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Our Pocock Shells

The first wooden boat races occurred in 17th century England, where the Thames River was used to transport goods and services. It wasn’t long before one waterman challenged another to a race. Speed became important, and over the next two centuries the boats were modified to become the wooden racing shells that were widely used until the advent of fiber-reinforced plastic shells in 1972. These were stiffer, stronger, more durable, more easily repaired and required less maintenance than wooden shells, which often fell into disuse. This proved to be a boon for rowers in Port Townsend, as the club acquired several wooden boats at little or no cost, many of which came with impressive histories.  Here is more information about  other wooden rowing shells that our club members have owned, rescued, and rowed.  

Sally and Kathy Whitman.jpg

Kathy Lazara Whitman

Watch our 5-minute movies and please consider helping with our ongoing restoration of Pocock wooden shells.

The Boys are Gone..The Boats Live On!

Video by Francine Rose


Video by Diane Roberts

The Band & The Boats

Our rowing club is a non-profit entity, and donations for restoration of our wooden shells could be tax deductible.  

When Pocock Racing Shells stopped building wooden single sculls, Bill Tytus, who took over the factory in 1985, donated apparatus and equipment to Rat Island Rowing member, oarsman and master craftsman, Steve Chapin.  Steve continues to help us look after our wooden shells, and runs the Pocock Project – the last official Pocock wooden shell factory.

Steve has been an inspiration to us all through his wisdom, guidance, rowing, craftsmanship, and selfless service. View the video below and visit his website to learn more about his amazing work.

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