If you ever spent time on a lake, you might have noticed that some rowboats seem to glide easily through the water with almost no effort, while others make it feel like you are trying to push the weight of the world forward. Some seem tippy in calm water but stable in rough water, while others have the opposite feel. Not surprisingly, there is a knack to designing and building boats that are meant to be rowed rather than propelled with motors. And because there is relatively low demand for rowboats, you may find that your best option is to have a rowboat custom built by Steve Sorensen’s Gig Harbor Boat Works.
Gig Harbor Boat Works in Gig Harbor Washington is unique in their commitment to building boats that are meant to be sailed or rowed, based on designs from the 18th-early 20th centuries but using modern techniques and materials.
There is no single answer to the question of what makes a good rowboat because to some degree it will depend on what the boat will be used for. However, there are some general items that should be considered. Longer boats are generally faster and easier to move through the water, in part because of the length of the wave that it creates. Sliding seats are another option, and one that is used for racing. These are more efficient but in a shorter boat they can cause the to bob up and down.
Boats with a narrow or raised transom can move through the water with minimal friction, but cannot support as much weight at the front or the back without becoming unstable. Flat bottom boats feel stable in calm water, but round bottom boats are better able to move with the water, and actually becomes more stable rather than less in rougher water. Deeper keeps will tend to keep boats running in a straight line
No matter how you plan to use your boat, the team at Gig Harbor Boat Works are committed to building boats that are meant to be used, and they will be able to give you expert advice about the best configuration of design elements for your needs.
Gig Harbor Boat Works produces about 100 boats a year for customers all around the world, and their boats have been used to set records in various races including the Trans-Atlantic race. Gig Harbor boats can be customized in many different ways – there are a number of base models to choose from with sailing or rowing options. There are also a number of options that are permanent elements of the boat (including structural features), and then a full range of accessories that can be easily changed or updated at a later date.
So, if you are in the market for a custom boat that blends historically proven designs with modern materials and dedicated craftsmanship, be sure to check out Gig Harbor Boat Works.