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Thread: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

  1. #1
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    Default Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    I have not rowed a boat for 40years and that was a 12 aluminum Sears fishing boat in the strip mines of Coal City south of Chicago. I have sailed small boats, Kayaked extensively. I am very confused when I read about rowing boat qualities. I read one article that says Dory’s are great and another that says they are great with 200lbs of fish in them? Wherry, Whitehall, Drake???

    I am getting too old to camp in a kayak. I was thinking of a Drake 17, but the ability to sail would be nice (not necessary). I need a boat for fitness rowing but also able to put up with the chop on the Missouri River, it can make the Gulf seem like a swimming pool most days with its wind, current, wing dams and waves bouncing from one shore to the other. The Delois Dory looks interesting also the CLC Nor’easter Dory.

    How stable is stable, how would they compare rowing. Too many conflicting reports in the rowing world.
    Please give me primer on rowing boats? I do understand stability from a kayak prospective. The difference between , recreation, fishing and good touring kayaks, so using that as a reference would make it understandable to me.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    Dories have a great reputation, some of that reputation has been earned, some assigned from sea tales and urban legend.
    Of course, their shape and suitability for recreational rowing varies greatly. AFIK they originally were cheap to build, easy to stack, weight bearing work tools.
    Wherries were more intended for efficient movement through the water with passengers rather than half a ton of fish in the bilge. Pretty much the same with a Whitehall.
    A modern version of a dory like Drake is a contender. There is a video of a Nor'easter Dory struggling to recover from a capsize that is disturbing.

    A dory with it's fine stern basically adds a couple useless feet to the length of a boat similar to a double ender. E.G., my 15' double ended Skerry has the useful space and capacity of a 13'-13.5' transom boat. It also requires a push-pull tiller to keep weight forward.

    You are on the right track. A few people are retiring their touring kayaks and rediscovering rowboats.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
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  3. #3
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    Default

    I went from kayaks to rowing, a back injury made sitting in a kayak no longer tolerable. My first rowing boat was a 14 foot Whitehall. It was a pleasure to row and would sail, but not set up for on board camping. For overnighting aboard, I built John Welsfords Walkabout stretched to 18 feet. This is nominally a sail and oar design, but I hardly ever sail and find it just about the perfect set of compromises to be good at solo rowing, double rowing, river drift boat, fly casting platform, Venice style standing rowing boat, and full tented camp cruiser.
    For a while I also had a light skin on frame 17 foot LFH 17 rowboat. IMO all 3 of these boats were capable non racing rowboats. The Whitehall had a full length keel and would track like on rails. The Walkabout has a flat sole which slides off steep waves and sits flat on a beach. The Walkabout has enough beam to stand in safely.
    I belong to TSCA, which has many rowing events with a wide assortment of boats. For my 3 boats, and most of the TSCA boats, casual rowing speed is around 3 kts and hard rowing gets you 4. To go much faster takes a long narrow hull and usually a sliding seat.
    One boat I tested which would cruise closer to 4 kts was a CLC expedition wherry, but that is not for onboard camping.
    If I were to build for the same use now, I would probably go with one of the Clint Chase Drake designs.
    - Rick

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    As said, Dories, were developed and used by professional men who spent everyday of their life on the water. That they came home safe more often than not says as much about the skill and experience of these fishermen as it does about the dories they fished in. o
    Also, their goals sometimes intersected with those of modern recreational boaters. For instance being cheap and easy to build. But remember, On this point, doriew were designed around the use of wide pine planks, which were cheap and abundant in days of yore. Today, those come dearly. We have a host of other materials now available to us, that the old salts could not even dream about. So, dory offers attributes that are the same, but perhaps noit the same in the way we think about things more.

    There are also many types of dories. Swampscotts sail reasonably well, and in fact the INDIAN class of sailboats is based upon them. The banks type of dory, while often rigged to sail, is reportedly ( I have never sailed one) cranky and slow. Yet, that may have been enough for some certain fishermen oldf to travel a certain distance in the time he needed to do it. Our parameters as modern recreational sailors no doubt differ.

    So when asking does a dory row well, one must first establish a set of criteria for what makes a good rowing BOAT. Then examine the range of dories for the few that possess the most of those attributes.

    There are certainly more experienced rowers than I on this forum. Hopefully, they will chime in.

    A good rowing boat needs: '

    Low windage
    A good amount of rocker so the transom does not drag.
    A beam that offers a comfortable width for oarlock placement
    A layout with seat placement that accounts for number of rowers desired; different configurations of rowers and passengers.


