Whitehall Pulls to Starboard

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I have a 16 ft. Wooden, carvel built whitehall with 3 rowing stations. It consistantly glides to my right (as I'm at my rowing station, facing the stern) or its starboard. Whether rowing alone or with a partner one or both of us has to over-compensate by pulling more vigorously with the right oar(s) or else allowing the left oar to rest outside the water every third stroke. All of these rowers have been right-handed, some experienced oarsmen and some novices. We've tried rearranging our weights and/or shifting our stations (one of us in the stern the other in the center or one of us in the bow and one of us in the stern.) What do you suggest. Could there be a problem with the boat? It's two yrs old. Thanks for any advice, Jane

-- M.Jane Rosenfield (Tintagile@aol.com), July 22, 2003


Center your weight in the boat and get it moving. Stop stroking and let it glide. Does it veer off? Does it exhibit the same behavior no matter what direction the wind is blowing? If this is the case I would be suspicious of the boat rather than the rowers. Tip the boat over or crawl under it on the trailer and look for any reason for more resistance on one side than the other; growth, peeling paint, chunks of wood missing. I once knocked a chip of wood smaller than a quarter out of the skeg on my wherry and it rendered the boat fit only for clockwise circumnavigation of small islands....With long, narrow boats like ours it takes very little to cause them to veer one way or the other. Finally, pull a string tight along the keel and make sure there is no twist to the boat. Do both sides of the boat look the same when viewed from a bunch of positions? Maybe the boat is not symmetrical. Hopefully it will not come to that. Best of l

-- Jon Aborn (JonEAborn@aol.com), July 24, 2003.

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