The Classic Whitehall Spirit® 17 sailing rowboat delights every sailor from beginner to the most ardent sailor with its ease of handling and it’s classy and efficient sail rig. It sails comfortably with one, two, three, or even four adults aboard. It can sail in very shallow water due to its kick-up rudder and kickup solid bronze centerboard. The midship fixed seats are removable for ease of crew movement and more crew space while sailing.
This lightweight boat sails very well in lighter wind with all sails flying and features built-in jiffy reefing gear on the mainsail for higher winds. It can be reefed while out on the water. If the wind disappears it’s a pleasure to extend the oars and enjoy a smooth row home at a good rate of speed. This boat can be rowed for hours at 3 to 5 knots and faster for brief periods. It can sail much faster than its rowing speed wind due to its extreme lightness and shallow draft, other than when close hauled and sailing upwind. With the centerboard and rudder retracted it requires only 6” of water to float so it’s ideal for landing on beaches and going exploring ashore.
The large sail area with its low center of effort reduces the heeling movement of the boat (tendency to lean) without sacrificing performance. The rig sets up fast when changing from rowing to sailing mode. The free-standing mast requires no stays or wires and simply slips into the mast socket or lifts out to stow within the boat. The mainsail on this standing lug style rig can be tacked across with full control using only the mainsheet.
It can be equipped with one or two of the optional slide seat sculling gear with hinged bronze outriggers. For this the mast, boom and sailing gear and fixed seats are removed so that either one or two optional slide seat sculling units can be installed. It’s ready in minutes anytime one wants to go slide seat rowing (sculling). This boat is very stable and safe even while rowing in wind and waves. In sculling mode, it is great for beginners, experienced, or hard-core competitive rowers. It’s perfect for fitness training or cross-training and those who desire a low-impact, full-body workout. In slide seat sculling mode it’s basically identical to the Whitehall Spirit® Slide Seat Sculling Model with the added benefit of sailing when preferred.
The slide seat sculling units are designed to be removed or installed in a minute or two. With the fixed seats installed the boat now converts into a three-position fixed seat traditional rowboat that also can be rowed by one, two, or three people.
The aft or center fixed seat rowing stations are great for rowing alone. Three people rowing at once is a fun family activity and this boat will cruise along at 5 to 6 knots (10-12K), looking quite amazing to any onlookers.
If you require traditional oars we supply the best available. There is a choice of Spruce/Carbon Traditional Oars with Leather collars and pressure cast oarlocks or all Carbon Fiber Traditional Oars with plastic collars and offset oarlocks.
This Classic Whitehall Spirit® features built-in buoyancy forward and aft and is available with the factory optional removable Solid Teak Floorboard or the fully buoyant Ocean Tender Floor. The Ocean Tender Floor adds substantial extra reserve buoyancy, an important safety feature, to the boat. It’s recommended for when the boat is used as a ship’s tender or shore boat on a large yacht. Other factory options include a stainless-steel keel strip or a custom name. Check out the sailing options on the sailing gear accessories page.
This Classic Whitehall Spirit® 17 Sail model is right at home on the deck of a yacht, at the cabin, on a trailer in the garage or parked on a dock. If stored outside perhaps on a trailer, and exposed to weather, then Lexan battens and a fitted Sunbrella cover are recommended. If tying to a dock is likely to happen, consider adding a set of tie-up lines and fenders to your order.
This model is also available as the Expedition 17 model, which features all of the available options including the slide seat sculling gear and other included features such as a removable bowsprit and roller furling light air jib.
Maintenance involves cleaning the teak and applying a coat of exterior teak oil and requires only about three hours per year. See the article on Care, Storage & Maintenance of your Classic Whitehall Spirit®.
Like all Classic Whitehall Spirit® models this boat is impeccably constructed on a custom basis by our master craftsmen in our shop in Victoria, BC. It is built to easily last for 100 years or more providing sailing and rowing pleasure for generations. Our commitment to producing the highest quality combined with superior design makes this the ultimate boat of its type in the marketplace. It is CE certified, and US Coast Guard approved. Built-in buoyancy makes it virtually unsinkable.
We are happy to offer our assistance either by a voice phone call or by email to provide additional information or to provide a quote for a Classic Whitehall Spirit® and accessories delivered to your driveway or cottage anywhere in Canada, mainland USA, or shipped elsewhere in the world. We offer certified custom crating for offshore boat orders and have shipped worldwide for over 30 years. At present there are thousands of Whitehall Spirit® boat owners located in over 52 countries.