Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Vision Single Rowing Shells in Australia

I wrote about this project 3 years ago and this post brings it up-to-date. 

I was commissioned in 2001 to design two single sculls for construction in Nomex/carbon sandwich laminates. My client was Paul Slade of Slade Rowing, operating in Johannesburg, South Africa. The result was the Vision Lightweight Single and the Vision Heavyweight Single rowing shells. The boats were very modern in concept, nothing like any others on the market worldwide at the time and proved to be fast. The high-prismatic hulls with plumb bow and small V-shaped transom have low pitching characteristics, are easily-driven and track well. The company failed financially due to distance from the main market and insufficient funding.

Vision Lightweight Single on show in Ireland
Over the years since Slade Rowing closed down I was requested many times for plans to build these boats as one-off projects. One was for building over foam formers that were to be cut with a hot wire cutter. I also drew wood detailing for amateurs to build from cedar strip over bulkheads, with boats in build in North America, South America and Australia.

The Australian builds started out as two amateur builders intending to build one boat for each of them. The first boat was launched before COVID and named "Redbow's Vision". The second boat is nearing completion and will be named "Arrow" in recognition of the unerring ability to hold its course on the race track, as explained by builders Peter Bowman and Owen Redhead.

Launch of "Redbow's Vision".

Peter and Owen have pressed ahead with boat #2 during COVID and it is nearing completion. They have found areas to save weight without compromising the structure and are homing in on the target regulation 14kg weight for a complete boat. At the same time they have applied lessons learned with boat #1, to improve build quality and deck fairness.

Hull #1 suspended from the roof, hull #2 below it.

Hull #2 on the building jig.
The Lightweight Single is targeted at 77kg rowers and the Heavyweight Single is targeted at 100kg rowers. They also commissioned me to develop a Mediumweight Single, targeted midway between the two. I have supplied the drawings for the medium boat and preparations are being made to start the first one as a custom build for a client.

They have also developed a cockpit module that will be used for all three variations.

Checking the fit of the cockpit module.
Current boats cover the range of rower weights from about 70kg to 110kg. Plans for the future are to add a woman's single, lighter than the current light boat.

To see our range of boat designs of all types, go to our desktop website or our mobile website.