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What options do I need to choose so that my boat will meet FISA minimum weight?

In 1979 FISA published a list of minimum boat weights to cover all boats used at World Championships. Most national bodies have also adopted these weights for use in National Competitions. The intent of FISA was to limit the increasing cost of equipment due to technology changes and increased use of aerospace materials that became available to our industry. The weights that were set in place back in 1979 have only had minor alterations made to them since.

Since that time we have seen the introduction of Lightweight Women to World and Olympic competition and also taller and heavier crews have become the norm not the exception. Smaller boats have been designed of the Lightweights and larger boats for the heavyweights, yet the same minimum boat weights apply to both categories which really makes no sense apart from ensuring all competitors have the same boat weight to propel.

Due to the added surface area and greater stiffness required for the HWT boats it would make sense to have a higher minimum weight for this category or a reduced one for lightweights. Minimum weight is usually easily achieved on the LWT boats and difficult on some boat classes in the HWT range. At Sykes we produce all our range of boats to meet torsion and longitudinal stiffness requirements not just a minimum weight figure. We also offer a choice of fittings to our customers to select from, such as Stainless steel riggers or aluminium, timber or synthetic seats, shoes or adjustable clogs and incorporate user-friendly features not offered by other manufacturers. Some of the options selected could mean that additional weight is added to the total weight taking the boat over the minimum weight requirement.

If minimum weight is first and foremost in your order requirement we advise that the following fittings will need to be selected to ensure the boat is on the FISA min weight.

  • Moulded carbon seats
  • Seats with bearing wheel seat bogie.
  • Sykes aluminium wing or 3-stay or carbon wing riggers and backstays.
  • Sykes Rowing Shoes.
  • Drink bottle holders omitted where necessary.

Many of our customers order fittings to suit their needs as a priority over the exact min weight as in most cases the increase in weight is quite minimal.

What's the difference between a 2x/- and a 2-/x or 4x/- or 4-/x?

When ordering boats for dual-purpose use i.e. 2-, 2x and 4-, 4x a decision has to be made as to the priority of use, which determines the laminate used to construct the hull.

For example, a coxless pair minimum weight is 27 kg the same as a double scull. We use a different laminate in the coxless pair, to assist in the minimisation of torsional twisting of the hull. The extra material used makes the hull heavier than the 27kg minimum weight when used as a double scull, due to the addition of two extra riggers.

If a double scull or quad scull is required to be made to the FISA minimum weights it has to be ordered to suit that purpose.In most cases when dual use of the hull is required the boat is built as a 2-, 4- on FISA minimum weight and will be over the FISA minimum weight when the extra 2x or 4x rigger are added. Unless specified on the specification sheet at the time of order, this is how it will be constructed.

FISA RULE: Rule 32 Boat Weights (as at August 2005)All boats used at Olympic regattas or qualification regattas, FISA World Championships, Rowing World Cup regattas, Regional Games and Continental Championships and all international regattas shall be of defined minimum weights.

By-Law to Rule 32 – Boat Weights

1. Minimum boat weights are the following:

Type of boat 1x 2x 2- 2+ 4x 4- 4+ 8+
Weight in kg 14 27 27 32 52 50 51 96

2. The minimum weight of the boat shall include only the fittings essential to their use; in particular - riggers, stretchers, shoes, slides and seats. The minimum weight shall not include the oars or sculls, the bow number, any sound amplification equipment and loudspeakers or any other kind of electronic equipment.

What range of adjustment is available on Sykes riggers?

All sweep boats from December 2008 are fitted with longer rowing pins allowing for 4cm of height adjustment and rigger blocks that allow for a greater range of adjustment. We have found this mainly necessary for wing rigger boats that have less adjustment fopr height than the traditional 3-stay riggers.


In most cases a range of 15-19cm would cover most rowers, however if you require a lower minimum or higher maximium then you will need to fill in the specification accordingly.


The range of span has increased on sweep boats also to give a greater range option which also helps when reverse rigging 3-stay boats.

The range of adjustment is 5cm so again a maximum and minimum range should be specified.



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