To feather the oars

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To feather the oars See under Feather.
    • ***

Usage

In literature:

Their stroke was unsteady; some of them forgot to feather their oars, and some scarcely dipped the blades in the water.
"In School and Out" by Oliver Optic
Another day came just like the last, and listlessly the dispirited crew turned their oars on the feather and waited for the signal to start.
"Two Daring Young Patriots" by W. P. Shervill
Too many even high-class oars are prone to omit to keep the oar feathered for the full distance of the recovery.
"Boating" by W. B. Woodgate
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In poetry:

Each bosom one spirit of peace seemed to feel;
We heard not the tossing, the stir, and the roar
Of the ocean without; we heard only the keel,
The keel that went whispering along the green shore,
And the stroke, as it dipped, of the feathering oar.
"Water-Party On The Beaulieu River, In The New Forest" by William Lisle Bowles