Well, I’m in it again- I’ll be doing the first leg again in 2017.
The oars have got to go.
While I previously have carried oars on the Minnow, it does not row well. With the flat bottom, it does not track well without input from the centerboard and rudder. In addition, The length of the boat and the rockered bottom make fitting a sliding seat troublesome, as the weight shift forward and aft as the seat slides will cause the boat to hobby-horse. this limits you to using just your upper body streingth on the oars. Also, the transition from rowing to sailing is awkward at best. This would be compounded with the addition of a sliding seat setup to the already constrained cockpit on the minnow. I can’t see a way around these difficulties,
Because of these issues with rowing, I have decided I will install a Hobie Mirage drive in a trunk in the floor of the cockpit of the Minnow. These are compact, reliable, and have proven themselves with other R2AK participants. As the minnow draws only a few inches under normal operation, and others have done similar modifications to retrofit them to other wooden boats, this solution should work well.
A trunk will be fabricated and installed In the cockpit floor, similar to this picture taken from an online forum.
This will be reinforced with two plywood dividers In the cockpit running port to starboard, (similar to this picture, but extending to the top of the trunk.) with limber holes for drainage, fiberglassed into the fore and aft of the trunk as well as the cockpit sole and cockpit walls. These dividers will also provide handy storage for items I wish to keep at hand in the cockpit on either side of the trunk, such as binoculars, the jetboil stove, a small ditch bag, etc.
In addition, a fisheye rearview mirror will be fitted to the mizenmast.
the second major addition i’m contemplating is an autopilot. Team Angus Rowboats used one with much success in 2016, and I feel that this combines with the hobie drive will solve the human propulsion problem for the calms.
So, for now I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a good deal on a Hobie Mirage drive.