Mark Wallace's Black Skiff

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Why Do Many People Hate to Row?

I hear these comments... "I can't see where I'm going when I row."... "My neck hurts when I row"... "I almost ran into a fisherman yesterday."

There are at least 3 solutions:

  1. Row facing forward by pushing on the oars, often standing up. Maine Coast fisherman used to do that at times so they could safely navigate the rocks as they came close to the shore.
  2. Use the FrontRower(TM) System ( Not only do you face forward, but you can use your legs and/or arms to row.
  3. Use a mirror. I use a Yamaha motorcycle mirror with an 8" stem: (
This is what I see when I'm rowing:

This is a close-up of the image in the mirror, It's difficult to see in this photo, but you can see about 10 degrees past the center line of the boat... sufficient to keep from running into another boat.

The mirror is bolted to a piece of oak held by a wing nut with lock washer on a stud coming up through the gunnel. Easy to remove... weather proof and effective.

If you haven't already done so, attach a mirror to your oar cruiser. It is definitely worth the effort.

Comment below with how you attached the mirror on your boat.


  1. I would hasten to add that adding a trolling motor to the back of your rowboat makes rowing alot funner. Free steering, so that it is pushing you along and yet you still have the ability to steer well.

    Also, adding a battery and an inverter and a set of 110 ac normal computer speakers, the kind that have a subwoofer, front left and right, center and rear left and right. Then, you can crank your tunes whilst you row. When I have another rower on my boat (mine can row 1 or 2 people, either), then having us both listening to the same music helps alot with us both rowing to the same beat, as well as increasing the fun factor

    1. Hi Tom... I remember watching one of your videos as you were rowing... multi-colored lights reflecting off the waves... classic rock surrounding you... and powering along at a comfortable 5-6 knots with an easy stroke... can't get much batter than that...

  2. I use a small mirror obtained from:
    The mirror is called the "Third Eye Clip on Mirror," and it clips onto one's glasses. Their website is being updated, and you can't find the mirror on the website, so you have to email them at their contact info. I LOVE the mirror, though, as a mirror, it does take some getting used to. I'm sure there are other bicycling mirrors that work just as well, but I highly recommend this product.

    The advantage of a mirror clipped to your glasses (should you of course wear glasses) over one attached to your rigger is that you have a full 180 degree vantage by turning your head.