Another innovation rolls off the Donoratico production line; a rowing boat that can resemble a miniature coastal rowing boat or a latest generation sailing craft, suitable for both boys and girls on rivers, lakes and even the sea. For the provenance of the idea, we owe thanks to the Italian Rowing Federation and the passion of our engineers for difference-making across multiple sports.
This is the product that was missing to draw the younger generation (think six to ten years old) into the sport – a smaller boat, 20kg in weight and 4 meters in length. The fact that we have been chosen to create it fills us with pride but at the same time gives us a lot of responsibility.
A compromise was needed to enhance the technical aspect – where we so often excel – of a fundamentally playful initiative without losing sight of the safety of those who venture out onto the water for possibly the first time.
The FT4 was designed to be 100% versatile. Its lines are perfectly suited for training sessions on river, lake but also sea, making this boat perfect for approaching all disciplines of rowing.
Now let’s talk logistics. For the families of children who want to try rowing for the first time, it will be easy to load the boat into the car and take it to the nearest river, lake or coastline for a training session, regardless of the incumbent sport of that bed of water. For this purpose, a small channel was created along the edge of the boat which is easy to use to rotate the shell and place it on the roof rack of a car or van.
The shapes, as we said, pay homage to a traditional coastal rowing single but even more to the lines of the latest generation sailboats.
Since the boat is for children, it has been specifically designed to be stable at all times, without acute sensitivity to pitching and an easier method to manage yaw. At the same time, it was conceived with two carbon "spoilers" in a nod to Formula One racing cars, increasing the aesthetic draw for younger generations.
It is absolutely a rigid rigger, light and long-lasting with a white carbon profile across two possible spans (164cm and 161cm) which are good for both sexes. We have also created a rigger designed especially to be placed on the pontoon and therefore allowing young rowers to access the boat with complete comfort and safety.
If we talk about appeal, it is clear that the idea of offering more color options for the cockpit and deck compared to the classic light blue of the Filippi stripes, gives a sense of youthful versatility to the project.
As we said, safety is the key tenet upon which we crafted this shell and the guiding principle for our team of specialist engineers. In addition to the ease of access, the boat is without sharp edges which gives the shell longevity in the event of bumps and bruises. Even the fin was designed specifically to be pulled onto the pontoon or beach (in the sea-ready version) without too many precautions. That’s without even mentioning that the entire boat floor is walkable.
Starting with the stretcher in carbon multilayer and marine plywood, with plastic heel-holders and nylon foot-straps, the components inside the cockpit are easy to use and only there if essential. As an example, there is only one screw and you just need a 10 mm wrench to remove the board. The sliding elements in the boat are the same as those of the Filippi elite craft with a 23 cm wide carbon seat and 85 cm rails in hard anodized aluminum. A little maintenance is recommended for both, as well as for the pins of the oarlocks, which will be the same as standard Filippi shells.
As for the oars, we suggest the Bantam supplied by Concept2.