Saturday, 30 January 2016
Sliding Seat Frustration
Afterwards, we went rowing up the Hamble in a small fleet including two of Philip's boats. One was the boat he built for himself, an Iain Oughtred Mole design called Kingfisher, and a slim, elegant skiff with a Piantedosi drop-in sliding seat/outrigger. That was for me.
I got in with keen anticipation - she looks quick. But on the first stroke my behind crashed on the back stop about an inch short. Damn. And on the recovery I had to slide my hands over my knees to keep the blades out of the water.
The boat was just several sizes too small. Not only are my legs too long, my weight pushes the boat lower in the water, bringing the handles of the blades down very substantially because of the leverage. Philip had to take her instead. I went in the Solent galley Avery A.
I get similar problems in Steve Woods' Virus. Because I'm at the upper end of the 100kg weight range, the self-bailing stern is always just underwater, so every time I come forward water is sucked up into the boat, dragging the boat backwards.
Which brings me to the boat in the picture at the top of the post, the new British-made GlideOne.
It is has got so much going for it. It is made of tough rotomoulded polyethylene providing low-maintenance hull at low cost - just £1,400 (plus VAT, plus blades). The hull is long and slim and has a proper little transom instead of a stupid self-bailer. It should be a hit as a training boat for clubs and schools, and as a leisure rowing boat for fitness freaks.
Unfortunately, rowers of average height such as myself will never own one - the maximum weight is a mere 75kg.