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The Swift Dory Recreational Rowboat

Introduction to Rowboat

The "Swift Dory Rowboat" is a swift rowing dory which is a delight to row. It is probably the fastest one man rowboat available for recreational use. It is being offered with two rowing positions and a rudder so that it can be rowed in a variety of ways and with considerable ease. Apart from the elegant and efficient design, the ergonomics of rowing are very refined. In fact the GACO rowlock was developed as part of this refinement.

Dory History

Gaco Rowboat Design History

The Swift Dory hull shape has evolved over a period of a hundred years or more. It is based on the Adirondack Guide boat and drawn up by the American Halsey Herreshoff in 1947. It was refined by the famous small boat designer John Gardner to increase its seaworthiness. The Swift dory row boat has been further refined and adapted for fibreglass construction. Dories are a kind of rowing boat with a flat bottom originally designed to fit inside each other for use on fishing schooners. The flat bottom of the rowboat is a design feature particularly suited to speed as it permits of a narrow hull with adequate stability. Herreshoff described the hull as "falling between the fragile racing scull and the heavy ill shaped row boat of several hundred pounds". The hull is 5.5 m (17ft.) long 1.2 metres wide and weighs 51kg. Rowed with vigour it will travel at 6 knots and can easily do 5.

Applications for use of the Swift Dory Rowboat

There are many examples of the Swift Dory in use as commuter rowboats on Dangar Island where their ease of rowing, room and sea-worthiness is fully appreciated. They have been employed partly as a green solution to dangerous, noisy and smelly "tinnies". Recreational applications, however, are also an attraction and they are used for picnics, exploration and exercise. The Swift Dory row boat is capable of carrying up to six people but is designed to carry between one and four.