The description of the Shenandoah Whitehall was clearly too good to be true: a modern boat with traditional lines, large enough to take an adult and a kid camping, relatively seaworthy, efficient under oars, and light enough to toss on the roof of the car. According to the Gentry Custom Boats web site, the Whitehall could be built in a one-car garage workshop and, for a few hundred dollars and a few dozen hours, provide a novice with both a manageable entry into boatbuilding and a capable—even excellent—small boat for all sorts of flatwater adventures.As a neophyte boat builder looking for a first project, I wanted all these things, but I couldn’t bring myself to believe that one boat could provide them. I reluctantly turned back to the haze of internet research. For the next year it was all reading, no building, but in the end, I came back around to the Shenandoah Whitehall.

Virginia Reinhart

The author could row the easily-driven hull at a 3-knot cruising pace and hit 4.8 knots in a short sprint.

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