Saturday 29 March 2008

The Rocat

Christopher Laughton, inventor of the Rocat mentioned a few days ago, writes to say that a version of the design for recreational rowing is under consideration:

"The first ROCAT is a 'fine boat', which uses advanced composite technology to be as strong and light as poss - the hulls for example, before adding the crossbeam sockets and skeg, weigh just 7.1kg each! The yet-to-be-developed 'polyROCAT' would be a family-beach-muckabout craft. It would have more buoyancy, weigh more and be less fast. But made of roto-moulded polyethylene with ally crossbeams, it would be much tougher than the fine boat, and about a third the price. The market would be families, holiday resorts, schools, disabled, surf-life-saving etc. etc. best wishes ... Christopher"
That would be something, especially for rowers who would like to get out in the rough stuff. The 'fine boat' is probably not an economic option unless FISA, rowing's governing body, relaxes the rules and that seems unlikely. Christopher calls it "FISA's oppressive anti-development regime" but I suspect it is more to do with fear of a change that would cost clubs a great deal of money.
A separate rowing unit on aluminium cross-beams that could be attached to any hulls would be attractive to home boat builders, though. It could stimulate a lot of development. What about a stitch'n'glue camp-cruiser with lots of storage space in the hulls and a wide deck that you could pitch a tent on?

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