I feel like that when most people think of "rowing" the image that comes to mind is either of an old fashioned aluminum "row boat" or that of a sleek toothpick-shaped carbon fiber racing shell gracefully skimming across flat water. Because of this, a lot of people are more than a little skeptical when I tell them that I plan to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a "row boat." As you might imagine, the type of boat that I'll be rowing across the Atlantic will have very little in common with the distant row boat ancestors that I describe above.
Instead, I'll be rowing a custom designed solo ocean row boat that will measure just under twenty feet in length and just over four feet in width at its widest point. This boat, made of epoxy biaxial and unidirectional fiberglass sandwiching a 10-12mm foam core, will represent the second generation of ocean row boats and is the first step in the early evolution of ocean row boat design in general (the first generation was made of plywood!). My boat will be similar to a boat that was built in 2003 for the Russian ocean rower (and former solo record-holder) Fedor Konyukhov which is pictured above.
A couple notes: I'll be sleeping in the stern cabin which is accessible through a hatch immediately in front of the rowing seat (if you're facing the stern). The hull of the boat is divided into as more than a dozen different compartments which are accessible through various hatches in both the bow and stern cabins and along the center-line of the boat.
Construction will take place in the U.K. and begins in April 2007, so look forward to seeing the boat in real life by September!