But if you want to sail upwind, and row well, you need a boat with a lot of flare in the hull and a shape that provides excellent secondary stability. Joel White's Shearwater and his 18' version of the boat are good examples. Another ideal example is the dory. What I love about the dory is that it is narrow at the waterline and flares out to a generous width, for a rowboat, at the rail, usually 4'8-5'. The Deblois Street Dry is nearly 5' at the rail. The stability this shape produces lends itself to sailing (see photo of me sitting on D St D's gunwale), but the narrow width at the waterline when the boat is not heeled means that it will row well. The double ended shape of the waterline on a dory keeps the ends fine for rowing ability. Drake shows a similar shape (see photo): narrow waterline, 4'1" at the gunwales provides secondary stability.
The Marblehead Gunning Dory is, to me, perhaps the perfect boat. If I could have only one boat (let's not think about that...what a shame that would be!), I would have a gunning dory or a Swampscott Dory. Come to my annual
Shop Talk & Messabout
to see both of these dory types in the flesh and meet two experts on dories: Sam Manning and Walter Wales.
Thank you to Chris Partridge, blogger in the UK:
Rowing for Pleasure
for bringing up the subject of rowing vs sailing characteristics in a boat