This whitehall rowing boat was built to lines from an 1896 boat in the Baker Boat Works catalogue. The original boat is in the collection of Mystic Seaport Museum and is called Azulykit. This is the second boat I have built to plans from Baker Boat Works (see the scow schooner yawl boat in Museum Boats) and I can vouch for their excellent detail and accuracy. I built the whitehall with cabinetmaker Don Minnerly for a client in Florida. The construction was glued-lapstrake plywood. We used Douglas fir marine plywood for this boat, but I now use marine grade mahogany plywoods. Glued lapstrake is a viable alternative to traditional construction. It results in a very stiff and strong hull, and given the dimensional stability of plywood, with proper coatings a paint or varnish finish should require very low maintenance. The transom, thwarts, knees and sheerstrakes of this whitehall are mahogany. The boat is 15-feet long and one of the nicest whitehall designs I have ever seen.
Whitehalls were fancy rowing boats originally used in the nineteenth century by businessmen to row out to meet incoming sailing ships. Their name comes from Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan. Although there are other famous traditional American rowing designs, such as the St. Lawrence river skiff and the Adirondack guideboat, none were as versatile as the whitehall.