I'm looking for a rowing skiff type boat

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I'm a long-time paddler, but I'm new to this arena. I'm looking for a rowing skiff type boat -- used or new; fiberglass/composite hull with some wood on top/inside. Length of 14-18 feet with a beam of at least 4 feet. Single rowing (with an option, but not essential, for a second rower). Option to mount a small electric motor occasionally. For recreational rowing and exercise. Must hold one wife and two dogs...but no horses. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks.

-- John Lord (cindythompson1@juno.com), March 08, 2004



-- Kim Apel (kapel@fullert.edu), March 08, 2004.

Fortunately for you, you are in the "sweet spot" of production boats. There are a number of boats that will fit this bill. The varients depend on what sort of water you are going to be rowing on and whether you can get the wife and dogs to "man" the oars. (etc)

First, I let me be up front. I own a Gig Harbor Swampscott dory. (I've got photos here.)


And now in no particular order: (But I suggest you look at them all.)








There are more but this should give you a lot to think about.

The questions I would ask of myself is first, where, as in what kind of water do I plan on going out in. No sense in buying a surf life boat if you have only a quiet pond. What am I going to do, as in do I need a flat bottom boat to stand up and fly cast? Am I going camping, so I need extra carrying capacity? Am I going on a picnic? Is speed through the water the issue, as in, is that island I've always dreamed about rowing to 10 miles away so I need speed in order to get there and back. Am I going to use it on a river, as in, would a river dory be better? Am I trailering it? Can I get to the water? Do I need to carry it down the beach and therefore need a dolly? Am I in open water like Long Island Sound? How much $$$ do I have. Can I live with less wood trim? (Wood trim does not make a boat go faster!) No one boat will fill all your needs perfectly. But you are at that perfect stage where all boats are possible....

Also if you live near a TCSA group (http://www.tsca.net/) contact the chairperson and see about getting a ride on a Mess-a-bout day (Or perhaps some other sunny day) and talk to the owners. Boat people are generally more than willing to espouse the virtues of their boat. :>


-- Gary Powell (gwpowell@hotmail.com), March 08, 2004.

I have a boat that Jon Aborn built that I might sell. Plywood, 17' rowing. double ended so a motor won't work, but a motor's a bad idea anyway. I couldn't tell where you are - I am in Guilford, CT.

Louis Mackall

-- Louis Mackall (mackall@mac.com), January 30, 2005.

As a follow up, John bought a Gig Harbor Swampscott Dory and had it shipped out to him. Last I heard he was very happy with it.


-- Gary Powell (gwpowell@hotmail.com), February 02, 2005.

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