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.

We sell direct without Dealers. This benefits our customers in many ways. Clients communicate directly with experienced knowledgeable sales people who have hands-on experience with all of our models plus great input from hundreds of Whitehall boat owners. Purchasing direct also means dealer markup is avoided so one gets a top quality boat for less money. Our workmanship is guaranteed and we have a track record of complete customer satisfaction including delivery right to their door in our custom delivery truck.

If you have any other questions that come up please give us a call or send an email. We have over twenty years of experience relating to these boat models and input from hundreds of boat owners to call upon regarding all aspects of use and ownership.

Rowing models are strictly for rowing and are all set up for traditional oars with bench seats and bronze oarlock sockets on the gunnel. Slide seat units can be installed in any model from the 11’6″ Westcoast and larger, to convert a traditional rowboat to a rowing shell with the added benefit of a full body workout in a safe seaworthy boat. A slide seat unit includes the teak base, slide seat, tracks, adjustable foot brace and hinged bronze outriggers and oarlocks mounted on the gunnels. The slide seat base is removed by pulling four pins, and replacing the removable bench seat converts it back to a traditional rowboat, all in about five minutes.

Sailing models row identically to the rowing models, and can also be fitted with optional slide seat units and feature integral centerboard wells and mast step assemblies. A “pre-sail” model has these integral features included, but is purchased without the mast, lug, boom, sails, rigging, bronze centreboard, and rudder system.

There is no performance compromise whether the boat is used as a traditional rowboat, a slide seat rowboat, or a sailboat.

The fine lines of a Whitehall rowing boat represent several hundred years of refinement in an ongoing quest for efficiency in all areas. It has a fine entry, gently curved midsections and a tucked stern with an elegant wineglass transom. It also features a tracking keel to aid in directional stability. Early examples date back to the Thames River boats in the 1600s. Smaller models were used to transport people, while larger versions moved people and gear.


The Dory evolved from a need for economic, easily built rowboats that could pack a load (often hundreds of pounds of fish) carried low in the hull. The original dorys were flat sided with high freeboard and featured a flat bottom. The sides are brought together to a steeply angled point at both ends. Dorys could be stacked nested together such as on the deck of a fishing schooner. Modern recreational rowing dory designs retain the flat bottoms but have lower freeboard and vary somewhat in the shape of the sides and many are very attractive. Narrow designs tend to be unstable.


Not for regular road travel. Keep in mind that the boat weighs 150 lbs (68 kilos) so care must be taken when handling. If you need to transport the boat for a move to the cabin you strap it securely to your roof racks or put it in the back of a pick-up.

Some inventive folks have put together their own customized heavy duty roof racks that have worked for them, however we recommend a road trailer for transport if you plan to regularly travel by road with the boat. All that is needed is the lightest weight bunk trailer available.

Also see:

Absolutely. A 14′ model is slightly easier to row than a 17′ model because it has slightly less wetted surface area. But if you have a large family or on occasion wish to row with several people a 17′ model works both while rowing alone or with four or five people aboard.
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.
All of our sailing models are excellent for teaching kids to sail. Our favorite is the Westcoast 11’6″ model because it has very good performance characteristics and can be fitted with a bowsprit and a jib. It carries three adults or kids, The elegant Whitehall Spirit 14 sails really well but is a little harder to learn to tack because of its long tracking keel. It has finer ends and carries the same payload as the Westcoast 11’6″. The Whitehall Spirit 17 sails well with up to five adults or six kids aboard and is great for row/sail camping. The Tyee Spirit 14 will easily carry three or four adults or kids and sails very well. All of these models row exceptionally well. Rowing adds to the skills for boat handling or maneuvering in close quarters plus enables kids to enjoy the boat when there’s no wind. More importantly it’s easy to get back if the wind dies completely. You are welcome to call us as we have plenty of experience to draw on to help you make the best decision. Our toll-free number is 1-844-880-5151.
All models including the Minto will carry people of large stature and weight. As an all-around beach boat or yacht tender that can be fitted out for slide seat rowing, the Westcoast 11’6″ works well. Many owners who are big people love this model. If a boat is intended for optimum slide seat rowing the Whitehall Spirit 14 or Tyee Spirit 14 should be considered. Many owners are very pleased with the rowing and sailing characteristics of the Tyee Spirit 14. It is a “fuller” hull design which supports more weight particularly at the bow and stern. Because of this it is also ideal for carrying the weight of a small outboard on the transom. For pure slide seat style rowing, the Whitehall Spirit 14 will accommodate persons from the smallest up to the largest. The Whitehall Spirit 17 can handle two slide seat rowers of any size or a single person of any size. All of these classic models are still the best ever designed for load carrying, ease of handling, and seaworthiness in any sea conditions.
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.

