Influence of Water Temperature on Boat Speed

In the December 29 edition of the Rowing Biomechanics Newsletter Dr. Kleshnev reports on the effect of water temperature on boat speed - based on research out of East Germany in the 70s.

"...boat speeds decrease by 1.3% (~4s over 2k), when the water temperature drops from 20o C down to 5o C. If the water gets warmer, up to 30o, then the boat goes 0.6% faster (~1.8s over 2k). The power trend fits very well to the experimental data (R2 = 0.99)."

The reason is the change in the properties of water which changes frictional resistance.