How do open-water shells differ from flat-water shells? : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

Can someone tell me how an open water shell (for example, a Maas 24) differs from a flat-water shell (like a Pocock standard-line single)?

Is it a matter of reserve buoyancy, buoyancy in the bow and stern, stability of the hull shape (all of which cost extra drag), greater hull strength (at the expense of weight), swamp-proof hull, or is there something else that has not occurred to me?

Is any boat capable of handling some chop hopelessly uncompetitive for flat-water racing?

-- John Swensen (, December 13, 2002


I think all your guesses noted above about the differences are correct, including the competitive mismatch between the two. Note that the Maas 24 is among the most racing-shell-like open water boats. Most open water shells are significantly: shorter, wider, heavier, more bouyant, more swamp-resistant, more stable, and slower than their racing cousins.

-- Kim Apel (, December 13, 2002.

I'd add that many open water boats include a self-bailer, and some have positive flotation in the form of air bags in the bow and stern. Finally, open water boats tend to be very easy and comfortable to climb back in, because they lack sharp-edged gunwales or lofty splash boxes. It's my observation that open water racers will not hesitate to climb back in and continue racing, whereas some flat water racers presume that once overboard their racing that day has ended. Perhaps this is a function of the length of the race as well as a reflection on their boats.

-- Steve Wells (, June 17, 2003.

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