Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions 2017-08-11T11:02:04+00:00

Here are a few answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions. Can’t find what your looking for? Please feel free to call us or send an email.

Yes, with the customized heavy duty roof-racks shown here it is possible to car top a Solo 14™. Scott Bessho of Seattle says: “Here is a picture of the car-top setup I have. It’s a Thule base rack and kayak saddle system with a Maine Roll-On roller on the back attached to an INNO rack extender that gets the roller back beyond the rear hatch of my car for loading and unloading.” All of these options can be seen at

Bear in mind that the boat weighs 150 lbs (68 kilos) so care must be taken when handling.

Yes, but only in the fixed seat rowing mode. The Solo 14™ comes complete with two fixed seat rowing stations that allow two rowers with 71/2’ traditional oars the option of rowing together at the same time. In slide seat rowing model there is space for only one rower, however two more persons or pets can be accommodated at the same time.
Because this is such a unique and innovative product it is difficult to compare it to other boats. Note that these are top quality boats. We believe a boat should do exactly what it’s designed to do and should be built to last. Therefore, the hull is thermoformed from co-polymer plastic, tougher by far than more inexpensive polyethylene and much more impact proof than fiberglass. (See the video) There is a layer of UV proof “Solartkote™ ) acrylic bonded to the exterior of the deck and hull so degradation by sunlight is virtually eliminated. This material stays shiny and does not chalk over time like non-maintained gelcoat.

Included with the boat is all the gear found in a racing shell but built even tougher to handle rough salt water conditions. Inside the hull is another interior structural support grid which further stiffens and strengthens the boat enabling it to withstand the forces imposed by rowing and carry quite large loads. The rower and the boat both get a great workout!

The forces involved in rowing whether in slide seat mode or traditional rowing are much greater than most other marine activities. Also included is the movable fixed seat and it’s rowing gear, nonskid, a drain plug and reinforced towing or lifting eyes. It’s a lot of boat, and well worth the price but you don’t have to take our word for the value of these boats, just read the loveletters posted by the owners themselves.

So far they have been produced only in white. We can provide the boat with coloured decks in the case of a volume order of 12 or more boats. Clubs or Resorts may appreciate this option. However 8 weeks lead time is required prior to shipment to allow for receiving a special order from the plastic suppliers.
The polymer plastic used to produce the boat is extremely impact resistant, which means the likelihood of putting a hole in it is extremely unlikely. See the Solo 14™ video with the part showing the hull being hammered several times in the same spot by a 3lb. (1.36 kilo) steel hammer with no resulting damage. Fiberglass would not handle direct impact of this sort.

Like all boats, the exterior can be scratched on sharp or abrasive surfaces, such as barnacles, or sharp edges. It can also abrade over time on sand and we recommend handling your boat carefully to avoid this. An optional stainless steel keel strip is recommended for rough beach landings. In beach situations a dolly, boat slider track or trailer will help suffice to help keep the boat scratch free. Boats kept out of the water on a bunk or lift, that are launched directly into the water and are not landed on beaches will stay pretty much pristine.

Minor scratching can be easily buffed out. Major gouges can be filled. For boats that will be landed on concrete or rocks we recommend the factory option of a stainless steel keelstrip. Major repairs are likely an insurance issue however unless the damage is so extensive the boat is a complete write off almost any damage can be repaired by our professional factory staff.

Definitely! Many of our owners have made rowing their Solo 14™ a big part of their fitness plan. They are thrilled with the results because it’s an enjoyable way to reach their goals.

Sliding seat or fixed seat rowing is an easy form of exercise, however if you are new to it we recommend starting slowly, being very careful in balancing your weight when getting into and out of the boat and keeping your rowing time down to under half an hour for the first few times out, regardless of how good it feels.

Stability is needed in two areas, the first is when boarding the boat. Compared to a canoe, kayak, rowing shell or stand up paddle board the Solo 14™ is much more stable. A rower can easily step into the boat and sit down. In calm water it is quite possible to stand, for example, to fly fish. In rough water and larger waves the Solo 14™ exhibits another type of stability allowing waves to pass underneath while remaining steady in the water. Rowing skill is required for manoeuvering or making headway in wind and rough waves. The Whitehall’s lines, dating back to the 17th century, that the Solo 14™ hull is derived from, is renowned for handling rough, choppy wave conditions. It is regarded as one of the most stable, seaworthy hulls ever designed.
We hardly ever see any used boats as they are so loved by their owners. However, we do occasionally have someone upgrade, so contact us to find out more and we can add your contact information and the specific model requested to our “wait” list. In NA call 1 800 663 7481.
The good news is these boats fit on any number of conventional small trailers available pretty much everywhere. One we recommend is the EZ Loader 12′ bunk style galvanized trailer. Additional items for easier handling are: A tongue jack, an additional keel roller and a piece of nylon angle edge installed on the aft cross-beam. The bunks can be adjusted. We have an article on our Classic Boats web site called Trailer Your Boat with a link to the EZ Loader and Shorelander Trailers Inc, manufacturers web sites that gives a list of Distributors across the US. Lighter weight aluminum models such as the Trailex are available through retailers including Cabela.