Teak is without a doubt the best wood for marine use due to its beautiful appearance, superior strength, longevity and lowest maintenance. It is the main reason we know our boats are easily capable of lasting 100 years or more. Finely crafted teak is also the reason these boats look so great and command high resale values. Teak has a natural oil that prevents decay and enables easy maintenance. It is treated with three coats of all-purpose exterior grade oil with UV and mildew inhibitors before delivery. Re-oiling is fast and easy and takes only an hour or two at the most, and need only be done once or twice a year depending on how much sun and water exposure your boat receives.

A stainless steel keel strip greatly prevents the keel from damage if it hits rocks, concrete or other hard surfaces. It also greatly prevents gelcoat wearing off the keel from constant beaching particular in the bow area. Over a few years even gravel will cause wear through abrasion. The keel strips installed on these models have a curved shape and wrap around the keel somewhat, particularly in the bow where it’s most needed. Keel strips are through-bolted into the keel and the bolts sealed and glassed into the keel to insure against leakage when the bolt head contacts rocks etc.

When the wind gets up and a smaller sail would feel more comfortable or safer a jiffy reefing system allows you to quickly reduce the area of the mainsail. If you sail in an area where there are unpredictable winds or use the boat as an offshore tender, jiffy reefing is a recommended option. How jiffy reefing works is two reefing lines run from each end of the boom up through an eyelet set in special reinforced sections of the mainsail a given distance up the sail and back down to the boom. The main halyard is partially loosened. Simultaneously the forward reefing line is taken up until the eyelet is lowered down to the boom. Then it’s made fast to one of two designated cleats installed on the boom. The main halyard is tightened and re-cleated and then the aft reefing line tightened and cleated. A section of the mainsail has been lowered and the boat is slowed down and easier to handle. There is a demonstration of this in the DVD/video ‘Whitehall Sailing’ available from us and also supplied with each boat purchased. It is important to note that unlike many small sailboats all of our models allow the mainsail to be completely dropped and shipped aboard without going back ashore.
Our boats are built with top quality modern materials, to exacting standards by a team of professional master builders.

All 18 Classic Whitehall Spirit® models are built in teak, bronze and hand laid fiberglass. They are equally at home parked on a trailer in the garage, at the summer cottage or on the deck of a super yacht. The Whitehall Spirit® Classics are built to easily last a hundred years, thus are an investment in beauty, health and fitness that is unique in this day and age. They are owned and enjoyed by thousands of discriminating owners all over the world.

We also build the Whitehall Spirit® Solo 14 and Tango 17 are slide seat models that are great examples of modern engineering, design detail and are thermoformed out of space age copolymer plastic. These two models are virtually maintenance free, always beautiful and less costly than the Classic hand-built models. They include all the gear found in a racing shell but are built tougher to handle rough and even salt water conditions.

The actual forces involved in rowing, whether in slide seat mode or traditional rowing, are much greater than most other marine activities like canoeing or kayaking. In fact, a single slide seat rower produces the same power using both legs as two people using paddles. Hence the need for stronger materials, glues and fasteners. Also included with all of the boats are the removable fixed seat for traditional rowing, non-slip deck surfaces, a drain plug and reinforced towing or lifting eyes.

They are 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 testimonials posted by the owners themselves.

Custom colours are available for fiberglass models; this is an extra cost item that many owners enjoy.

Solo 14’s and Tango 17’s are produced only in white. The benefits of the colour white are that it doesn’t heat up, show scratches as easily and is easy to keep clean.

For both the Whitehall Spirit® Classic line and the Solo 14® and Tango 17® line of boats please go to the following link on Care, Storage and Maintenance at
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 maneuvering 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 are primarily builders with limited space and as many of our boats are shipped worldwide we do not have the ability to handle used boats. Also, they are in demand so the best place to find one is through an online directory such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
We don’t supply boats complete with a trailer for two reasons. First there are different registration forms required for different states & provinces. Registration is very difficult without the correct forms. Second, it is very expensive to ship a trailer due to size – it would cost about as much as the trailer itself. The good news is these boats fit on any number of conventional small bunk-style trailers available pretty much everywhere. One we recommend is the EZ Loader 12-14 1000 or 14-17 1250 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 crossbeam. The bunks can be adjusted.
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 work 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. (Read more and purchase the Torqeedo Electric Outboard here).
Unlike modern boat designs, the Whitehall Spirit hulls are easily driven through the water and are very seaworthy, although they will not achieve planing speeds. A long shaft gasoline-fueled outboard in the 2 hp range will propel a Whitehall Spirit 17 at a speed of 5-6 mph when running at half throttle.

As for electric motors, we now carry an electric motor option that pairs well with our boats. The Torqeedo Travel 1003 3 hp long shaft will deliver the needed thrust at a very light weight. You can learn more about this motor by clicking on the link above or by calling us to ask us questions directly.

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?“, here 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 1-844-880-5151 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.