Dave Gentry designs beautiful, light, easily-built boats.
In correspondence with Dave, I mentioned that I wanted to
“…review/do analysis/opinion on various boats that either are row cruisers (RowCruiser for example) or could be used as is/converted into a rowed cruiser.”After giving me permission to use photos and text from his site, Dave wrote back:
“I think the Gunning Dory, in particular, would fit the bill the best. In fact, that's what it was meant for, really, and that is certainly what the prototype is being used for. I am considering building a version with either one or two enclosed shelters/cabins at either end, and calling it the Expedition Dory.”
|Dave Gentry's SOF Chamberlain Gunning Dory|
|And the Framework for the Gunning Dory|
The Dory is 18' 4” x 4' 8” (5.59m x 1.42m). She weighs between 120-150lbs (54-68kg). She certainly has the size and capacity (maximum recommended capacity is four adults (with gear)) to be a rowing cruiser for one or two people.
My concern is that there is a lot of windage and she could be easily blown off course, especially given her light weight.
Given her length, Dave’s idea of adding “one or two enclosed shelters/cabins” would make her very attractive for sleeping on board.
I wrote back to Dave:
“Actually, the boat I was considering reviewing was Ruth, but with much ‘decking’ and a cover for sleeping… my concern about the Gunning Dory is windage…I’d see Ruth as probably ideal… narrow bottom, high length to breadth ratio, light weight, low ends…”
|Dave Gentry's Ruth|
Dave wrote back expressing concern about the sides being too low for open water.
As set up, I agree. What if we added fore and aft decks as well as side decks (all made with fabric) along with a 2-3 inch (50mm-75mm) coaming, such as this model of a Michalak Larsboat converted to an oar cruiser?
|Michalak's Larsboat Oar Cruiser Conversion|
Dave wrote back:
“[adding side, fore and aft decks] would add some safety and reserve buoyancy, at the expense of cockpit space. Might work fine, though I still think the sides are too low amidships.”Later, Dave added:
“Ruth is still my fav, and I row the original whenever I can.”
I agree, Ruth is one slick, fast rowboat, and with decks and a ‘tent’, I think she’d be a beautiful oar cruiser for coastal waters.
Ruth weighs 45lbs (21kg), is 18' x 33" (5.5m x 84cm), with a maximum recommended capacity of 350lbs (160kg).
Do you think Gentry’s Ruth, with decks and a removable ‘tent’, would make a good oar cruiser… why or why not? Please comment below.
The next post will focus on sliding seats/riggers, commercial and custom made.