LIGHTER. STRONGER. RESPONSIVE 2017-02-09T20:44:34+00:00
  • Gevvie Stone taking lead

Lighter. Stronger. Responsive.

Advantage Technological Progress

Van Dusen racing boats are manufactured using advanced composite materials and aero-space manufacturing technology. Our autoclave curing process combines elevated temperatures and pressure which allows us to use more unidirectional carbon fiber and a high performance heat-cured epoxy. Our hull laminate is thus lighter and stronger than any other. In water bending tests, Advantage shells flex much less than other boats tested when weight is added to the cockpit.


The basic principles of rowing shell design are relatively well understood, based on a long empirical tradition of shell craftsmanship, and on more recent scientific research. Technological improvements in rowing shells will result from achieving small but significant improvements in shell design and construction. In a sport where the finish is recorded in hundredths of a second, however, even a small design improvement can determine the difference between a medal and defeat. Our newest elite racing shell embodies a series of design improvements which, taken together, can give you a competitive advantage of several boat lengths at the finish line, compared to other leading US and European models.

The Van Dusen Advantage racing shell combines the optimum tradeoff between minimizing hydrodynamic and aerodynamic drag and maximizing stability for specific weight classes; and the use of advanced aerospace composite materials and a high-technology heat and pressure curing process. This unique formula for success allows us to produce a racing shell that has proven itself through tank testing, race results, and customer feedback as the stiffest, most responsive, and fastest of its kind.

Translating Your Power Into Forward Propulsion

Some important factors

  • Hydrodynamic Drag – The Van Dusen Advantage produces up to 5% less hydrodynamic drag than other leading racing shells.Extensive full-size towing tests sponsored by the US Olympic Committee and theoretical and practical analyses of hull shape help us hold frictional drag and wave drag at minimum. Tank tests conducted between 1986 and 1992 proved that the traditional Van Dusen hull reduced hydrodynamic drag by three to four percent over other leading boats. We reduced hydrodynamic drag by an additional few tenths of a percent on the Advantage singles and more than one percent on the Advantage doubles and pairs.
  • Aerodynamic Drag – Recent wind-tunnel tests show that Van Dusen aerofoil wing riggers can reduce the total drag on a racing shell by 1% over conventional tubular riggers.In addition to the wing rigger, the design of the Van Dusen Advantage reduces the frontal area of the rower by lowering the seat deck, further reducing aerodynamic drag.

This combination of drag reduction can give you a six meter advantage over a 2,000 meter course.

  • Stiffness – The Van Dusen Advantage is the stiffest, most responsive shell available.Shell stiffness is a critical factor. If a rowing shell is flexible, it absorbs some of the energy and power of the rower when it should translate that power into immediate acceleration and forward motion. Flexibility reduces the rowers’ ability to apply their full force on the oar at the catch, and increases the time it takes to get up to full pressure.
Van Dusen Composite Shell on display