Typical recommended models suitable for the Solo 14™ include the following:

E Z Loader glavanized trailer – EZ 12-14′

Shorelander bunk Trailer – SLB10TS

Carnai Trailers Inc (Recently acquired Calkins Trailer Inc.) – recommend ‘Tuffy’ Model

Trailex Sports Utility Trailers – SUT-200-S Ultra Light Duty Single or SUT-250-S Light Duty Single

Many people think they should have the option of using an outboard but when we check with a few months them later almost all do not use one as the boat rows so well under oars. So we recommend trying the boat out before spending money on an engine. However if you are using the boat on a river where there’s a need to overcome a current or for traveling a few miles to a fishing spot or finally to get off a lake or water that is subject to wind squalls an outboard motor could be helpful. The transom height determines that it needs to be a “long shaft” with 21” or so to the cavitation plate. This will keep the prop in the water in wave conditions. If you are out alone there must be a steering tiller fitted so you can sit on the slide seat or the fixed seat to balance out the boat. The overall weight of the motor should be under 25lbs (11.5 kg.) Most people find a 2hp gasoline outboard works best. An Electric OB

will also Whitehall Solo Towingwork well. There are many types but the new lithium battery powered “Torqeedo” is self contained and the latest technology. Model 401S with a 23” shaft is recommended. It’s carried by West Marine, Jamestown Distributors and other vendors.

Many owners do this and enjoy a tour of our facilities at the same time. On a factory pickup all sales are subject to Provincial (PST – 7%) and Federal Canadian taxes (GST- 5%). Deliveries to the US are not subject to any Canadian taxes so delivery via our truck can often cost less. Local delivery to non-Canadian registered yachts “in transit” is also exempt from all Canadian taxes. You can also arrange for a pickup in Blaine WA. Here is a link to a map of the Blaine WA pickup location.

When ordering their boats most owners take advantage of our “door to door” delivery service as part of the package. Occasionally, to accommodate these your needs, our driver will meet up at a pre-arranged time and location (such as Blaine or elsewhere) and you take delivery and transport your boat to its destination. See the check list for what’s needed that also applies to boats that are picked up at the factory.

The Solo 14™ with it’s “Whitehall” style tracking keel tows very well even in rougher conditions. The bow eye is designed to be strong enough for towing or hoisting the boat. See the “Loveletter” and photos on towing the Solo 14™ sent by a happy owner that uses his as a ships tender.
Boat Trailer: You will require a suitable road legal trailer. Suitable trailers and trailering tips are listed on our website at Trailering your Whitehall Spirit boat and also (for a Solo 14™) at What trailer is best? in the FAQ section. You are legally required to use tie-down straps. A red flag is also suggested for the stern.

Car topping a Solo 14™: Classic models are not recommended for car top transport. For car-topping your Solo 14™, the roof rack must have a width of a minimum of 50 inches in order to accommodate the 46 inch beam (upside down). If the vehicle roof is long and flat, the racks must be high enough to account for the “rocker” or curved shape of the gunnels (7½ inches over 14 ft. or 19 cm over 4.27 m).

A minimum of two (2) tie down straps as well as bow and stern (2) ropes to secure the ends are also required. A red flag is also suggested.

For a suitable “upright” car-top racking system see more from these FAQs.

Padding or cushioning is sometimes required for car-top transportation and is expected to be provided by the purchaser. Our driver does not normally carry extra lines or tie-down straps. Straps or lines can be purchased from us and shipped with the delivery. Call or email to arrange this if required.

Please have your cell phone on and at the ready in order to rendezvous with our driver at the agreed location and time.

Please feel free to call the toll-free line at 1-800-663-7481 if you have any questions.

Wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is a personal responsibility. The laws regarding wearing PFDs vary from country to country. For rowers and standup paddlers the most suitable type of PFD is the inflatable belt type which is ultra light and super comfortable. Most importantly the belt type of PFD does not interfere with the oar stroke or paddle stroke. So don’t be surprised if well meaning people ask, “Where’s your lifejacket?”, as these belt type PFDs are sleek, small and hard to see. The old fashioned vest type can be used, however many people find this type too bulky and uncomfortably hot to wear in warm weather.