Email This Page to a FriendRace to Alaska 2016 – Meet Team Liteboat
June 24, 2016
At 59, Mathieu Bonnier, owner and founder of Liteboat, has traveled from France to go the distance; 750 miles- from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska- just another day at the office.
– I enjoy adventure and sport and nature and I really enjoy rowing. My name is Matthew Bonnier and I am from France. I just came here for the Race to Alaska. It’s a fantastic challenge for a man of 59 years old. So the boat is a rowing boat first and then we have these two little hulls to stabilize the boat and put the mast with the little sail, 5.3 square meter is the main sail. So I can row. Here, it’s a sliding seat. I sit here, my feet are there and we go this way in the same time I can put the main sail and together rowing and sailing together. So with this it’s more stable. The boat is built by the company I own and create. It’s Liteboat, it’s only rowing boats. Very light weight and very stable rowing boats. So the boat is made with carbon fiber, with foam and with epoxy resin. It’s infused under a vacuum process. So the boat in total, it’s very light. It’s about 100 kilo, 220 pounds. This is a sliding seat so here I can move the oars like that. That’s the reason the little oar are so small. Or I cannot row. Little oars are only 100 liter and they are half of the boat. The boat is six meter long, so about 20 feet, that’s not so much. Inside here I will put all my gear. There is two big hatch. One here, so I can open this part and here, so there is some place to put all the food, water. And for the night I have a little tent I put here on the trumpo and I expect to sleep here. This will be only in good weather. If it’s not good weather the other opportunity is to go on the land so we have these two wheels. I keep the wheels with me inside the boat all the time. When I arrive on the beach I put the two wheels and I can drag the boat on the wheels. So here it’s a duggar boat with a system to go up or down. It depends on the wind. Effectively, if it’s downwind you put less and if you want to go ahead with the head winds you put a little more. I have also a little gennaker here. Put it on the main sail. This I can use on lead when it’s downwind. My sailing experience is very small. I take some lessons with this boat to make it right, but I am more experienced in rowing. I have crossed solo the Atlantic Sea and the Northwest Passage, so I am used to maps, GPS and all navigation system. It’s a small sail so I think it will be doable. Easy to manage. In time of capsize I make some training with boat upside-down and it works alone. I can easily put the boat on the right side and that’s great. We’ll see. We’ll see if I arrive well in Alaska in Ketchikan. Yes, that’s it.
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