Julia Rooke sent a great link to a short BBC clip about Bill Colley, the last builder of wooden fine shells. He 'tortures' ply into shape to create boats that are both fast and beautiful - Julia recalls winning her first pot in a Colley coxed four. Unfortunately, they are not competitive against all the fancy plastic stuff and things of wonder though they are, they are not very practical for everyday cruising. So he sits outside his boatshed at Richmond, chatting to his mates, waiting for some fitness fanatic who values style above mere function to come by and order one.
And Stuart Sutherland pointed out a link to the interesting Sinne 610 expedition rowing boat from Finland.
It has lots of decked area to store all the stuff you need for weeks touring Finland's amazing lakes. One bit of deck comes off to form a table - very ingenious. It even has a pair of wheels that instantly mount onto stub axles for easy portages.