Building the Bouchie Dory – Part 35 – Installing Thwarts

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Building the Bouchie Dory – Part 35 – Installing Thwarts

Parking your keester is a pretty important part of spending time in just about any boat but in small rowing craft your thwarts are particularly important. Their location has a great bearing on the trim of the boat. The finishing details can have a great influence on comfort. 

As I was thinking about thwart placement on a couple designs I was working on, I started flipping through various reference books and was struck with the wide variety of arrangements. I gave Iain Oughtred a ring to ask about any rules of thumb that he knew of for placing thwarts and I was surprised to hear he had nothing to offer me.

Designer Phil Bolger championed the concept of a fore and aft thwart arrangement that would allow infinite trimming abilities, particularly useful in a small tender that may carry one to three passengers. I suspect it is an idea that predates Phil though.

I generally drop my main thwart smack amidship figuring one occupant will trim the boat slightly aft with the weight of their legs. the other thwarts I try to keep as far inboard as reasonable to give secondary rowing positions as much beam as possible.