Best Double Open-water shell : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

First timer shell owner needs advice on "the" best open water double shell for my soon to be wife and myself. I would like the boat to be able to handle small swells, boat wakes, wind chop and also glass smooth. Set up for a double, This boat would also be used as a single when another rower is not available. Transporting is not an issue since were on the lake. Full sliding rig with top notch oars. We will use the boat as a diversion to running for morning workouts. I have looked at the Alden Ocean Double shell. Any thoughts out their?

-- e.mulligan (, June 16, 2003


When I read "shell" I think of something tippy and fast, even for an open water shell. The open water shells I am familiar with (a heavy, stable, fiberglass Owen double and the Maas double) both have separate footwells and tracks for bow and stern, and neither can be rowed (very well) as a single.

When you say "the best", do you mean the fastest for a flat, straight, course (probably an Empacher), fastest for a curving course (perhaps a Van Dusen Advantage double), fastest in moderate open water (Maas double?), safest in a gale, most durable, most forgiving for a beginner, most beautiful (something like a Carl Douglas double with custom hardwood veneers or, perhaps, a wooden Ron Owen double or a Staempfli cedar double)?

-- John Swensen (, June 17, 2003.

The venerable 24' River Shell Double by Little River Marine is designed to convert from double to single. A step up from the Alden, but less performance oriented than Maas, Owen, others.

-- Kim Apel (, June 17, 2003.

Have a look at the Grahame(sp) King designed double version of his popular Kingfisher. Think it's called a Kookaburra. One of these holds the overall course record for the Blackburn Challenge in Gloucester, Mass. With expert handling and an impressive bailing system, it has been rowed in 4 to 6 foot waves. The boat is built from thin marine plywood. It has a chined hull with a dacron(?) deck. The rowing stations are fixed, so no single rowing. A Very beautiful boat to look at. Plans are available online for home build.

-- Ernie DeRushie (, September 05, 2003.

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