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.)
|Name||Year Built||Type||weight (lbs)|
|Austin||1987||Single Modified Whitehall||205|
|Baggiani||1948||Single Modified Whitehall||207|
|Cecco||1988||Single Modified Whitehall||219|
|Foster||1948||Single Modified Whitehall||198|
|Good Luck||1976||Single Whitehall Variation||187|
|Haake||2006||Single Modified Whitehall||218|
|Howard||1964||East Coast Peapod||248|
|Joe Bruno||1989||Single Modified Whitehall||212|
|John Wieland||1887||6-oared barge||588|
|Kohlenberg||2006||Cable Car Gig||189|
|Kupuna||2006||Single Modified Whitehall||167|
|Landucci||1948||Single Modified Whitehall||209|
|Lifthrasir||1985||Cable Car Gig||270|
|Viking||1938||Cable Car Gig||270|
|Semper Fi||2016||Single Modified Whitehall||165|
|Commodore||2016||Single Modified Whitehall||170|
|Herman Zahler||1960||Herreschoff Douple-Paddle Canoe||78|
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