Re: surf row boat
The local lifeguard boats do a great job in 5 foot breakers easily. They are based on seabright skiffs, are 17 feet, and are very good rowboats. I am far from in good athletic shape, but I can still row one through the surf single handed. The important thing is to learn to launch in low sea conditions and time your push off just right to start pulling before the next breaker hits you.
By the way, they are open boats, and used to be made of wood. I replaced a stem on an old wood Van Sant. The next 'glass ones are made by Van Duyne in Linwood, NJ and Tony Petroni in Ventnor, NJ
There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche