Dennis Ruane and old Van Dusen singles?

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1xsculler
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Dennis Ruane and old Van Dusen singles?

Postby 1xsculler » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:19 pm

Quite a few scullers, including Dennis Ruane, Trish miles and others, still row 15 year old Van Dusens at HOCR and place very well with consistency. At least one even bought a new V.D. Advantage, sold it and went back to the V.D. Traditional. These boats evidentally remain competitive and/or super scullers are rowing them.

Any comments?
I usually win if none of the guys who are faster than I am show up and if I don't go off course.

Long & Low
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Postby Long & Low » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:32 pm

I don't know enough about Van Dusens to tell one year from another. But we have a few at our Club that are at least 25 years old. The deck cloth has been changed a couple of times but the hulls remain stiff, fair and minimum weight. What else do you need in a boat?

JT and Ben
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Postby JT and Ben » Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:39 pm

yeah i've seen and heard the same thing where i row. the traditional hull van dusen is pretty stiff and really light--most of them below minimum weight. we've got a handful of traditional hull van dusens from the late '80's at my club that are still fast boats. although i heard rumors that especially with the older van dusens it was kind of a crap shoot as to whether a boat would move or not. i've heard stories of two different van dusens with the same hull type and everything--one moved really well and the other didn't for some reason.

Sjobber
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Postby Sjobber » Sun May 18, 2008 5:35 pm

I am sorry to kick this topic, but I think it is cleaner than opening a new one.
At the end of this year my club will buy a new single (75KG). And with the current dollar rate it's almost inevitable to look at the USA/CAN market. So I am trying to get some information on USA/CAN boats.
And in this topic I read that some unknown dude (for me) had changed his new Van Dusen for an old one.

So I got my question marks...
Are the 'new' Van Dusens that 'bad'? Are they easy to maintain, or a pain in the a$$? Like a hole in the hull, can a boatsman fix it (our boatsman can fix an Filippi Italian 2, but not the S class for example).
If you can compare them to a ship from an European company, which one would it be?
How long will they be competative/ keep their stiffness? What are the abilities, or experience?


Oh yeah... I am looking at a few ships.
Van Dusen Advantage -> for the name.
Levator Flight -> To try something new, looks astonishing.
Levator Excellence -> To try something new, looks astonishing.
Levator Legacy -> Try something new, looks astonishing.
Pocock classic -> VAK shell, for the name but can it compete against the 21st century.

If anyone can recommend another ship, please do so.

1xsculler
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Postby 1xsculler » Sun May 18, 2008 6:56 pm

The new Van Dusen Advantages are definitely an improvement over the V.D. Traditional although the Traditional is also a very good boat. There is nothing "bad" about them. The Advantage is stiff, extremely well built and designed and easier to maintain than the Traditional because of the hard decks.
The Pocock Hypercarbon is an outstanding boat as are the Wintech Medalist and International models. Lt. Wolf's Raven seems to be a super boat. The $6700 Fluid Gord is selling looks to be a great deal in a new single.
I purposely owned and rowed most all of them and I have nothing bad to say about any of the top boats. They're all a little different but not one of them will hold back your progress as a sculler nor will one be easier or more difficult to row or faster than another in a meaningful way. One may feel faster on any given day but it would be nearly impossible to prove. They're all durable, repairable and will remain light, stiff and fast until you're tired of them and ready for a new boat for whatever reason.
I usually win if none of the guys who are faster than I am show up and if I don't go off course.

Norm
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Postby Norm » Sun May 18, 2008 8:05 pm

A well cared for older single, like an origional VD can be a very fast boat. Construction materials are so good, that unless the boat takes on water or is unduly stressed in an accident or something, it should be a great boat for a decade or more. In that time span or longer, design is a greater issue than a boat wearing out. It's all in the glue.

Sjobber
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Postby Sjobber » Mon May 19, 2008 5:59 am

K, the VD advantage will be a serious option. I don't know about fluidesign, wintech and as for Hudson. They seem to playish/tupperware to me.
They give me the idea of a BBG. We've got two of those, but they're already worn out (k, one fell down the trailer while driving... so huge repairs, but still).

The pocock hypercarbon also seems to be a good one. But it's to me like, you have the pocock wooden shells, which are astonishing. And you have this carbon thing which is... yeah, just normal I guess.

