The Whitehall Spirit® 14 Sailing rowboat is fast under sail and can easily exceed its rowing speed of 5 knots as it slips lightly across the water. First Time Out by Stephen Hodges - Stephen Hodges of Tallahassee, Florida forwarded us this letter he wrote to another admirer on his new Whitehall Spirit 14 sailing model’s first day afloat. The mainsail and jib are identical to those on the regular sailing model, although a clew outhaul tackle is included on the boom, and the mast is 6″ longer and rigged to hoist the roller furling light air jib.
The mast simply lifts out to stow within the boat and easily breaks down into two parts for easier onboard storage.
This sailing rowboat features built-in buoyancy forward and aft, and is shown here with the optional removable solid teak floorboard system.
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Rowing is perfectly feasible in locations that are way too rough for a racing scull or open water shell – the Whitehall is right at home in wind and waves.
All Whitehall Spirit® boats feature built-in buoyancy forward and aft, and is shown here with the optional removable solid teak floorboard system. For the traditional rower, this model represents a boat that is practical and perfect for rowing on lakes, rivers, or the ocean, and handles rough water very well. This basic Classic Whitehall Spirit® model is also available with single seat sculling gear.
The Whitehall Spirit® Tyee Sailing rowboat is very fast and easily exceeds its rowing speed of 5 knots as it slips lightly across the water.
Requiring only 6 inches of water with the keel and rudder fully retracted, the Tyee 14 can tuck into quiet and uncrowded spots. The mast and boom is made from clear, tight-grained Sitka spruce and coated with three coats of marine-quality varnish. This boat can achieve speeds that are considerably greater than its hull speed when sailing off the wind. Double Slide Seat Rowing Up the Thames, by Tom Gray - Tom Gray, owner of a Whitehall Spirit 17 double slide seat model, sends his short version of a rowing holiday he took with a good friend of his this May. For a slide seat rower, this sculling rowboat can row in locations that are way too rough for a racing scull or even an open water shell. The hinging bronze outriggers hold the sculls securely in place and can hinge fully inboard – totally convenient when landing at a dock, alongside a larger boat, or when on a trailer. This model features built-in buoyancy forward and aft, and is shown here with the optional removable solid teak floorboard system.
This model can also be purchased as a sailing boat or even a top-of-the-line expedition model. The ergonomics of the sculling gear is virtually identical to a racing shell, meaning there is no stress on the back, arms, or legs, and the oars are perfectly balanced to the rower. The Westcoast 11.6 sculling rowboat can carry passengers while in slide seat sculling mode, although some weight or another passenger forward will help to trim the hull for smooth rowing. Like all Whitehall Spirit® boats, it features built-in buoyancy forward and aft, and is shown here with the optional removable solid teak floorboard system.
Rowing, particularly in an easily pulled traditional rowboat design is an enjoyable and exceptionally healthy form of recreation. As you explore you become more fit, more alive, more responsive to your surroundings and more a part of them.
Friends or family can come along and share the aesthetic aspects of an activity that doesn’t pollute and adds nothing to the environment but peace and natural rhythms.
People attempting to row boats designed specifically for outboard motors have unfortunately developed a belief that rowing is hard work and slow going. Rowing is much more efficient than paddling because all the energy is utilized to drive the boat forward. If you are using a rowboat for the first time, wear a vest styled PFD (personal floatation device) and have someone nearby keep an eye on you. It’s a good idea to tell someone responsible where you are going and when you expect to return before a long row. If there is a chance of being out after dark it’s a good plan to carry a waterproof flashlight and perhaps some flares. Because you face aft (backwards) in a rowboat, you observe the places you’ve been instead of constantly watching where you’re going, a refreshing viewpoint! For added visibility and ease of handling in crowded conditions some boats can be rowed backwards or astern. Thought you’d like to know that I got my Whitehall Spirit 14 out on the water for the first time this weekend. The mast is also built in two parts with a carbon fiber sleeve, enabling compact stowage inside the boat.


