What do doctors say about the health benefits of rowing?
Does the boat come with a trailer? What do you
Can a 14' or 17' rowing or sailing model be rowed by
I am a big person. Which model would you recommend for
What's the difference between models?
Why do you use teak on the boats?
Why do Whitehall boats cost more than most other boats?
What is a good boat for kids to learn to sail in?
What's the difference between a Whitehall and a Dory rowboat?
What are the pros and cons of a stainless steel keel strip?
What is jiffy reefing and why would someone get it?
Do you have Dealers (where can I see a boat)?
Which electric motor is recommended for the Whitehall Spirit 14 or 17?
Most doctors agree that rowing is one of the best all-around workouts for many reasons. First it has no impact on joints unlike most other aerobic exercise forms. Secondly all of the major muscle groups are worked, producing a calorie burn that is double that of other activities such as jogging or tennis. Physician owners of Whitehall's boats also feel that their boats are safer, more stable and seaworthy than rowing shells. A leading North American Physician, Dr. Paul Donahue, states the following in his syndicated newspaper column 'Good Health' (click here). Also check out the Row for Health website
We don't supply boats complete with with a trailers for two reasons. First
there are different registrations forms required for different states & provinces. Registration is very difficult without
correct forms. Second, it is very expensive to ship a trailer due to
size - it
would cost about as much as the trailer itself. The good news is these
boats fit on any number of conventional small trailers available pretty
much everywhere. One we recommend is the EZ Loader 12-14 1000 or 14-17
1250 bunk style galvanized trailer. Additional items for easier handling
are: A tongue jack, an additional keel roller and a piece of nylon angle
edge installed on the aft cross-beam. The bunks can be adjusted. We have
two articles on our web site, Trailering Techniques, by Bob Dunshee and Trailer Your Boat with a link to the EZ Loader web site that gives a list of Distributors across the US.
Absolutely. A 14' model is slightly easier to row than a 17' model because it has slightly less wetted surface area. But if you have a large family or on occasion wish to row with several people a 17' model works both while rowing alone or with four or five people aboard.
All models including the Minto will carry people of large stature and weight. As an all around beach boat or yacht tender that can be fitted out for slide seat rowing the Westcoast
11'6" works well. Many owners who are big people love this model. If a boat is intended for optimum slide seat rowing the Whitehall
Spirit 14 or Tyee
Spirit 14 should be considered. Many owners are very pleased with the rowing and sailing characteristics of the Tyee Spirit 14. It is a fuller hulled design which supports more weight particularly in the ends. It is also ideal for carrying the weight of a small outboard on the transom because of the fuller stern section. For pure slide seat style rowing the Whitehall Spirit 14 will accommodate persons from the smallest up to the largest. The Whitehall
Spirit 17 can handle two slide seat rowers of any size or a single person of any size All of these classic models are still the best ever designed for load carrying, ease of handling and seaworthiness in any sea conditions.
Rowing models are strictly for rowing and are all set up for traditional oars
with bench seats and bronze oarlock sockets on the gunwhale. Slide seat units
can be installed in any model form the 11'6" Westcoast and
larger. and converts a traditional rowboat to a rowing shell with the added
benefit of a full body
workout in a safe seaworthy boat. A slide seat unit includes the teak base,
slide seat, tracks, adjustable foot brace and hinged bronze outriggers and
The slide seat base is removed by pulling four pin, and replacing the removable
bench seat converts it back to a traditional rowboat, all in about five minutes.
Sailing models row identically to the rowing models, can also be fitted with optional slide seat units and feature integral daggerboard or centerboard wells and mast step assemblies. A "pre-sail" model has these integral features included, but is purchased without the mast, lug, boom, sails, rigging, teak daggerboard and rudder system.
There is no performance compromise whether the boat is used as a traditional rowboat, a slide seat rowboat or a sailboat.
Teak is without a doubt the best wood to use for fitting out the these models due to its beautiful appearance, superior strength, longevity and lowest maintenance. It is the main reason we know they are easily capable of lasting 100 years or more. Finely crafted real wood is also the reason these boats look so great and command high resale values. Teak has a natural oil that prevents decay and enables easy maintenance. It is treated with three coats of all purpose exterior grade oil with UV resistance and mildew inhibitors before delivery. Re-oiling is fast and easy and takes only minutes. See our our
article on Maintenance.
The prices are higher because they are not built like any other boats and are
also superior more complex designs. They are built by highly qualified trades
people who are dedicated to producing the best work, much of which is performed
by hand and eye, in our expertly equipped woodworking and fiberglass shops.
