I am very pleased to present my new ocean steed, Gulliver – a custom built 21 ft rowing boat. Built by the same brilliant team who designed and built Dippers, my Indian Ocean boat, Gulliver is a slightly larger and improved brother to Dippers.
It was really satisfying to be involved in augmenting the design based on experience, rather than guesswork. Modifications include raising the internal flooring to accommodate more supplies; adding solar panels to increase my power output; incorporating a floodable ballast tank to aid stability in rough seas; building a ‘trench’ in the aft cabin for me to sleep in and help protect me in rough water as well as harness points in that same cabin.
He has taken 6 months to build and is now safely stowed in Rutland, having journeyed up from Global Boatworks in Devon, where he was built. My team at home will be packing him up with kit and food later this year ready for shipment to Japan, where I will meet him and start getting him ready for our jaunt across the North Pacific. This phase is scheduled to begin with the late spring 2012 when I shall push out from Choshi, Japan, bound for Vancouver, Canada.
I chose the name before he was finished after watching the hilarious Jack Black in Gulliver’s Travels with two very special friends – Kris and Maren Hallenga. As a reminder of good times and as a kindred seafarer, Gulliverseemed a perfect choice. I hope you will join me in cooing admiringly and smiling proudly at him too – I know he is going to be a fabulous partner for this gruelling leg of the journey.
PS: He is in fact a bullet proof boat, complete with a Kevlar skin.