One of the things that makes the Dolphin Club unique is our fleet of traditional wooden rowboats. Most of these boats are loosely based on the traditional Whitehall design, modified for the club with a sliding seat for more efficiency and a design that is unique to the club. Many of these boats have been built at the club, and are often named after notable Dolphins with strong ties to the rowing program.
Also notable in our traditional fleet are our ‘Viking’ class boats. These boats are longer and less “beamy”; they have outriggers and are therefore swifter than their Whitehall counterparts. These are available for use by more advanced rowers by additional certification only.
The club has three wooden doubles, all built in the early to mid 1900s. These boats epitomize the history of our club and are often used for longer excursions.
Queen of our traditional fleet is the ‘John Wieland,’a six-oared sliding seat barge originally completed in 1887 and completely refurbished in the mid-1990s. Wieland is used for special excursions; a women’s team forms every year to compete in the South End/Dolphin Club triathlon.
Our Aquatic Park clubhouse is also home to a dozen lightweight rowing shells suitable for the open waters of San Francisco Bay. Like bicycles, shells may look difficult and unstable, but they are really quite easy once you master the basic principles. They do require some agility to get in and out of, and confidence on the water will make your experience more enjoyable.
These are the lightest and fastest boats in our fleet, and offer an experience comparable to flat-water shells.
Dolphin Club history is rich with history in competitive team rowing in shells. We recently acquired a Coastal design quad/four to bring four-person crew training back to the Dolphin Club.
The club has a fleet of 20 plastic sit-on-top kayaks and a half-dozen SUPs. These are most commonly used to support our swimmers, and may also be used for fun. Many kayaks are owned by members, but all are available for certified members to use.