View Full Version : US Coastal Rowing Association?

04-17-2013, 06:17 PM
The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association has become a worldwide model for organizing the coastal rowing clubs using the St Ayles skiff. Woodenboat's "Boatbuilding and Rowing Challenge" has encouraged the spread of the sport along New England coastline. Heritage Coast Sailing and Rowing Inc. has taken a bold step and developed the Heritage-23, a 4 man dory based on the historic Mackinaw boat of the mid -1800s. And, Chesapeake Light Craft is about to introduce their own 4 man dory stitch and glue boat kit.
Coastal team rowing and boatbuilding is on the threshold of expanding along the coasts and Great Lakes as it did in Scotland. We are in need of an organization, like the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, to organize and unify the sport here in the states. Efforts should be made to handicap and allow the St Ayles, Heritage-23, and the CLC dory to jointly compete and encourage the sport nationwide.

Ben Fuller
04-17-2013, 06:24 PM
There are pockets of serious competition in New England and in the PNW. Most is in 6 oared gigs but there are alot of 4 oared whitehall style boats in the NYC area. I think there are also some 4s in the PNW. One might want to talk to some of these folks who have been at it for twenty years or so. Hull Lifesaving Museum would be one of the centers.

04-17-2013, 07:44 PM
I am seriously exploring the possibility of building a Heritage 23 (as a community project) in Montcalm County, MI, and following Heritage Coast Sailing and Rowing Inc.'s organizational model. One of the objectives would be to take a Montcalm County boat to E. Tawas to row/sail with/against the local boats on Lake Huron.

A national organization should be an asset to help establish new groups. I know I'll appreciate any help I can get with this endeavor.

Bob Wessel
Fenwick, MI

04-18-2013, 03:11 AM
Well, you could start one. I'm sure the Scottish Organisation would be delighted to give you tips about the base structure.
Google is your friend

04-18-2013, 06:32 PM
Oh, I've had discussions with the Heritage 23 folks. Their organizational model will work for what I want to do. The "seriously thinking" part is more along the lines of figuring out if such a project will fly here, recruitment, publicity, fundraising, facilities, tools, ownership (who owns the boat once it is built?), liability issues, etc. True, a national organization may not be able to help with such local issues but I think such an organization could be beneficial in organizing, promoting and expanding coastal rowing and sailing activities.

Bob Wessel
Fenwick, MI
Building Gardens of Fenwick, a Welsford Pathfinder
Karen Ann, a Storer Goat Island Skiff

04-18-2013, 10:21 PM
I reckon you should think local first, in Tasmania I have the feeling that it's mostly women that are doing the rowing and the building. You might start there. There is now an association but I think they started with building just one boat. Here you go.



and from Scotland, the Australians are coming,


04-21-2013, 02:08 AM
Seems Coastal rowing is thriving just about everywhere! I and some friends started an East Coast rowing association recently. Our constitution is based closely on the Scottish Coastal Rowing Associations one. However we havent tied ourselves exclusively to one boat. Reason for that is there are already quite a varied number of small classes already running in all comers races, also there are a lot of rowers & ex rowers out there who like sliding seat boats.
Having been involved with the start up of a rowing club ten years ago & served as its Chairman for 5 years i would say it isnt easy, a Club is a good way to go as it can own the boat but Club boats are often abused by a minority. The point about women is a good one, we found recruiting women was far easier and they joined the club at a ratio of at least 2 - 1. We were not alone as this figure is pretty much across the board.
Whatever happens a new Club always has trouble finding funds and good affordable boats are not easy to come by.
I am currently building a Gig in the other material! 27ft long so there is room for the rowers to swing the oars properly. Be interesting to see how she goes.