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A row boat is an open boat with seating that tapers at the bow and is flat or more open at the stern. It uses two oars for propulsion that are put into mounted oar locks. The rower then uses the coordinated motion of the oars through the water to move.

Some rowboats also have a mast attachment for a sail. You can also mount small trolling motors to the back of some rowboats for power.

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Where can I use a rowboat?

Depending on the style of rowboat you have you can use them in freshwater or in the ocean. There are also specialized rowboats for use in harbors and for streams and rivers. One of the amazing things about all rowboats is they can be used anywhere, you just may want one designed specifically for the use you intend.

What types of rowboats are there?

Rowboats come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most popular are -

  • Recreational - a variety of sized rowboats featuring cutouts for motors and fixed seating. Popular with fisherman.
  • Dingy - these are very small rowboats often used to travel between larger vessels and the shore
  • Flat bottom - this type of rowboat is used for racing
  • Traditional (Whitehall) - these are low draw, wide beam basic rowboats with a fixed seat
  • Sailing - this is a rowboat with an optional sailing mast
  • Skiff - a skiff is a longer and deeper bellied boat designed for crossing protected waters
  • Scull - these can be multi person rowers with sliding seats and extra long arms
  • Inflatable

What requirements have to be met?

Check your local licensing regulations as some types and lengths of rowboats do require registration, but they generally dont require a special license. In your rowboat you want to be sure that your have -

  • Two oars
  • One short oar ( to paddle the boat like a canoe in tight spaces)
  • Mooring line
  • Small anchor
  • Life vest

It can also be a good idea to consider having a small trolling motor. These are small, quiet motors designed to move the boat at a slow and even pace. They are helpful for certain types of fishing.

What is the average price range for a new or used rowboat?

Prices for a new or used rowboat can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands. The price will depend on the size and type of rowboat. If you are buying used, you need to make sure that the boat is still in good condition. There should be no dry-rot or weak areas in the fiberglass.