Have you ever driven by an accident on the freeway and just couldn't help yourself? You looked even though you knew it was a bad idea? That's the fascination I've developed for this guy and his boat:
His name is Harley and the boat is named Seabiscuit. He's attempting to break the record for smallest boat sailed nonstop around the world. I think the fact that it's solo is kind of understood. I applaud people who do things like this and think that spirit of adventure is what makes the world a great place. But take a look at this boat:
A very well known designer, Bob Perry, likened the design to a marble (a shape not known for its seaworthiness) on the Sailing Anarchy forums. The rudder is held on with door hinges. The mast is foam, a plywood box, more foam and quarter molding (like what you decorate a room with) surrounded by a carbon layer. The boat is heat-absorbing blue (though in fairness the mast acts as ventilation). He has lifelines for those long walks on deck. Then again, I've never designed a boat to go around the world nonstop so there must be a reason for those cleats.
The real challenge, and this isn't just his challenge but all small-boat adventurers, is what to eat for approximately 400 days. This is where it gets weird, Harley is planning on "A years supply of some food tablets with me that are supposed to be enough to live on all by themselves. I am also bringing survival foods designed for use in lifeboats, which are also supposed to be enough to survive on all by themselves. This I will supplement with a plankton net which when I'm in the right areas will allow a very nourishing tablespoon of really yucky, hard to swallow goosh, a combination of both plant and animal life that is incredibly nourishing. I am also bringing a single-burner propane stove for very occasional use. A 25-lb. bag of Basmati rice. Some flour for making hard tack (the traditional "Sea Biscuit" made simply of flour and seawater.) which I have developed into a technique, using a Norwegian Krumkake Iron, which allows me to make a thin 6-inch wide cracker in about 60 seconds. Throw in some legumes for making fresh sprouts as Sir Francis Chichester did, 400 single serving tubs of peanut butter that can fill in any unused space in my storage, a tablespoon of oil added to the preceding adds 500 calories daily to my diet. I am also bringing dried meats, and dried fruits. I have very carefully measured the nutritional value versus the bulk of all my foods and found that I can, but not so easily, carry enough to last me a year."
His exercise is going to be "pumping his desalinator" for an hour a day. You can't make this stuff up folks.
You can follow this strange voyage's progress at Duckworks Magazine...he posts in the forum at the bottom of that page every once in a while to let people know he's still going. But he's keeping his actual start date a secret to keep the Coast Guard from stopping him with some restriction like "manifestly unsafe" craft or something like that.
He maintains that if he goes down he doesn't want to be rescued. Here's a wish that he makes it and we get to read the account of this voyage from his own pen in a year's time.