Rowing Ruth

I contacted Dave Gentry last week about a skin-on-frame pulling boat he designed several years ago named Ruth after his grandmother, mother and now daughter (but at 2 1/2 yrs old you could argue his baby girl is named after the boat. Dave, what were you thinking?). It is a pretty name and fits this no-nonsense well proportioned shell. With a wine glass bum and glowing dress, her sheer is pleasant to gaze at. Weighing a trim 45 pounds, she’d welcome play on any river, lake or even beach.

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Yes, Ruth could offer a little rowing exercise, but maybe better yet, the two of you could chill along a shady river bank where you might fancy a read, savor a picnic or simply doze in the warmth of the day.

Anyway, Dave was gracious enough to invite me to try out Ruth. We met at Walnut Creek Park in Albemarle County, about an hour from home. I loaned him my recently finished F-1 kayak and together we cruised the little lake talking along the way, mostly about … boats.

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I’ll have to say I was impressed with the boat’s glide. Her lightness has many advantages and the fuse frame makes for a quick build (40 hrs?). Dave says he has been leaving the polyester skinned beauty turned over and outside for years. While she showed signs of weathering, there was no deformation of her shape and the varnish sealed skin remained tight and leak-free.

Here’s a quick clip. Slipping without strain. Longer oars could be of benefit.

Did I say I was impressed? Smitten may be more like it.

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