View Full Version : Faceforeward rowing
02-22-2003, 04:42 PM
There are 3 things this Malaysian boatman is doing that I like. He's facing forward, standing up, and doing it at the front of his boat. At my age these are really good things. But there must be stuff I'll need to know before fitting up the front of the Garvey, like why such a blade length and how might the oarlocks be configured? I'll be on the water just as soon as 24" of ice can melt so time's a-wasting, and there's all this quarter-cut oak --- .
John C. Mannone
02-22-2003, 05:58 PM
I recently learned about the possibility of face-forward rowing from Alan Hyde's post to my question of how Revere may have been rowed across the Charles in 1775 (see page 5 of Designs/Plans: "18th century rowboat " Dec 2002).
Is a Garvey much different from a Wherry? The forum had suggested his rowboat was probably the latter.
I would be interested in what you find out about this method of rowing.
John E Hardiman
02-22-2003, 07:13 PM
He's not rowing actually, he's sculling. A common eastern propulsion style where the blade never leaves the water. On the power stroke the blade is perpendicular to the flow and provides power and trys to push the bow/stern away. On the recovery, the blade is parallel to the flow and the drag pulls the bow/stern back. Note also how long and heavy the hull is. This prevents the boat from yawing too much under this type of stroke.
In Spain and Italy when I learned to row, it was common for fishermen to sit/stand facing aft and row backwards when tending nets. I, being young and impressionable, picked up on that and still to this day have trouble rowing the "normal" way. I wander all over the place. redface.gif
Tancook Whalers, a double ended schooner up to 40 feet LOA, were usually rowed facing foreward by two persons. The open cockpit was rather deep.
I know someone who did it, with others, in the Tancook Whaler reproduction EDMOND LANGUILE (sp?) from Cape Cod to Cape Ann Massachusetts. It required more than one day.
02-22-2003, 11:17 PM
John C., - I don't know a Garvey from a Wherry, but I have a wee Garvey that I use at the cottage to wander the shallows and witness the bottom activity on calm and bright days, or in late summer, pick service berries from bushes overhanging the water. I do this rather clumsily by standing up facing forward at the rowing station of the Garvey and doing a 'deep knee dip' for each stroke of the oars in fixed locks. Ah the things you can see when you look! Can it be worth this? Yes it is for me.
John E., - Describes something I didn't see in this poor picture, its sculling not rowing, no need for deep knee bends and the long blades only grab as much water as needed. I'll bet the oar tops are 'T' handled.
The propulsion style where the blade never leaves the water is similar to the Canadian canoe paddle stroke that serves me so well for sneaking up on otter and beaver.
Oh, John Anybody, tell us some more!
02-23-2003, 10:36 AM
John E Hardiman - On re reading your post suggesting that the boatman's action is 'sculling, not rowing' I got confused on how rowing would introduce 'yaw'. Then I looked at the thumbnail size pic that was sent and see what you see, only one stick in the water. I'm hoping this pic comes through larger and you can see 2 oars. So sculling it most likely is, but would it be 'double sculling?' http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid52/p29116401fd4b4ed26a4ed56653134391/fc99e6d6.jpg
John E Hardiman
02-23-2003, 07:01 PM
"East is east and West is west and stranger thing I've seen..."
Now how does that go?...Anyway
I think Kipling had it right
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay;
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!
I know it's not what you are really looking for. I tried this device in Newport. It really works well and is fun (just as they say) http://www.frontrower.com/
In many areas fishermen traditionally row facing forward, but you are correct, it is mostly done with the knees. Apparently in Maine the peapods had extended rowlocks/oar crutches/oarlocks, but I never understood how the gunwhale could take the leverage.
[ 02-23-2003, 09:14 PM: Message edited by: Hwyl ]
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