the oar is accommodated by the carefully angled shape. The two features above are employed in the design of rowlocks fitted to racing sculls now available for your rowboat.

  1. Light, strong and won't corrode.
  2. Much lower friction in both horizontal and vertical planes.
  3. Will not wear out.
  4. Less wear on the oars and gunwhales.
  5. Snaps onto the oar so rowlocks can t be lost.
  6. Does not develop slop with time.
  7. Quiet and elegant.
  8. User friendly, magic to use.

Fitting the Rowlock to the oars of your rowboat:

  1. Lay the oars alongside each other so that the blades are together. Open the gate of the rowlock by pressing a screw driver into the bottom of the slot at the front top of the rowlock.
  2. Pull the gate open and slip the rowlock over the shaft of the oar.
  3. Press the clip on the end of the gate shut. Repeat these steps with the second rowlock. 
    The rowlocks must be mounted so that the arrows on top are pointing towards each other. 
    (See picture 4)
  4. You now have a port and starboard oar. They will function much better if they are mounted so that arrow on the top of the rowlock is facing the bow when rowing. NB: If your rowlock sleeves have lugs on them you will need to cut them off with a knife (a simple task).

Fitting the socket to the gunwale. 

The socket has a 10 mm internal diameter and a 5/8 (16mm) outside diameter, and should fit most socket holes. For high sided boats the rowlocks will work more efficiently if they are angled outwards. If no suitable hole exists drill a 5/8 hole in the gunwale. and insert the socket and secure with 3/4"(20mm) by 10 gauge screws. The bushed set includes 7/16"(11mm) adapter sleeves for current 1/2" sockets. 

How the Gaco design avoids wear problems. 

The GACO snap-on Rowlock makes it easier to row well! It’s as simple as that. The GACO snap-on Rowlock allows the oar move up and down easily, and its unique shape encourages the oar to sit at the best angle to achieve an efficient rowing stroke.

The plastic head of the rowlock rotates around the metal pin which remains stationery in the gunwale. This eliminates wear in the socket holes and is virtually friction free, making it easier to row. 

Conventional rowlocks rotate in the gunwale causing wear, often causing the hole to become oval and creating that familiar clunk slap noise when rowing the boat.

The GACO snap-on Rowlock head is made of polypropylene, a material that is very strong, UV resistant and extremely light. 

The pin is 316 Stainless Steel. It will not corrode or wear and is the benchmark for metals used in a salt water environment. It is 40-50% stronger than conventional rowlocks.

Which set do I want?

Standard set

10mm SS pins and 4 sockets

Standard set W/clips

same as above but includes retaining clips on lanyards

Bushed set

no sockets, but pins are bushed to fit most 1/2" sockets (not included)

Bushed set w/pins

same as above but includes retaining clips on lanyards




Gaco absolutely brilliant!!! 

We successfully completed our "Row a Round Ireland" on 26th September last year and managed to raise 110,000 and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis.

Around 1000 nautical miles with a team of 20 rowers-it was a fantastic success and a marvelous adventure!

The same Gaco rowlocks are on the boat to this day as I row about 15/20 miles a week during the winter and they proved themselves absolutely invaluable, especially in some of the North Atlantic swells and the short chop of the st1 ignored Irish Sea.

The only worry I had was a capsize with the oars stuck in the out position-but thankfully we avoided that!

I want to purchase another 8 rowlocks (ie. 4 pairs) with sockets and pins and if you'd let me know how much I'll forward you my credit card details.

Will hopefully talk to you shortly.   

Kind regards, 


Ger Crowley 

Rating:  Five stars

These oarlocks don't rock, and that is a great thing.  No more screeching, groaning, or creaking. No more friction between the sockets and the pins.  Rowing is now a smooth and quiet event.  Sneaking up on fish, getting through a harbor at night, or managing a heavy load without concern are just some of the advantages.  The design is excellent, the materials strong and lightweight, and should be UV and corrosion resistant for years.  As a lifelong boater I will recommend these oarlocks to my boater buddies and that is saying something.

Dave Anderson
Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, USA