We have no idea what the actual percentage is, but our gut is that the majority of people buying rowing shells are either first time buyers, non-rowers (think: parents/equipment board members), or part-time rowing coaches who don’t have the luxury of buying lots of brand new equipment each year. Whether you’re a seasoned buyer or not, choosing the right racing shell can be a stressful decision.
Set aside the fact that you’re talking about an expensive purchase, buying a new or used rowing shell is one of the most important decisions your team will make to ensure success on the water. Too many times, we see crews completely over-boated (to the point that it’s a detriment to their performance) because a purchase was made with all the right intentions, but without the appropriate education. Just like you shouldn’t buy a 2-door if you really need a minivan, there’s a right and wrong boat for every crew. And many times, that right boat isn’t the most expensive.
In an effort to help make buying a new or used racing shell easier, we’ve compiled a 12-page guide to help walk boat buyers through this process. It outlines all the questions you need to consider when weighing your buying options for both new and used rowing shells, plus has a handy check list to sum everything up. It also helps you understand what the different available options are, and what they mean for your rowing club. Also, it defines some of the jargon you’re going to encounter while shopping, so you’ll know exactly what the boat builder is talking about and you can confidently make the right purchase decision.
If you’re ready to tackle the boat buying process, we’d love to help you out. In addition to new Pococks, we always have an extensive inventory of used racing shells in a wide range of age, from many different boatbuilders.
Here are some other articles you might find helpful:
It’s Just a Fashion Show, Part II (The case for not buying a European boat)
Why Are We the Only Ones to Publish Prices?
Nine K4+’s Later (How Amherst College ended up with a boathouse full of Pococks)
The 86.6 Mile Row