An “Ocean Tender Floor” is available as well, which adds substantial extra reserve buoyancy (an important safety feature) to the boat, perfect for when the boat is used as a ship’s tender or shoreboat. The woodwork is solid teak finished in hand-rubbed oil, meaning maintenance is not an issue, and will require only about three hours per year. Rowing with a sliding seat uses 800 calories per hour, about double that of jogging without stress on the knees, joints, or connective tissues. Two or three strokes take her up to speed – the long, smooth glide needs to be experienced to be believed. On a sailing model, the slide seat unit is mounted in a position over top of the centerboard. An “Ocean Tender Floor” is available as well, which adds substantial extra reserve buoyancy to the boat (an important safety feature). The centerboard trunk containing the “rockproof” cast-bronze centerboard provides stability and ease of handling. Two or three strokes take her up to speed – the long, smooth glide needs to be experienced to be believed.
The slide seat sculling units can be removed in minutes, as well as the fixed seats installed for traditional rowing.
An a€?Ocean Tender Floora€? is available as well, which adds substantial extra reserve buoyancy (an important safety feature) to the boat, perfect for when the boat is used as a shipa€™s tender or shoreboat. You can row this boat in locations and conditions that are way too rough for a racing scull or even an open water shell.
It easily converts back to a traditional fixed-seat rowboat for transporting people or gear. In addition to strengthening arm, leg, back and stomach muscles it increases stamina and cardiovascular endurance. The comforting rhythm of the stroke promotes a sense of peacefulness as you explore small creeks and islands and row past quiet natural shorelines. You feel good and appreciate that your actions do not violate the stillness of the water environment. These boats are indeed hard to row in most conditions and difficult to dangerous under oars in high winds and waves.
As the oar is pivoted on the oarlock it acts as a long, powerful lever that wastes little energy and allows great distances to be traveled with little strain. Whitehall boats feature integral buoyancy tanks capable of keeping the boat up with crew aboard even when the hull is full of water. Know what the tide is doing and stage your rowing so that you’re going with the tidal flow as much as possible.
The pitch or angle of the blade as it enters the water at the beginning of the stroke is critical to controlling the oar. Sometimes pulling too hard will actually slow the boat by trying to force it to climb up on it’s own bow wave. A glance ahead every few strokes is enough to stay fully aware of your surroundings at rowing speeds in open water. The oarlock and seat arrangement in certain boats enable the rower to shift position and row facing forwards.
Pulling on the oars just feels so great as the boat surges ahead with every stroke, that people don’t notice their muscles, unaccustomed to this new activity, have been strained.
Boat speed can easily be maintained for smooth tacking in light airs, in spite of the long tracking keel. The mainsail on this standing lug style rig can be tacked across in full control using only the mainsheet. Copper rivets and roves are used on the gunnel, and the metal fittings are custom-cast bronze. The hinged bronze outriggers self-stow by folding inboard when not in use, resting on a copper coin inset into the solid teak fixed seat. Two full-sized rowing stations enable tandem rowing, or a choice of forward or aft (rear) rowing positions depending on the load aboard. The classic full-length keel keeps the boat tracking straight while under way, a very useful characteristic for long-distance rowing. When utilized as a yacht tender or at the cottage, the sliding seat sculling gear provides complete exercise and workout for the rower. The slide seat unit itself installs or removes in minutes, converting the boat back to a traditional oars-on-the-gunnel rowboat, perfect for carrying three or four persons or if an outboard motor is utilized. With no one aboard, simply pull the drain plug and the boat self-bails down to to a dry floor. Often their oarlock sockets are insufficiently strong or situated improperly adding to the unpleasant experience. Anyone who has attempted to paddle a canoe a considerable distance against a strong wind knows how tiring paddling can be.


In tandem rowing the person sitting in the bow position copies the stroke rate of their partner, staying carefully in time. Enjoying a tasty snack on an uninhabited islet or while simply drifting in the open sea is a savory experience.
On rivers, row upstream if you are not familiar with the stretch to avoid uncomfortable rapids or overfalls and make the return trip more relaxing. Smaller dinghies and tenders have the oars set so their grips are across from each other about 2 thumbs apart on the return stroke. If the pitch angle is too far forward the blade will wash out and splash along the surface. Take it easy, row gently and firmly, glance ahead every third or fourth pull to see what’s coming up.
The jib is useful in heavy winds when the main can be dropped, rolled on the boom, and stowed inside the boat next to the gunnel. In North America we will custom deliver your Whitehall Spirit® right to your door, dock or marina. Some owners fish for salmon or muskie, some use their boats as ships’ shoreboats, and others use them as their personal exercise machines.
In North America we will custom deliver your Whitehall SpiritA® right to your door, dock or marina.
On the sailing version of this model, the slide seat unit mounts over top of the centerboard well.
A good, steady rower in an efficient rowboat can maintain four or five knots for hours at a time. Older designs from before the age of the internal combustion engine are excellent rowboats. This insures that if the boat is capsized it can be re-righted and will float level and thus be capable of being baled out. A potato salad, croissants and pat, a sip of wine or a cold beverage with the sun beating down and a nice soft breeze while the water laps playfully on the hull; these sensations are the stuff of life not soon forgotten. Long sleeves or trouser legs can be rolled up for tanning or rolled down to prevent burning. On larger craft more leverage is gained, giving a more powerful stroke by overlapping the grips 5 inches or so.
This will feather the oars, bringing the blades parallel to the water’s surface reducing windage. Treat it as a gentle stretch exercise turning your head first one way, then the other way nest time.
Relax, enjoy the fresh air, the sounds of the water and one of the oldest pleasurable water experiences known.
We can arrange for worldwide shipping by air or sea and have provided crating and export assistance for over twenty years.
This boat is ideal for lakes and oceans, and is of course excellent for sculling in calm water and handles wind and waves with ease. It can easily be rowed by one, and can even be rowed facing forward by sitting in the aft (rear) position, by pushing the oars rather than pulling and utilizing the forward oarlocks.
A large stowage locker is built in, accessed through a hatch on the foredeck – a perfect spot for the dog to lounge.
Continue to adjust the pitch angle and you will find it is easy to determine when you have it right. John Gardner’s book Building Classic Small Craft will introduce you to many traditional rowboat designs. A foot brace or Stretcher will allow leg power to be used and more importantly anchor your position in the boat.
This sailing rowboat is perfect if you want to travel long distances, explore coastal waters, lakes, or rivers, or if you would simply like the best of the best.
A small sounding device such as an air horn or a whistle may also be required by Coast Guard.
To initiate the stroke, use your leg muscles, then your back, and finally pull with bended arms.
Needing only 6 inches of water with the keel and rudder fully retracted, it can tuck into quiet, unexplored, and uncrowded spots.



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