Indoor Rowing Facility
Durham Boat Company, Inc. is the leading provider of indoor rowing tanks in the World and has been designing and installing commercial indoor rowing tanks for nearly 20 years. These facilities are primarily used for off season rowing, muscle specific conditioning and technique training.
Recent tank enhancements allow the tank customer to select from a wider range of configuration and rigging options to achieve a greater range of stroke rate options. Most changes are readily retrofittable to existing tanks. In addition to technique rowing at steady state, AT and Transportation pieces can be done in the tank with stroke rates up to the mid 30ís. With our enhanced tank design we exceed the performance achieved by most powered tanks, with a fraction of the cost.
Any size system can be constructed between a one-station reversible sweep tank to a 16-station or more, four-pool sweep/sculling installation. For the cost conscious sweep only program we can offer a two-pool sweep configuration with some modifications to provide two rows of sweep people side-by-side. To date, we have installed all sizes from 2-station to 16 station tanks, with our modular design allowing for any number of rowing stations. We do not recommend greater than 8 athletes in a row, so that it is still usable with lower number of participants.
By optimization of fluid flow, minimizing fluid volume and proportioning outboard lever and blade size, the water volume of our design need be only a fraction of other tank designs. The function of most indoor rowing tanks is to instruct novices in the proper blade work technique and steady state rowing. With our recent enhancements to our tanks, we can now use the tanks for all workouts except the shorter high stroking pieces.
The customer must realize that the speed of the water in a tank has little correlation to the actual average speed in a boat. The average speed of a boat is much faster then what the blade sees when it is in the water propelling the boat. This is because the boat surges on recovery when the oars are out of the water. What the rower's blade in a boat sees is the slowest speed that the boat goes and not until well into the recovery is the boat going its fastest. In addition, as the velocity increases in a tank, so does the turbulence in most designs. In a boat, this can happen through weather or boat wakes. However on a calm day when the water is flat, the rowers just row away from turbulence caused by blade action and resultant turbulence as manifested as the oar puddles.
We work closely with architects, design engineers, on-site facilities people and rowing coaches to insure a complete ready-to-row indoor rowing system. Our tanks are turnkey installations in that we manufacture all of components, ship them to the site and send in a team to assemble all of the components. We can provide water treatment and several fiberglass or wooden walkway and fascia designs as options.
With our standard design, each of the modular tank sections can fit through a man-door (i.e., each fiber glass section is 4.5 ft. long and 9 ft. wide). For example an 8-station tank will have two end sections, a smoothing water section and eight rowing center sections. Each section is then bolted together along the common 4" flange and sealed. The rowing unit weldment supports the monorail, seat and foot stretcher assembly and is built in 2 station sections. Load bearing rigger arms are bolted to the weldment so that a walkway can be installed over the rigger. To achieve the correct load for sweep rowing, an oar with a blade area about the same as a standard sculling oar is used.
New in October 2011, we started to include an inner race splash shields as a standard item in tank quotes and began contacting our installed base of tank owners of this enhancement. This enhancement helps organize water flow and minimize wave action without increasing drag. This splash shield is now offered in several color options: Green/black, blue/black, tan/black or black. In 2012, we started offering powder coated stainless steel foot stretchers as standard.
The most versatile and popular sweep configuration consists of one or two 8-person sweep tank(s) with two or four pools and configured as in a boat with alternating port and starboard stations. This configuration can be used for sculling with special tank sculling oars. All tanks are equipped with two locks for each seat that can be used either sculling or sweep. Beginning in 2011, a wider range of spread/span adjustments became standard equipment and well as Carbon Seats Made by Dreher. The standard footprint of each 8-person tank excluding any room for a walkway on the outside of the tank is 20.5 ft. x 49.5 ft.
In order to allow for aisle space, a four-foot space should be provided around the perimeter of the tanks. This extra space provides an area for the team to assemble, for mirrors, oar racks and access to the equipment to provide periodic maintenance. Site requirements need only be a level concrete floor.
Presently, we have installed 26 indoor rowing facilities of various sizes (2 to 16 stations) for university, high school, fitness centers and club rowing/sculling programs, since we started offering this product. In addition we have provided tank specific rowing equipment to older tanks around the world and well as work in collaboration with others on unique tank one-off tank designs and to provide our expertise in static, athlete powered and mechanically pumped designs. In addition we are going back to our installed base of customers and offering those customers the latest features on their tanks.
We have examined both powered and non-mechanically assisted flow technology in developing our latest tank enhancements and have come to the conclusion that an athlete-powered tank design can more closely approximate the force levels and handle velocity experienced in the boat. A powered tank has a great mass of water moving at a constant velocity and this prevents the rowers from executing the drive as it is intended: In the boat during the drive phase the rower accelerates the handle to the finish because the boat picks up speed from the catch to finish. Just as in the boat, in the Dreher "athlete powered" tank, the rowers are the pumps. The better the technique, strength, fitness level and synergy of the athletes, the higher the achievable stroke rate and efficiency. With the load matched more closely to what is seen in the boat, the acceleration to the finish is achievable because the water is allowed to be more responsive to the athletes' power input.
For new and existing tank customers, please contact us about methods for providing "instantaneous" feedback that can turn your tank into a powerful rowing simulator. For more information on Force Measurement Equipment capabilities and its use in a Dreher Indoor Rowing Tank in improve all aspects of the stroke.
For more information on the Dreher Athlete Powered Tanks, see the attached 2013 Tank Brochure.