Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Rowing for Pleasure reader Nick Vowles is a member of that fine body of sailors, the Dinghy Cruising Association, and posted some interesting thoughts on their Yahoo forum the other day. He said it had been 18 months since he asked for the forumite's advice on buying an outboard for his Tideway dinghy Baggywinkle. Everyone was rather dismissive of outboards, so he decided to go for a year without one and see how he got on.
Now he writes:
In that year we managed about 15 day sails and three weekend cruises and cannot recall once wishing we had an engine on board.
Thank you to Oliver for the encouragement to try and tack up the narrow creek we launch from at Saltfleet. We managed it several times with the wind bang on the nose and a little current against us. When the wind was not strong enough, rowing was the easy and enjoyable solution.
It has been a strange transition in mental attitude from thinking of rowing as a chore best avoided if possible, to rowing being our other reliable, effective and enjoyable form of propulsion.
For the first time in my life I went on the water this past Sunday knowing full well I would have to row, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I used to think there was no point taking the boat out if there was no wind - I now know differently.
I know there are situations where having an engine might suit, but I am now sure for us, where we are and the boat we have, sail and oar is ample.
As you can see in the picture, all the Vowleses now row including daughter Elsie who is clearly giving it some welly and enjoying it. Fab!

1 comment:

Tom the rower said...

Personally, I put a electric trolling motor on my unnaturally heavy 20 ft 2 man rowing boat, that unfortunately I made with 3/8 inch plywood, and I can tell you that rowing with a trolling motor as a helper is unbelievably nice. I for one would encourage this fine gentleman to put a nice quiet 12 volt trolling motor. It really helps when rowing into a oncoming wind.