Good Coastal Boats and where to find them

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Here are some criteria to find a good Coastal Boat:

Similar to cars, the new Coastal Boats are becoming more and more similar in their shape and technology. And the differences between different manufacturers and boats are not really easy to spot for amateurs, especially if you come from Olympic Rowing and just started with Coastal Rowing. Therefore, it is important that you understand what to look for when you buy a new (or used) Coastal Boat.

In the beginning, it is really important to understand where you actually use the boat – at the coast, in a bay, or at a large lake with rough water. Because even though you might be able to row your coastal boat everywhere, there is no boat that is perfect for all bodies of water. And not every “Light Boat” is actually a light boat. It’s good to compare.

Good Coastal Boats are easy to find

Good Coastal Boats and successful brands:

Brands like KANGHUA, Swift, RUBENETTTI and Filippi are successful at regattas at the moment. Especially if you think about competing at races or beach sprints those are the brands to consider. All 3 companies probably only differ in details and that is why it is important to know where you use the boat most of the time. The conditions in a harbor or large bay are completely different to the conditions on open waters or a coastline.
We have talked to successful French and Irish Coastal Rowers about their preferences, and they told us that their recommendations are the RS1 by RS-Sport, the C1x Race 11 and C2x Race 21 by RUBENETTI. Very surprisingly the Kanghua Co2x was mentioned as very performing. If you are interested in any of those boats, please contact us, and we might be able to arrange a viewing and a test row.

In either way, if you look at Coastal Boats, have a look at the hull. You’ll find V-Shapes, U-Shapes and even Y-shapes. Another aspect is the shape of the fin. But that’s a complete different story. Click here to learn more about the fin.


Modern Coastal Boats are produced either by hand-lamination or vacuum-injection. Vacuum-injection requires more equipment and is therefore slightly more expensive than hand-lamination, but the boats are lighter and stiffer. The semi-automatic process leads to a better distribution of the resins within the fabric.

The special case of light and short boats

If you want to compete in regattas, you should always look for boats that fulfil the FISA requirements. And the factor here is the weight. FISA has a minimum weight for the different boat classes but some brands like RUBENETTI or RS Boats have some models that are lighter than the FISA specifications. Those lighter boats are amazing for private use, but if you decide to participate at a regatta, you must have sandbag on your boat to make it heavier. If you ever face a problem like that, just send us an email. We’re happy to help you with that.
Besides that, some boats don’t even fulfil the size requirements by FISA. We call these boats:


We call boats that are similar to Coastal Boats in shape, but which can’t be rowed on the coast hybrids. They are neither real racing boats nor Coastal Boats. They are boats for leisure or training on wavy and rough lakes. The shape of their hull makes them a bit impractical for the coast. We have tried several models and think, that they don’t work well on the coast, but are perfect for rougher conditions on lakes or rivers. The X-light by RS Boats and the Coastal 1x Short by RUBENETTI are known to be the best boats of this class. Both can be transported easily on the roof of cars.


If you are looking to buy a Coastal Boat, we would suggest the following questions for you. – Does the bow cut waves, and can it hold its direction? – Does the boat keep the direction during waves? – Is the hull shaped for gliding/surfing? – What are the riggers like? Are they foldable? – Is the boat able to drain itself? – Is the boat produced by hand lamination or vacuum infusion? – What material is used – Carbon, GFR or Aramid? – Does the boat has storage compartment for life jacket or handles, so it can get carried easily? If you have any question about Coastal Boats send us an email! We are more than happy to help you with all your problems! Coastal Boats has test centres for test rowing in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK!

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