It looks pretty, but…

Posted by BobE on Mar 22, 2007

After a fashion, you may find you enjoy the look of wood in your hull more than wood in a rigger. It is unlike wooden spars in a sailboat, unfortunately - or gorgeous wooden sculls for that matter.

We built one a couple years ago for the Oxford Shell. It has the advantage of being a good-looking, lightweight design that makes setting up a craft for rowing easy. It was a fun and interesting project to build, but I wouldn’t recommend this design. The Glen-L plan either assumes the builder has a good understanding about rigging for sculling or more likely, doesn’t know, much less care, how well one can scull. Research several rigging books before beginning. Otherwise, you may be better off with oars. You’ll probably spend more time building the rigger than required to build a Wherry. Much of the build time is spent sitting in a “thinking chair”.

The wood wings, or outriggers, are on the weak side and must withstand torsional loads that delaminated the okoume plywood. The wood broke or split between many of the plies. However, the epoxy between layers of plywood remained intact allowing a safe, slow row home. Wrapping with glass would help, but additional struts are required for any decent recreational rowing. The seat design does not slide well and the plans do not mention sloping the seat rails for a proper recovery. The only way to adjust the rigging is to drill new holes – and it will need to be adjusted. No need to carry on…

So far, the only original parts remaining in our setup are the large rectangular frame and clogs or foot stretcher. Changes include: a conventional seat frame with new rails purchased from a rowing shell manufacturer; the rigger frame was modified to install the seat rails properly; and a removable metal wing replaced the pretty wooden outriggers. The wing is only a “prototype” to allow us to “maximize the rigging”, to quote a coach. The next removable rigger will be lighter, and then, perhaps, the Glen-L design will exist only in pictures.

In Response to: Re: rowing seat by Jon B. on Mar 21, 2007