Community Rowers Try Out the New Gunning Dory

Paul Caviano

From New Dory

The Gold Rush at play, crewed (left to right) by Hoy, Felecia, Linda, Kate, and Paul. Photo by Marcel.

On Tuesday, August 25th, the community rowers had a special treat – trying out the newest addition to the VCB fleet. The just-completed gunning dory #2 had only been out for some shakedown runs in the embayment, and had also gone on a visit to the Monmouth Boat Club for a special event. While not officially named yet, “Gold Rush” is an early nomination that has attracted some interest, so we’ll use that name for now.

Coxswained by Marcel, a mixed group of experienced rowers and first-timers took a few loops initial loops around the embayment. Even the veterans were in learning-mode though – getting a feel for the new boat’s layout, equipment, and handling. After about 15 minutes of on-the-water coaching from Marcel – basic rowing tutorial for the newbies and steering oar pointers (no rudder or yoke on the Gold Rush!) for the more experienced hands, the crew was soon comfortably driving the boat around the moorings. We then decided to head south against a moderate flood, venturing to Pier 26. Besides seeing how the boat behaved in less-protected waters, we also came across and rescued a soccer ball that was drifting along untended, and added it to the VCB collection of useful flotsam pulled from the Hudson.

So, what did the crew think about Gold Rush? Here are a few comments:
· Noticeably lighter, quicker to pick up momentum. A practiced crew should find this to be a very fast boat.

· Very clean and uncluttered inside – seems more roomy without floorboards.

· The seats seemed a bit closer together than those of a gig – this puts a premium on staying in cadence to avoid bumping. They also were a bit slippery, given the fresh coat of varnish. A piece of foam padding might be useful to stay anchored.

· The steering oar takes getting used to. Used only as a rudder, it seemed slow to turn the boat. Used as an oar to actively push the stern in the desired direction, altering course was much quicker.

· The gated oar locks are a nice change from thole pins and rings – once set-up they are stable, quiet, and fuss-free.

We hope others will give the boat a try at their earliest opportunity.

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