Do you boat with a partner who is bored with sitting while you row? Are you old enough that you don’t quite have the strength to make the cut around Upset? Do you lose the perfect line when you stop to put on sunscreen? Do you dread rowing into a headwind? The answer might be to add a 2nd rowing station to your cataraft!
My wife and I have faced all of these issues over many years of both rowing independently and sharing the same raft. We recently added a 2nd pair of oars and have been delighted with the results. We just finished 3 weeks on the Grand and saw no disadvantages.
We started off shifting the standard rowing position to the front (as many have done before us). We then decided to add a 2nd seat on the back crossbar. We placed it a bit higher, giving a good view and a chance to have some footroom while loading some gear underneath. The two positions are far enough apart that we can row independently without hitting each others’ oars. While I am the ‘captain’, my wife is an experienced boater and can usually figure out what needs to be done without shouted commands. We rigged two other cats this way for our Grand trip and they worked well for bow rowers with less experience also.
Our frames are 105″ long (pipe to pipe) and 70″ wide. With 10 foot oars, we do not have to synchronize our rowing – there is enough room for each to row at his/her own rate.
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