Dory for rowed ocean crossing

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by gfaw, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. gfaw
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany

    gfaw Junior Member

    Hey all,

    I'm new here!
    I've practicly next to no "hands on" experience with boats apart from the occasional recreational trip by rowboat, rubber raft and the like. Well aware of my lack of practical experience with the "tools" and the elements, I've designed an ambitious project which involves several stages of ocean crossings by row boat: http://360westx.com

    I won't discuss whether I'm a suicidal or not :D - I am not - but rather the suitability and ideas for modification of a certain boat type: the dory.

    These days ocean rowing is a well organized sports event with purpose-built, expedition-style row boats, incorporating strong self-righting capabilities and equipped with the latest communication electronics and solar powered desalinators. These are excellent, sophisticated, well tried boats.

    However, they are pricey. Not the bare used boat itself, but with most used boats located in the UK and me living in Germany, both locations are pricey to have a 20+ ft boat tied to you. It's too big to park it on a trailer somewhere, let alone the chance of vandalism, and paying for the most basic storage allowing to work on it will cost in excess of 300€ +/month. Not to mention travel to inspect them.

    Due to this, other aspects and as several successful (historic) ocean rows as well as other epic adventures have been accomplished using dories, I am playing with the idea of moving to a cheaper location such as Morocco and build a suitable boat based on the dory design there.

    To give you a rough idea of what's on my mind, the boat design would incorporate features of modern day ocean rowing boats, such as being decked over, with several separated, water-tight compartments for floatation and added seaworthiness, 150-200 litres water ballast which doubles as emergency fresh water reserve, self-bailing and a sleeping compartment to protect from the elements. Eventually one or two removable daggerboards for reduction of wind-induced drift. Of course I would take communications of some sort and at least 2 hand operated desalinated (much cheaper) as travel time is not the ultimate problem at the moment, funding is.

    Reasons for eventually choosing a dory design are based on its simplicity in contruction and ease of handling when fully loaded, reduced costs and also to make the project more unique. However, I am by no means experienced with boat designs in any way, I just read a lot and occupied myself in general with all ocean travel related topics for more than three years now.

    I do have a friend who is a boat builder though, but he's more into modern composite boat building, so that's not much help with this.

    Long story short, I wonder what you experts think of all this...

    Have a great new year!

    Cheers,
    Andy
     
  2. peterAustralia
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 360
    Likes: 26, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 233
    Location: Melbourne Australia

    peterAustralia Senior Member

    what do you want us to say?

    the boat looks nice, the route from Morocco to the Carribean seems quite good. The journey looks tough, (am sure you know this). If you want to take your boat design and build it in plywood, say 4 or 5 strakes per side, am pretty sure it would go ok, just a fraction slower than a round chine hull.

    Whats the question? you have a boat design,,, it looks fine. If you want to convert it to a plywood construction,, then yes that would work. Only thing I would change ,,, maybe you have reason for it being like that... the open area seems pretty long,,, almost as though it was setup for two rowers, cant you extend the aft cabin forward a bit, it would be more comfortable... and add more buoyancy. To keep windage the same,, the last few feet could be at gunnel level, just my 2c worth
     
  3. peterAustralia
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 360
    Likes: 26, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 233
    Location: Melbourne Australia

    peterAustralia Senior Member

  4. bregalad
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 113
    Likes: 8, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 36
    Location: Georgia

    bregalad Senior Member

    @peterAustralia - Do you know what boat/rower is in the picture you referenced? Anybody.

    A neighbor asked me about offshore rowing boats about 6 months ago and I've become interested in reading about their adventures and in their boats. I do not have any ambitions to cross an ocean under oar-power. It would only take a day or so before I was cheating ... by hoisting a sail.

    It's not an ocean crossing, but the Angus's book Rowed Trip is a good read. They went from Scotland to Syria by oar and bicycle. They alternately rowed, with bikes and trailers stowed aboard, or cycled with boats in tow.
     
  5. gfaw
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany

    gfaw Junior Member

    Thanks Peter for responding. You are right, it is layed out for a pairs team but can also be rowed by a single person.

    The boat shown on the website is basically the scheme of the standard expedition rowing boat used these days in ocean crossings such as the AORR/Talisker Whiskey Challenge. A plywood kit can be obtained for selfbuilding, however this comes with a rather steep pricetag (~4000€, glassing materials excluded), while the required amount of marine-grade plywood can be had for less than half the price.

    What I want you to say is some kind of judgement from a boat-builders/keen persons perspective in terms of purpose-oriented performance. Something like: go or don't go with a plywood dory because of ... or just some first hand experience of somebody who handled dories under different conditions.

    As I wrote, the primary motivation for considering a self-built dory as an alternative is lack of sufficient funding, so I'm searching out ways to cut down on costs. Building a "cheap" boat in a cheap country would eventually be one.

    With sufficient funding buying a 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand boat and refurbising it would be the least hassle. I'm currently searching out sponsorship, but I'd like to have more options in case this fails or doesn't produce enough funds.
     
  6. gfaw
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany

    gfaw Junior Member

    I know about this expedition although I haven't read the book. The vessels they used are suitable for coastal rowing but not for crossing the Altantic Ocean, for instance. However the Anguses have rowed one of those "true" ocean rowing boats across the Atlantic before, in the scope of Colin's circumnavigation.
     
  7. gfaw
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany

    gfaw Junior Member

    Actually what I mean by "dory" is a flat-bottom boat, which the modern ocean rowing boats aren't.

    Like this one here used by Sidney Genders, although this one doesn't have a cabin to hide from the elements, at least I cannot make one out.
     
