© 2013 Ron Rantilla Rowing Systems, 30 Cutler Street #207, Warren, RI 02885
Ph:401-688-3132 email: email@example.com
Rowboats for touring
The FrontRower™ gives you three ways to row your boat:
You can row using just your hands
You can row using just your feet
You can row
using your hands and feet together
For some owners, the FrontRower enables them to plan and take the journey of a lifetime. For
others, it gives them healthful cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis. For still others, it allows them to engage in other interests
(such as photography, bird watching, or fishing), while propelling and steering their boat with their feet.
The FrontRower is so easy
to use that many people who are not able to row conventionally can row quite well with it. This includes older people and people with
disabilities such as arm or leg amputations. See adaptive rowing.
The Rules of the "Sport" of Rowing
The official FISA
rules of the sport of rowing require all rowers to face backward. They also
disallow any method of developing leg power other than using a sliding seat. That's why rear-facing sliding-seat systems
are standard equipment at race oriented rowing clubs.
The FrontRowerä breaks both these rules. And the FrontRower is
not designed to fit in racing type shells. So you will not see it in elite sanctioned events.
But in some less formal
races, FrontRower owners in touring type rowboats have found themselves rowing along with similar boats using conventional rigs.
It's pretty clear that the FrontRower has the advantage. See Blackburn Challenge
22 mile open water race.
Long distance rower "Philly Joe"
rowing his boat through Rhode Island
A Common Misconception
It's a common belief that sliding-seat rowing is the fastest and most efficient way to propel a rowboat.
The sliding seat lets you add the power of your legs. But a lot of that power is wasted in the back and forth movement
of the rower on the seat.
The inefficiency of the sliding-seat system was demonstrated in 1981 when a fixed-seat boat with sliding
riggers (the overhanging structure with the oarlocks) won the Men's Singles at the World Rowing Championships in Munich. By 1983,
all the Men's Singles finalists were using fixed-seat rowboats with sliding riggers. Then sliding riggers were banned from sanctioned
The FrontRower uses a fixed seat with moving pedals to develop leg power. This is even better than a sliding rigger,
reducing efficiency losses due to weight shifting to almost zero. Tests show the FrontRower™ to be as much as 19 per cent more efficient
than a sliding seat rig in the same boat. See rowing efficiency
You can watch our movie "Rowboats for Touring" on your home DVD player. It's educational. It's fun. Show it to your friends. They
will be amazed. We'll be happy to send you a free copy. DVD movie
Most FrontRower™ owners use their row boats for enjoyable cardiovascular exercise or just "messing about".
But it is becoming the system of choice for some long distance rowers.
Some notable long distance journeys that have been completed
by FrontRower™ owners are:
· Philly Joe Koladziejski: more than 6,000 miles along the southern and eastern
coasts of the US from Texas to Maine
· Herman Stiphout: over 400 miles along the western coast
of the Sea of Cortez
· Bill Siersdorfer: 260 mile "Texas Water Safari" human powered boat race
· Charlie, Mathew and Ian (three 12 year old boys from the Tsimshian tribe of southeast Alaska): 156 mile "Rite of Passage" journey
circumnavigating Revillagigedo Island on the coast of Alaska
You can read about these and other FrontRower owners on Ron Rantilla's
blog “Gently Up the Stream”.
The patented FrontRower™ is the only rowing system you can row hands free. It is build exclusively by Ron Rantilla Rowing
Systems in Warren, Rhode Island, USA.
Owner built Odyssey 18 touring rowboat
Rowing with a pair of oars applies power evenly on both sides of the boat so you don't have
to switch sides or use the paddle as a rudder to maintain course.
More Power, Better Exercise
Rowing using your large legs muscles
lets you develop more power more easily than paddling. And including your leg muscles makes rowing better exercise than paddling.
See Rowing for Exercise.
Rowing places the oar blade farther out from the side of the boat than paddling, giving
you more turning force when you need it. This makes it easier to turn or maintain course in windy conditions.
Rowing with a pair of oars allows the solo voyager to easily handle a larger more comfortable boat than can
be handled with a single paddle.
Rowboats for the FrontRower
The FrontRower can be used in canoes or touring type rowboats. If you already own a suitable canoe, you
won’t need to buy another boat (it may require some minor modifications to the canoe.)
If you want something really special, and have
ever had the desire to build your own boat, you can build one of our Odyssey touring rowboats from a kit or plans. The Odyssey 18
rowboat (which can be used with one or two FrontRower rowing systems) takes about 100 man-hours to build from a kit. Working a few
hours a day, it takes about 30 days to complete one, including paint and varnish.
Touring in a rowboat is traveling on the water for enjoyment—rather than racing or logging miles strictly as an exercise routine.
most people don't think of using a row boat for touring, because conventional rowing is done facing backward, making it impractical
for enjoyable activities such as exploration, sight-seeing or photography. Conventional row boats have uncomfortable seats without
any back support. And you have to keep your hands on the oars at all times order to propel and control the boat.
rowing system is designed form the ground up for practical and comfortable touring. You row it facing forward. You
can row it hands free, using only your legs to power and steer your boat. Or you can add your hands for powerful full body rowing. It has a big comfortable seat with a backrest. The oars lift and feather automatically.
And in the process of designing
from scratch we were able to make our system more efficient and faster than conventional sliding-seat rowing.
fits in many conventional rowboats and in many canoes (which make excellent rowing boats). And our Odyssey™ rowboat kits and
plans are designed around this unique system with the intent of giving you the best touring type rowing experience possible.
Canoes can make excellent touring rowboats.
State-of-the-art forward facing rowing
Ron Rantilla rowing systems