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Archive for July 26th, 2009

Day 98 - Rossiters & Flying Ferkins Guest Blog

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Greetings dot-watchers!

We were delighted to be asked to do a guest blog spot for Flying Ferkins.

Earlier blogs have already told you a bit about the boat. It is a Phil Morrison design. Phil is a top notch sailing boat designer, as well as a top notch bloke. He has been responsible for a large proportion of the ocean rowing boats and Flying Ferkins is built to the design that he generously place in the public domain.

The boat is a bit shorter than the original Chay Blyth plywood boats. It is 7.3metres long by 1.85metres beam and draws about 300mm. The rudder increases draft to 600mm and is quite the most vulnerable part of the boat when close to the shore. The rudder on Flying Ferkins is controlled by ropes connected to one of the foot plates of the forward rowing position.

The all up weight of the boat can be up to a tonne when fully loaded - depending on the provisions. So you eat as well as row your way across the ocean.

There is a cabin at each end - the aft cabin is just about long enough for Andrew & Guy to stretch out, even at their great heights. I suppose it is about the same size as a small 2 man tent. The forward cabin is much smaller and intended for stores, though I have heard reports of smaller rowers sleeping in it. The cabins are also key to the boat’s self righting capabilities. When capsized the boat floats on the cabins, but unstably so that any movement will cause the boat to flip back the right way up.

The project started for us in January last year when Andrew & Guy first contacted us by email. It really got going on the 9th February when the dynamic duo came down to the yard and against my better judgement I posed for some cheesy photographs with them in front of the mould, a set of drawings etc. While we were getting started on Flying Ferkins they saw quite a bit of ‘Shackleton’ the boat we were building at the time for Lorenzo - this ‘ocean rowing boat’ has an engine and sails as well as oars and is currently enjoying the Songefjord in Norway. They were able to resist the temptation of alternative means of propulsion - though I wonder how often they might have wished for them during this phenomenal row?

While we will of course be very pleased when Guy & Andrew reach Mauritius, it will be a strange sensation not to have a dot to follow across the Indian Ocean after all this time!

Charlie & the team at Rossiters out.

Click here to donate money for the fight against the spread of male cancers and support Orchid, the boys chosen charity.

To follow our progress please go to the official Woodvale Challenge site.