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  Alden Ocean Shell
  Posted by: brodie on Jul-10-13 1:22 AM (EST)

Can usually find one for relatively short money if you look hard enough. Try the classifieds at - I've sold several boats there.

I rowed for 16 years then switched to kayaking for the last 10. I like both for different reasons. Rowing is a better workout, but the learning curve is MUCH steeper and the boats are really only suitable for doing one thing - going fast in a straight line.

Because the rower moves in the boat, the distribution of volume in a rowing shell needs to be very different than that of a canoe or kayak. You'll get a better appreciation for the sport if you try an actual rowing shell rather than a converted boat. Canoes are too wide, kayaks too narrow in the ends and too much rocker. Most fixed seat rowing boats that have been converted are too heavy/wide/short to take advantage of the sliding seat.

The poly boat made by Alden is a mess - I've rowed one and it does not balance properly. Go find a used Alden Ocean Shell (the "original" Alden, 16 feet) with a decent pair of oars (ie non wooden) and see if you like it. Alden is still in business if you need parts, and the boats have name recognition so are pretty easy to resell. Which is good, because either you'll hate it, or you'll love it and quickly want a longer/skinnier/faster boat!

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

YakCatcher Rod Holder

URCHIN Portable Anchor

PFD's (Life Jackets)

Kong Cable

Canoe Roost

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