Clint took his lovely rowing boat Drake, with its auxiliary sailing rig, and had a blast keeping up with much longer sailing boats by the simple strategy of sailing down wind and rowing upwind. He writes:
But this morning was proving something that I try to espouse whenever possible: a rowboat with at least some keel to it can sail downwind quite fast, but not up wind. And you don't need to ruin the lines of the boat for rowing and you do not need to add the complexity and drag that a centerboard or daggerboard introduces. Lee boards are simply not necessary for off the wind sailing. Drake has enough stability and keel to even sail without any slippage on a bean reach, and this was a revelation this morning on Frenchman Bay.The return trip was a 8-mile row to windward....Drake showed her stuff by being able to row a steady 4+ knots back to the start line and beat most of the sailboats that had to tack many times to get home. This is what she was designed to do: sail smartly off the wind and row efficiently upwind. If this were a real RAID I would have no doubt that we could be very competitive and with a larger boat for two rowers, probably win. But I enjoy the autonomy, privacy, and relaxation that rowing and sailing alone can bring.
I will be going out with some sailors on Saturday, although I don't have a sail so it will be rowing all the way. Must watch to see how much faster I am than boats who have to go upwind crabwise.