#302: Bathboat

Ever interested in new ways to get some exercise, I’ve noticed that some rowing machines, or ergometers, actually now comprise a flywheel which spins in a tub of water…to give the gormless user the impression that they are actually navigating a waterway.

This is all very well but it nearly doubles the cost (and weight) of a conventional, air braked, rowing machine that is a major purchase in any case.


If you really want the genuine feel of the Mortlake Turn on an autumn Sunday, whilst also having to exert some serious physical effort, I commend today’s invention.

Rather than have a paddle wheel rotate in water, why not use a standard air resistance machine but equipped with an after-market fibreglass bath? This would be designed to fit around the seat and the rail on which it runs and also to allow the oarsman to be immersed in water to a depth (and temperature) of his/her own choice.

This more nearly simulates what real rowing is like when things aren’t going too well -whilst also providing a harder workout against the resistance of the water surrounding the rower’s moving legs and lower torso.

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