Sea Biscuit Around the World 2006-2007Article By Kristofer J. Harley Harlson
Around the World 2006-2007
Kristofer J. "Harley" Harlson
Harley is headed off on a voyage around the world, in an 8' boat. Yep, you read that correct, EIGHT feet long -- and get this, he is going non-stop, without assistance the entire way. Previously the shortest boat to go around the world was 12' long, sailed by Serge Testa.
When I first heard of his voyage, I wondered whether his vessel would be able to sail to windward. Most of the 10' and under boats which have sailed across the Atlantic were really just fat space capsules which drifted with the currents and were helped down wind by a sail. You can't go around the world in a timely manner if you are not able to atleast sail across the wind, and being able to sail 60 degrees into the wind would help even more. Harley has that solved, he designed a great hull.
Second thought was where the heck is he going to store all that food? Harley is pretty tight with many of the tough to solve puzzles, but he promises to tell all in a book when he gets back. One detail I heard about was small peanut butter packets. They are soft, easily forming to the cavity they are crammed in, so every little knook and cranny will have peanut butter packets in them. What an ingenious idea.
There is a more indepth interview with Harley at Small Craft Advisor
Sailing around the world in a tiny boat was a dream of mine also, but my wife said no freaking way. I don't want to get a new wife, so had to let go of that dream. Harley offered to let me hitch a ride in a vicarious manner, you can see in the photo to the right. Thanks a bunch Harley!
UPDATE: Harley ran into problems at the launch, and had to cancel his voyage. His boat was leaking, he couldn't stop the leaks and missed his weather window. So he was forced to cancel his voyage and ended up returning home. Due to financial issues and the lack of a trailer, he had to leave the boat in Tofino.
Soon after, a new group spouted up called Around In Ten, their goal was to organize a race to sail around the world in ten foot boats. It was very exciting talk, and a few people signed up for the challenge including Harley.
Can't remember how long the deadline was, think it was a little over a year from the launch of the race concept to the deadline for starting the race, but they dropped out one by one and when the race day arrived, nobody was on the start line.
Because Harley shifted to work on the Around In Ten project, he lost focus on Sea Biscuit and that project sort of stopped.
I heard that Sea Biscuit sat at the dock for a long time and then was hauled on shore nearby. Harley came down with some health problems which are life threatening, and he was living in Texas the last time I heard from him.
From all of us dreamers who have wanted to do the same, we wish Harley the best, and congratulate him for what he was able to accomplish. It is better to have tried and failed, than to have never tried anything at all.
And thats a really cool boat he built. I know she didn't go very far, but hey, she made it into the water and was able to float.