Rowboat «AKROS» is heading to the starting point in New Zealand

11 September 2018

The equipment installation works for the rowboat “AKROS” have been completed at the British shipbuilding yard Rannoch Adventure.  The process of installation of all navigation, communication and life support equipment took 6 months (from March to September 2018).  The entire project, starting from developing the Technical Design Specifications for the rowboat until this moment, took 18 months.  In March 2017, British designer Phil Morrison visited Fedor Konyukhov’s art studio in Moscow, where the discussion and scheduling of project completion steps took place.

All three boats: «URALAZ» (Transatlantic voyage of 46 days), «TURGOYAK» (Transpacific voyage of 160 days) и «AKROS» (the current project) have been designed by Phillip Morrison.

How does this rowboat “AKROS” differ from the previous projects?  Each rowboat was designed and built for its specific purpose, and more specifically, for its intended Ocean.

While still rowing across the Pacific Ocean, on the way to Australia, Fedor commenced the development of the Technical Design Specifications for the future boat capable to negotiate the Cape Horn waters on oars.  Five years onwards, the project has been realised.

The Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica where the weather is always stormy and the water temperature is close to the zero degree mark, especially in the areas to the south of 50 degrees south latitude.  The boat must endure a battering by numerous storms, provide integrated life support for the survival of a rower in the “roaring forties’ and ‘furious fifties’ latitudes, possess several sources of power generation.  It also must have sufficient room for storage of clothes, food, spare parts for the 6 thousand nautical miles and with all of that to be no longer than 9m in length (the size of the “TURGOYAK” rowboat).

There are three independent power generation systems on the rowboat.

Flexible solar modules with a power coefficient efficiency exceeding 22% have been the innovative product developed by the Russian company “TEEMP” and built to order.  Never before had we boasted such efficient solar batteries.  Fedor Konyukhov will run a series of tests and experiments with these panels along his journey through the Southern latitudes.  Similar solar modules will be developed and installed onto an airplane for the round-the-world on solar power voyage (Project “Albatross” —

There are also two Rutland 504 wind turbines installed on the boat.  One primary, and the other in reserve.

Fedor Konyukhov will also for the first time use EFOY fuel cell power plant adapted for an ocean-going rowboat.  It works according to the following principle: an electrochemical reaction takes place on the proton-exchange membrane of hydrogen, contained in methanol with oxygen, found in the air.  This reaction creates free electrons, thereby generating an electric current.  By-products of this chemical reaction are carbon dioxide and water.  Methanol cartridges are used as fuel.

In comparison with the transpacific voyage of 2013, the present project boasts higher levels of power supply capacity.  Rannoch Adventure’s specialists have developed a floor-warming system in the rest cabin.  Fedor can set a timer on the thermostat (for a maximum of 1 hour), to warm his sleeping quarters (the operation principle is similar to the residential floor heating).  This system requires serious energy generation, so the “Akros” has three independent sources for generating power (wind, solar, and fuel cells).

The Southern Ocean is the most desolate place on the Planet, and it is possible not to see a single ship in months.  All communications will take place exclusively via a satellite system.  The “AKROS” will have on board two types satellite phones both supplied by the Iridium: a stationary phone and an Iridium Go.  The latter gave a very good account of itself throughout the hot air balloon circumnavigation, due to its capabilities including sending SMS messages from a smartphone (via satellite connection), and ability to transmit large amounts of information, such as weather forecasts.  It will be possible to track the expedition using an interactive map of the route using Iridium 360 and the tracking system Iridium 360 RockSTAR.

Other equipment traditionally found on any modern yacht will include: a chartplotter, an AIS radio station, several GPS systems with different power supplies.  The boat is equipped with several backup communication and navigation systems.

Preparations of a rowboat for the Southern Ocean voyage require high level of financial support.  Fedor has sailed along the same route on a yacht five times: in 1990, 1999, 2005, 2008, 2009 and has a first-hand knowledge of the severe conditions in high latitudes.  Thus the best and most reliable systems available to-date are installed onboard of his rowboat.

On 10 September 2018, the preparatory phase of the project has been completed.  The rowboat “AKROS” was delivered on a trailer to the port for its installation inside a shipping container so that it could be transported to the other side of the world – to New Zealand.  The estimated time of its arrival in New Zealand is 1 November 2018.  The launch of the voyage is planned for the second half of November from the port Dunedin (South Island).

The financial support for the project is provided by the Russian companies listed below.

Official partners:

Oilfield services company «AKROS»:
JSC «Belomortrans» — provider specialising in integrated logistics for mining and industrial sites as well as operating logistics management in oil and gas and construction industries:
Club Hotel «Golden Beach», Lake Turgoyak:
In September, one more official partner has joined the project.  A Company called SKB “Kontur” with its Head Office located in Ekaterinburg city.  Since 1988, the company has been developing programs for accountants and managers, helping to navigate the business environment and optimising business processes.  Today, the company’s products are used by 1.87 million organizations throughout the country.  SKB Kontur is among the TOP 30 largest IT companies in Russia:

Project’s Partners:

Seyho Motors:
Internet agency BINN — development, support and site development:

Media partners:

«Channel One»

Providers of Equipment and Clothing:

Red Fox:
Helly Hansen:
DHL Express:


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