I am still with the Levators in my mind. Should we give it a shot? Ain't my money, but it should still be well spend ;)

fatboy
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Postby fatboy » Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 am

Looks to me like you're lookign for something different primarily for the sake of the differnce

The US manufacturers you mention don't routinely ship to Europe, so on top f the US proce you'll have to pay shipping and duty - which has an adverse effect obviously. Looking at those builders who do sell in the UK, their prices are competive but not significantly better than European makers, and that's with bulk shipping (or at leat a containerful at a time).

You also have tocontend with non-Euro fittings (11-mm nuts for starters) which is a little tedious.

So, I'd say take a choice on what's readily available be that Chinese or Canadian imports or Empachers, but I don't think it's worth going to the US for a one-off inmport

Sjobber
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Postby Sjobber » Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 am

I know of the shipping costs. But with this current dollar rate it wouldn't be that much extra. The prices do not differ much from the European and that's why I am looking at the USA/CAN market.

I am indeed looking for something completely different. I am a bit tired of Empacher and Carl Douglas skiffs to be honest. A safe call is to simply buy another Empacher, but a fleet with only Empachers would be kinda dull. As we want to promote the rowing sports, I think it would be cool to have some variation in the fleet and try some new things.
And with a one-off you'll get more attention at competitions, and so a better reputation. people get interested and stuff, you know the drill.
Next to that; I would be proud (as a sculler) to have one of the few European Van Dusens in our fleet :P.
The screws and bolts ain't such a problem.

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Postby Steven M-M » Mon May 19, 2008 8:10 am

Sjobber – VDs are excellent but just one word of caution. If this is to be a club boat, the foot stretchers cannot be adjusted on the water; you need to take the wing off to adjust the stretchers which are attached to the wing. They (like my Filippi wing) are good for individuals when you don’t need to reset the foot stretchers every row. They’re a pain for club boats.
Steven M-M

Sjobber
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Postby Sjobber » Mon May 19, 2008 8:21 am

Is it possible to get a (close-up) shot of this?
As I also want to know if it can be placed in other (selfmade handcrafted) boats.

The boat will be used by only one person a year for atleast 15 years, so... top-class ship; or maybe one level below.
(i think it would've been better if i had opened a new topic...)

1xsculler
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Postby 1xsculler » Mon May 19, 2008 12:14 pm

Actually, Steven, the foot stretcher on the V.D. Advantage is quite easy to change on the water, just two easily removable pins hold the foot stretcher to the wing.
It's interesting that the Empachers, BBGs and other European boats bore this guy. They've probably got WMs laying around over there too. Maybe he ought to order a Kirs or a Sykes from downunder.
V.D. wait time can easily be a full year but they're really nice boats IMHO.
I usually win if none of the guys who are faster than I am show up and if I don't go off course.

Steven M-M
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Postby Steven M-M » Mon May 19, 2008 1:28 pm

1x -- Good to know re the VD footstretcher. The few times I rowed one we made the change on land popping the entire wing off. My recollection was that the entire stretcher disconnected from the wing which could lead to some interesting moves on the water.
Steven M-M

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Postby boston_1x » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:59 am

a couple of 2-3-4-5 thoughts on the VD advantage.

1 - I bought one in 1993 and a 2nd in 2006... cracked up #2 in a head race & put the new wing on the old hull while #2 was getting fixed. I couldn't tell the difference between the hulls - they last for-ever. the wings on the other hand seem to have gotten better over the last 10yrs.

2 - the hulls are very very tough & wear/weather better than empachers or filippis

3 - they are much more maneuverable than other brands... R Empacher will be the first one to tell you he builds boats to go straight. If you care about being able to corner turns (read: HOCR)... the VD boat is a good one

4 - ted is now building the NK impeller into the boat's fin... very low profile & minimal drag... & good if you'd like to keep the speedometer running during races

5 - the reason you don't hear much about them, in terms of advertising, is that ted also builds racing spars for competitive sailors. he enjoys building racing boats, but the other stuff is higher margin and very much in demand, so the inbound order flow he gets for 1x's and 2x's is enough to keep him happy

nothing wrong with the old VD Elite hulls, if you're picking one up used... with some new decking & any needed retrofits, they're still quite fast.

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Postby Steven M-M » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:39 am

Boston -- The trad VD hull has a cult following. Do you know why VD altered the design in creating the Advantage? Was it to make the hull more sculler-friendly or does he feel the new design is faster?
Steven M-M


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