Who Needs a Rowboat

You do, if you want to take a family of four or five for a trip via muscle power. Canoes and kayaks don't have space for this many people, but rowboats usually have at least three bench seats where a number of passengers can sit in comfort. Be sure to check the capacity plate so that you don't overload, though. It's mounted on the console or transom by the manufacturer and lists the safe load capacity for the boat.

Although rowboats are larger and heavier than canoes and kayaks, many aluminum models are light enough to be car-topped. (Photo credit: Lund Boats)

Rowboats are also a favorite of anglers because of their great stability—they allow you to stand up to cast and to survey the water for fish, something that's pretty tricky in most canoes and kayaks.

Rowboats are also better suited for motors than other boats that are regularly moved by muscle power. Most can handle kickers of 5 to 10 horses, and many can even plane with adequate power, giving a fast ride home when you're done rowing around to sneak up on the fish or photograph the wildlife.


Rowboats made with a blunt bow and a flat bottom are known as jon boats. Rowboats made with a tapered bow anc slight vee bottom are known as utility boats. Both jon boats anc utility boats have flat transoms and can be powered by outboards as well as rowed.

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