The St. Lawrence River Skiff, arguably the best rowboat ever conceived. I have not one, but two of these wooden beauties built by Bill Grunwald (Aeolus Boats in Davenport California) and refined and finished by me. They have modern sliding seats and carbon fiber oars like a racing shell, but the boat design is at least 130 years old. With two aboard we weigh in fully loaded for a long trip at 1,000 lbs and even with only one rowing station leave kayaks far behind. The boats are fitted with traditional sprit sails too, and although not high performance sailers, are pleasant and useful enough if the wind is going roughly in your direction. The originals had neither centerboards nor rudders and were handled by weight transfer: not recommended for Alaskan waters. You could go to Clayton NY to see w whole museum devoted to these boats and see the originals. They also have one in at Mystic Seaport. I like to row. Expeditionary, wilderness type rowing, or just a row around Auke Bay in front of the house for a workout. We rowed from Sitka to Juneau in July which was a good adventure and took a couple of weeks and included some water we would prefer to have avoided.

Mystic Seaport has some great SLRS pictures here....

Well, you don't have to be in Alaska to enjoy traditional rowing and sailing...let's say you were in Venice with some time on your hands...

Or, you're in Seattle with a hour or two to spare...why not rent a classic wooden rowing or sailing craft and give yourself a tour of Lake Union! Tell 'em Bill sent ya...(and you can buy one of our nice sailboat pins to commemorate the experience!)

And of course the pelvic saddle of rowing traditions Oxford...has a great page up on rowing, including stuff like all the club and school blade patterns, the invention of the sliding seat and so on...