Latest News: Forums Technical Mounting a rowlock for sculling on a Wayfarer Mk2

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  • #34283
    James Watts

    Hi all,

    I have a GRP Mk2 with a traveller on top of the transom, and want to install a rowlock for sculling over the stern. Is the top of the GRP transom rigid enough to fit a rowlock socket on the outside (through-bolted to the inboard side)? Or would I need to drill a hole down from the top of the transom to mount the rowlock in? In this case I would either need to switch the traveller for a rope bridle or drill down through it.

    David Stanford

    I can’t answer the question about the strength of a MK2 GRP transom, but in the absence of any other replies so far I thought I’d put my oar in (sorry). I have put a rowlock on the transom of a MK1 composite with the same intention – I have wood to screw into from the top, and have done so – but I have a bridle rather than traveller so did not mind cutting away part of the old track which still remains (I fitted it off centre to starboard). I think an issue worth thinking about is that when sculling more of the force on the rowlock is downward than when rowing in the normal way (where it would tend to be more lateral). So it might be better if it does at least partly sit on top of the transom rather than relying on horizontal screws.

    But my biggest issue with sculling has been that I have not had a great deal of success on the few occasions I have tried. Possibly more my lack of skill, but I did read (can’t remember where) that the ideal length of oar for sculling a Wayfarer is something like 12ft! My oars are only 7ft, so maybe that is the problem?

    So if you have any success I would be keen to hear about it.


    James Watts

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your reply, I definitely agree it makes more sense to have the rowlock on the top of the transom if possible. I’ve been considering the possibility of replacing the traveller with a bridle, so your solution is looking like a good possibility!

    Would it be possible for you to get a photo of your arrangement? My guess is that the top of the transom is a similar form to mine, since you have a grp hull? Is the piece of wood you attached through bolted or just screwed to the transom?

    Thanks for the advice,


    David Stanford

    It would actually be surprisingly difficult for me to take a photo – the boat is backed into a shed and is currently on axle stands. The transom is perhaps the least accessible part right now.

    Also the composite Mk1 is maybe more different than you think so it may not help. The transom itself appears to be solid timber, with only the outer (aft) face sheathed in around 5mm or less of GRP. So I do actually have solid wood to screw into which actually appears to be the primary structure of the transom. So to be clear, the top edge of the transom is exposed timber throughout most of its fore and aft width, apart from the top edge of the outer aft GRP covering.

    Yes, a photo would have been better, re-reading what I just wrote, but not easy at the moment as explained! Maybe this would be a good point for a MK2 owner to add some info.

    Dave Barker

    Here’s a photo of the transom structure on our Mk1 composite. The GRP covering is only about 2 or 3mm in thickness:-


    Hello James,

    I have an old Mk2 with traveller, and have fitted a rowlock receiver using four M5 bolts through the transom.

    The hardwood block was placed just clear of the radius of the tiller slot and also the transom radius above. This leaves a small

    gap which I have filled with fibreglass filler [from Mill Autos]. Starboard side on mine, as my “2b engine” bracket is on the

    port side.  Hope this helps.

    Regards Pete Menear   W 7059

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