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29 February 2012


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William R. Cumming

Best of luck for all involved!


Doing the math it turns out you need to travel 5.4 miles per hour for 8 days at 8 hours per day to reach the Key Largo destination. I would need to train very hard to be able to do this race in my kayak. I live in Maine so it would be hard to train in the winter but not impossible. I am sure the fun you would have would make up for the hard training.



This race looks pretty hard. Doing the math you would have to travel at 5.4 miles per hour for 8 days at 8 hours per day. I use a kayak and that would be a lot of work. Plus living in Maine would make that training difficult.

What would you be using???


The Twisted Genius


You're right. It's damned hard to do. That's why it's a challenge. The first leg requires covering 60 miles or so in 29 hours. Obviously, sleep deprivation has to managed by the racers. It can be done. Both kayakers and sailors have done it for years. I'm thinking of a sailing canoe for my eventual go at it. I have the plans for Iain Oughtred's MacGregor canoe which I plan to build as a 17 footer.


I'd never make this, too many good fishing spots along the way. I might have more fun though!

ex-PFC Chuck

I'll take the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, thankyou very much. Don't have to worry about alligators, pythons, water moccasins or diamondbacks. Just bears, moose, wolves, biting flies and mosquitoes. Lots of mosquitoes.
BWCA: http://bit.ly/ylT5nR
Quetico Provincial Park: http://bit.ly/yfqWOz

The Twisted Genius

I hear you, Fred. I just read somewhere that having a time schedule is incompatible with sailing.

The Twisted Genius

ex-PFC Chuck,

That's a beautiful area and not just for the reasons you mentioned. Looks a lot like areas in the Adirondacks in New York and the Moosehead Lake area in Maine... including the mosquitos and black flies. I think the best of both worlds might be found with the Maine Island Trail - http://www.mita.org/
I chose to go to Ranger School in the Winter because the gaters and snakes in the Florida swamps gave me the willies. Of course, we had two students die of hypothermia in those swamps. That was the trade off.
BTW Pat, last time I was up in your area, I noticed the guys at the Alexandria Seaport Foundation were building an Adirondack guideboat in their shop at the end of Duke Street.


This race sounds like a lot of fun.

Re the math, I'll risk sounding like a smartass and say that hull speed = the square root of the waterline x 1.33. Beyond that you start trying to climb over your bow wave, (which boats with motors do regularly when they're planing).

I have beat ADK guideboats in a yearly 3 mile Lake Champlain race with my homemade fixed seat 17' rowboat, but haven't done better than 33 minutes, which is about 5.4mph. My excuses are the laws of physics and the fact that I'm 64 and no ironman.

PDR racers are pretty cool, but not that fast.Hope Scott can hang in there.

The Twisted Genius

DickT, 3 miles in 33 minutes in a fixed seat rowboat... not too shabby. I'd be very happy to that at 64.

You're right. Hull speed is hull speed. I've read the PDR has a hybrid displacement/planing hull which is pretty amazing for a box. The peak sailing speed record for a PDR is 9 mph. Scott was getting 4.6 knots in the ECDuck. If he has to row for any length of time, he's hosed. He can do a steady 2.5 mph with a sprint of 3 mph. That hull speed is a cruel mistress.


Bravo to your friend! A friend of mine did this (I think this) some time ago in the catamaran Worrell 1000 days. I think it is just freaking awesome that people actually go out and DO stuff.


Charles I

I'll be cheering for Sirtackalot. Ain't technology graND!

The Twisted Genius

The ECDuck should be arriving at the first checkpoint in a couple of hours. He is definitely not last in the pack. Conditions were extraordinary. They launched in strong headwinds and had to tack across Tampa Bay in 3 to 4 foot seas. A weather hold was called due to a passing storm. Scott in the ECDuck found refuge last night in the lee of a mangrove stand. He said there were 6 foot waves and 35 to 40 knot winds. With a northerly wind by morning, he sailed on steadily. I think he's going to make it to Key West... eventually. I envy him.

Charles I, Sirtackalot and his big red trimaran had to pull out. He had a crack in his hull that he didn't notice until he got all the way across Tampa bay. It was so rough, he couldn't tell a serious leak from the waves breaking over his gunwale.

Charles I

Thanks TTG. Labas.

Sounds like a brutal start - and a lot of fun. I just checked and was curious to see that Sirtackalot hadn't blogged since Thursday, shame about boat. I was considering jumping bandwagons to Leatherlungs, but out of loyalty I'll go down with Sirtackalot's ship and just hope the best boat wins.

Whole thing is making me twitch to take out my recanvassed Peterborough for its inaugural spin, hopefully March 30, its been a pretty mild winter up here.

The Twisted Genius

A recanvassed Peterborough! You're a lucky man Charles. That's a work of art. Happy paddling. There are some nice modest sailing rigs for open canoes. Ever thought of trying that?

Charles I

Pat could show you a picture of the view which will confirm just how lucky. We inherited the Peterborough from a neighbour when my folks bought the cottage in the early 70's . . closest I've ever got to canoe sailing was paddle masts and groundsheets of paired canoes tripping as a kid in Algonquin park.

My joy is to single - Hap Wilson style, Indian style we used to call it, facing the stern as taught - every morning just after sunrise, or at dusk when the bats start to come out to divebomb bugs following my apparently irresistible pheromone trail.

I confess nowadays I take a Grumman when I go tripping.

dilbert dogbert

I am building a 17 foot Herrishoff row boat for our cabin on Donner Lake. It is the fat version in John Garndner's "Building Classic Small Craft". Looks like a big canoe except it has two rowing stations. Duckworks.com has lots of information on crazy people in small boats.

The Twisted Genius

dilbert dogbert,

Kudos to you for building that Herreshoff. You must be a skilled woodworker... and/or have the patience of a saint. The construction technique looks very similar to the Adirondack guide boat.

That duckworks.com is one of my daily stops on the internet. Those crazy people in small boats are entertaining and inspirational.

Charles I

Plumcrazy has capsized and is out of the challenge

The Twisted Genius

Yes, Charles, I was sad to hear the news. But Scott's efforts will still become the stuff of legend in both the Water Tribe and Puddle Duck communities. I don't know if you heard Scott's reports from today (final thoughts and crazy idea). They are on the Duckworks website.


I think the overriding reason for pulling out was, as Scott explained, his desire to remain married for a long time. His wife said that's enough this year. I understand and would do the same thing. I have done the same thing several times. There are some great comments on the ECDuck Yahoo group which can be read without joining the group.


Now to watch how the rest of the race unfolds.

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