I have a Small Craft 18' x 25" (approx 21/22" waterline beam). It handles everything but need something faster to cover more 'ground' in a 2 hour row for the same energy spent.
I have rowed a Peinert 'Dolphin', 24' X 13" waterline beam. This is considered a trainer and open water capable. This boat is capable as they say but takes a lot of effort/concentration/energy to maintain control in truly rough water white caps for a long period of time, especially when the weather is approaching full beam.
The 20's and 21 foot shells out there are around 19" waterline beam, a step up for speed from my present Small Craft recreational shell.
The CLC Oxford is 20 1/2 and 18/19" waterline beam. Also 1 step up from what I have, although I don't know how it handles, not being able to row one, so I don't know if I should buy or build a boat. I have read that the Oxfords are NOT open water boats, which has me wondering, after rowing a 13" beam boat in open water. Maybe the v-shape is a problem, compared to the round bottom boats? I do not know know. I would be more open to building one if it were a little longer in length and narrower in the beam, if it handled as well as it round bottomed cousins.
I am also looking for 2 steps up anyway......around 22' long and mid teen's in waterline beam. There seem to be none out there?....something inbetween the 21" wide beginner rec shell and the too skinny 13" open water trainer? Looking for a 22 footer with a 16" waterline beam. I know it may not sound like a big difference in specs but for those who know, it does make a big difference in these kinds of boats. Each boat offers a specific purpose to the rower and in specific weather conditions.
Any knowledgeable and experienced input would be appreciated as I try to plan on what I will be rowing in the coming season.