After two fun filled sessions with these new craft I am sure that there are a few thoughts out there and so I thought that I would post inviting everyone to share their thoughts! I for one have a view on the wisdom of knotty pine oars but equally found the coxes seat and tiller very comfortable if a tad tricky turning to starboard.
There was also mention of the benefits of flooring to make getting in and out a bit easier.
They appear to be good sturdy little boats and are a modern, smart and attractive design.
Accordingly, I would expect them to have a broader recruitment appeal, particularly to " younger " rowers and potential members, than our current boats do.
A single crew of five can easily manage launch, recover and return to the compound with ease.
Not sure that the boats need decking. We all managed by helping one another, as indeed we do with boating the oars etc. Decking would add to the overall weight of the boats and the extra weight would likely be an important consideration for racing the boats. Did Hoi Lantern have decking out of interest?
Noting that the boats must weigh less than 150 kilos inclusive of seats to qualify for racing etc, I doubt that many potential competitor boats are fitted with decking.
Inboard length of oars one and four seemed to be the right length, but two and three seemed short to me, and other members made the same comment once they had rowed all four positions.
As Christine rightly pointed out, you have to work them with a fairly quick stroke rate to maintain a good speed as they appear to slow quite quickly unlike the galleys.
Its a pity that we are unable to keep one at The Mill compound for regular use, as with both boats at Northney, we are going to have to choose which boats to take on excursion rows. Taking a Galley and a St Ayles is not the most practical of combinations, as the Galley is a lot quicker.
Overall, I think that they are good little boats with a good broad appeal and I think that the extra freeboard which they provide would make any beginner feel more secure, as indeed our trusty Claydons do.
The oars need sorting but that is no biggy.