Athlete Powered Tank Is the Closest Simulation to In-The-Boat Rowing:

The boat/rower forms a dependent and conjoined “system”.  The boat and the rower are part of a system of two different masses, not unlike the sun/earth “solar system”, or earth/moon system which move independently, but are intrinsically linked together resulting in a defined system path.  Unlike the sun, earth and moon systems, the rowing system is supported by still water.  If we are to simulate this rowing system as practiced in the boat on the water we must simulate all the mechanics involved as well as the forces as closely as possible.  What distinguishes rowing in the tank from rowing on the water is that the water in the tank serves a totally different purpose and that is to generate a resistance force due to the blade being pulled through it.  Unlike the boat the tank rower is fixed to the earth.  In the case of the boat the water is still and the rower moves relative to it.  The indoor rowing tank is an entirely different system. However, if designed correctly, the force of the water resistance against the tank oar blade can be a close force simulation to that experienced in the boat. This simulation is modulated by the blade size, outboard lever arm, spread mechanics, etc.  Although a moderate current is generated along the path that the water takes, the water in the tank is used as resistance only, due only to the rowers effort and the unique tank mechanics mirror as closely as possible the dynamic force profile as experienced when rowing in the boat.  Beside force profile matching other benefits of the tank include the experience of the oar handling mechanics (square up, feather, force application throughout the drive, release, etc.) plus the crew synergism as well as sculling force curve synergism from side-to-side.  With a real-time feed back display of the force curves and other related graphs, the athlete-powered tank becomes more than just another training tool, but a powerful self-coaching tool.


Athlete Powered Tank Provide the Best Training Effect:

In the athlete powered tank, the athletes are the pump and they receive the maximum training effect from the power that they introduce into the system, Indoor Rowing Tank In Motionwhereas in a mechanically powered tank the mass of the water and the power inputted overwhelms that of the athlete making the water to feel on the drive unresponsive and heavy. The water in a mechanically powered tank circulates at a constant velocity, while in a boat, just after the catch the boat velocity relative to the water is at its slowest and is at average at the release and does not reach maximum until at the end of the recovery when the oars are out of the water as a result of the rowers momentum.  As a result the technique used is quite different on the “drive” in a mechanically pumped tank vs. a boat where the athlete can “accelerate” the hands toward the finish. Consequently, the simulation on the drive is poor with a mechanically pumped tank. From a coaching standpoint, the drive is the key to unlocking the maximum speed in a racing shell, requiring the best simulation in the tank, especially on the drive. Force measurement instrumentation, coupled with an athlete powered tank provides a program with a tangible competitive advantage in developing speed on-the-water and is based upon the following: Paper explaining the physics behind using force measurement.


The Dreher Tank is an Environmentally Friendly Design:

In rowing we strive to minimize our environmental footprint. We have examined both athlete powered and mechanically assisted flow technology in developing our present tank design. We have come to the conclusion that an athlete-powered tank design can more closely approximate the force levels and replicate handle velocity experienced in the boat.

Even if we had come to  a different conclusion in this day and age of climate change, expanding use of renewable energy and LEEDS certification for new construction an energy pig like a powered rowing tank would have been a no-go.

Unlike a sleek racing shell with low drag, a mechanically powered tank has a huge surface area in contact with the pumped water, so the drag resistance and power needed to propel the water is quite high. The range in designs are between 200 HP and 600 HP.  A rough conversion is 1 HP ~ 1 KW, then the amount of KWH consumed per hour of operation is 200 KWH. We have a fair sized PV generation system to defray our energy cost. On a good day in the summer we generate up 300 KWH per day. The cost of operation is not only the energy cost, but the demand, transmission, distribution, stranded costs and taxes. The greater the infrastructure requirement the greater the capital investment costs and on-going operating costs besides energy.


We Provide a Modular Design and Latest Enhancements:

Our design has been modular since 1992: We can make any size 2-pool sculling tank or boat position sweep tank from 2 stations to 12 stations as well as up to 24-stations (i.e. 12 athletes to a side), two pools, separated by a wide center aisle with each row facing the same direction. For our customers this allows quite a variety of price points to accommodate large and small program alike to have the experience of an indoor rowing tank and any extra money saved on our design can be spent on force measurement instrumentation or to help with the building addition, renovation or new construction costs.

To our historical customers, we can retrofit older style tanks with the latest rigging equipment, carbon seats, foot stretchers, monorails, inner race splash shield. We can provide a greater range of rigging adjustments and also force measurement instrumentation to improve the time taken to teach the athletes the proper technique or reinforce verbal instruction given by the coaches. You will not have to worry of you design becoming obsolete and as new features or training become available, we pass that onto our installed base.

Also, if your tank is ever damaged during a flood, fire, other disaster or you just need some maintenance, we can send in a team to repair or replace the damaged equipment or just refinish the tank to make it look new again.


We Have an Experienced Team:

Once we have the components built and shipped to the job site we send our experienced installer. Some of our people have been in tank design and instalation for almost 30 years.  Our build and installers have been working with us  involved for over 17 years. They build the fiberglass composite sections and glass in the bottom connecting seams so that what the water sees is smooth and does not slow or otherwise impede the flow of the water. We have installed 35 tank including three tanks in the UK, one in Canada and one in South Korea. We have worked on al types and size of projects. As such most installations of 8-station tanks take under 6 days to complete. The bigger installations might take two plus weeks to complete.

We have done so many installations and have worked with so many different architects and customers all over the world that we have a huge knowledge base to draw upon to help you design the right indoor rowing tank solution for your program size and budget.

See our Tank Portfolio List.