Friday, December 3, 2010

Building a Rowing Shell


I've been trying to decide what to call this design. It will be a double-ended, fixed seat row boat approximately eighteen feet long and just over two feet wide.

The bottom shape is from a set of kayak plans, though it will be an open boat with no decks and will resemble a river bateau more than anything. It could be paddled like a canoe. My poor tired shoulders (bursitis) don't stand up too well to the forward paddling motion of a canoe or kayak, so I prefer to row.


She's going to be a sleek, fast stiletto of a boat, that's for sure. It's been many years since I built using the stitch and glue method and it's not my favorite but for this boat it seems appropriate.



The plywood is a pretty mahogany and will vanish nicely.








The design for this project is in my head so please be patient and see how it turns out. No drawings or sketches to show you, sorry. What you see here is the bottom which has a slight "V" shape, a shallow, narrow fin or skeg and about three inches of rocker.
The chine will very closely define the waterline which is about 17 feet long and 22 inches wide at maximum beam. She'll draw about three inches with a payload of approximately 400 pounds.










Doryman should have no problem hitting six knots with this slender sliver!

8 comments:

robert.ditterich said...

Nice project. She'll be fast with those dimensions. Will you use rowlocks on the gunwales, or go for wide riggers to give your oars some inboard? And that then begs the question about a nice little sliding seat so you can exercise the old legs as well??

michael b said...

Ah, curious minds!
Well, at least one curious mind. The outriggers would be most efficient but I have a practical prejudice against them which comes into play when approaching a dock or another boat - the darn things just get in the way. I recently saw a design (on-line) that folded very neatly for this purpose, don't remember where. There's no money in the budget for factory made hardware at any rate. So I'll probably fabricate some wood braces that extend from the gunnel a few inches much the same as I did on a similar boat two years ago.

http://dory-man.blogspot.com/2009/03/bateau-update.html

Huckleberry was not stitch and glue and turned out a bit heavy. I gave her to my 82 year old Dad who likes to kayak but has a hard time getting in and out of tight spaces. A pair of seven foot oars worked best on that boat.

The old man is not the only one who doesn't fold well. I wear prosthetic appliances on both legs so sliding seats are not much help. Fixed seats for Doryman.

By the way, Rob you are making remarkable progress on your Navigator. Good to see you're getting the Waller out, too. You know how to live, my friend!

robert.ditterich said...

I understand. I will enjoy seeing how you organize the inboard width for the oars, and am sure it will be an exciting row. Thanks for your interest Michael...I haven't noticed you wasting too much time either! So many creative projects!

michael b said...

We've moved into the winter weather here on the north Pacific that characterizes this coast as an ancient rain forest. Unfortunately it's not warm like Chile or Brazil, so the cold and humidity have all but stopped boat work. Between periods of gluing and sanding I have to store the pieces in the house, which causes problems.
So things will slow down quite a bit here for a while. That's OK. More time to spend playing the guitar.

Laingdon said...

Technicalities, technicalities. Bah! Get back to the heart of the matter, already- what WILL you call a kayak/rowing shell hybrid, anyway? Hmmmm, a "row yak"? Nope, too awkward. "Kayell"? Puhleeze... You can bat it around a lot more, but ultimately you'll be forced to concede that it's, it's

A SHELLAK!

michael b said...

Wise guy!
Started attaching the side panels today. It's going to look more like a canoe than anything. A Canyak? A Kayoe? Now I am confused!
This vessel may make it to the Sucia Island Rendezvous, if she behaves like a lady.

alexis said...

just new here and i admit i only 'stumbled' upon your article coz i was looking over for something relevant to what i am studying and i'm impressed..i say,keep it up and rock on!!

doryman said...

Welcome aboard, Alexis. By the way, what are you studying?