Jon Aborn rowing his Monument River Wherry #3 at the Wellfleet Rowing Rendezvous , 2015.  Barry Donahue photo.

This page will be dedicated to rowing for pleasure. I will be sharing knowledge, speculation, photos, and whatever comes to mind on the subject


Here's a scan of the photo and thanks published in the Provincetown Banner last week... 

That's Ann Freyss and her daughter Skye rowing a Stretched Light Dory ... 

That's Ann Freyss and her daughter Skye rowing a Stretched Light Dory ... 

The 5th Annual Wellfleet Rowing Rendezvous was a great success, with 15 boats and about 50-60 people attending and rowing. Here's  one comment:"Walter,  Just wanted to thank you for hosting the glorious event last Saturday. We had a great time and look forward to attending this rendezvous in the future. " Weather was foggy and misty, but that did not affect the rowing. Here's a small gallery of photos I took, there are a lot more on the Facebook page...



Here's a link to a short photo album of the Spring Rowing Rendezvous put on by the Caps Cod Chapter of the TSCA, mentioned below. It was a beautiful day, about 10 boats were there, I rowed most of them. Nice job, Bill Stirling and the boys.

The Banks Dory...

The Banks Dory...


The Cape Cod Chapter of the TSCA is holding a Spring Rowing Rendezvous in Hyannis. I will be there with the Pat Brown Adirondack Guide Boat I have for sale. Come on down and take it for a row!

A great boat- full length red cedar strip planked, glassed and varnished inside and out.

A great boat- full length red cedar strip planked, glassed and varnished inside and out.


Finally a little something new on this page-! Here's a photo of my Gloucester Gull getting some paint prep. Weather went to crap after this photo was taken, so no progress due to a  couple of weeks rain...

The Gull, sanded, bottom painted, spot primed...

The Gull, sanded, bottom painted, spot primed...


Every year I get a calendar of photographs of commercial fishing in New England from C.E. Beckman Co. These photos are mostly from about 100 years ago up to recently. The cover of the 2017 calendar shows a working Swampscott dory that I thought would be fun to post.

A working Swampscott Dory


Here is a short slide show of the Savo 575 that I built recently - see it at the 11th Annual Cape Cod Boat Builder's Show next February!


I am proud to announce that the 4th Annual Wellfleet Rowing Rendezvous will be held on September 24, 2016, Mayo Beach, Wellfleet MA 02667, from 2 to 5 pm. Bring a boat to row, or just come on down and enjoy an afternoon on the water, "messing about in boats". This event is free.


Here's a beautiful photo of a Natant Dory I built for Lee Scarborough in 2005. The dory lives in Nova Scotia, where this photo was taken. Lee rows with his wife,  and sails the boat also. Here's a comment from Lee -

"....she has been an incredibly successful boat for us - my wife is handicapped now but fine from the waist up, and she loves to row around the many islands and slate outcroppings in our area with me. (the boat is named Duet for that reason).  I sail her also, and with her deep centerboard, narrow beam, and generous rig she sails extremely well.  I sail her like a dingy, hiking out in the Atlantica half mile from our float, and surfing the waves back into harbor in a strong SW wind.  "

Thanks for this great photo, Lee.


Here are a couple of photos of the Bevin's Skiff that I built for the Wellfleet Historical Society last fall. They are going to raffle off the skiff this summer. The skiff is set up for rowing and sailing, and comes with 7'6" Shaw & Tenney oars and the full sail rig including all spars, sail, running rigging, etc. Contact me if you want tickets, $10.00 each, 5 for $40.00. 


Here's a link to a very interesting rowing site from Australia - Gaco Oarlocks . I will be trying out his oarlocks sometime this summer. His oar design also looks very interesting.


This video is about the Sinne 610 Sea Trial

Here's a short report on the sea trials  (actually a pond trial...) of the Sinne 610 I built this past winter. We launched the boat into Gull Pond, Wellfleet on a beautiful Saturday morning, 4/9/16, and rowed both single and double. The 8' oars fit in the stern great, I would definitely use 8's in the stern, flat blades. I had a pair of 7'6'' for the bow, they overlapped about 6'', a hand's width. I prefer not to overlap, so 7' oars would work great in the bow. With 2 old guys rowing, we hit 4 knots easily. With some practice I think you could hit 5 kts no problem, and row at 3-3 1/2 kts all day. The boat is very steady. It is a bit heavier than the racing boats, right at 200 lbs (100 kilos or so), so it takes a couple of strokes to get moving, but when you get up to speed, it feels like it can go forever . It carries way between strokes very well, and I think that when it's loaded with gear it will have good momentum. One person rowing from the stern is very comfortable and feels well balanced. Rowing facing forward I got an easy 2 knots, and pulling 3 knots was an easy pace. Photos are below.

Here's a link to a very interesting rowing blog - Oar Cruising . Info on long distance rowing, gear, boats, etc.

My current fall/winter 2015/16 build is the Siine 610, another design by Ruud Van Veelen.This is an expedition/camping cruiser, pretty big and beamy with lots of storage space and plenty of stability. We are not using the wheels, nor the tent. Check out the build photos on my Facebook page.

Sinne 610 hull

Here is a drawing of the Atlantic 17, a very nice rowing boat designed by Jon Persson. I rowed this boat at the last Wellfleet Rowing Rendezvous, and liked it very much. It is a combination of L. Francis Herreshoff's  Row Boat and the Chamberlain Gunning Dory. It can be rowed by one or two persons, has adjustable thwarts , and can slide on or off a beach with the narrow flat bottom. I am seriously considering this boat for my next rowing craft. Give me a call or send an email if you would like to have one built.Click on the Atlantic 17 link above to go to the designer's web site for some more photos and information.