Comments on Olympic rowing hulls

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Westfield 11, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Westfield 11
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    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    Any informed commentary on the hulls used by the various nations in the rowing events? Superficially they seem to be much of a muchness, but I assume that there are subtle differences. Even to my laymans eye it seemed that excessive pitching would be a concern as the engines slid forward and backwards each stroke.
  2. clmanges
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    clmanges Senior Member

    I was wondering about those myself. I'm just guessing, but my guess is that the boats are required by the rules to all be identical, so that the competition is purely among the crews. I know that I've heard something in the commentary about the rowers' weight having to be within some specific range.

    I didn't see a lot of pitching, but I did notice that at the end of each stroke, there's an impact that shakes the boat as the seats hit their stops.
  3. keith66
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    keith66 Senior Member

    Boats by various manufacturers do differ though only marginally.
    Fine boat rowers do not run the seat up against the stops rather a few mm short. The check effect of the rower's mass changing direction has been well documented and is the subject of much training & research to try to minimise its effect. The sliding rigger where the rower sits still with the rigger sliding back & forth with the footrest attached to it is rather more efficient and was being rapidly taken up in the early eighties until Fisa banned it supposedly due to increased costs. In reality it had more to do with conservatism.
    Sliding riggers are now coming back in recreational boats and it will be interesting to see how long their ban for competition will continue.
  4. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

  5. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    The design is open within minimum length and weight limits. Lots of work has been done on pitch damping.

    I had a good look over Redgrave's 5th winning boat that's now displayed in the Thames River Museum in Henley. I was stunned at how crude the rudder was and its fairing with the hull. I wonder if they just put a dummy one in so as to not to give away too much about the real one.
  6. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Pitching seems to be evident only on the boats with fewer crew. On the eights, there seems to be none visible. There is considerable heaving on each stroke though. How this can be eliminated or if it is detrimental, I don't know. I do think the idea of having a fixed seat and movable rig and oarlock system will be an advantage if it is allowed. That should reduce the level of lost forward momentum due to shifting crew weight during the power stroke. The Romanians were caught between strokes at the finish of the gold medal race in eights yesterday and it cost them the race to the Netherlands. Phelps won his 8th gold in the same way.

    There is probably not much to be gained in boat design within the rules.
  7. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    THere is good information here:
    and here:

    Rick W.
  8. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

  9. juiceclark

    juiceclark Previous Member

    It's all about the slide baby. I have a Maas 24 which is considerably slower than the Maas racing shell which is 27' long. Although just a bit wider, the 24 is slower because at the catch of each stroke my fatass weight is forward, the bow digs in and slows the boat. At the finish of each stroke my weight is aft, the bow is up and the shell runs very nicely. Therefore, the longer the shell the less the bow digs at the catch and the faster it will run. Of course, you have to figure the extra friction drag from a longer boat...that's why you don't see a 30' rowing shell.(single)
    That is why the sliding rigger has been outlawed for competitive use in rowing. By sliding the rigger instead of the rower (attached) there is no pitch and one can use a much shorter boat to lessen friction and enjoy a pure glide without the bow diggin' in.

    1982 World Championships had three sliding rigger boats that took first, second and third...then were banned:

    You can put one in your canoe:
  10. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Thanks for the links Tony. I had never heard of the sliding rig before but it's clear that there is an advantage in not shifting the big butt around, as you say.
  11. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

  12. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Watching the olympic 8 with cox, there is little pitch but slight heave. In sharp contrast the C2 boats were jumping up and down like mad. Of course the C2 paddlers were powerful but the boats bouncing around as they did seemed to me a terrible waste of all that muscle power. The K2s did not behave in the same manner as the C2. It appeared that the K2s were much faster too.
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