Forward facing rowing system feedback?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by kayaker50, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. kayaker50
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: Raleigh, N.C.

    kayaker50 Junior Member

    Ancient kayaker,
    I love my kayaks, but I love my dory too. The dory is more seaworthy, has more cargo capacity and is better exercise. If I could face forward while rowing it might become my number one boat, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Maybe I just need a bigger kayak...
     
  2. Easy Rider
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: NW Washington State USA

    Easy Rider Senior Member

    K50
    Bigger kayaks are not much fun. Kinda like driving an old station wagon or a VW Golf.

    I'd say if you really like the concept of front rowing I'd be inclined to work w the Gig Harbor people and get a system ordered. Their other products are first rate and craftsmen are seldom very sales oriented or talented communicators. In the end I'm pretty sure you'll be pleased.

    And then you can tell me how they work ...... ha ha.

    I however am close enough to Gig Harbor to go visit them and .....................
     
  3. tspeer
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: Port Gamble, Washington, USA

    tspeer Senior Member

    For me one of the attractions of a forward-facing system is to go rowing with my wife. I have a Sea Ranger 2 wherry with a Piantedosi sliding seat. The boat is designed to handle either one or two sliding seats. If I put in a front-facing system, we would be able to face each other and converse. My hearing isn't so good these days, and it can be hard for me to hear someone behind me, or that is facing away from me. I think being able to face each other would be a much more pleasant time on the water.
     
  4. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Being able to see where I am going is the main point for me as I routinely paddle in an area with narrow bridges and - well you can guess . . .
     
  5. Easy Rider
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Easy Rider Senior Member

    K 50,
    Have you read "Rowing to Latitude"? They convert large expedition kayaks (Necky's) into rowing boats and do incredible trips all around the world. The book is a great read and you might get ideas.

    Ron Rontilla of "frontrower.com" produces an 18' tandem rowing boat kit you may find interesting.
     
  6. Mystic Point Water Sports
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    Mystic Point Water Sports New Member

  7. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    When I got my first Maas and figured out I better get some instruction one "Club" said it was gonna start at about $2000 over several months as the "bare minimum". I went elsewhere $70 for 2 2hr lessons and missed the 2nd and seemed to do "fine" but I hear there is quite a bit "to it" to do it right, and you can row longer and feel better if you have the posture and fit all dialed in.

    After a few weeks I thought I had it figured out, then I run across a guy who had a clue and he changed up my technique and what a difference.
     
  8. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    how about slapping a rowing rig onto an old Hobie etc cat hulls?

    Those are 10 cents a ton all day long around here and it seems its the rudders,rigging and sails that go, not the hulls.

    Sure be lot heavier than propose build one man craft, but also lot more useful.
     
  9. blisspacket
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Location: st augustine

    blisspacket Junior Member

  10. jdrower
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Greenville NC

    jdrower Junior Member

  11. clmanges
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    clmanges Senior Member

    I tried that when I had a little plastic rowboat (Small Plastic Boat | Canada & USA | Backwater Boats https://plasticboats.com/). If the mirror trick had worked I'd still be rowing. I enjoyed the exercise, and the boat made way better than it had a right to--probably because it only weighed 50 lbs.

    I like the features inherent in the FrontRower, but for the life of me I can't figure out how a person could get in and out of that contraption without help, and once you're in you're kinda trapped there. Besides, sliding-seat rowing is bad for my replaced hip

    If I wanted to go back to rowing (and I'd have to buy a boat for it) I'd just go with the Gig Harbor rig. It doesn't permit feathering (which would likely hurt my arthritic wrists anyway), but it's not such a budget-buster and doesn't occupy a lot of space. Plus it looks foolproof and low-maintenance, unlike the others with steel springs and other parts that may need careful attention.
     
  12. jdrower
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Greenville NC

    jdrower Junior Member

    This is not a sliding seat. It can be adjusted to your comfort level but only your legs and arms move during propulsion.

    Secondly, at 74 I'm not limber so wanted to feel more secure getting in and out (wish the dock were a foot lower). I got a 2" metal pipe flange and screwed it into the deck in the back yard. I screwed an 18" long 2" nipple into the flange and put a cap on the top. As I get into the canoe, starting with my right leg, I rest my left hand on the pipe cap to steady myself. The canoe is secured with a line at the bow with a dock cleat next to the bow, and a cleat at the aforementioned pipe. I-ve recently extended the pipe with a coupling and another 12" nipple. I'll probably replace the coupling with a t-fitting and I'll add a 9" nipple to the t-fitting so that I have two places (at 18" and 30") where I can balance myself. The 2" choice was to to provide a wider base to prevent pulling the flange out of the dock. I've attached a photo. Windy day here in the SF Bay Area. The photo also shows how the oars are attached.
     

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  13. larson6011
    Joined: Jul 2020
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    Location: portland, or

    larson6011 New Member

    Looking for a frontrower system, some years ago you indicated you had one but didn't use it much, am looking to buy one? is yours for sale or you know any that might be? Thanks, larson6011
     
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