Tuesday, 20 November 2012

CLC Team Dory goes home

The CLC Team Dory has now gone to Philadelphia where Neil Calore and the rest of the gang will finish her off. He writes:
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 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.
I squinted at the general arrangement drawings for ages - surely there should be adjustable stretchers or footrests, shouldn't there?
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....


doryman said...

I've used this arraignment in some of my boats and it works - but personally, I don't like the wider seat. It feels odd to have the seat fit your posture in a different way than you're used to. For instance, a taller rower will have some of the seat under their thighs.

Patrick Hay said...

It might work OK for average and taller rowers, but won't shorter rowers (women?) find their hip centres slightly too close to the rowlock line? That might reduce the power they can put into the stroke.

Chris Waite said...

I specifically made the thwart on 'Polly Wee' sixteen inches wide (fore and aft), for just this purpose and sit toward the forward edge when rowing, while allowing my feet to reasonably brace against the bulkhead fronting the stern-sheets, located for just that purpose. It works well and the only extra I insert on going distances, is an oblong fender to set my feet at a comfortable angle. The fact that it is a bit squidgy doesn't seem to make much difference to the power of the stroke and is really comfortable.

One of the most important comfort rowing features to me, is sitting with your nethers high enough above your feet that your hamstrings don't complain about being stretched too much.

Smaller girls just get bigger fenders

He mentioned with admiration

Cee Dubs

rowerwet said...

depending on how high your heels are, I think the wide seat will be a major pain in the thighs, (ugly chafed welts across the bottom) As an average height guy with longer than average legs and arms, I always had to set my feet further aft, or my seat further forward. I always set my rowing position up so the edge of the seat is right at the aft lip of the rowing seat. Our dories had loose thwarts for seats with a notch in the middle of the end that lined up a frame. I had to cut an inch or so off each end to allow the seat to sit forward of the frame.
Personally I like the cleats glued to the inside of the hull on the Phil Bolger Gull dory, and stretched gull dory.

rowerwet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chris Partridge said...

I am also concerned about the comfort of the taller rower - I'm 6ft 5in. So I am looking forward to reports of how the arrangement works out on the water with keen interest. If it does work, the combination of built in strength and no need to adjust the stretchers could be brilliant.