• Rowcruiser

    designed by colin angus @ angusrowboats.com

    built by me @ home (Mareeba, North Queensland, Australia)


    Other Sites


    gem550.strikingly.com (Currently sailing is where it is all happening - for me)


    Latest videos

    The Island (Jan 2018) - youtube.com/watch?v=CasB9j88kxY

    The Murray (Dec 2017) - youtu.be/oY1y5JVah-s




  • For Sale - $500

    (A request for a reduction in price will be the end of the conversation. If you are local to Mareeba or Cairns great! If not, work out the logistics of transport before bothering me, it is a big obstacle.)


    I have bought a trailer-sailer and can't keep both. (I still have the Cambridge racer though, so keeping the oars.)


    It is used, well and truly. There are scratches, repairs and filled drill holes. However, it looks good in the photos as yellow and white are bright and come up well in the photo. I built the boat, as you can see in the pictures above. The plans that I used to build the boat will be passed on to the new owner. The only change to the hull is the first bulkhead, the one closest to the bow has been moved towards the bow so that there is approximately 2.15 metres in the main cabin now. My width is max for this boat, 47 cm at my shoulders and 60 cm at widest point (at the arms). If you are any wider, then sleeping inside would be uncomfortable. There are times when carrying a tent is more practical than sleeping in the boat, either afloat or on land.


    The boat comes with all the hardware to row except the oars. Sliding seat, rowlocks and a foot strap. The rowing equipment was purchased from Row Gear (WA) I am 186 cm and there are no issues with the set-up. The slides can be moved fractionally toward the bow for a slightly taller person. The cabin limits the forward movement of the sliding seat so if you are taller than 195 cm there may be issues. Oars can be purchased from crokeroars.com, a great Australian company. My oars cost $430 brand new four years ago. They have since gone up in price. Croker Oars are a great company to deal with. I need to keep the oars for the Cambridge racer that I built. To state the obvious, the $500 dollar price does not include the oars.


    I carry it on a box trailer that has an extended draw-bar for surfskis and the Cambridge racer (23 ft). If it is not also obvious, my $2000 trailer is not included in the price. I lift the boat off myself by lifting the bow onto a sawhorse and then the stern into the water. It is best to not have too much gear in the boat when doing this to prevent physical injury. There are some photos on the Murray page of the trailer set-up. http://themurray.strikingly.com


    The trolley is included and fits in the aft hatch. It is just a $25 office/box trolley cut down. Regular kayak trolleys are too lightly built. The pontoons seen on the aft deck in some photos are included. Great for stability while cooking and sleeping.


    The boat is quite stable even in rough water. One afternoon a power boat headed directly at us from abeam, smashing into the head wind and waves, making hard work of it. (My wife sits in the cabin on day-trips.) We were heading home from Dunk Island to Mission Beach. It was windy but the wind and waves were on our beam, a northerly. The boat just rose and fell as I rowed across the waves, and we just skitted along. I was worried that the power boat had not seen me. I started to think of my options which were limited. I stopped rowing. Then they stopped and called out if we were in trouble and needed assistance. Bloody hell! If they had stayed clear and were a touch more observant they would have noticed us flying along across the waves. They asked if we needed anything. I asked for a beer. They smiled and left without passing on a beer.


    Try pricing the materials for the building of the boat.


    Plans $200

    Wood $1000 (the good stuff)

    Resin, matting, brushes, rollers $300

    Paint $200

    Fittings $300 (sliding seat, rails, rowlocks, hatches)

    Pontoons/floats/amas $100

    The labour is offset by the learning.

    I have underestimated these figures as they are from memory. If you are intending to build this boat, then budget for $3000, including oars.

  • Rowcruiser - lines drawing


    The above link will take you to the PDF of the lines drawing shown below.


    Designed by Colin Angus

  • whitsundays - infographic

    Day one: 43 kilometres.

    Departed Shute Harbour on Friday 6.00 am. Flat conditions.

    Had a break at Denman Island. Great conditions to cross Whitsunday Passage.

    Continued on to Henning Island for lunch at anchor. Feeling good so thought I would try to get to Whitehaven Beach. Mistake. Not just around the corner as thought. Hit by the wash of boats heading to Whitehaven Beach from Hamilton. Rowed into a head wind and chop. Slowed down to make some progress with minimal effort.

    Spotted a small beach and went in for a rest. Slept on board for an hour, a beautiful sleep. Woke up ready to continue.

    Made it to Whitehaven Beach. Thirty+ craft, helicopters, seaplanes at anchor or on the beach. One hundred+ people on the beach. Crowded. Had a swim, recovered.

    Headed to Hill Inlet. Slept on board behind a spit. Ate well. Tide dropped, boat sat on the sand until morning when high tide lifted me off.

    Day two: 33 kilometres.

