Four guys and six days later she's ready for her ride to Philly, where we'll finish her and make some oars. We're all very pleased with the outcome: a lightweight, solid boat that is easily built and affordable.I squinted at the general arrangement drawings for ages - surely there should be adjustable stretchers or footrests, shouldn't there?
I can't wait to row her as I think she'll be very stable and fast, just like her little sister the Northeaster Dory (only faster!). We hope to have her finished and in the water before it gets too cold. I'll keep you all posted and send pictures.
But no. The designer, John Harris, writes in CLC's blog:
I had the very devil of a time arranging the seat geometry to suit all different heights of rowers. Seat height and length are critical for efficient rowing. This is often handled by having adjustable footbraces, but there simply wasn't room in the interior for that.... My scheme was to make the seats broader on the top. The footbraces are the forward face of each seat, and thus fixed. Taller people will simply slide their butts further forward (on the seat).
This is genius. Or possibly complete lunacy.
As a taller rower (right at the top of John Harris's height range), I always have to crank myself in to our Solent galleys, which were obviously designed for midgets, so I would really welcome a boat that fits.
Getting the crew to adjust their stretchers is always a faff, and we are always breaking the wooden struts that provide the adjustment. A simple, automatic arrangement like this will be fabulous if it works.
A final thought - this arrangement fixes the feet in the same place for all rowers, against the conventional arrangement which fixes the bum.
Now, taller rowers have a longer reach, so if their bum moves relative to the rowlocks, but their hands move further forward than shorter rowers, does this mean that the rowlock stays closer to the middle of the stroke?
Would this make a difference to the power output? It might....