A boat designed to row or sail among the outer islands and rocky edges of the Gulf of Maine; a boat to be so efficient under oars that it can be rowed all day; and to be so pretty that you won’t be able to stop looking at it when you come home. Many have been built all over the world, it is an “uncommonly good” rowboat, a fast boat but also a boat that will take care of you in open water. Drake was certainly inspired by a number of boats by reputable designers, but is leaner and faster than the other traditional fixed-seat rowboat plans showed and is lightweight. Drake features a reasonably long, narrow waterline to give her slip and glide through the water, but not so narrow as to feel “tippy”. On the contrary, the Drake is quite stable which really provides a great deal of comfort out in open water. You can move around inside without worry and with kids aboard, no problem. My family and I frequently rowed out to islands to explore. I went for long, solo rows into open water, for an entire 20-mile day covering the more open waters of Casco Bay and stopping by favorite islands for a break. I raced the boat and did quite well, winning first and second place medals in the Essex River Races. To add to the fun, I enjoyed sailing the boat with my downwind lugsail called the squgsail. The stability of the hull allows one to sail off the wind, without a centerboard of any kind, only the lateral resistance of the keel allowing one to sail as high as a beam reach, and fast. That being said, the Drake 17 is
Drake is a fast & seaworthy rowboat, with just enough stability to enjoy a free ride home. The Drake 17 is built from 6mm Okoume marine plywood for the hull, transverse structure, and interior buoyancy tanks. Backbone, seats, and gunwales are built from a mix of Douglas Fir, Spruce, and Cedar to keep her light but strong. Finished right the boat can be as light as 110 lbs making her easy to trailer especially with a light trailer.