Boats

Boat with equipment 2014

An ocean row boat is the one item of equipment that no crew can do without. In addition each crew will need numerous pieces of equipment. Ocean row boats are ruggedly designed and built from marine grade plywood, glass or carbon fiber as well as other composite materials. They are able to withstand the worst weather that the ocean can throw at them and keep their crew safe. All boats in the Great Pacific Race are designed to self-right if they capsize and each boat has undergone a capsize test to ensure that this design feature is operational. Each boat has a water tight cabin at each end with the rowing cockpit in the middle. Generally one cabin is used for storage and the other as the accommodation, where the crew can rest when they are not rowing.

When your crew arrives in Monterey, California with their boat two weeks before the start members of the New Ocean Wave team complete a process known as scrutineering.  In this process our team will scrupulously check each boat and all items of equipment to ensure it complies with the Race Rules and that all equipment is stored safely within the boat.

The Race Rules restrict the use of boats to those built within certain design parameters and define the different classes of ocean row boat competing in the Great Pacific Race.  There are two classes of ocean row boats recognised by the Ocean Rowing Society who adjudicate Guinness World Records – Classic Class and Open Class.  The table below gives an overview of the key differences. 

It should be noted that open class boats have a lower rate of success for this route.  Of 8 open class boats which have started, only 3 have been successful compared with 12 starters and 1 non-finisher for teams rowing in classic boats. 

We recommend that teams select classic class ocean rowing boats for the Great Pacific Race on grounds of safety and previous success rates. 

The differences between boat designs mean that the boat speeds are not comparable and cannot fairly compete against each other.  We don’t want to exclude any particular design and so both are allowed in the Great Pacific Race, but don’t directly compete.

 Classic-Class-small1  Open-class-small1
  • High success rate for the Pacific E-W route, >90% success  
  • Rowed not blown
  • V-shaped hull
  • Accommodation in stern cabin of pairs boats (accommodation in both cabins for fours)
  • Uses hull shape and rudder for directional stability
  • More protection for crew from waves
  • More stable
  • Autohelm not permitted
  • Safer
  • Low success rate for the Pacific E-W route,<40% success (Only 3 of 8 have succeeded)
  • Gets blown by the wind more
  • Flat bottomed hull
  • Accommodation in bow cabin (accommodation in both cabins for fours)
  • Relies on centerboard and rudder for directional stability 
  • Less protection for crew from waves so wetter and colder on deck.
  • Less stable
  • Autohelm permitted
  • Less safe

So how to start your journey to the start?

You might have some friends who you want to row with (or if you don’t then we can help connect you with others who are keen to row).  You will then need to enter the race, buy or charter a boat and complete your courses prior to the race start.  We are able to help at all stages of your preparation from helping to source a suitable boat for your crew to helping with the logistics of shipping your boat to the start of the race.

Boat options

If you choose to setup your own crew then there are three options that you have when considering where to get your boat from.

Buy new – There are  three main boat manufacturers who you can commission to build you a new boat find out more about them here.

Buy used – Checkout our boatmart page for current listings of second hand boats.

Charter – We may be able to help find you a high quality boat to use with much of the required equipment on.  Contact us via the form on the contact page for more information.

Next…find out about the courses and physical training that as an ocean rower you will need to complete before starting the Great Pacific Race.

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