ROGUE, ROWBOAT, 10' X 3.5', 60 POUNDS
I keep trying my hand at these little
rowing boats. The idea is that they will cartop very easily,
row quite well with one person and take two adults in
a pinch. I also try to keep them somewhat seaworthy and
easy to beach.
Rogue should be a very good cartop all
around rowing boat. I kept her length down to just 10'
which should mean that the boat will be short enough to
cartop without bumper ties. That gets important because
automobiles lost their metal bumpers back in 1990. It
will also keep the weight to about 60 pounds for an easy
lift to the roof. It should be easier to load than an
8 foot dink because those really short boats often can't
be loaded one end at a time - they must be put up there
all at once. Even ten footer might be too short for "one
end at a time" loading although I know I can load
an 11' Piccup Pram
that way on a compact car, at least.
I kept the capacity up there at about
400 pounds with lines such that the stem and stern are
still out of the water. With a light weight hull that
should mean the boat might still row well with two adults.
One might ask why longer boats are preferred. First, a
longer boat can be faster at any loading because when
operated at a low power mode, the speed of the boat is
limited by waterline length, the longer the faster. That's
because long boats make less waves that short boats and
those waves are made by your arms in a rowboat. There
are limits to the length, of course, but a really serious
racing hull might be 20' long or more for a single seater.
(I once saw on a college campus a racing boat for a four
man crew, over 60' long as I recall. The rowing coach
was trying to recruit men to row it, saying he preferred
red shirted basketball players - the bigger and taller
the better.) And one might remember that there are other
elements that cause drag such as skin friction and windage,
both factors get worse as boat length increases.
I went to multichines with Rogue and
would expect her to be a good sea boat for the size, at
least when rowed solo. (That is another argument for a
longer boat. When loaded with a passenger the weight in
the boat gets pushed to the ends and in rough water the
boat will not lift itself over the waves but instead pushes
through them and that usually slows you down. A longer
boat is not affected as badly here.) I'm quite certain
that a multichine hull has less drag all around than a
flat bottomed boat, although I suspect the V is better
yet. The multichine hull is a very good compromise in
that it will beach flat and have draft somewhere between
a flattie and a V bottom, everything else being equal.
My first rowboat, Roar, had a hull like Rogue, but was
14' long. I found out from it that a multichine has little
resistance to side loads, as in a cross wind. Thus to
avoid needing to row in a "crab" in crosswinds,
a multichine needs a lot of skeg area and a full length
Steven Fisher in built
the prototype in New York very quickly, faster than could
be reported on in this twice-a-month webpage. He writes:
A successful launch. My daughter and son-in-law just
bought a farm and this will be perfect for the 2 acre
pond. As you can see I put in the Bolger seat. So far
it seems to work well enabling me to easily change rowing
positions to maintain balance etc. You can't see it in
the photos but I inadvertently installed the keelson vertically
so it's 3/4" deeper than spec but doesn't seem to
make a difference. I've scratched the idea of a motor
but would like to try a sail. Suggestions as to mast placement,
leeboard etc would be appreciated. I have aluminum for
a mast and bamboo for spars. In all of the above I forgot
to mention that it's very east to row and I found that
6' oars work a bit better for me than the 7s. A quick
and easy build of a fun boat.
Good job, Steve! But when you get to bigger waters be
sure to row facing backwards, you can get a lot more power
into it than with push rowing. With push rowing you can
see what you are about to hit sooner, important on a two
acre pond. I talked Steve out of fitting a motor which
will never work well with a fine lined stern. Looks like
I haven't talked him out of the sail rig yet. With no
built in flotation Rogue, like any open traditional boat,
will totally swamp in a capsize and you will need to be
rescued, you won't be able to rescue yourself. LF Herreschoff
in one of his books talks about this - with an open wooden
boat that has been swamped you must bail it out before
getting back inside by swimming beside as you bail. Then
get in over the stern if you can. LF used the word "heartbreaking"
as I recall since it was very iffy for anyone to try.
If you want to sail, better to try Mixer or Piccup which
are only slightly larger but have large buoyancy boxes
that will permit self rescue.
Construction is taped seam. Three sheets
of 1/4" plywood will do it and only two thirds of
that ends up in the boat, the rest used as temporary forms
that are removed. No jigs or lofting.