    Departed Hill Inlet on Saturday at 5.30 am. Rowed steady, conservative. Hands were not in good shape. All else ok. Head wind was gentle. Had a rest at a beautiful spot but horse flies were bad. Rowed into stronger head winds. Rounded the north of Whitsunday Island. Tailwind towards Cid Harbour, then wind on the beam (NW). Wind was building during the day.

    Had a nap in Cid Harbour. A touch hot. Felt good for it, continued to Cid Island hoping to cross Whitsunday Passage. Conditions were not conducive for the Whitsunday Passage crossing. Wind, tide, time and whales were the issue.

    Slept in boat on land at Cid Island.

    Day three: 14 kilometres.

    Departed Cid Island on Sunday at 5.45. Gentle wind and sea on the beam. Made it to Denman Island in just over an hour of medium paced rowing. Took it easy across the south end of South Molle Island. Headed to Shute Harbour with not much in the tank. Hands, back and bum feeling sore.

    Loaded the boat on the trailer after dropping it twice. Dead tired. Cleaned up using remaining water and went to a fast food chain store and had two large Cokes and food. Started to feel normal. Drove home, eight hours north.

  • the build summary (in words)

    February 6, 2015
    February 6, 2015
  • some comments about the boat

    in response to emailed questions

    I have been asked about various aspects of the rowcruiser and my trips by visitors to my digital 'scrapbook'. Here are some of the responses organised by topic.


    Cooking on-board. I love how self-contained the boat can become. I cook with a little canned gas cooker on the cockpit floor, sheltered from the wind, perfect. I eat on the sliding seat, but have another fold up seat that I can use. Pontoons are a must as the boat is effectively like a bigger canoe and will tip you out if you stand up without support.


    Sleeping. I am at the design limit. I am 110 kilos, 186 cm and have a bit of width. Sleeping is a concern, as I like to sleep comfortably, call me 'spoilt bastard' if you like. I use two layers of foam matting and a 3/4 hiking mate. I did build the boat with the extra leg room, so the forward bulkhead was moved towards the bow. I carry some bottles of water in the bow storage area for ballast and drinking if required. I then carry about 20 litres in the main cabin but towards the bow. When I go to sleep, I move the water from the cabin and put it in the aft storage. That way, when I am afloat and sleeping, the bow is not ridiculously low and stern high. My shoulders are very close to a pair of ribs in the boat. I use pontoons for stability. I store them on the aft deck.


    Deep water anchoring. A long rode is required. Get pontoons and anchor where there is protection. I anchored on dead coral one trip and found the anchor would not hold. I have an anchor, two metres of chain and rope. I added a two kilogram kettle-weight (gym) to where the chain meets the rope. No problems. However, I am still nervous about leaving my boat at anchor when wandering ashore.


    Surf. I have often wondered how I would go about getting ashore in surf. Going out would be ok, however I would do something about the hatch. Going in would be frightening, the riggers would be the first to snap off while rolling. When I have caught small North Queensland waves to the shore I would just come down the slides and transfer my weight aft and my hands low in the boat to keep the oars high. Then when the boat goes off course, the small wave knocks it back on course, or the wave passes under me.


    Roof-racks. The boat is too difficult to man-handle onto a roof so I have to use a box-trailer with a long draw-bar. I use a saw-horse and lift one end of the boat onto that and then the other end into the water. Finally, lift the saw-horse end into the water as well. I have a kayak trolley that has been strengthened to get it down the beach if required. Moving the rowcruiser up and down the beach needs planning, extra equipment and another person helps immensely.


    Coming ashore. For long trips (several nights), pulling the boat a long way up the beach is not practical, even with wheels. Soft sand, rocks and a slope can be killers at the end of a day of rowing.


    Butt joints. Butt joints were fine. After the hull is sheaved, it is not an issue at all. If the boat came off the trailer at 60 km an hour, then that might be a weak spot, but I don't think much else would survive either.


    Crocodiles. I don't go to croc "infested" areas. I do realise that when I am on the sea, crocs can be around, but as yet I have not seen any while rowing. I am sure plenty of crocs have have seen my boat though and decided not to show themselves. I live near Cairns, Queensland, Australia and crocs are a real threat. The most recent casualty was a diver taken in March 2017.


    Boat trim. The trim of the boat is crucial. Rowing with no gear is hard on a windy day as the bow just gets blown downwind. The boat needs some kind of ballast ie, gear, water, or a person in the cabin. Again, that is related to my weight. It is not a design fault, but more of a design compromise. If you do not intend sleeping inside, then the rowing position could be moved forward. If you do not intend sleeping inside, then consider if this is the right boat for you.


    The design. Design limitations exist in everything. I wish the cabin would be a touch higher when sleeping, and a touch lower when rowing across the wind. I wish the rowing position was further forward when I have no passenger nor gear, and further back when I have my wife with me or gear. I wish it was much smaller so I could put it on the roof of the car rather than using the trailer but need a good sized boat for the longer trips.


    “Design is a compromise”, particularly in relation to vessels. Try as hard as you can, you still can not have it all.

All Posts