The teak breasthooks, knees, gunnels and seats are pattern cut but hand fitted
and finished in time-honored fashion. The hulls are also built to last and
feature two layers of external gelcoat; hand laid interior skin coat, which
after curing is followed by three more laminations of mat and roving. The lapstrake
planking pattern of the hull extends to the keel and replicates a wooden hull
but more importantly stiffens and strengthens the hull. See DETAILS for
further info. They will easily last for fifty years of normal usage but we
see no reason they wouldn't last fifty more, We have been building Whitehall
designs since 1985 and we find that after 10 years these boats resell for more
than their original price! We build expecting them to become collector's items
worth far more than that over time. We have never had a complaint from anyone
who received a boat sight unseen. The usual comment from a new owner is "Wow
It looks even better than I thought it would." For more owner's comments, see our
All of our sailing models are excellent for teaching kids to sail. The9'
Minto is large enough to hold an adult instructor and one child or maybe two in sailing mode. Our favorite is the Westcoast
11'6" model because it has very good performance characteristics and can be fitted with a bowsprit and a jib. It ccarries three adults or kids, The elegant Whitehall
Spirit 14 sails really well but is a little harder to learn to tack because of its long tracking keel. It has finer ends and carries the same payload as the Westcoast 11'6" The Whitehall
Spirit 17 sails well with up to five adults or six kids aboard and is great for row/sail camping. The Tyee
Spirit 14 will easily carry three or four adults or kids and sails very well. All of these models row exceptionally well. Rowing adds to the skills for boat handling or maneuvering in close quarters plus enables kids to enjoy the boat when thereís no wind More importantly itís easy get back if the wind dies completely. You are welcome to call us as we have lots of experience to draw on to help you make a good decision. Our toll-free number is 1-800-663-7481.
The fine lines of a Whitehall rowing boat represent several hundred years of
refinement in an ongoing quest for efficiency in all areas. It has a fine entry,
gently curved midsections and a tucked stern with an elegant wineglass transom,
It also features a tracking keel to aid in directional stability. Early examples
date back to the Thames river boats in the 1600's Smaller models were used
to transport people, larger boats people and gear.
For a more complete description see the article The
History of the Whitehall.
The Dory evolved from a need for economic, easily built rowboats that could pack a load (often hundreds of pounds of fish) carried low in the hull. The original dorys were flat sided with high freeboard and featured a flat bottom. The sides are brought together to a steeply angled point at both ends. Dorys could be stacked nested together such as on the deck of a fishing schooner. Modern recreational rowing dory designs retain the flat bottoms but have lower freeboard and vary somewhat in the shape of the sides and many are very attractive. Narrow designs tend to be unstable.
A stainless steel keel strip greatly prevents the keel from damage if it hits rocks, concrete or other hard surfaces. It also greatly prevents gelcoat wearing off the keel from constant beaching particular in the bow area. Over a few years even gravel will cause wear through abrasion. The keel strips installed on these models have a curved shape and wrap around the keel somewhat, particularly in the bow where it's most needed. Keel strips are through bolted into the keel and the bolts sealed and glassed into the keel to insure against leakage when the bolt head contacts rocks etc.
When the wind gets up and a smaller sail would feel more comfortable or safer a jiffy reefing system allows you to quickly reduce the size of the mainsail.. If you sail in an area where there are unpredictable winds or use the boat as an offshore tender, jiffy reefing is a recommended option.
How jiffy reefing works is two reefing lines run from each end of the boom up through an eyelet set in special reinforced sections of the mainsail a given distance up the sail and back down to the boom. The main halyard is partially loosened . Simultaneously the for'd reefing line taken up until the eyelet is lowered down to the boom. Then it's made fast to one of two designated cleats installed on the boom.. The main halyard is tightened and recleated and then the aft reefing line tightened and cleated. A section of the mainsail has been lowered and the boat is slowed down and easier to handle. There is a demostration of this in the DVD/video
'Whitehall Sailing' available from us and also supplied with each boat purchaced.
It is important to note that unlike many small sailboats all of our models allow the mainsail to be completely dropped and shipped aboard without going back ashore.
We sell direct without Dealers. This benefits our customers in many ways. Clients communicate directly with experienced knowledgeable sales people who have hands on experience with all of our models plus great imput from hundreds of Whitehall boat owners. Purchasing direct means a dealer markup is avoided so one gets a top quality boat for less money. Our workmanship is guaranteed and we have a track record of complete customer satisfaction including delivery right to their door in our custom delivery truck. Check the love letteryou are interested in, or call us to see what we can arrange.
If you have any other questions that come up please give us a call or send an email . We have over twenty years of experience relating to these boat models and imput from hundreds of boat owners to call upon regarding all aspects of use and ownership.
Unlike modern boat designs the Whitehall Spirit hulls are easily driven through the water and are very seaworthy although they will not achieve planning speeds. A long shaft gasoline fueled outboard in the 2 HP range will propel a Whitehall Spirit 17 at a speed 5-6 mph when running at half throttle. Your electric motor needs to be able to do the same. Electric outboards are handy for row trolling and models with a reverse are superior for freeing gear hang-ups and docking. We recommend discussing your needs with your local dealer or give us a call.