Introducing the Oxford Shell

I have been a water enthusiast my entire life–from power boating with my father as a child to sailing small sailboats as a teenager and eventually owning two sailboats (one large, one small) as an adult. I have also been an avid fan of rowing & sculling since my freshman year in college some thirty…. er, ah…a long time ago.

21 foot Oxford rowing shell – view 1

I recently acquired a stick-built Oxford shell (depicted). This is a wooden vessel… weighs somewhere on the order of 50 lbs or so… and is beautifully finished by the builder with multiple layers of varnish and a professional paint job below the water line. She is approximately 21 ft in length and a joy to row.

Some other photos follow this.

21 ft Oxford shell – a view of the Pantedosi rowing drop-in.

She features a Piantedosi rowing rigging (seat, stretchers, outriggers) and I have added a few things onto her, like a holder for my Garmin GPS unit and a seat-saver seat on top of the slide.

21 ft Oxford shell – in the water awaiting the rower.

She rides true and fast. I normally pace at about 20 strokes per minute, but have sprinted up to 24-26. She has just about a 2 ft beam. The key to stability is making sure the oars are in the water on the feather when getting in and out. Stability, balance and grace are the essence of rowing and it is like meditation rowing her.

Oxford shell on the Elk River; Elkton, MD

I am developing some rowing apps in iOS and Swift to assist in guiding and tracking her motion. As these are developed and rolled out, will be writing about them and sharing, as well.