An air of mystery surrounds the origin of the famed Whitehall rowboat. But what’s clear is that they are widely considered to be one of the most refined rowboat designs of the 19th century. This gorgeous example, MYSTIC, was built to strict standards by Larry Murphy in 1981, from the original plans on file at the Mystic Museum. She is just back from being displayed at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington and is now being offered for sale.
The hull shape of the Whitehall is characterized by a nearly straight stem, slight flare to the bow, rounded sides, with a keel running the entire length of the bottom. The distinctive wine glass transom with a full skeg contribute to thier reputation as one of the most beautiful row-boats ever designed. But their beauty is one of form following function, as they are the result of a design that evolved over time to handle extreme harbor chop and yet track straight, and to do so at a formidable turn of speed. When these boats were primarily used in trade, it was the first to the ship with the goods that generally received the lion’s share of the sales.
Whitehalls in the early 20th century were a popular recreational boat and were known as the “bicycle of the sea”. A beginning rower finds it easier to row this design in a straight line because of the tracking type keel. Turning requires stronger strokes on one side, and by braking with one oar and pulling with the other the boat can be turned in its own length.
MYSTIC is in excellent condition and has been well maintained by a knowledgeable and fastidious owner (known well to YotLot). She has a bronze centerboard, carved rudder, carved tiller, quality sails, high-grade dished oars, new galvanized trailer and clear documents. Priced for a quick sale at $9950.00 USD she is an excellent opportunity to own a true classic that is sure to be loved.