King Boat Works is a name that is synonymous with some of the highest-quality wooden rowing shells available in the world today. Behind the company name is Graeme King, who has been designing, building, and rigging rowing shells for more than 45 years. For the past 23 years, he has been working out of his own shop in Putney, Vermont. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Kingfisher, a single shell designed by King. A few years later, her sistership, the double Kookaburra, came on the scene. Named for feathered friends from the designer’s native Australia, these birds can fly.The Kingfisher shell, like her namesake, is sharp-nosed, sleek, and fast. While the kookaburra is not a cousin to the kingfisher in the wild, the double shell of that name mimics the Kingfisher design. Because the Kookaburra is essentially an elongated version of the Kingfisher and most of its elements are identical, I will omit the Kookaburra from much of the following discussion.

Photo by Karen Wales

Graeme King (shown) has devoted his career to designing and building wooden rowing shells. He developed the Kingfisher single for the home builder who desires a fast and elegant recreational shell.

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