Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Rowing Joy

Steve Rooke, fellow member of Langstone Cutters, looks a bit anxious as he cuts across the bow of Gladys on our row to Thornham last Saturday. He is rowing Joy, his Alden recreational shell, one of the boats that kick-started the current interest in recreational rowing.
The Alden was designed by Arthur Martin back in the 1970s, when if you wanted to row you had the choice of a fixed seat skiff or a fine boat, especially if you wanted to go offshore. The Alden was a revelation - much more stable and seakindly than a fine boat but much faster than a traditional rowboat.
Very few made it to the UK, however, and this is the first I have seen. Must have a go in it soon.
Here's a video, which is a splendid example of what you can achieve by holding a mobile phone over your shoulder with one hand while continuing to row with the other.


Osbert said...

What's a 'fine boat'?

Chris Partridge said...

A fine boat is an extremely narrow racing boats with sliding seat and outriggers. The sort that dumps you in the water in a trice if you don't watch it.

Geoff said...

Hi Chris,
Phyllis Court Rowing Club (based in Henley) has three of these boats. We use them for teaching our (mature) novices to scull. Apart form their stability, they have one major advantage for teaching which is that you can place the sliding seat units either way round. This makes them ideal for teaching beginners. Have a look here
Geoff Probert

Joe said...

Yeah baby, the Alden 16 is a great boat. Arthur did the sea trials for her in a tropical storm. I use mine on San Francisco Bay, she has no problems with the rollers coming in through the Gate.