Drake Rowboat

Some Articles on My Boats

Recently two came out, one in Small Boats Monthly and the other on the brand new, UK-based Barnacle Bill. Small Boats covered the Calendar Islands Yawl and Barnacle Bill had a piece by a customer in the UK who has built and avidly rows a Drake 17.


A Calendar Islands Yawl based in Duluth, MN


The orogonal Drake 17 rowed by me in one of the Small Reach Regattas

Sorry these may not show much unless you have a subscription. Believe it or not I don't read much boats stuff....but these are very well worth he money. Both rags will require good contact and readership. So far the writing is excellent!

Happy September!

Late Summer Update and Announcement

The KDI project is fully funded thanks to a group of enthusiastic sponsors. Thank you! I now have a lot of work to do through October!

Drake Raceboat in perspective (more screenshots below)
In November and December I hope to have funding to further develop the Drake Raceboat. A campaign to get this crowdfunded begins. Three sponsors at $600 each (or six at $300) will get the project funded and you will get a full suite of plans, and preferred status for first kit cutting with a 10% discount. Please contact me at boatkits@gmail.com if interested. The final design brief for the DRB is as follows:

  • A fast rowboat in the Drake spirit optimized for single, fixed- or sliding-seat rowing
  • Ideal for fitness rowing and the open water racing curcuit 
  • 18'3" LOA (kit) stretchable up to 20' by spacing out molds (plans)
  • Waterline length almost 17', 27 1/2" waterline beam
  • Max beam is set at 4' so boat can be rowed in fixed seat class with 8 1/2' oars
  • Sliding seat is an equal option in this boat, the Poseidon rig being the ideal, using sculling length oars
  • Oarlocks for sliding seat can be mounted using Shaw and Tenney oarlock brackets or a custom made outrigger that fastens to gunwales (TBD)
  • 5 kts speed potential race pace with 6kts in sprints
  • Flotation tanks optional in sides or ends, but more likely flotation bags will be used and canvas decks to shed water
  • Glued lapstrake construction, 4 strakes per side (4mm), no fiberglass 
  • Estimated weight below 75 lbs at kit length
  • Numbers from computer model"
Cp = 0.58
Volume Displacement = 306 lbs
Center of Buoyancy = 53.9% aft
Wetted Surface Area = 27.74 sf
Waterline Length = 16' 11 1/2"
Maximum Waterline Beam = 27.6781"
Water Plane Area = 24.5 sf
Center of Floatation = 53% aft
MSA 70.1711896 (+/- 1e-08) square inches

More screenshots from the computer model of the DRB

Drake 19 hull #1 built on Cape Cod

I took a pleasant 3 1/2 hr trip down to Wellfleet, MA, way out on the arm of Cape Cod, to meet Walter Baron of Old Wharf Dory Co. and see the first ever Drake 19 "in the flesh".

Walt of Old Wharf, boatbuilder on Cape Cod

The boat looked great to me. I was so pleased. Even as the designer, I was struck by how much boat there is; it is 19'2" LOA afterall. Designed to be an open water, cruising rowboat for one, the boat would also make an excellent tandem rowboat for rows in the harbor or in more open water.
Drake 19 rightside up.
The interior has two side tanks on either side of the sliding seat system. The tanks will help the boat be self rescuable, with some additional flotation in the ends, The rails slide right into precut holes in the frames of the boat. Everything fits just so.
Sliding seat system integrates into the CNC cut structure of the boat
After this build, and with a few months to finish out the drafting and writing of the manual, the boat will be available as a kit.

NEW! Drake 19

On the Drawing Board

New Drake 19 for tandem rowing, cruising and expeditions

For Fixed Seat or Sliding Seat Rowing

This new version of the Drake Rowboat -- my first design/build project -- really combines all that I have learned as a designer and rower and builder over the years. She is intended with the following brief:

-- fast, stable cruising rowboat
--capacity for two people and gear
--fixed or sliding seat capable
--can sleep aboard on platform under a tent 
--sailing downwind is possible

Drake 19 modeled in Rhino

An important aspect of the boat is its simple sliding seat system : 7/8" o.d. stainless steel pipes run for and aft with 15" of separation on center. The pipes are integrate into the CNC cut structure. A plywood seat-roller floats over these pipes. Any oarlock system can be used, including leathered-round oars, Douglas oarloacks, C2 oarlocks, or the folding outriggers by Shaw and Tenney. However, I think for voyaging in open water that oar-on-gunwale will be the best way, using traditionally leathered oars in horn-oarlocks or to go with pinned oars. I do think 9-9 1/2' oars would be fine for experienced rowers, using folding outriggers to get the spread for the longer oars.

Midship section of the Drake 19 showing the sliding seat system.

The floorboards are show both sitting on the inner keel as floors and raised up and sitting on the pipes to make an over 8' long sleeping platform that finishes flush with the side tanks. These side tanks double as a sleeping platform and as flotation, making the boat self-rescuable in a capsize. 

Keep posted for 3D work which starts very soon.