If you are trying to change the color of light wood when using Watco, keep in mind that you can get Watco Teak (my favorite) with many different stains mixed in. I'm currently using medium walnut.
Watco is a mixture of linseed oil, varnish and drying chemicals.
"Oiling" with Watco is something you will have to do at least twice a season to keep them in shiny shape. Five coats of a good polyurethane or spar varnish can last many years in my experience.
Alternatively, you can do a good varnish job the first time and then touch up occasionally with a wipe-on varnish, especially where the paddle rubs the gunwales. That's what I do with my wooden paddle blades.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Wall Mount Boat Racks
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