Rowing: Northeaster Dory, Skerry, Chester Yawl?

I'm interested in the experience of other builders and owners on rowing these boats. I have a Northeaster Dory and recently acquired a Chester Yawl. The ND is wider and longer, but as I measure it, the waterline length is about the same, around 14' 6". Both row nicely, of course, but the ND is in some ways easier to row because of the greater width. I don't know about the Skerry, which on the waterline is no doubt shorter than both. Any observations?

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RE: Rowing: Northeaster Dory, Skerry, Chester Yawl?

I have been rowing my NED atleast once a week since its launch in late May on small lakes and small and large rivers.  My obervations are:  It rows very nice.  This past weekend I did an 8 km row on a somewhat winding river.  I found it difficult to row with a stiff cross wind.  I found the boat just wanted to weather vane with the wind (I am sure there is a nautical term for that).  This flustered me at first, but then I realized I just needed go at angles to the wind it was fine.  I had hardly any load in the boat.  Boat wakes, handles them with ease.  I averaged 5.2 km/hr on the row.  With 2 rowers, it is a blast and much easier to row, but the speed increase is not much, we seem to average about 5.5 km/hr (we are not competitive rowers, just out there for excersize and fun).  I have the dagger board trunk, water will come up that and get your back wet if you are in the middle rowing position.  I find a lot of water comes through the dagger board slot with one rower, but with 2, not much comes in.  Not sure why that is. I do need to build a plug this winter so less water can enter through the slot.    

RE: Rowing: Northeaster Dory, Skerry, Chester Yawl?


I've had my NED for about a year. I get out on my lake here in North Carolina 2-3 times per week for an hour's  row - about 3-4 miles each time.  The boat rows very well, I don't realize how fast I'm going unless I'm close to the beach. I do notice the wind since the boat is so light - I really feel it when rowing into the wind but I have not noticed any problems with a cross wind. I have found that the best way to get the boat to "glide" in a straight line is to be very attentive to placing my weight dead center on the thwart, a little to one side and the boat will turn that way. I did fashion a plug for the dagger board - took about an hour and with a varnish finish it looks like it came with it.

One issue I have is that being low in the water I'm not all that noticable to fast moving power boats (we have a lot of Bass Boats here that run around at 40mph) so I bought a small but powerful flashlight that has a strobe function. I haven't had to use it yet but hopefully it will get me noticed. I also tend to stick along the shoreline whenever possible for the same reason.

All in all I couldn't ask for a better rowboat.



RE: Rowing: Northeaster Dory, Skerry, Chester Yawl?

Hi there. You might check out another thread called "Chester" from earlier this year ,similar discussion.

I finished my Chester Yawl a couple of years ago. Am fortunate to live minutes from Lake Winnipesaukee in NH and usually row on a broad bay. Easy solo launch and retrieval with trailer at boat launch. I do try to avoid wind over 6 mph and heavy motorboat traffic. The CY can handle wind, chop, and slop - I just prefer not to when I have the option. Note, handling wind and chop is a lot easier than s!op.

With the CY I go about 3.5 mph. it handles two adults fine. More fun if the second person is rowing. The boat is fairly stable, but it is not built for getting up and moving around.

All the best!


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