WATCH THIS VIDEO 1st
If you haven't already seen it then please watch this first as it gives a helpful overview.
Watch the video for an introduction to the different types of rowing boat.
Steve Walker has over 45 years experience of rowing and coaching and he sums up in simple language why you might choose one rowing boat over another.
- Light: Only 20kg. No need for a launching trolley.
- Stiff: Even recreational rowing boats need to be stiff so that they support your weight properly, so that the rigging is predictable and so that the power you apply is adequately transmitted to the hull. The polyethylene, foam sandwich construction achieves this whilst keeping the weight down and the semicircular rigger is amazingly light and stiff too. Clever engineering.
- Swift: The next best thing to a racing boat.
- Responsive: The low weight means that the TS515 is quick to accelerate.
- Thrilling: There is nothing quite like the thrill of the glide in between the strokes. This you will get in shed loads from the TS515, which runs really well.
- Exhilarating: "The best day of my life" is what one customer said after her first outing.
- Fun: You can do things in this boat you couldn't do in a fine boat. And you can easily pull it up onto a river bank or beach and it will not be harmed.
- Fast: The relatively narrow principle hull (compared with traditional stable training boats) makes the boat fast whilst the floats are far enough apart to provide the stability, just like a sailing trimaran.
- Tough: Customers often tell me they are indestructable. They are not, of course.
- Durable: Polyethylene is not brittle like fibreglass and will not crack in the way that gel coat or paint can.
- Low maintenance: No wood to varnish. Rinse and re-use.
- Quick to rig: The patented quick release system means that the boat can be rigged or derigged in seconds without the use of tools.
- Adjustable: There is enough adjustment to cope with a wide range of sizes of sculler.
- Comfortable: The stretcher is at just the right angle and depth. And the seat is at just the right height above the water so you can relax in this boat.
- Car topable: Couple of roof bars. Couple of straps. That's all you need. Safe as houses!
- Practical: Fits in average garage.
- Stackable: The cradles fit into one another so you can pile the boats up high. Save space in your boat house.
- Affordable: Excellent value for money. Note the price includes VAT and delivery in the UK. And if you want to buy in quantity then they get even cheaper. Call me! Most clubs and schools that buy one come back for more later.
- Stable: The 2ft width provides natural stability, something that is missing in a racing boat. And the outrigged floats add extra stability while you learn. Very reassuring, especially in winter.
- Reassuring: Stabilisers come into play before you lose your balance so giving you confidence that you will not flip the boat unintentionally.
- Unsinkable: Boat is full of air. Even the material it is made from is full of air so in the unlikely event of a catastrophe you will always have something that floats to hang onto.
- Directionally Stable: The runners on the underside and the skeg at the stern keep the boat going in a straight line. (Some early play-boat designs were notorious for wandering off course.)
- Easy: This has to be the easiest boat in which to learn the art of sculling. Whether you are a youngster or a pensioner! Progress is rapid.
- Realistic: One criticism of traditional, wide, stable boats is that they do not give a realistic impression of what is required to balance a fine boat. This is where the design of the TS515 scores, as it is just wobbly enough to teach you the necessary skill before the stabilisers come into play and prevent you capsizing.
- Safe: If you have a duty of care as a coach or teacher then this is the boat you need.
SINGLE SCULLING IS GLORIOUS
OK "a joy shared is a joy doubled" and I love sweep rowing and crew sculling too. But there is something very special about knowing that the speed of the boat is entirely due to your own efforts. And when you win a race you take all of the glory.
Trouble is that the finest racing rowing boats that bring the greatest rewards are so slim that it is almost impossible to learn in them without falling in and the fear of falling in inhibits learning.
SPEED WITH STABILITY
In the past, rowing boats sold for teaching were wide. This provided stability. However, they were also short and often heavy! So they were slow and unrewarding to scull.
I can still remember the first stroke I took in a fine cedar boat after 18 months in heavy, slow boats. The thrill of acceleration and the high speed glide after just one stroke is still with me.
Now, here is a fast and stable boat from EDON in Australia that offers the thrill of high speed for low effort combined with the stability and robustness required of boats to be used by novices.
NOVICE OR MASTER?
These videos show how easy it can be to take to the water with no previous experience of sculling a proper rowing boat with sliding seats and a fine hull.
Not only can stability be provided by the stabilising floats but it can easily be taken away again once the skill of sculling has been mastered. This means that a beginner can be taken through two stages of the learning progression before moving on finally to a fine racing skiff, if that is what is desired.
View from drone
After a bit of a lull in the winter I have been making good use of the fine weather and getting out in the TS515. I have been up and down the Teign (usually very calm) and out on the sea where I have found a good place at Paignton, where I can park right next to a slope and launch from this or the sandy beach below. Wherever I go it gets a lot of attention, particularly from dogs who all seem fascinated by it. One owner gave me the answer: 'its the biggest bone he's ever seen.'
The TS515 is a terrific boat, both for learners or for masters (in my case, very masters) looking to getting back on the water after a long layoff. The Edon is nicely built, beautifully engineered and an aesthetic pleasure – it just looks right. More to the point, it is an absolute pleasure to row. It’s comfortable, stable, fast enough and easy to set up. It runs well, and stays composed in swells, with or without the “training wheel” floats. I’ve owned Maas Aeros and 24’s, Alden Stars, and various other Aldens over the years, as well as a full-out FISA racing shell. I would take the Edon over all of them in a New York minute.
Continued on next page