Guide to Rowboats

Rowboat : What is it?


Rowboats are the simplest and most common types of boats. They do not rely on motors or engines and are often used in inland water areas. Studies have shown that rowing produces a good all-around workout. If you would like to burn more calories and fat, consider rowing rowboats as an alternative to tennis or jogging. Rowing can build your upper body and upper extremity muscles.

Also known as dinghies, rowboats are characterized by thwarts and rowlocks or oarlocks. A thwart is used as a seat and is made of a crosspiece expanding the rowboats' gunnels or gunwales. Oars are secured in place using oarlocks placed on the boats' gunwales. These oarlocks are holders that act as the oars’ fulcrum.  With a good pair of oars, rowboats continually glide through water with each steady stroke.

Rowboats are often used as fishing boats. Because they are powered with oars, they do not move noisily through lakes and saltwater and therefore do not scare away fish. They are also used as leisure boats out on scenic lakes. Add a sail and they double as sailboats. They may also be used as yacht tenders for transporting passengers from the dock or marina to their yacht.

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Types of Rowboats


Kinds of Rowboats include the following:

Sculling rowboats

Sculling rowboats are made of teak and fiberglass. They are usually 14 to 17 feet long and are equipped with single or double sculls. Smaller sculling rowboats are meant to be rowed by one person, while bigger boats can be rowed by two. They come with sliding and removable seats that may seat up to four persons, traditional rowboat style. A sculling rowboat is ideal for recreational rowers and fishers.

Sailing rowboats

Like sculling rowboats, sailing rowboats are usually 14 to 17 feet long and are equipped with single or double sculls. They usually come with freestanding masts that slip easily and haul up in seconds. Most sailing rowboats have average rowing speeds of 5 knots and are equipped with large kick-up rudders. They come with sliding seat units, hinged outriggers, and open water oars.

Rowing catamarans

Usually made of lightweight fiberglass and stainless steel, catamarans are specifically made for sunbathers. They are long boats that have enough room for two persons who want to lie down and bask in the sun. They are equipped with long oars and launching wheels for easier maneuverability in the water. They usually come with twin hulls for maximum stability.


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Choosing Rowboats (Buying tips)

Materials used: Choose rowboats that are made with durable wood like teak. This wood contains natural oils that allow you to clean your boats easily. Also, teak oil prevents the wood from decaying, allowing your boat to last several decades. Consider rowboats that use treated or coated wood to prevent ultraviolet light damage and mildew build-up.

Size: Common rowboats can seat at least two persons, while 17-foot rowboats can seat up to five persons. If you have big passengers, consider rowboats that have adjustable seats. Go for fuller hulls and sterns.

Accessories: Choose rowboats with covers made of plastic, canvas, or Lexan. These covers slip on top of your boat and prevent the inside from getting wet during storage. For a more comfortable ride, choose rowboat cushions made of high-density foam. These cushions are placed on top of your rowboat’s wooden seats. Consider oar, boom, and sail covers that prevent the delicate wood from cracking or splitting when exposed to different temperatures. For easy transport of rowboat to the marina, consider getting your rowboat a dolly. This dolly is equipped with wheels and a sturdy frame that can connect to your car or truck so you can bring your rowboat anywhere with you. Make sure to choose a rustproof and corrosion-resistant dolly.

Maintenance: Choose a good maintenance kit for your rowboats. Most rowboat manufacturers offer their own line of waxers, cleaners, and oils to polish and maintain your rowboat. These oils and creams usually help seal the wood from moisture and mildew build-up. Consult with your rowboat manufacturer for the appropriate cleaning and maintenance kit for your rowboat.


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Fishing Rod Holders
Fuel Filters
Inflatable Boats
Inflatable Canoes
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Outboard Motor Brackets
Outboard Motor Stands
Outrigger Canoes
Paddle Boats
Pedal Boats
Pontoon Boats
Pontoon Boat Covers
Pontoon Boat Lifts
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Portable Fuel Tanks
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Sail Boats
Solo Canoes
Water Shoes
Weather Stations
Wooden Boats
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