• the row cruiser 'scrapbook'

    designed by colin angus @ angusrowboats.com

    built by me @ home (North Queensland, Australia)


    Latest videos

    The Island (Jan2017) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CasB9j88kxY

    The Lake (Dec 2017) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKt5Dferk5c

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



    The last row: http://themurray.strikingly.com

    I have created a new page as a scrap book for the Murray row. A digital scrapbook for planning purposes and now, after the race, a place to store some images, video and text. 5 days and 250 kilometres. I would say a 10-15% current assist overall.

    The trolley worked great and was cheap. The solar panel did a wonderful job charging devices but I did not have as much time chilling and reading as I had thought.


    November 30, 2017.

    A trolley has been made to haul the Cruiser up the banks of the river to access camping sites. I have bought a solar panel, controller and battery in the hope that I can recharge my phone and iPad. The iPad is loaded with books. I hit the road tomorrow afternoon for the long drive.


    November 1, 2017.

    A couple of weeks ago I broke the rigger on my Quickie, the Cambridge racer (the breakage involved a car and carport roof). I was planning on using the Quickie for the Murray row. I had to spend some of my weekend (rowing) time building a new and stronger rigger and finishing a few odd jobs. Boats are never finished. I went for a trial row yesterday afternoon without gear. There was a storm around and the lake had some small waves running across it. Some of the waves slapped the side and water landed in the boat. Hmmm. If I add another 20-30 kilograms of gear to the boat, I may not have much free-board remaining. This has led to a change of plans for the Murray row. I will now trail the Cruiser to the river (3-days driving) and enjoy the luxury of a campsite wherever I stop rowing (drop anchor or tie off to a snag), having my bed ready every night, and the extra items I can carry on board, books, food etc. There is also the possibility of a couple of coastal rows as I return home.


    I will hit the road in four weeks time which means, if nothing crops up, I will have three trial rows. As the river is a fairly protected from the wind, I am not too concerned about protecting my gear from water ingress. My greatest concern is the heat and the annoying flies and mosquitoes.


    September 29, 2017.

    Just a quick row at Lake Tinaroo. Two hours. Water for ballast in the bow as I carried no gear nor a passenger. I'm still trying to decide which boat for the Murray row. I love the Cruiser as I can carry everything.


    July 7, 2017.

    At last, some beautiful weather. Left Ellis Beach at 6.30, rowed south to Yorkey's Knob. It took two hours but there were a couple of pleasant chats on the way as a lot of people were out and afloat. I met one paddler following a her distance swimming brother. I put my boat just in front of her and we chatted away while her elder brother just kept on swimming and swimming and swimming. Next I met a board paddler in training for the Molokai board race. After reaching the marina, I had a snack and pretended to be a "grown up" boat hanging out in a marina. Then I departed for the island to the north and then back to Ellis. A flat triangle course.


    4 July, 2017:

    It did not happen. We had really shitty weather, rain and wind. I drove the 800 km south, rowed around the bay. Couldn't get across the channel. Eventually drove home a couple of days later. Deleted next trip page from this site.


    21 June, 2017: The weather has cooled down considerably. 24 degrees C. Rowing weather!

    I have two weeks holiday coming and it is time to go rowcruiser-ing. The simple adventure is to do three day trips to three different islands off the coast. Took the boat our for a test row last weekend, everything is working fine. The rowcruiser is a very robust and forgivable boat.


    19 April, 2017: Summer is horribly hot in North Queensland, so rowing is not the best thing to be doing. Now that it is April, the weather has got cooler and eventually the SE trade winds will kick in. We have two seasons, summer and winter, or the wet season and dry season. Winter is for rowing. So I have cleaned the boat, made some repairs and added another coat of paint to the hull. Ready to go. A couple of overnight trips ahead, then in late June, a longer trip.

  • 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. 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 at last 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.

    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 Macca’s and had two large Cokes and food. Started to feel normal. Drove home, eight hours north.

  • the build summary (in words)

    and thoughts

  • 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 a bit 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 wondering 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 body 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.

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