The Dolphin Club has a diverse range of rowing boats in wood and plastic that will appeal to different types of people pursuing different activities. Whether you’re rowing to catch a break in your day, piloting a swim, or practicing for competition, there is a boat for you.
The Dolphin Club’s fleet of traditional rowing boats are all hand-built and lovingly maintained at our club-house. Some are over 100 years old, some were built recently. Rowing them is a special privilege that is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
The majority of our wooden boats are ‘Dolphin Club Sliding Seat Singles,’ which have been designed, lofted and constructed at the Dolphin Club starting in 1948. They are built mostly of Port Orford cedar planks and oak frames. They are an evolution on the popular Whitehall design that evolved over centuries and which were once a common sight along the waterfront. They are enjoyed for recreation as well as their suitability for piloting swimmers throughout the Bay.
The club has 12 single seat wooden boats. Austin, Ring and Good Luck are similar in nature to the others and are included in this category.
To row the wooden singles, you’ll need to do a Wooden Single Orientation Class
The club has three wooden doubles, Farrell (1917), Hughes (1938) and Cronin (1938). Novice rowers may row in a double with an experienced double rower.
There is no special certification process for our doubles, but we ask that you first go out in a double with another experienced double rower, before taking others out yourself.
Viking (1915) is a one of the most highly regarded boats in our the fleet. It is a two person ‘Gig Boat’ that was built at the Cable Car barn. It has been admired and rowed for generations since. It is narrower than a Whitehall, and has riggers that allow the use of lightweight oars. Lifthrasir is a copy of Viking that was built more recently, and Kohlenberg is a single version of the viking design.
Mo-B, a type of boat commonly known as a ‘Wherry’ is similar and in this class.
Because some of these boats require more skill and are more prone to damage, they are limited to members with plenty of rowing experience, and who have demonstrated a commitment to care of our fleet.
Coastal Rowing Boats (LiteBoats) & Shells
Our fleet of lightweight open water rowing shells includes over a dozen boats of various designs. These are ideal for exercise, and competition, and all are designed to handle the rougher waters of San Francisco Bay
Maas Open-water Shells have been proven open water rowing boats for many years and are light and fast. The club owns five singles (aeros and 24s), and three doubles.
LiteBoats – We also have two single, and one double ‘coastal’ class boats. This is a design that is gaining popularity internationally and is being considered for the Olympics.. These are very stable, and ideal for rougher waters like San Francisco Bay.
Like bicycles, shells may look difficult and unstable, but they are really quite easy once you master the basic principles. But they do require agility to get in and out of at our dock. Confidence on the water and some experience rowing will make your experience more enjoyable.
The ‘Storm’ is our coxed four person coastal shell that is ideal for team rowing, and training for competition in the new FISA Coastal Class. . It’s light and fast, and is ready for competition.
Training on the Storm is organized by our coaches Michael Enright and Gabby Wong. New rowers are welcome. email@example.com
Barge – John Wieland
Wieland is the queen of our fleet. Built in 1887 By Al Rodgers, it is a 125 year-old, historic six-oared barge named after a charter member of the club – local beer-baron John Wieland. Port Orford cedar, mahogany, and oak were used in the original construction and subsequent repair. Length is 40’, uses sweep oars 13 feet long, and weighs an estimated 670 lbs. Despite its size, the barge is maneuvered into the water and back onto the dock by hand and muscle-power alone.
Each fall a crew of Dolphin women compete in the Wieland against a similar crew from the South End club. Club rowers may participate in Wieland rows when they are scheduled.
Wieland Captains : Jon Bielinski, Charlie MacIntyre