The double scull (or just ‘double’) is the most popular crew boat at most rowing clubs. While it offers an easily accessible and reasonably forgiving platform for novice scullers, it is also a class of boat represented in competitions at every level from local regattas and ‘small boats’ head races to elite FISA and Olympic competitions.
The double is an ideal platform for one-on-one coaching, with the coach steering in the bow seat and the novice rower in the stroke seat. All club scullers from novice juniors to recreational members can make good use of doubles.
Technically the double is uncomplicated, responding predictably to the actions of the crew whether good or bad. It is slower off the catch than the quad and easy to steer with rudder or blades.
Coxed doubles are still made, but usually as ‘touring’ boats – broad beamed, stable, rowing boats rather than as racing shells or ‘fine’ boats. They are finding a new role in adaptive rowing, allowing disabled athletes to enjoy sculling a double under the guidance of a cox.