Mr. Captain Vintage Oak Water Resistance Rower

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Mr Captain Oak Rower

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320 lbs58.5 lbsWaterTime,

The Mr. Captain Vintage Oak rower is one of the newest water resistance rowing machines released in 2020. In terms of construction and design, we can compare it with the WaterRower Vintage Oak model but comes with a different fitness computer which also has Bluetooth connectivity. It’s a pretty decent trainer and considerably more affordable than other models.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 82L x 22W x 20H inches (208L x 56W x 51H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 58.5 lbs (26.5 kg)
  • Supported weight: 320 lbs (145 kg)
  • Frame: Solid oak wood, vintage finish
  • Footrests: Size-adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Exercise meter: 3 workout modes, Bluetooth

Frame construction

The Mr. Captain Vintage Oak rower features a dual-rail frame made of solid oak wood, oiled and waxed, with a vintage finish. It has a pretty durable construction, similar at least to the light-commercial models. It is rated for a weight capacity of 320 lbs (145 kg).

It’s very important to mention that the rail covers on which the seat slides are made of durable aluminum alloy while other similar models have plastic covers that can crack or wear out over time. They have a golden finish to fit better to the overall colors of the machine and the “Mr. Captain” logo on the side which is also golden.

The fully assembled machine is fairly large. It is approx. 82″ (208 cm) long, and 22″ (56 cm) wide. This being said, it can accommodate users up to 6’5″ with no problem, allowing a complete leg extension and range of motion.

The rower is not foldable but can be stored vertically. When stored in vertical position, its footprint becomes 22″D x 20″W x 82″H (56 x 51 x 208 cm). The water can remain inside the tank when the machine is stored vertically.

The fully assembled machine is not extremely heavy. Its net weight (without water inside the tank) is 58.5 lbs. The tank has a capacity of approx. 4.5 – 5 gal (17 – 19 liters). So, the full weight of the machine can reach up to approx. 100 lbs (45 kg). But nonetheless, once it is assembled, it is easy to relocate. Its front base features a set of large, silicone wheels which facilitate its relocation. Also, the rower rests on four large rubberized stabilizers.

Seat and other parts

The Mr. Captain Vintage Oak rower is equipped with an ergonomic seat. To begin with, its top integrates a layer of foam cushioning and it is contoured to provide a better positioning for the user. Its cover is made of durable faux leather which is also sweatproof.

The base of the seat is made of the same oak wood as the rest of the frame. As we’ve mentioned above, it is durable enough to support users up to 320 lbs (145 kg). It is equipped with eight wheels; four of them slide on top of the rails, the others on their inner sides for extra stability. The wheels integrate sealed ball bearings for a smooth seat motion. Also, their outer layer is designed to dampen noise.

Last but not least, the seat is a bit lower than for other rowers, such as the WaterRower Gronk HiRise for example. Its top stands at approx. 12″ (31 cm) above floor level. Also, since the rail system is horizontal, the movement of the seat is constant throughout the whole rowing motion.

The Mr. Captain Vintage Oak water resistance rower is equipped with a set of large, metallic footrests. They are also adjustable. This being said, they can accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They’re also equipped with adjustable straps and heel guards for improved foot stability.

The angle of the footrests is not adjustable, though. The board they’re attached to is set at an angle of approx. 45°. Therefore, they provide an optimal positioning for your feet.

Last but not least, the machine’s pulling handle consists of a short bar with ergonomic grips. It does not integrate pulse sensors as it is the case for other, more expensive machines. It is attached to a heavy-duty nylon strap which is highly resistant to abrasion. The fact that the machine uses a strap and not a chain as its main element of the drive system can be quite a plus. That’s because the usage of the machine is quieter, smoother, and the strap does not require lubrication.

Resistance system

The Mr. Captain Vintage Oak rower is equipped with a water resistance system. It integrates a heavy-duty water tank made of polycarbonate material. Its exact capacity is not specified, but it is probably similar to the tanks of other models and should be between 4.5-5 gal (17-19 liters).

