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Left to right, Vireo, Flint and an Adirondack Guide Boat (T. Clarke)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Clint Chase’s Drake as an Oar Cruiser


Drake, Clint Chase’s first, and one of his best looking, rowboats is 17’ 4” (5.3m) long, (15’ 3” [4.6m LWL]), 4’ 2” (1.25m) wide, 6” (0.15m) draft and 12½” (0.32m) depth amidships.


Clint Chase's Drake

The sail area of the downwind sail (“Squgsail”) is 60 square feet (5.6 square meters). The hull weighs approximately 110 lb (50Kg), made with 1/4” (6mm) Okume. She is available in both kit and plans only form.

Drake Perspective View

Drake has a full length shallow keel which enables her to be sailed on a beam reach… no centerboard nor leeboards necessary. The sail is truly auxiliary power to a pure rowing boat.

Drake Sailing Downwind

Though designed to be a fixed seat rower, the interior (see construction photo below) could be made to accommodate a sliding seat/rigger.

Interior during Construction

Clint designed her to “…take care of (the rower) in open water.” He has made many passages across Casco Bay in Maine which is notorious for rough conditions due to tides and winds.

Rowing in Whitecaps

Drake can certainly be used as an open oar cruiser, either sleeping on board (with one or two thwarts removable and sleeping platform added) or shore camping.  However, to make an ‘oar cruiser’ as defined in this blog, I would add skin-on-frame decking, a shelter and floorboards  to provide a sleeping platform.

As Clint states…
“Drake was certainly inspired by a number of boats by reputable designers. But I wanted to go leaner and faster than the other traditional fixed-seat rowboat plans showed and I had already learned that a great rowboat must also be lightweight.”
He’s accomplished his design requirements with a beautiful, fast boat that could be easily converted into a fully realized Oar Cruiser.

Tell us what you think in the Comments below…

13 comments:

  1. Beautiful design I have been considering for some time. Can anyone who has built from plans tell me how complete they are and are they clear and well illustrated for a first time builder?

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    1. Chris, i can put you in touch with a couple customers if you'd like.

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    2. Also wanted to add that I'm working on the 2nd generation kit. Hull will be largely the same but the kit and plans will be hugely updated. A couple folks have decided to wait. I anticipate being ready by years end.

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  2. There is a plans build log on the WoodenBoat forum, Osbert Lancaster's "Selkie".
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?178616-Drake-17-rowboat

    If I did not already have a row cruiser I would build Drake.

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    1. Thanks, I saw that. I think Osbert is an experienced craftsman (he built a Walkabout first, after all, and everything I read indicates Welsford boats are intricate) and the problem is, I do not yet consider myself one so real step by step, well illustrated, minimal jargon building manuals would be comforting. I own many Michalak plans and they are ok but all text so you really need both his book and a well illustrated building blog to follow them. That is ok, but I would prefer a prettier set of lines if available.

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  3. I agree with Rick... If I had the room, Drake would be at the top of my list of other boats to build.

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  4. Sounds good - I would be happy to see the new plans if they can be putchased separately.

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    1. Christopher, Clint sells plans independent of his kits. I assume he'll do the same with Drake version 2.

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  5. Just made and lost a long reply, so short now! I am that Osbert. Craftsman?! Epoxy and paint cover a multitude of sins. I could never build a clear finished boat.

    Drake plans and support are excellent. She's a relatively simple boat to build and very few parts.

    Go for it!

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  6. Hi Osbert... good to hear from you... Your Walkabout, and now your Drake are an inspiration to many!
    Did you build Drake from plans or his kit?

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  7. I built Drake from plans. I made a few adaptations, in particular I used solid wood not ply for the frames, and I built buoyancy tanks for and aft. On reflection it might have been sensible to make these higher to provide a deck, but I wanted to stay minimal and keep the weight down, also looks! I'm going to make fabric spray deck for and aft for launching and landing in heavy seas.

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    1. Hi Osbert... thanks for info... love to see photos of your Drake with fabric decks (driving through heavy surf(-:)... I'd like to put up a post of your boat on this site to include photos and your commentary, if you don't mind... Tom

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