Fast Coastal Rowing Boats – Short but fast

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Fast Coastal Boats don’t always have to comply with the World Rowing standards. What we are looking for can be described in 3 words.

Light. Stable. Fast.

We tested the 2022 RUBENETTI Javea off the coast of Rügen in the Baltic Sea. It exceeded our expectations, and all three requirements were matched – the boat is light, stable and fast.

The conditions: A light eastern breeze (ESE) and Beaufort 2-3. Ideal for testing a boat. During the second test, the wind got stronger (Beaufort 5), and we faced about 0.80m (2.6ft) waves.

Leasure Coastal Boats and “Hybrids”

We refer to Coastal Boats that don’t match the FISA requirements as “Hybrids” or Recreational/Leisure Coastal Boats. They are ideal for larger, wavy lakes, training, and for fun rowing along the coast. The Javea weighs 22.3 kg (50lbs) and is 4.30 m (14ft) long. It’s 1.70m shorter than the requirement for a regatta.


Even launching this boat is easy. Due to the weight, you can get the boat off the car roof by yourself at any time. Attach the rigger (quickrelease) – and off you go. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a jetty or slipway. It can be folded down from the boat — a huge advantage when you are at the slipway.

The first strokes

The boat accelerates extremely fast. The tail allows direct transmission of the used power and gets the boat moving quickly. The fin must be extended, of course. Then the boat stays on course. It is striking how fast the boat gains momentum. Unusual for a boat that’s so short. Other “Hybrids” are not that fast.

Rubenett Freizeit Ruderboote
RUBENETTI Javea: Light. Stable. Fast.

Moderate waves:

The boat is very stable. It is also quite forgiving if a wave whips the skull out of your hand. Thanks to its flat hull, it is not wobbly and feels very comfortable. The bow doesn’t jump as you know it from other shorter boats. The 30cm (1ft) waves and the flat wind were good for the boat. We tried to bring the boat up to speed – against the waves, and after a few seconds, we measured almost 11 km/h (6.83 mp/h). A normal racing skiff with a length of nearly 9m is about 14-15 km/h (9 mp/h), and that’s with no wind and on flat water without waves. Comparable boats like the Lite River (which is also a bit longer) are at 9.7km/h (6mp/h). Although “length usually runs” in rowing, the hull’s shape is ultimately decisive, especially since you can’t go to the coast with many leisure rowing boats.

Surfing Wind and Waves

The boat gave us great pleasure. The boat turns into a glider from a wave height of about 80cm (2.62ft). The stern lifts and rises as soon as the wave approaches from the stern. You accelerate the boat immediately with short strokes, and the surfing phase starts. My feeling from a previous test row in Spain was confirmed. This boat gives me the best “surfing” feeling. It picks up asap. In long spanish waves as well as in the short Baltic Sea waves. Yes, against the wave, the bow jumps a bit. Sometimes it even dips a little bit. At no time, however, so far, the bow’s tip remained underwater for a long time. Thanks to the length, or in this case rather the shortness, we experienced an immediate “Coastal Feeling”. We just loved it.


With the fin extended, the boat has excellent directional stability. The fin was 5 inches long and adequate for the size of the boat. If the wind and the waves came from the side, we had to readjust now and then and pull over one side. Nevertheless, the connection between directional stability and manoeuvrability is very good. If you use the “slingshot effect” when turning, we did the turn in 3 strokes – 180 degrees in 3 strokes; imagine that in other boats… We tried it several times. Fascinating.  Check out the video on Youtube.

Fast Coastal Rowing Boats – Speed for everyone!!!

Despite its length, this boat is a boat for the coast and larger lakes. It’s enjoyable on the coast in moderate conditions—a real fun boat. And at an affordable price (starting at 4300.00€), RUBENETTI has designed a good symbiosis of stability and speed. With its weight range of 18-26 kg, a light boat that will encourage many to use it as a leisure rowing boat. And the transport on the roof of a car? Not an issue for most cars.


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Andrea

    I live in Pesaro (in Italy near Rimini) and I row in the Adriatic sea with a wintech sup rower.
    The wintech sup rower is easy to use but doesn’t cut waves well and the sliding rigger often gets stuck.
    For these reasons I would like to buy a new boat more suitable for coastal rowing. I am looking for a boat that is not too long and with a quick release rigger; I am undecided between Rubenetti Javea and Litesport 1x.
    In your opinion, which one is more suitable for rowing in light sea conditions among the short waves of the Adriatic sea?

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