Jim Michalak's Vireo is 12' (3.66m) long, 45" (114.3cm) wide and about 60 pounds (27kg) empty. Made with 3 sheets of 1/4" (6mm) plywood. I've rowed this a number of times... found it very stable, easy to row and surprisingly fast for a 12' boat... sustained speed at 3.5 mph (5.6 kh) and 'sprint' to about 5 mph.
This is an overview of the plans, with a picture of my friend Paul's Vireo.
|Vireo at Round Valley Resevoir, NJ|
- Full deck with cockpit opening 4'6" (137cm) long, 2'6" (76cm) wide and 13" (33cm) deep to the top of the floorboards.
- Overall cockpit 6'6" (198cm) long, extending under the foredeck.
- Aft deck (crowned about 2" (5cm) 2'6" (78cm) long. The after bulkhead moved aft 6" to support the deck.
- The fore deck (also crowned) 5' (1.5m) long and the forward bulkhead moved forward to enable full 6'6" interior length of the cockpit.
- Oar locks installed on short outriggers (removable) hooked onto the coaming.
- Appropriate hatches to allow access to the fore and aft waterproof compartments.
- A full length cockpit floor to provide a flat sleeping area and provide adjustable stops for the rowing seat and footrest.
- Two bows to support a cover at night.
- Note that the only changes to the original planned construction are the movement of the two bulkheads. All else are additions.
- I'd estimate the weight of the completed Oar Cruiser to be approximately 100 pounds (45kg).
Pictured below is an 8:1 scale model of the conversion described above, with 8' (2.4m) spoon blade oars.
|Proposed Conversion of Vireo: Scale 8:1|
|Top View of Model|
|Cockpit Interior, Seat, Foot Rest and Outriggers|
I can picture rowing down Barnegat Bay (NJ) in the late fall after all the jet skis are put away... listening to the gulls and terns... a cold breeze keeping the perspiration at bay... anchoring at dusk... tucked into a shallow cove behind a sedge grass knoll... buttoning up the cover and settling down to a hot cup of coffee and meal of Dinty Moore beef stew... roll out the sleeping pad and bag... sweet dreams!
Please comment with your thoughts: What do you LIKE about this conversion? What do you DISLIKE? What SUGGESTIONS would you have to make it a more useful Oar Cruiser?
Originally published January 16, 2016.