seeking fiberglass rowboat : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

I'm looking to buy a fiberglass rowboat, new or used, fixed seat, lightweight, 12-14', sturdy enough to take seas in and outside of Boston Harbor. I've found what I want on the net but they are either West Coast (Gig Harbor, Growler, Freebooter) which means $1,000 shipping, or too expensive (Whitehall)--I lack the time and skill to build--need to move up from my current 8' dory which is small for me--any help, hints, directions bery much appreciated--Dan

-- Daniel Solomon (, January 07, 2005


What price range do you have in mind? With a trailer?

-- Les Warner (, January 07, 2005.

It is odd to hear from someone on the EAST coast looking for rowboat options! So many of the boats us west coasters might see in ads are all back there rather than where we need them out west. Are you really firm on fiberglass? Many builders of small craft are located in your region, and many work with epoxy sealed glued plywood. It would be a realistic option for you, might be easier to find, and might be less expensive than glass. Do some searches for dories (rather than "rowboats"),wherries, Adirondack guideboats, peapods, classic small craft, and rowing skiffs and I bet you will find options from Maine all the way down to the Carolinas. If you find builders of wood dories you could check with them to see if they do any glass versions or know someone who does.

-- Allison Banks (, January 10, 2005.

I have a number of alternative boat builders listed on my web page. ( ) Also are you sure about that shipping price? I thought it was closer to $500. (but still that is a lot! You could practically fly out and pick up the boat yourself for that! And since the Pacific NW is such a great place, spend a week at a cabin in the San Juans in your new boat before driving home... ah the imaginary life of someone with 6 weeks vacation..) (in Maine for example of an East Coast builder ...)

Anyway used boats start appearing in the local papers as soon as the weather warms up around here. I'd keep an eye on the local papers.


-- Gary Powell (, January 11, 2005.

Order a subscription to Messing About in Boats, 29 Burley St., Wenham, Ma 01984. $28.00. This is a bi-monthly mag that features small affordable boating. There is a classified sect that lists many boats like what you are looking for. There are also many dealers and builders that advertise. The editor is Bob Hicks. He will send a free sample if you request.

Hope this helps.


-- Jon Aborn (, January 14, 2005.

I have been on the same search for one full year to purchase a good row boat. I too have discovered that both coasts seem to have all the activity. I am located on the great lakes ( Lake Michigan)and have discovered only one builder of beauitful wood "dory- whitehall type" of boats, And because of "wood" the prices exceed $ 8,000 US. The Boats in Canada are very nice looking but price of transportation to Michigan exceeds $1500.US ! Does any on know of a carrier who would transport from the Vancover area for less?? Perhaps I can find a college kid to make a run to Canada for me, I am pursuing that angle too. Any better suggestions ??? Please e-mail me . I have been looking for a 14 to 17 foot boat for a price ~ $ 3,000. Thank you

-- Tim (, February 02, 2005.

Remeber if you take delivery of your boat in Canada and then bring it to the US there are some tax issues involved. You might want to look into that as well. I think they some are refundable, but last I looked it made shipping not look quite so bad. From the Whitehall Row ordering page:

"Boats picked up directly from the factory are subject to provincial (7.5% PST) and federal (7% GST) taxes. Federal taxes can be claimed back by non-residents."

So for a $3k boat, that's $225 tax. Of course when you bring a boat into your own state and license it you may have to pay a "use" tax. (the state's equivalent to a sales tax.) In WA, you don't have to license a rowboat under 16ft. But add any motor and you do.

Just something else to think about. -Gary-

-- Gary Powell (, February 02, 2005.

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