We’ve just completed three days of rowing madness in the Cruiser Rowboat. “Cruiser” is a bit of a misnomer, as it felt more like three days of torture rather than relaxed gunkholing. Steve Price from Oklahoma and I wanted to see how far we could travel rowing non-stop for three days in the Cruiser. The boat is well suited for two-person marathon runs as one person can rest in the cabin while the other rows, allowing the boat to be propelled continuously.
The boat is much smaller than typical ocean rowing boats, thereby offering better performance, but more Spartan living conditions. The routine, we decided, would be switching at the oars every two hours.
We also loaded 220 lbs of sandbags into the boat bringing the total weight of boat, crew and gear to 950 lbs. Although people at the marina probably thought we were crazy loading sandbags into our human-powered boat, there was a method to our madness. We may enter the non-stop unsupported rowing race around Britain next year, and wanted our vessel weigh approximately the same as it would for the race carrying over a month’s worth of food and provisions to give a precise idea of the performance we could expect.
So how did we fair? We ended up rowing 296 km, so just under 100 km/day. Not quite the 112 km/day we were hoping for, but we did have heavy headwinds for most of the journey, so overall we were pleased.
Logistically, the boat worked very well as a mini ocean racer, and the tiny cabin offered a comfortable spot to eat and sleep. The routine of rowing 24 hours/day with one other person is definitely grueling, and I can’t say it’s pleasant crawling out of bed in the middle of the night as waves are crashing over the boat and rain is pounding down to take your shift at the oars.
After 72 hours of living and rowing aboard the tiny Cruiser Rowboat, Steve and I were pretty happy to finally come ashore for a burger and a coffee.
Colin and Steve lived in this boat for three days[/caption]
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