I have been thinking hard about a rowboat for about a month now. I thought I'd settled on a design in the form of a rowing version of the Delaware Ducker in Howard Chapelle's "American Small Sailing Craft", but now I think I might need something with a little more capacity. I've contacted Ducker owners and asked them their pros and cons. It's really more of a one-man boat than I need.
I'm wanting a boat to row solo about 75% of the time, but having the ability to row two-up with a load of weekend camping gear and provisions. Something I can fish from, row for fitness, row out to some Midwestern lake islands to explore, à la Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" or just messabout in the fashion of the Water Rat in Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows".
One thing is fairly certain, I plan to build the boat in skin-on-frame. I kicked around cedar strip and lapstrake construction, but have decided to convert an older working boat design to SoF. It'll cut weight significantly, allowing me to easily cartop and pull ashore a boat in the 15-16 foot range. The key to making a boat useable is making it easy to use. Cutting ready and setup time makes it less of a chore and gives you more time on the water. That, the lack of registration and the added exercise is why I'm leaning towards rowing over sailing.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows