Want to make your canoe a fast rowboat? canoes are cheap , I got mine for $150 from Craigslist.org, the double ended shape of a canoe is excellent for rowing, and you won't sacrifice the ability to paddle your canoe when you want to. If you look at early rowing shells they closely resemble canoes, so the shape is right for speed.
The idea of folding gate hinge out riggers is one I saw in a small boating magazine called 'messing about in boats' (MAIB), I just adapted it to a Coleman canoe. It can be done to any small boat that is rowable, however you don't want your oarlocks more than 4 feet apart, for ease of rowing. (I have read some people say up to 5' is ok, not for me though)
I have been rowing my Coleman canoes for 5 years now, the pictures of the red canoe are from the second canoe I modified, the first (green ) was returned to my dad as it was his. He just paddles the canoe now and the extra hardware and outriggers don't interfere at all, in fact he doesn't even notice they are there.
As I have the canoe set up here it is intended for at least one passenger in the back, otherwise you will need almost as much ballast as you weigh, as your weight is ahead of the center of the boat. For easier handling and speed you want the stern of the boat to be an inch or two deeper than the bow, otherwise the boat tends to 'spin out' without constant attention. My wife and kids make perfect ballast, and when she wants she paddles for speed or exercise.
I traded a 15' canoe I bought that same day for the 17' canoe, both canoes were found on CL. (craigslist.org)
Step 1: parts and tools needed
A canoe or small row boat, sail boat, kayak, etc.
-a pair of oars, I made mine myself from a 2X4" ripped in half and some scrap plywood epoxied together, or you can buy those lousy ones from the store.
-a pair of oarlocks, for fishing look for the kind that have a pin through the oar shaft so you can just let go when you get a hit, I got regular old U shaped ones on eBay.
-a pair of oarlock sockets, "T" shaped. (another source for these boaty parts is duckworks.com)
-Two gate hinges, you want a spread of about 4' between oarlocks, I got 10" gate hinges from home depot, you want the kind with a long tapered end and a rectangular end.
-six bolts, sized to fit the holes in the gate hinge.
-nuts and washers for the bolts
-aluminum angle or 1" square tubing long enough to reach from the center thwart to the back of the front seat twice. If you have a wood or fiberglass canoe a nice varnished piece of wood to match the rails would work and blend in better. (this is to keep the rail from flexing)
-four bolts with nuts and washers to secure the oarlock sockets to the gate hinges.
:a power drill and drill bits