  8. bregalad
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 113
    Likes: 8, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 36
    Location: Georgia

    bregalad Senior Member

    Early ocean crossings in rowboats used dory type hulls. English Rose, the boat used by Chay Blythe and John Ridgeway was an adapted 20' dory.

    Here is a picture of Victor Garishev's boat
    [​IMG]
    Looks like a dory to me.

    Some of the development of the ocean rowing boat is related to bureaucracy .... an effort to make the races a one design type of event. Eric Sponberg is a naval architect who posts here with some regularity. He was involved in Tori Murden's Atlantic rowing project and has criticized the propensity of the current designs to roll over. Yes, they right themselves but they roll over much too often. Sometimes the rowers have suffered injury during the numerous rollovers.

    Tori rolled over something like 12 times in 15 hours in her first Atlantic attempt. Her comments were that she would have devoted more thought to the design of the inside of the cabin top if she had known she'd be spending so much time bouncing off of it.

    Roz Savage, added ~100 kg of ballast to her boat, with the designers approval, to mitigate it's tendency to roll over. Her blog is extensive and worth reading if you are seriously considering an ocean row. http://rozsavage.com

    A well designed and well built plywood dory will be as safe as the pricier boats, although perhaps a bit slower. Speed under oars for these boats is almost entirely about minimizing wetted surface.
     
  9. gfaw
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany

    gfaw Junior Member

    A yeah, the Kyrgyz dory. Where did you find this pic? ;) There's lot's of info on the Ocean Rowing Society's website (http://www.oceanrowing.com) - although not well structured.

    I'm in contact with Roz and other rowers.

    The fact that a dory might be a bit slower wouldn't bother me, especially as a solo rower, as progess greatly depends on luck with the right conditions. In 2012 Janice Jakait became the first German to row across the Atlantic solo. She made it from mainland Portugal to Barbados in 90 days. In contrast to this, it took John Fairfax 180 days to row from the Canaries to Florida - roughly about the same distance.
     
  10. bregalad
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 113
    Likes: 8, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 36
    Location: Georgia

    bregalad Senior Member

    Luck is definitely a factor but the game has changed dramatically since the days of Chay Blythe, John Ridgeway and Sylvia Cook. They had to carry real food and water for the duration.

    The advent of more or less reliable water makers & the refinement of freeze dried foods have reduced the amount of weight that needs to be carried. Simpler navigation and access to better weather and current data have changed the game as well. A few contemporary rowers have acknowledged the differences.

    The pic was from the ocean rowers site ... pages of pics here
    http://www.oceanrowing.com/PhotoAlbum.htm

    I agree, navigation on that site is terrible.
     
  11. gfaw
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany

    gfaw Junior Member

    Food's another issue, budget-wise. While dried food and electrical watermakers make life on the ocean fairly easy, I think one can go as well without those and on a fraction of the price.

    Steve Smith and Jason Lewis went with 2 manually operated watermakers - much cheaper. and provisioning can be done with dried goods from the supermarket (lentils, beans, peas, etc.) and/or self-dehydrating of food (Jill Fredson and her husband did that on their rowing adventures around the arctic circle - book: "rowing to latitude") - also saves tons of money. Before eating food can be soaked for several hours before cooking, this is just a matter of organizing chores.
     
  12. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 1,045
    Likes: 60, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 358
    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    Check "adventures of greg" and if possible hunt down his discussions here. He did participate here but left the forum - i think the discourse still exists.

    Its a good case to check as the guy has proven his resilliance and willpower with other records - he is not just a daydreamer. Yet the boating record is still waiting to happen. His refusal to accept advise was due to stubborness. However, after years of work his boats (several revisions) are advancing closer to actually following the advise given here.
     
  13. gfaw
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany

    gfaw Junior Member

    @kerosene

    thanks for mentioning "adventures of greg". I know his paddle boat record project and that the reason why he ultimately stopped was because he couldn't stomach being trapped inside for an extended amount of time.

    While quite interesting what he does, this is not the direction I'm heading to. I am interested in racing or records nor in ultra-sophisticated design. I'm looking for the cheapest way to row across an ocean with a reasonable amount of safety.
     
  14. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 8,498
    Likes: 473, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Can you explain why you want to do this ? You don't want to find yourself in a survival situation asking yourself the timeless question, "WTF did I get into this for" !!!!! If you have anybody on land who is going to be deeply aggrieved by your demise, be a real hero and show you care about them enough not to put them through that, even if you are careless of your own safety. I can think of few things more dangerous than attempting to row an ocean on a shoestring budget. I'd reckon to organize something that will keep you relatively safe, if not that comfortable, you'd be spending big bucks.
     

  15. peterAustralia
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 360
    Likes: 26, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 233
    Location: Melbourne Australia

    peterAustralia Senior Member

    hi,

    I have no idea of the other rowboat on the other thread, I just saw it, thought it looked better suited to what you want to do, in that it was setup for a single rowing station, not the double rowing station as the boat you can buy off the shelf.

    Iain Oughtred wrote that a swampscott dory would be better than a banks type dory for these ocean rows. What this means, is that instead of just one plank/chine per side, they might have 3 or 4 chines.

    If you can get a second hand boat, sounds fine (maybe you can extend the aft cabin), building your own from scratch,,, I guess you can save a little, what do you need, the hullshape, offsets etc? It makes it a little easier in that you have a sketch and some section views on your website,,, is that what your after? turn that round chine boat into a plywood boat?

    You might save a little in not going the kit route, but then you spend more time building it. More time building means less time at work and saving your pennies. Maybe you spend an extra 1500 euro on a kit, (2000 US dollars), I guess in addition you have shipping costs. Spending more on a boat kit means less time building your boat, more time to work and save pennies.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.