    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    Clint Chase designed both the Deblois St. dory and the Drake series. There is a lot of good info on his website, and he is very responsive to inquiries and build questions, so you might want to get in touch with him directly if you still have questions after browsing his website info. Good luck with your decision.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    As has been noted above, dories especially banks style straight sided can be cranky. They are just fine with weight below the thwarts, the more the better. My 16' straight sided dory TIPSY is, but happy with 50-70n pounds on the floor boards and is a fine 3 knot boat, 3.5 when rigged with my removable sliding seat (no out riggers) The round sided "swampscotts" are more passsenger/ people friendly. Clint's Drake is a Norse style round bottom boat, a delight to row with one or two; I've also rigged one with a nice removable slide. She's probably a little more canoe liken than his DeBlois street swampscott style dory. Clint's Drake can be rigged with a small downwind sail but you'd ruin it with sailing gear like a daggerboard trunk. If I wanted to rig one to sail upwind and down, I'd rig it like a canoe with a removable lee board and modest rig. I've friends with a DeBlois street droy. a powerful sailing and rowing craft equal to anything that I'd want to be out in. Cruised in company with one in Penobscot Bay. It's a better row boat with two I suspect, where the Drake is primary a solo boat with the ability to go with two.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    IMG_4075.jpg
    I just finished drawing and building this sliding seat rowboat. It's 18 feet, 34 inch beam and I think under 80 lbs. I can average 4 knots with it on my hour long rows, and it will peak out at more than 6 knots. It is self bailing, and has a bit of storage space under a large hatch on the foredeck, and two other compartments accessible through 6 inch ports. If you are talking camp-cruising like kayak cruising, sleeping on shore, something like this would probably work.

    Rgds

    Rick
    oysterbayboats.ca

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    I do love the Drake design but the idea of sailing with the Deblois would be great. Is something like the Deblois Dory too must boat for someone who is mostly going to be solo? My experience has been Kayak and sailing Froce 5 / Lasers. How much MORE cumbersome would the Deblois Dory be compared to the Drake 17 for a solo rower?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    I have a Whitehall-type boat (also rigged for sailing), Don Kurylko's Alaska design:

    7.jpg

    It's heavy, so takes a while to get it up to speed under oars. Once at speed (roughly 3 knots in flat water) it takes only moderate effort that can be sustained for a couple of hours, at least, to keep it moving. The weight helps it handle chop, I think. It tracks very straight. It has sleep-aboard capabilities if that matters to you. It's 18' long, can row solo from center station, or with one passenger from forward station, or with two passengers from center.

    Definitely a WAY more involved build than you'd need for a rowing boat. But it does show what a Whitehall type can do. It carries loads beautifully--doesn't get worse at rowing, just takes longer for the initial acceleration. Stable enough to stand in with care. You can roll the rail right down to the water and scoop a few drips if you really try, but I was unable to flip it in flat water even when I stood on the gunwale and hopped up and down (I was about 100 kg/220 lbs at the time).

    There are MUCH simpler rowing boats to build than Alaska, but if you find a Whitehall type, they can be really nice. A pick-up truck rather than a speedster, though.

    Tom
    Ponoszenie konsekwencji!

    www.tompamperin.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    Quote Originally Posted by McB View Post
    I do love the Drake design but the idea of sailing with the Deblois would be great. Is something like the Deblois Dory too must boat for someone who is mostly going to be solo? My experience has been Kayak and sailing Froce 5 / Lasers. How much MORE cumbersome would the Deblois Dory be compared to the Drake 17 for a solo rower?
    Suggest that you contact Clint about that. He is a very experienced rower. I've not rowed thee Deblois street so can't comment. The short slide that I have in my dory and that Clint now offers for the Drake might be useful.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Drake/Dory/Wherry? Good rowing???

    Quote Originally Posted by McB View Post
    I do love the Drake design but the idea of sailing with the Deblois would be great. Is something like the Deblois Dory too must boat for someone who is mostly going to be solo? My experience has been Kayak and sailing Froce 5 / Lasers. How much MORE cumbersome would the Deblois Dory be compared to the Drake 17 for a solo rower?
    McB
    We're also cooresponding backchannel, but I thought I would reply for other's benefit as well.
    To answer your question about the dory being too much, if you are a strong rower and used to rowing a boat with windage, then you will find it surprisingly nice to row solo as it is light and, if you trim it wright, track well. But if you were to then jump into a Drake 17 or 19, you will find significantly less windage and much more directional stability. If you think you will sail more than row, the Dory would be a great choice. If you think you will row more than sail, and wish to make better times, than the Drakes will do much better for you.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

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