Sliding Seat Boats to Build : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

I just completed a 16 ft. Swampscott Dory which is a very seaworthy and a nice boat to row. Now I'm thinking of making something faster and lighter -- a sliding seat boat. I have been looking at what plans are out there. I like Ken Bassett’s firefly a lot, anyone have any experience with this one? Also like his “Liz” (which has been discussed on this forum), though it’s construction looks pretty complicated, I think I would go for cedar and rivets on that design, which would up the weight, time and degree of difficulty. The Annapolis Wherry from CLC would get my vote but only comes as a kit (no plans available). Their Oxford shell looks good, but a little narrow for a novice and for open water. Glen-L has plans for a simple and light “sculling skiff” with a sliding seat. Its specs are close to the well-regarded Alden Ocean shell, but it looks like it has a flat bottom (anyone ever seen one of these?). Then there’s the Adirondack Guideboat, but the only plans I can find are for cedar strip construction which I’m not too keen on. Would also consider a lapstrake canoe. I like the old practice wherries and gigs, but can't seem to find plans for anything like them. Doug

-- Doug Culhane (, October 16, 2002


Doug, Selway Fisher sells plans for a 20' Thames skiff that might fit the bill. And if you want to go nuts they also have plans for a 27' West Kerry Gig. I built the Oxford Shell last winter and row it on open water - but I wouldnt take it out in anything less than perfect weather. I also own an Alden 18' which I'm looking to get rid of. You might also want to check out Sam Devlins Oarling - it looks very easy to build and is supposedly quite fast for a dory styled boat.

-- Stephen Borghardt (, October 16, 2002.

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