The Dolphin Fleet


boathouse

The Dolphin Club maintains a fleet of pristine Whitehall rowboats, all of which are hand-built, many of them right in our own boatshop and under the leadership of master boatbuilder Jon Bielinski. Many of the boats are named after notable Dolphins with strong ties to the rowing program.

The table below shows the boats in our fleet, sortable by name, year built,type and weight. (Just click on the heading.)

NameYear BuiltTypeweight (lbs)
Austin1987Single Modified Whitehall205
Baggiani1948Single Modified Whitehall207
Cecco1988Single Modified Whitehall219
Cronin1938Whitehall double376
Farrell1917Whitehall double350
Foster1948Single Modified Whitehall198
Good Luck1976Single Whitehall Variation187
Haake2006Single Modified Whitehall218
Howard1964East Coast Peapod248
Hughes1938Whitehall double380
Joe Bruno1989Single Modified Whitehall212
John Wieland18876-oared barge588
Kohlenberg2006Cable Car Gig189
Kupuna2006Single Modified Whitehall167
Landucci1948Single Modified Whitehall209
Lifthrasir1985Cable Car Gig270
Ring2000Dory, flat-bottomed193
Specter1973Single Whitehall261
Viking1938Cable Car Gig270
Semper Fi2016Single Modified Whitehall165
Commodore2016Single Modified Whitehall170
Herman Zahler1960Herreschoff Douple-Paddle Canoe78

What is a Whitehall?

The basic design is of European ancestry. It strongly resembles a sailing ship’s gig or a Thames river wherry used by watermen as a taxi service. They were first made in the U.S. at the foot of Whitehall Street in New York City to be used to ferry goods, services, and sailors on and off the boats coming into New York Harbor. The boats range from 14 to 22 ft in length, the larger requiring two people to row them.

They were the first boats to incorporate an inverted-hull frame set up to speed up the manufacturing process.

The hull shape is characterized by a nearly straight stem, and slight flare to the bow, rounded sides, with a keel running the entire length of the bottom and a distinctive wine glass transom with a full skeg. Considered one of the most beautiful row-boats, they are designed to handle the harbor chop and yet track straight. Speed was the issue with these boats, as the first to the ship with the goods generally received the lion’s share of the sales. Later the shore patrol used these boats for customs, police issues, water taxi, and newspaper reporting.

Whitehalls in the early 20th century were a popular recreational boat and were known as the “Bicycle of the sea”. A beginning rower finds it easier to row this design in a straight line because of the tracking type keel. Turning requires stronger strokes on one side, and by braking with one oar and pulling with the other the boat can be turned in its own length

(Condensed from Wikipedia)