ALTERNATIVE PROPULSION METHODS
Skippers can run their engines in gear, which Abhilash Tomy did to good effect to propel his Suhaili replica Thuriya out of the Doldrums, but the 40 gallon fuel limit carried on board has to be balanced against the need to recharge batteries in the darker depths of the Southern Ocean.
Designer Dick Koopmans came up with another idea for Atlantic rowing champion Mark Slats – a pair of 13ft sculling oars!
“We went to a great deal of effort first designing and then testing various oars to find the optimum size to propel the boat without being too tiring.”
Tiring Slats is something hard to imagine. At 6ft 6in tall with ox-like shoulders, the Dutchman smashed the solo transatlantic rowing record by five days last winter, rowing 20 hours a day! He is focused on winning and the prospect of rowing a 36ft boat did not faze him at all. The optimum area for the blade it appears is 0.3m2. A pair of these rowed from the cockpit will propel the boat at between 1.5 and 2knots. “He is quite capable of rowing the Rustler 36 through calms for up to 10 hours a day – and cover 20-30 miles,” Koopmans explained.
That old saying ‘Racing improves the breed’ is certainly happening with these traditional cruising designs, and more lessons are certain to be learned in the head winds of the North-east Trades, and Roaring Forty latitudes.
ABOVE and LEFT Skippers in the Golden Globe Race have mounted solar panels anywhere they can find space