Sliding Seat/Rigger Geometry?

Wondering if anyone has come across a good reference that describes the preferred geometry of a sliding seat/outrigger  setup for a recreatioinal rowing shell. 

 Years ago I had a Graham shell which I put many miles on.  Now I'm looking at building the Oxford Shell, but I'd also like to build my own riggers, and the Piantedosi drop in sliding seat rig looks fine, but I think it might put the oars higher off the water than I want them. 

Trouble is, I don't know what the proper relationship between rigger height, distance from rower, oar length, oar overlap, and even oar length/boat length.  Seemed everything on my Graham shell was just right.  I'd like to duplicate something similar in stich ' glue.


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RE: Sliding Seat/Rigger Geometry?

Chapter 3 in “The Art of Sculling” has a few rigging specs.  This book is available from CLC.


“Introduction to Sculling” or “Rowing the Rec Racer” (same book two titles in one?) by James H. Dreher has a bit of useful info.  May be difficult to find a copy.  I believe it was almost the owners manual for that shell.


“Rowing” or “Rudern” the GDR test of oarsmanship by Dr. Ernst Herberger  4th Edition is helpful.  Probably a standard college team manual.


A more recent book “The Nuts & Bolts Guide to Rigging” by Mike Davenport is primarily for sweeps.  There is a small chapter at the back of the book on sculling, but I found it not worth the price of the book.


I never was able to row the OS with the proper Piantedosi installed.  It has always had the rig for a Mill Creek or other - and yes, the rig was thus way too high!  However it is a much better platform than the Glen-L design.  Please don’t waste you time building the latter.


A drop in rigger makes launching a much easier task.  The shell by itself is very light and easy to carry around.  Mount the rigger at the water and you are ready go.  In addition, the rigger can be move fore & aft to allow for various water conditions.


I’m no expert, but I’ll be happy to help you with what is available to me.

RE: Sliding Seat/Rigger Geometry?

See above for a 2008 MVP (most valuable post) candidate from BobE.  Nice work.

RE: Sliding Seat/Rigger Geometry?

I have seen it at one of the racers websites on how to set up a new boat. You do not need to buy any books for the generic measurements.

A little searching at shell manufacturers sites will provide you with the information on setting up a boat. For a wide beam recreational shell, a generic set is fine and small changes will make little difference that cannot be compensated for by adjusting the oars. If I was building the oxford, I would just drop the wing in it. A good, sturdy and stable workout boat.

My personal rec hull has the Piantedosi row wing. It does 'appear' to have the oarlocks higher but looks are decieving when you look at different boats and rigger setups and actually get in them and do some rowing. I have no rowing/height problems going from the Piantedosi row wing and jumping into a Peinert racing shell with fixed riggers. I use the same oar adjustment for all the shells I use.

RE: Sliding Seat/Rigger Geometry?


 Thanks for the input.  Sounds like Bob is familiar with the Graham 19' recreational shell.  It had a removable sliding seat/riggers, but they were made entirely of fiberglass.  It weighed as much as the hull.  Unnecessarily heavy.  Looked similar to the Glen-L sliding seat/rigger assembly which is a dated design, but I'm sure works for some folks.

Since I can weld aluminum and SS, I'm thinking of making my own riggers from aluminum tubing.  I found a site selling sliding seat hardware online and will probably source seat hardware and oarlocks, etc from them.  

Still, I'd like to find out what the geometry is supposed to be.  There's got to be a guideline about oar length, grip overlap, oarlock height, distance between oarlocks, etc. 

I'm located in southern California and there are a whole pile of shells at the Newport Aquatic Center nearby.  I might loiter there and see if I can find someone who is willing to talk to me about rigging. 

Spent some time perusing the various books offered.   One, the Nuts and Bolts Guide to Rigging, suggested by  BobE above, looks like it has everything I need, but I hate to buy a book just for the information contained in a few pages.  And I'm just a recreational kind of guy, not serious enough about fine-tuning to spring for such a detailed book.

Thanks again for your help. 




RE: Sliding Seat/Rigger Geometry?

This will do it. A little 'wordy' but the info is all there.....

As I first suggested, a quick search on the internet will find you more than you want to know. If you put an hour and a half into searching and reading, you would be able to write your own book, having read enough to choke a horse on whatever info you were seeking.

A hint for any subject...if you do not find what you are looking for in less than 10 minutes, change the keywords you are using until you start getting better hits for what you are looking for. It really does not take long. I found the above link I attached for you and breezed through it quick scanning for details in less than 3 minutes.

RE: Sliding Seat/Rigger Geometry?

Yes, as you did!  Thank you for taking the time.  I did as well, but wasn't finding anything specific.  It looks like this is what I was looking for.

Thanks again, everyone!

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