In rowing, a race may be won by a mere fraction of a second. At Pocock Racing Shells, we are intent on optimizing the complex interaction between athlete efficiency and boat speed. Every aspect and function of a shell is continuously examined, dissected, and redesigned for a single purpose: more speed.
We painstakingly collect data on all existing boat designs, and compare countless parameters and on-the-water performance records. Each class of boat has a shape and scale that is optimal for its speed. Additionally, comfort equals speed, so we work with each customer to build a boat that fits the crew perfectly – and this goes far beyond shoe size. Our hulls are built for not only different size rowers, but specifically for men and women. We also optimize comfort and stability with ergonomic seats and wide tracks, and can adjust the seat height from the water, longitudinal center of gravity, and adjustable rigging geometry for a specific crew.
We use the latest computer software to compare lines, stability, and hydrostatic data on every possible hull shape. Computer modeling helps us determine the boat lines most appropriate for any given crew. Hull differences are often subtle, but these subtleties lead to faster boats.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Every detail of performance falls under our scrutiny. Our boats and parts are all designed in-house to ensure the highest standard of quality. Craftsmanship is our legacy and we proudly combine scientific knowledge with careful handwork to produce the finest custom made equipment available.
Our innovative design team and today’s high tech materials enable us to produce a carbon fiber rigger that is light, stiff, strong and aerodynamic. Pocock’s aerospace inspired design reduces air drag, and by attaching to the top of the gunwales, lessens the chance of contact with the water. Mounting riggers to the top of gunwales also distributes rowing loads more efficiently and requires less supporting structure than side-bolted riggers. With less material needed to support the rigger loads, more material can be dedicated to stiffening the boat.
Our specially engineered integrated fin and rudder system minimizes unnecessary drag. The fin is molded to the optimal foil shape for the flow of water at racing speeds. Our system effectively closes the area between the back of the fin and the front of the rudder for uninterrupted flow. Every detail of hydrodynamic flow is assessed and optimized in all our racing shells. Bottom line, foil-shaped fins are faster than flat sheet metal fins.
We tenaciously buff and polish our molds and control the mold’s release system to ensure that the finished hull is perfectly smooth. The curing process creates a strong bond between paint and fiber that will not crack, peel or dimple. The process of finishing a boat in the mold produces a superior hydrodynamic surface.
HYPERCARBON™ LAMINATE SYSTEM
Through rigorous study of materials and load stresses, we have optimized fiber orientation and placement. With only 200 lbs. of materials to work with, each must be placed exactly where it is needed in order to optimize effectiveness. Our research with the University of Washington’s Department of Chemical Engineering has led to the development of a new high performance epoxy resin system. This advanced wet laminating system was developed specifically for us, to improve both the stiffness and the strength of our shells.
BUILDING WITH HIGHEST QUALITY CONSTRUCTION
Our boats are built from the outside in. First, we meticulously wax the molds and apply our proprietary white paint. This forms the outer skin of the boat. We use the best carbon and composite fibers available, all hand-cut in our shop. Our process ensures the boat comes out of the mold clean, strong, and stiff which means no added weight from having to patch or paint. We finish each boat with specifically designed components and riggers. Our attention to detail and quality craftsmanship makes one thing: one fast boat.
STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS STIFFNESS AND STRENGTH
A boat must be stiff enough to not change shape under water pressure, float a crew without bending or collapsing, and hold oarlocks and pressure from the rower without bending or breaking.
The amount of material we can use is limited by boat weight. Remember, an 8 oared rowing shell weighs 200 lbs., yet carries nearly 1 ton of crew and a strong rower can put 400 lbs. of force behind the oar.
TESTING, TESTING, TESTING: LONGITUDINAL, TORSIONAL, RIGGER & PANEL STIFFNESS
Pocock measures stiffness in every direction. Weights are hung from the bow to test longitudinal stiffness, and from the riggers to measure torsional stiffness. We further test the rigger stiffness with a weighted pulley system.
Every boat that leaves the shop is bend tested, both in deflection and torsion. It’s a fact, Pocock shells maintain their stiffness over the life of the boat.
WHY STIFFNESS MATTERS
Pocock Racing Shells’ boats are specifically designed so that the rower’s load is distributed across the whole boat. Our carbon fiber wing rigger and unbreakable carbon fiber footboard team up to create the most effective power transmittance system on the market. Our product design protects the crew’s energy and translates it into boat speed.