RowMe by J R Holder, North Pole, Alaska

complete as of 22July
I bought my Row Me plans and epoxy kit in March. I thought from all I saw in the ads and testimonials that it would be a quick project. In relation to some of the others I see in the registry, I guess it was. I modified the plans in three relatively small areas. The shearwaters were split with sections of 3/8 ply x 1 5/8 added between the inner and outer shearwaters. The inner shearwater was the same height as the outer and the outer was milled with a round cope at the top and bottom. This gave me places to tie ropes to at various stations along the shearwaters. That was important to me since I will use the boat to supply my cabin and need to tie large loads to the boat on occasion.

The second modification was to make the sections of the seat supports under the seats open for storage, with foam filler outboard of those sections on either side. That gives me a place to stow a life preserver and bailing equipment. The third modification was suggested to me by a friend who is an experienced builder. He said that for river use in Alaska, The hull bottom would need strakes added to protect the hull from all the gravel bars I am bound to hit running in a glacial stream. I used side by side quarter round mouldings to effect the strakes and extended the skeg into a strake running the lenght of the hull bottom. I used Herculiner to protect the floor and non-sitting portions of the seats. This provided a non-slip surface which is helpful. I glassed the outside of the boat and put three coats of glass over the strakes and skeg. The outside of the boat was finished with 4 doublecoats of gelcoat. I built this Row Me to replace my Coleman scanoe which was stolen last fall. A new scanoe would have cost about $550. I think I have over $2000 in Row Me OH! It was an eye opener and a lot more work than I expected. I think a lot of that was due to my inexperiece with fiberglass projects. The finished project seems fully capable of carrying large loads, and with 8 foot oars it is very maneuverable.

Note: At the time of this posting the Fiberglass Kit is $270, the Stitch and Glue Kit $259. We would not usually put more than one layer of cloth on the hull. A full-length skeg can cause cavitation problems. It is usually ended at least 18" forward of the transom. See WebLetter 41.