Hurka is gone
Ah, too late. The Hurka was sold since yesterday.

There you go
That’s the right advice…

and nothing on impoundments?!

alden makes a poly shell
for $1700:

I think the oarlock to oarlock span on
my racing single was about 60 inches. Not many utilitarian or pleasure rowboats have gunwales that wide!

Wide outriggers and sliding seats, along with marked narrowing of the hulls, were the secrets of marked increases in racing speed of sculls and shells. That happened way back around the time of the civil war. There have been only relatively minor improvements since then. I’m not sure that I regard hatchet oar blades as an improvement, never having tried them.

Sliding seat rowing isnt a magical workout. when I had a few different shells, after 20 minutes I would start to fatgue and lose some coordination. Catch oarblades, lose balance etc… seating discomfort. go to a gym an row a concept 2 rower for 30 minutes. Most likely you wont make it. Fixed seat rowing=mo betta, unless you are a dedicated athelete. Buy an ocean kayak and paddle for an hour, great, but not totally pleasant workout. trick is to find a fast canoe or kayak, something that is pleasant for hours on end, not to beat yourself up for 30 minutes.

Used boats are always an option. Try local rowing clubs, craigslist, etc.

Other possibilities:

One more
There’s also the Pygmy offering for DIY:

Just listed a canoe on ebay, show with a piantadosi scout rig sliding seat rig. Search my user name, njsurfboat, or Store canoe.

Got me looking
and you have to give these guys points for creativity. Should be cheap to get boards, not sure about the scull kit:

I may just do this for fishing on lakes.


Hatchet Blades

– Last Updated: Jul-05-13 1:18 PM EST –

I can envision a reason hatchet blades are better, after seeing them in action in some of the videos posted for this topic (some are posted on the other rowing thread too, I think). When I'm rowing, I notice that the shaft of each oar moves forward through the water, cutting a noticeable wake in the process. I see this to a much greater degree with the 8-foot oars of my guide-boat than with the 7-foot oars of my "pack boat". That's because the oar blade slips very little as the boat moves forward, so as the oar shaft changes orientation on its pivot point, the part of the oar that's between the blade and the boat "follows" the boat to some degree. The forward movement of the part of the shaft directly adjacent to the blade (and submerged), is less than the part that's closer to the oarlocks (and not submerged, thus producing no drag), but the forward movement of the shaft within the first 1.0 to 1.5 feet of the blade is significant enough to slice through the water a fair distance, I think close to two feet or maybe more if the blade is buried a little deeply (as would be the case when it's choppy). This really doesn't worry me at all for the kind of boating I do (I'm already much faster than a solo canoe, with far less effort too), but to a racer, that slicing action would be seen as worrisome drag, and drag which fights against the forward motion of that part of the oar shaft will also resist forward motion of the boat, though to a much smaller degree (to a smaller degree due to where it occurs on the lever arm). The hatchet-shaped blade puts the oar shaft right "at" the surface of the water rather than beneath it, so the shaft itself is not slicing through the water as it pivots forward around the blade location. I can't quantify the amount of drag that is eliminated, but based on geometry, it would be easy to calculate what rough percentage of the oar shaft's drag (with conventional oars) would translate into resistance against forward motion of the boat, and in principle, it's easy to see that the full amount of drag experienced by the oar shaft itself is far less when hatchet-shaped blades are used.

Thanks, that makes sense.
And with the old wooden oars and sculls, the power face side of the shaft was kind of streamlined, while the non power face, which would drag through the water relative to the blade itself, was flat. Streamlining both faces of the shaft, and getting most of the shaft out of the water, might make a noticeable difference.

But just for sculling in variable conditions, I think I’d rather have the old style symmetrical blades. Those new hatchets must catch wave tops noticeably when the rower rolls the shaft to bring the blade vertical.

Alden Ocean Shell
Can usually find one for relatively short money if you look hard enough. Try the classifieds at - I’ve sold several boats there.

I rowed for 16 years then switched to kayaking for the last 10. I like both for different reasons. Rowing is a better workout, but the learning curve is MUCH steeper and the boats are really only suitable for doing one thing - going fast in a straight line.

Because the rower moves in the boat, the distribution of volume in a rowing shell needs to be very different than that of a canoe or kayak. You’ll get a better appreciation for the sport if you try an actual rowing shell rather than a converted boat. Canoes are too wide, kayaks too narrow in the ends and too much rocker. Most fixed seat rowing boats that have been converted are too heavy/wide/short to take advantage of the sliding seat.

The poly boat made by Alden is a mess - I’ve rowed one and it does not balance properly. Go find a used Alden Ocean Shell (the “original” Alden, 16 feet) with a decent pair of oars (ie non wooden) and see if you like it. Alden is still in business if you need parts, and the boats have name recognition so are pretty easy to resell. Which is good, because either you’ll hate it, or you’ll love it and quickly want a longer/skinnier/faster boat!