FOR ROWING CLUBS 2017-02-09T20:44:33+00:00
  • ADVANTAGE Van Dusen composite rowing shells
  • Rowing shells sacked without their detachable riggers, saving space and simplifying carrying.

Rowing Clubs And Van Dusen Boats


Rowing clubs have high demands for their fleet. We understand the specific needs of rowing clubs and offer advantages in several key areas. Van Dusens are the choice of many rowing clubs, including Narragansett Boat Club, based in Rhode Island. Narragansett’s boat roster includes 20 Van Dusen singles, 6 doubles and also Peinert Zephyrs, another Van Dusen-designed boat.

Van Dusen shells have the longevity a club team requires. Take a look at Narragansett Boat Club and you’ll see boats still performing from the mid-90’s. The shells remain stiff over their lifetime even with multiple training sessions day after day.

Our system enabling quick attachment of the wing rigger gives the club the ability to store boats with the riggers detached. This makes it possible to maximize your limited boathouse space by doubling the number of boats on a rack. Narragansett was able to more than double their membership without the expense of enlarging their boathouse and use the additional revenue for better equipment and coaching (see NBC boathouse video below). To keep all the members happy, they chose to use boats that delivered the performance that their elite athletes required.

Storing the boats without the riggers limits damage when boats are lifted in and out of racks in tight space. Without the riggers, boats are easier to carry down to the dock.

Advanced scullers can purchase their own rigger and take their preferred set up with them when they switch boats, between singles or when going out in a double. There is no rigging adjustment to be done, they just pop in the rigger and row off. The riggers are interchangeable with every wing rigger boat that we have made since 1984.

The double can be easily converted to a pair by swapping pair and sculling riggers. This is a huge saving in cost, space, and transportation. The shells are designed to perform at the top level for both sculling and sweep.

Shells are outfitted with fins that can easily be swapped out. We have smaller fins for head racing when steering is more important compared to tracking straight in a buoyed course. Putting a singles fin in a double has the same effect. We also have special fins for areas with lots of weeds and debris.

Detachable wing riggers save space, see how in Corliss Gross’ video…


We pioneered the wing rigger concept in 1984 when the minimum shell weight rule was imposed. We had to increase the weight of our boats by 20% and searched for a way to make out boats heavier without being slower.  The airfoil rigger more than compensated for the additional drag of the heavier boat and still allowed us to add more carbon fiber to the hull and make out boats the stiffest ones available. Now that we are all competing with a minimum boat weight the improved aerodynamics give our boats a 3 second advantage over 2000 meters.
Our wing riggers are interchangeable between every wing rigger boat we have ever made.  The wonderful thing is that the rower’s rigging dimensions are preserved even when putting a rigger from their single on a double, pair, or the eight we made for the 1988 Olympics.  This saves a lot of time and worry, gives rowers trying different boats a better experience, and better utilizes the fleet of boats in the club.

Narragansett Boat Club’s stacked Van Dusens …

Rowing shells sacked without their detachable riggers, saving space and simplifying carrying.