R.I.P. Darryl J. Strickler – “Row Wood!”

Darryl J. Strickler. Picture from rowwoodforever.com
Darryl J. Strickler. Picture from http://www.rowwoodforever.com

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

In the latest issue of WoodenBoat (January/February 2016), in the section “Across the bar”, the magazine writes that Darryl J. Strickler has passed away at the age of 73. He died at the oars on 12 October when he was on his daily outing.

Strickler, who was born 12 August 1942 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, started sculling and building boats at the age of 12. To rowers around the world, he was forever connected with wooden racing and recreational shells. He literally owned hundreds of wooden boats and oars, and his knowledge of these wooden craft, built by boat builders and oar makers in the USA, England, Canada, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, he shared in his famous book Rowable Classics (2008), which I wrote about on HTBS on 7 September 2009, read the article here.

I had the great pleasure of meeting him in the summer of 2009 at the WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut. He was a kind man who was happy to talk about wooden boats to anyone who crossed his path, as he was also happy to teach numerous people how to scull and how to take care of a wooden shell. It was as he wrote in Rowable Classics: “But wherever you row: Row Wood!”

Rowable Classics-cover

If you would like to read more about Darryl Strickler and pay tribute to him, go to rowwoodforever.com


  1. Very sad.

    I discovered the HTBS web site because of Darryl. There was a picture of a restored Radley built clinker whiff on a HTBS posting about the Wooden Boat Show in the USA many years ago.
    It had the phase V Radley and sons in the article which Google found.
    When I got in touch he tried to sell the whiff to me.
    He was very kind about my book and allowed me to publish his pictures of the whiff in it.
    His book is really beautiful.

  2. Darryl migrated throughout the year in order to live at boathouses on rowable water. I would see him during the two periods of the year when he was residing at the boathouse he built in St. Charles, IL.

    I miss our conversations about rowing and boats – every rowing shell he stewarded had a story and different feel when rowed. As I would push off from the dock he would say from up on his balcony, “have a great row.”

    Darryl lived his life surrounded by his passion for rowing and wooden rowing shells. May we all be so lucky….

  3. So sorry to hear of Darryl’s passing, only heard today. A great enthusiast for the future of wooden sculling boats
    Condolences to family.

    Bill Colley, Richmond, England.

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