Oxford Shell cockpit....

Anyone have one?

Is the cockpit self-bailing?

If not, can it be made to be self bailing?

Any other comments on this hull?

14 replies:

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RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....


Anyone have one? Yes

Is the cockpit self-bailing? No

If not, can it be made to be self bailing? I doubt it. The Oxford requires a drop-in rigger. The rigger as designed mounts to small wooden pads on the bottom of the hull. In order to be self bailing the floor of the hull needs to be raised above the water line. The rigger would require a modification via a hacksaw and you'd be gambling your $600 rigger and an extensive mod to your boat that you can get it right. 

Any other comments on this hull? A nice fast rec. class boat for rivers and lakes but not an open water cruiser.

RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

Thanks Dusty. Your personal experience with this boat means a lot.

It takes a lot of time/work to build something, wanted to explore this route for my second boat build.

I think I may stick to the kayaks for building and buy an all around rowing shell, which is what I am looking for in a rower, something for all conditions I will experience, which does include whitecaps/chop, but not too wide in the beam to ruin the speed/fun. I know trade offs must always be made, decisions take time/homework/shopping. Also looking at Echo, Cambridge, Wintech Explorer. Do you have any experience with these others?

RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

Another alternative for great recrational rowing is the CLC MC 16.5.  Not a shell, but she rows very nicely in flat water.  You can see mine with rowing setup in the Mill Creek Gallery (Paul G.)  The biggest problem I have in chop is catching the oars, plus this boat does slap a bit also.

 If you really want to row in some chop I think you will need to get away from anything shell like.  Look at the Annapolis Wherry at CLC or maybe take a look at Wyland Marine in Bellingham, WA.  None of teh above are self-bailing by the way.  Good luck and happy rowing.

RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

I am not sure I agree with you Paul. Lots of shells are being paddled in the ocean. The Echo and Cambridge are just 2 examples. They are around 24/25 inch deck beams and self draining.

I think the Wintech Explorer would be a good middle boat for me at 18 inch beam. Not too stable/slow and not too unstable either. A hull I would definitely need to grow into and probably not grow out of anytime soon.

The MC is definitely not what I am looking for. I want to cover some distance and get my exercise in and at a reasonable speed from a steady pace. The MC just won't do it for me, especially when the wind is blowing and the tide is on the move. I am trying to balance a hull between very much varying conditions, not just flat water and calm wind. I live on an Island and conditions can change quickly. If I was to have a specialty hull and needed to wait for certain weather to use it, I may be waiting a long time. 

The Oxford was/is worth considering and is not totally out of the picture just yet. These things take time when you have to choose one without the luxury of being able to buy 3 at once. Boats can add up! I already have 2 and still need to build my son one this coming winter.

RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

Quick note here I have an oxford shell I row regularly 4-5days a week I row on a large inland lake 12x17miles and it can be quite rough 1-3ft chop I can say that any good rec shell on the maket that I know of will not  come close to my Oxford in rough conditions  I do not think it nessacary to have a self bailing cockpit as I very rarely ship water over the splash box most comes from spray or rain self bailing cockpits are generally needed on performance shells to make sure they stay dry and Fly if your intent is a good workout this boat should be at or near the top of your list along with the Merry Wherry boats which are definately rough water open ocean boats we have built 2 of these in our shop with students and they were also very nice but in decent to good conditions the Oxford just leaves the behind keep in mind this boat is fast and if you know what you are doing (experienced) you will really enjoy it besides all the others are just plastic boats of one sort or another and that just sucks


RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....


RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

"...the Oxford just leaves the behind..."

Sounds like a seat adjustment problem. 

RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

Wot about a small electric bilge pump?

RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

Well 2 weeks after kicking myself for losing out on a rowing shell (Small Craft) with 'fixed riggers' and oars for $1,000 (someone beat me to it), yesterday I jumped on an even better deal...the same exact boat with a Piantedosi row wing and Piantedosi wood sculls. Impossible but true! I never see these rowing shells for sale. It was meant to be.

Now I will get a feel for the recreational shell, how they handle and if I build the Oxford this coming winter without the time constraint of trying to finish for this season, my row wing and oars can bolt right into the Oxford! I will just have to come up with a way to finish it off a little different than the rest of them.

Anyway, the Small Craft fiberglass shells are not self bailing either, so I will find out for myself if this matters to me or not in the conditions I will be using the boat.

RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....


I have a Maas Aero which is one of several shells Maas designed for open water.  It has a self bailer for those kind of splashy waters.  The cockpit is rather small, so even without it, not that much water accumulates.  A decent ride with ~21' length and a beam of 19" .  I have seen these for sale in some places like Craigslist.   see maasboats.com  I have no personal connection to Maas. 

RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

Sorry to be slow in this response been gone fishing a strip deck will add about 2.3lbs in a boat like the oxford,We can build an oxford shell without rig down to about 33lbs by using 3mm sides and deck with Sitka spruce sheer clamps and very carefull use of e-poxy but one has to remember that the lighter you build the shorter the real lifetime of the boat most composite shell's are so light you can not step into them you must step and sit on the rig (very fragile) the oxford is just not this weak


RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

May be a little late, but I have an Oxford Shell with a self-bailer.  I didn't build it but bought it used in 2009.  The Piantedosi sliding seat is mounted using the deck plates on small raised platforms on the fore and aft of the cockpit.  Plenty of room underneath to install a self-bailer.  The self-bailer works well if you are in chop and wind up with a couple of inches of water.  In April I assisted a kayaker who dumped his kayak in rough water.  I think the swells were up to a foot and a half or so.  Because I was dead in the water my cockpit filled with water.  The self-bailer couldn't do anything at that point and I had to very slowly row to shore and dump out the water in the cockpit.  The Oxford can easily handle swells and chop up to a foot if you have some experience and take it slowly.  I started rowing with a club before I bought the Oxford so had some experience.  As a winter project I am considering trying to reduce the volume of the cockpit so that it has more positive floatation and will not hold as much water.  With any luck I can get the volume down to the point where the self bailer will suck out all of the water.

RE: Oxford Shell cockpit....

From a long time sculler - if the water can drain to the stern to where the deck plate you should be able to drain large quantities (say from a capsize of large wave) of water from the cockpit.


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