Boatbuilder Ralph Brown can't seem to sit still, shifting in his chair and then, finally, bounding out the door of his cluttered, stand-alone office toward an old fiberglass boat parked in knee-high weeds around back.
"This is where it all started," he said, kneeling and pointing toward the boat's weathered, corrugated hull. "This design."
Then Brown is up and off to a Quonset hut across the boatyard where his latest venture — The Forgiven — awaits.
From humble beginnings, Boat builder Ralph Brown has ascended to storied heights. He and his brother, Robert, set world records for their trip from North Carolina to Bermuda to New York in a 21-foot fishing boat built by Brown's company, Dream Boats.
Two years later, in 2009, they did it again by crossing the Atlantic in the same vessel. The excursions made headlines worldwide but they pale compared to the next record-setting trek Brown has planned. This November he aims to challenge a British team to make the fastest around-the-world voyage in a powerboat under 100 feet, now set at 61 days.
Brown is building his craft — a cross between a catamaran and a space shuttle.