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 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

Open Water Rowing in Casco Bay

"I like to get out there sit in the swell and look out" is how I think of a pleasant row in my home waters of Casco Bay, Maine. Along with dreaming of boats, like Culler's Otter, I dream of where to go in the boats. Next year's big row is out to Halfway Rock in the middle of Casco Bay, about 15 mile offshore. 

Rowing in open water like this scares the hell out of me. When I sit there, in the swell, looking out, the butterflies flutter inside, making it more challenging to assess the situation and peruse the mental checklist of precautions. Weather window, ferry traffic, tidal currents, my energy level, time of day, schedule back on land, amount of food in the dry bag, do I have all the gear I need, what is plan B, plan C....

But I am learning that these butterflies are annoying but good; they keep me alive and ultimately confident. Once I am out there in open water, and I am feeling strong, confident in the boat, and having a blast, I relax and therefore row better. In my open water boat, Drake, I can cover about 4 nm per hour and that is an average. Time slips away and life is good. Christmas has been wonderful, and the weather cold, and now I begin to plan big rows for next year. I am training for long distance rows and hope to make a 20-mile row somewhat routine. Halfway Rock, located below the 'Not' in "Not for Navigational Use" is uncannily "halfway" between the Eastern and western points that define Casco Bay. It is an exposed rocky isle with a lighthouse. Landing there will be difficult, so when I row there next summer, it will be my longest pull yet, at least 25 miles total, depending on the exact route.

Time to dream, be patient as the sun makes its way back north, and time to get in shape!

A Pete Culler Otter for Christmas

With a little time off to sit back at Christmas and reflect, new boats are dreamed of day and night and usually they are rowboats or sail-and-oar boats. Another problem is that I have many charts framed and hanging on my walls. So, it is far too easy to day dream of excursions in these new boats. Thus, for Christmas, I want a Pete Culler Otter for myself and to offer potential customers who also dream of rowboats and rowing. It is said by those who have rowed an Otter that is is about as fast as you can go in a fixed seat boat, though it is more oriented towards protected waters. Otter is 17-1/2' long, 3' beam, and draws 3". She is a narrow, flat bottom, double ended skiff (a 'clipper bateau, Culler calls it) that is cross planked on the bottom and carries three strakes of cedar on each side, with no gunwale timbers at all, and is pure simplicity. To get an oar span wide enough, Culler made extra long oarlocks which created the spread he needed to use up to 8' long oars. Culler is a giant in my mind, particularly with regards to oarmaking and rowing. I'll be teaching people how to make Culler style oars in a Wooden Boat School course and Lowell's Boatshop. Otter would make for a very light traditional boat, even planked all solid timber. I would use the newer flexible epoxies to glue the splines, bottom boards together and other sealants in the laps to get a trailerable, traditional boat. Here are some pictures I pulled from a thread in the Wooden Boat Forum about the Otter, and I appreciate the information the guys there have provided about this fabulous boat by Capt. Pete. I'd love to hear from others interested in this boat or about oars and rowing, Feel free to contact me by email or leave comments below. More on the Otter will be my Clint Chase Boatbuilder soon.

Oars and Rowing at the Wooden Boat School

Clint will be teaching his Traditional and Modern Oarmaking course at the Wooden Boat School in July 2010. There are a huge number of wonderful course offerings up there this year and Clint is proud and honored to be a part of the scene.

Students will leave the course with actual, usable, and beautiful oars to put on the gunwales of there boats and go rowing. If anybody wants to make a paddle instead, the skills and processes involved are no different from oar making and we'd be happy to have you in the course.

You can visit Wooden Boat School's on-line course catalog for more information and also see my website for more information about our line of oars, stock and custom made.