Experience with Whitehall Spirit 14?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

I'm looking into buying a fiberglass rowing boat with a sailing option. The Spirit 14' built by Whitehall Reproductions in Victoria, BC appears, from brochure photos, very well constructed. Can anyone tell me something about their experience with its sailing and rowing performance?

What other choices should I be considering?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


-- Jim Luke (jllbeans@aol.com), February 05, 2003



I own the 17' model from Whitehall Reproductions. Here are my observations:

Rowing: The 17' rows best with two at the oars. Rowing by myself I can sustain a 2.7 kt steady pace - more if I were in better physical shape. I also have a pair of sliding seats and sculls - this bumps my solo rowing speed up to 3.5 kts. I suspect that solo rowing speeds for the 14' model would be somewhat faster but I have never actually rowed one.

Sailing: The standing lug rig is very easy and quick to setup once you get used to it. I also have the jib with mine. It is not a high performance rig for upwind work but is a very good in light air off the wind and also tracks very well on a run in strong winds under full sail. It is a great boat for inland waters (I live near Puget Sound) and very seaworthy for it's size. The low aspect rig keeps the center of effort low which reduces the heeling moment and risk of capsize; I have swamped it but never capsized.

The construction is very good and easily maintained. It never ceases to be a source of interest by all who see her as she is the prettiest boat at the dance...

I can send you some pictures if interested.


-- John Pattee (pioneer@rtcomputing.com), February 07, 2003.

You might also look at www.ghboats.com They also have a 14 ft whitehall. (I have the dory) It's a little less pricy due to less teak. Also the sliding seat is a bench with two sets of boogy and runner wheels made from inline skates. Very smooth. -Gary-

-- Gary Powell (gwpowell@hotmail.com), February 24, 2003.

Hi all,

I'm too am actually concidering purchaching a Whitehall 14-17 - is there a source where for sale boats of this type could be found, other than say new ones? Thanks, Chaz chazwingo@yahoo.com

P.S. I live in Oregon

-- Chaz Wingo (chazwingo@yahoo.com), March 04, 2003.

On rare occassion I have seen the gig harbor whitehall's for sale in the local newspapers. But never the Whitehall reproductions.

Gig harbor boat works (www.ghboats.com) does occasionally sell used boats on consignment, and last month when I was down there, they did have a whitehall 14. (cost will or course depend on what options are on it.) Email and ask Dave what his current stock is. You missed the Portland boat show, that's the other place he shows his boats.

-- Gary Powell (gwpowell@hotmail.com), March 04, 2003.

I have a WH 14 w/ the full teak treatment, a bronze centerboard, and the optional jib. It's a nice sailing boat, very stable, goes through chop like butter. The centerboard and full-length keel keeps it on track and lowers the center of gravity, which helps translate more wind power into go power. With all full-length keelboats, it requires some momentum to tack. In chop, that can be difficult, so I've learned to jibe when necessary. The boat also rows well, very easy to keep straight, yet turn as necessary. The bronze CB and the teak floorboards add weight, yes, but the bottom is quite smooth, and you don't lose momentum through chop as you would in a lighter boat.

The construction is very robust, too. All the fasteners and other metalwork are bronze, and well-made. I bought the boat to last, and for its low maintenance. This isn't a throwaway, lightweight boat to use for a few years and sell off cheap; it's a very serious, well-made, substantial craft that will make your heart beat as you approach it on the beach. Very nice boat, believe me. I get great comments all the time on it.


-- Steve Hodges (hodgess@tfn.net), April 24, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