Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

This post is addressed to people who have rowed rowing shells in the past without the Piantedosi drop in unit, but used the sliding seat/wing of a stock shell like the MAAS 24 or PanAm 25 or ????? other shell on the market already fully built.

I've a queston/problem using the Piantedosi unit. I have had one in my VerryMerry rowing shell for several years now. The problem is the location of the foot pads on the Piantedosi having the feet too far apart. On a normal shell when I am pulling my arms aft as the seat goes aft during the stroke, my knees are b/t my two arms. Using the Piantedosi  this is not the case. I have to spread my knees apart to make room for my arms which are coming aft.

The cause of this is the Piantedosi feet rest having the two feet spread to far apart imho. I'd have to be knotkneed for me to be able to have my arms coming aft and the knees b/t the arms. I'm saying this is very uncomfortable after a couple of miles.

I've a MAAS 4 and Little River PanAm 25 so I THINK I know what is normal as to what the foot spread b/t the two feet should be. I also have a Oxford shell in work right now with the idea of putting my Piantedosi drop in unit into .....but starting to have second thoughts. Why build something that you know isn't going to work right for you . Not the boat but installing a Piantedosi unit.

I can try to explain this in a differnt manner if this post is toooooo vague. Thank you.

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RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

My bad. It's during the CATCH that the problem exists. I have to spread my knees to make room for my arms which is not a normal way to row imho. The knees should be b/t your arms as you slide fwd to the catch. Spreading you knees to make room for the arms is caused by the Piantedosi feet/foot rest being to far apart imho. That is caused by the I-Beam being inbetween the two foot rests. Can't chop off the I-Beam 'cause it's what is tying all things together. sucks

RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

Hum, Interesting question. I have rowed Mass 24, Aero and several other shells that do not have the row wing. I have also rowed the Annapolis Wherry that does have the row wing as well as couple other boats that also have it, a whitehall and another that I can't think of the name. I have never had the problem that you describe.

RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

I don't see how you can have the problem you describe.  Maybe you have the clogs too far toward the bow or something like that.  I row a Piantidosi daily and find it to be supremely efficient and comfortable.


In my boat, the clogs are just a few inches from the end of the rail.  It sounds to me like you have your clogs so far towards the bow that you have to bend your knees way too much to reach your catch. 

RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

Well, that's an idea I'll look into. I'll measure the placement of the MAAS foot rest vs the seat rail ends and compare it to the Piantedosi rowwing. And go look at a old John Marden VHS tape on rowing and rigging. In the mean time I've redrilled and moved the foot rests as far inbd as possile for a row tomorrow morning.

I just pushed the vhs tape into the deck and am watching a still shot of the Catch Position and at the most fwd positon of the catch, he has his kness b/t his arms. The bottom half of his legs are straight up and down. His knees appear to be opposite his muscle in the upper arm.....and b/t the arms.

Using the Piantedosi my arms barely fit b/t my arms during the catch and when they are there it's a forced positon 'cause the foot rests are too far apart. As in the foot rests need to be closer together as in a MAAS or PanAm.

I really just want to take my Makita grinder and remove I-beam's first foot or two and move the feet/foot rest closer together. Slight problem if I did that . The I'beam isn't gonna want to suspend itself in midair.

I'll measure tomorrow one boat vs the others. Thank you .

RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

@ Hailers -- try to lower the heel cups below the top of seat as possible that might help. I lowered mine and I get more power and my knees are not in the way.

RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

I measured from a imaginary line that goes from oarlock to oarlock and then measured from that line to the bottom of the foot rests. I differed from my MAAS by four inches. So I moved the foot rests fwd four more inches.

Then...the foot rests are held on a metal plate with two screws. One above the other and seperated by ?? four inches approx. I removed the top screw from each foot rests and swung the top of the foot rest outbd as much a was allowed. When you swing the top outbd the bottom goes inbd and you have to stop when the bottom of the foot rests gets to the I-Beam. Now the foot rests more closely the angle of my feet when standing with them together i.e. toes pointing outbd at approx ???45% angle or a normal human foot stance. Then redrilled the plastic top of the foot rests to match the old hole in the metal and tightened them down.

Seems to have helped a lot. About 80% better. Hard to say 'cause it was white capping on the lake blah, blah ....

RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

Should have been ....  "Now the foot rests more closely MATCH the angle of my feet"

RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

Here's an idea, find a rowing coach or someone who know what they are doing in your area. Take your boat to them and put it in the water and get in it. They will be able to tell you what is wrong in about 2 seconds.

RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

Hailers - Did you solve your problem?  I have a Merry Wherry 2 and an Oxford shell and move the piantedosi sliding seat between the two as needed.  I also have an old Pocock fiberglass shell.  I have my foot stretchers in my row wing as far aft as possible which is surprising given I am only about 5'10".

Was wondering where you are with your Oxford, and whether you are moving forward with plans to put your row wing in it.  I have been considering building a small deck in my Oxford to reduce the volume of the cockpit.  Last April I was out in water a little too rough and the whole cockpit filled.  I've been thinking of building the decking just under the row wing, with a small open area around the heel cups.  I've also been considering buidling a regular sliding seat into the Oxford which may be too complicated for my skills.  

 I'm interested to know what you've decided to do with your Oxford.

RE: Piantedosi rowing drop in unit

Hailers - I have an old Boston shell from the '80's that causes the same issue.  When rowing in any of today's boats (ie: Maas, Little River, Pienert), no problem. My eyeballing it gave me the same conclusion: stretchers too high and too far apart.  And if you already have a bow-legged or flexibility issue, this makes the problem worse.
Modifiying the ergonomic geometry makes sense, imho. 

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