Nightly I sit on a rowing machine for exercize, while the lovely water in the enormous Saint John river slips by unmolested not two blocks from my door. It's time to build a pulling boat. This will not be my ultimate boat - I've already got that one planned out ... but the build will take more time and $ than I can spare just now. What I want is to build something serviceable and decent to get me on the water regularly for a couple of years, primarily for fixed-seat fitness rowing. Quick and cheap construction ... needn't last indefinitely. I'm thinking medium-quality ply, with stitch-and-glue or glue-lap construction.
I'd love your input on possible designs. I'm thinking about Michaluk's "Oracle," which is the latest iteration of his Roar design. He also did a ply-lap version of Herreshoff's pulling boat ... the one reworked by John Gardner. That latter would probably be a better boat, but might take too much longer in construction to stay in contention here. My wants, in order of importance:
I'd love your suggestions.
- Pulling boat only. Not looking for sail, or motor.
- Moves well, but not a racing boat. River conditions include 1-2MPH current, sometimes a chop of up to 8", and frequently winds of up to 15 MPH. This won't be an ocean boat - that's my next build.
- Easily transportable to the water - preferably car-toppable. I'd rather avoid the expense/bother of a trailer for a boat I'll be using for an hour's exercize 4-5 times weekly.
- Fixed rather than sliding seat(s).
- Capable of carrying 1-2 passengers.
- Can accommodate 2 rowers, if the fit takes us.
- easy on the eyes; prefer "traditional" lines.