Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Forward Facing Rowing System be used with a sliding seat?

Yes, depending on the dimensions and ergonomics of the boat. It works very well on open-water sliding seat boats like Whitehalls, Melonseed Skiffs and other wide-beam Small Craft. It is difficult to install on sliding seat boats that require outriggers. This video shows installation and operation on a Gig Harbor Boat Works Melonseed Skiff with Slidng seat.

Can the oars be stored inside the gunwales without having to remove the mechanism?

Yes, the carriers are designed to pivot the oars ‘over -center’ so the oars swing inside the gunwales for storage or when pulling alongside a dock.

The bare assembly component parts.

Can the oar mechanism be removed easily?

Yes. There are two primary components, the base unit and reciprocating cradle unit. The base unit is 1” wide, 1” high and 18” long and is permanently attached to the gunwale. The larger cradle mechanism is attached to the base unit with a single pivot pin. Remove the pin and the mechanism lifts off the boat in seconds with no tools required.

Can the Forward Facing Rowing System be installed on a canoe?

Yes, it works admirably well on easily-driven shapes like canoes. However, many canoes have narrow beam which does not allow a long oar handle. Narrow canoes or other narrow beam vessels benefit from the addition of small ‘wings’ to artificially increase the beam- longer handles furnish more leverage for easier rowing.


The beam-extending "wings" in use on a canoe.

Be creative!

A recently married couple liked rowing together but did not like the fact that in a conventional tandem rowboat they couldn’t see or easily talk to each other. So we built a Melonseed Tandem sliding seat rowboat for them, installing a Forward Facing Rowing System in the aft position and conventional oars for the forward rower. Now they can can tandem row while talking comfortably. This shows a couple of our boatshop guys going for a demo row… fast and remarkably natural feel!