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"We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. T.S.Eliot

Home-Ocean Rowing Society page for Tori's row.

Sector No Limits American Pearl- Home page for Tori's team in Louisville, Ky.
Fact Sheet-A brief overview of Tori Murden’s attempt to become the first American and first woman to row solo across the North Atlantic Ocean.
Rower Victoria MurdenA profile of Victoria Murden.
First American, First Woman to Row an Ocean Solo-A detailed review of the voyage.
SECTOR NO LIMITS American Pearl -The rowboat’s history, design and specifications.
Route Map-Visual overview of Tori’s route across the Atlantic
The Watch-To understand Sector is to experience NO LIMITS
NoLimitsWear-Technical gear designed specifically for No Limits Team Athletes
What’s on Board- Equipment, food, clothing and even  "luxuries".
Victoria Murden A look at the woman who embodies No Limits.

Press Office -Julie Wellik, Susan
Barnes or Kevin Plagman
1426 Eighteenth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Technical Support
Columbia River
Christophe Hebert
215, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux - France
Tel: 33(0)1 47 36 33 16-Fax: 33(0)1 47 36 02 64-e-mail:

Sector No Limits American Pearl

Designed for Smooth, Upright Rowing

"Pearls in themselves are things of mystery and adventure; if you follow the career of a single pearl it will give you material for a hundred tales." -- Isak Dinesen

In redesigning the SECTOR NO LIMITS American Pearl for her trans-Atlantic solo row, Tori Murden’s main concern is stability. French rower Gerard d’Aboville’s travails – capsizing 34 times in the light-weight SECTOR during his trans-Pacific crossing in 1991 – confirmed Tori’s desire for a steady, self-righting rowing boat.

Tori, along with friends Bob Hurley and Noreen Powers, built the original rowboat from a kit during the summer of 1997. The one-off hull design rowboat was constructed for competition in the October 1997 Atlantic Rowing Race – a two-crew, 3,000 mile race from the Canary Islands to Barbados.

Tori and rowing partner Louise Graff were the only American entry, and the only all-female crew. It was tough going for the Americans – after Tori rebounded from an early bout with food poisoning and resumed the race, their communications equipment failed. Tori and Graff were forced to abandon the competition.

Tori, Hurley and Powers consulted with accomplished French seaman Gerard d’Aboville on the design modifications needed for Tori’s solo voyage. The main conversions were simple, but significant: add a dagger board at the front of the craft to help prevent strong winds from pushing the boat laterally; replace the original rudder with a much larger one, a better design for long-range steering.

To help maintain the rowboat’s stability throughout the crossing, Tori chose to load her boat two water ballasts. One tank contains sea water, the other fresh water needed for the voyage. Although 55 gallons of water makes the boat heavy, not to mention difficult to accelerate, the weight enables the boat to "carry her way." SECTOR NO LIMITS American Pearl will plow through conditions that might slow, stop or capsize a lighter vessel. "I’m not chasing a speed record, so the weight is not as significant," says Tori.

SECTOR NO LIMITS American Pearl’s underwater design adds stability. The long keel provides exceptional directional steadiness, making it easier to stay the course. The simple rudder and cable steering device, combined with the boat’s fairly flat "hard chine" underwater shape helps minimize the work load.

SECTOR NO LIMITS American Pearl’s above-waterline design delivers an efficient, reasonably comfortable living space for Tori’s three- to four-month voyage. The egg-crate shape is one of nature’s strongest forms, enclosing maximum volume with minimum materials. The design also offers low wind resistance. A water-tight bulkhead divides into two parts, each accessible through water-tight storm hatches. A small forward compartment, used for storage, contains communication and navigation equipment. Tori’s sleep space, a cabin in the stern of the boat, is just large enough to accommodate her six-foot frame. Due to the size of breaking waves Tori will encounter, it is inevitable that SECTOR NO LIMITS American Pearl will capsize during the trans-Atlantic voyage. The cabin-top egg-crate shape gives SECTOR NO LIMITS American Pearl a major design advantage. In an inverted position, the boat is completely unstable and self-rights and self-bails immediately. In pre-launch capsize trials on the Louisville banks of the Ohio River, the rowboat performed perfectly.

SECTOR NO LIMITS American Pearl is made of 3/8-inch marine plywood with fiberglass reinforcing, and includes 20 watertight compartments. The SECTOR NO LIMITS American Pearl has the following specifications:

Length Overall 23 feet

Width 6 feet

Draft 1 foot, 6 inches

Boat Weight (empty) 800 pounds

Displacement (loaded) 1,500 pounds

OARS-U.S.-made carbon fiber oars Three pairs