In response to the trend of rowing shells getting shorter and shorter every year due to ongoing hull speed research, several boatmakers are banking heavily on the reemergence of the six-person shell, and have begun churning out the boats worldwide.
Additionally, it's felt that the boats, which were popular in America in the late 17th centuary, will be ideal for smaller rowing clubs who can't get a full eight together or who can only afford a small trailer).
"Boats are getting shorter all the time we think it's 'fate' somewhere between a four and an eight," said one wag of a boatmaker. He's got a million of 'em.
As for the first deliveries of the shells, many boatmakers predict they will be ready "in time for this year's college championship season," so that means around July or so.