The main resistance-generating element is a multi-blade impeller that spins in the water inside the tank as you pull the handle. The drive system also integrates a metallic spring which recuperates the strap during the recovery motion. The tank doesn’t have an extra chamber or a knob for water level adjustment. Therefore, in case you want to adjust the overall resistance of the rower, you have to add or remove some of the water in or from the tank.

Similar to other water resistance rowers or air resistance rowers, the Mr. Captain Vintage Oak model delivers a dynamic response. This means that the rowing sensation is quite similar to rowing a real boat through water. In other words, the resistance generated by the machine depends on how hard you pull the handle. For example, if you pull harder, the impeller will spin faster in the water inside the tank and generate more resistance. Conversely, if you don’t put as much strength behind each pull, you will benefit from a lower resistance.

In terms of noise generated during usage, this rower is pretty quiet. The spinning of the impeller inside the water tank does generate some noise, but the level is very low.

Exercise meter and other accessories

The Mr. Captain Vintage Oak rowing machine includes a fairly decent exercise meter. To begin with, it features an LCD display divided into multiple sub-sections, which tracks time, strokes per minute, total strokes, calories burned, distance, and pulse. For the pulse reading function, you will need a wireless HR chest strap as the machine doesn’t have any contact sensors.

The meter unit has three workout modes. These are Manual, Interval Custom, and Target. The Manual mode allows you to just row, and the monitor will indicate your spm, strokes, time elapsed etc. The Interval Mode gives you the possibility to create a custom workout interval with rest/work periods. And finally, the Target mode gives you the possibility to select targets for various metrics, such as time, strokes, calories, etc. When a target is selected, the unit will countdown from it until it reaches zero, indicating when you have completed your set up goal.

The unit also has Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with the FitShow app for iOS and Android. This app offers the possibility to track your progress online and makes available several other features as well.

The unit battery-powered. It starts up when you begin rowing. It also automatically enters idle mode to save battery if it does not detect any activity on the machine for several minutes.

In terms of other accessories, there are quite a few included with this machine. The most notable ones are the cover, the phone holder, and the electric water pump. The cover is dust and moisture-proof; even though the machine is for indoor use only, this can still be useful if it’s going to be out of use for a while. The phone holder consists of a small shelf integrated at the bottom of the exercise meter. Therefore, if you sync the meter with your smartphone via Bluetooth, you can place your phone right on the meter to use the app’s interface. The pump is battery-powered and can be recharged via USB cable. It’s quite a neat accessory for adding or removing water from the tank in case you want to increase or decrease the rowing resistance.

Assembly and Maintenance

The machine’s resistance tank comes pre-assembled and already attached to the front section of the frame. You only need to attach the rails, and the seat. This shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. The manual provides all the necessary instructions and all the tools are included.

For maintenance, the water inside the tank should be periodically treated with a chlorine pill. It’s best to use rower chlorine pills, not pool chlorine tablets. Other than this, you only have to keep the unit clean, especially the rails, to prevent any damage to the seat wheels.

The Pros

  • Durable construction – can support users up to 320 lbs;
  • Aesthetic frame, made of solid oak with a vintage finish;
  • Can be stored vertically to save space;
  • Easy to handle and transport;
  • Rubberized stabilizers for extra floor protection;
  • Water resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
  • Ergonomic seat with a cushioned top for extra comfort;
  • Adjustable footrests;
  • Exercise meter included;
  • Three workout modes on the exercise meter (manual, target, and interval);
  • Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with the FitShow App (for iOS and Android);
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • All the necessary tools are included;
  • Electric (rechargeable) water pump included;
  • Waterproof and dustproof cover included;
  • Phone holder integrated into the exercise meter;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble.

The Cons

  • No backlight on the exercise meter;
  • The HR chest strap for pulse reading is not included.


The Mr. Captain Vintage Oak is a water resistance rower featuring a durable frame with great aesthetics, superior ergonomics, aluminum rail covers, a large water tank, and an exercise meter with three workout modes and Bluetooth connectivity. An electric water pump and a cover are included with the machine. It’s a great trainer for a full-body cardio workout, interval training, muscle toning, and weight loss. It’s also considerably more affordable than other similar machines.

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