In general, a distinction is made between firstly racing boats, which are rather narrow, long and light, have inner keel and fin, washboard and breakwater, air boxes in the bow and stern, keel jump and fin helm, and secondly so-called gigs (training boats), which are wider, shorter and heavier and have outer and inner keel, continuous gunwale, open boat room, deck jump, as well as a stern helm.
Different drive modes Within both types, a distinction is made according to their method of propulsion. In scull boats, the oarsman has two sculls in his hands - so the propulsion is double-sided through two oars. In oar boats, the propulsion is one-sided through one oar (strap), which is grasped with both hands. A skiff (single) can therefore only be a scull boat when rowing.
Construction Racing boats are subject to safety regulations (bow ball, oar blades, stem boards), which are laid down in the general competition regulations of the German Rowing Association. A gig can be distinguished between clinkered boats and boats with a smooth outer skin. As a rule, the boats are made of wood, bent or molded plywood and, increasingly, fiber-reinforced plastics (GRP).
Rowing boats at Olympic Games and World Championships Men's rowing has been part of the Olympic Games program since 1896. Women's rowing was added in 1976 and since 1996 there have been competitions in lightweight classes (Lgw). The world rowing federation FISA has organized world championships since 1962. Initially, these were held every four years, but since 1974 they have been held annually. Boat classes in competition range from the single scull (1x) with a length of 7.78 m, weighing 14 kg, to the double eight with coxswain (8x+) with a length of 17 m and 100 kg boat weight.
Other types of rowing boats There are also forward rowing boats. Unlike a 'normal' rowboat, in such boats you sit facing the direction of travel. The power is converted via interlocked joints with the normal rowing motion to move forward. Another development is roller outrigger boats, which no longer have a conventional roller seat, which reduces the pitching of the boat. However, these types of boats are not approved for competition by the World Rowing Federation (FISA). On coastal waters, you may also encounter so-called seegigs - boats that are wider, allowing you to row laterally offset from each other. The oars are then hooked onto the opposite side of the boat from the rowing position. This makes a seegig less susceptible to larger ocean waves.