PedalIt

Canoes, Kayaks, Pedal power

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Fanatic
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:24 am
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

PedalIt

Post by Fanatic »

I am beginning the process of building Glen-L's PedalIt. It is mainly for my grandkids, and I intend to use it for panfishing in small lakes and rivers.

As I look at the PedalIt plans, a couple of things concern me.
First, the propulsion mechanism, bicycle chain and gears and shafts, is underfoot all the way from the bow to the stern. Isn't there a danger of being pinched or cut or snagged by these moving parts? Doesn't the mechanism take up a lot of the useable space?

Second, if I am reading the plans correctly, it appears that the rudder extends rigidly lower than the hull. How can the boat be beached without dragging the rudder and possibly damaging it?

I certainly do not want to reinvent the wheel, but I am wondering "why not" about some modifications:

Why not put the paddlewheel at the bow of the boat, instead of the stern?
The chain drive would then connect forward to the paddlewheel shaft without being underfoot.
The rudder would then have to be at the stern. I don't see any particular difficulty in doing this, and I would want to incorporate some design to raise the rudder for beaching the boat.

So, does anyone know of a reason not to do this? Why are there sternwheelers or sidewheelers, but not bowwheelers?
Is there some loss of efficiency, maybe from pushing water backwards directly against the hull, instead of backwards behind the hull?
Would that matter for this tunnel hull design?
Will the balance of the boat be changed appreciably?

Any comments or suggestions greatly appreciated.

Brian Eager
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Location: Harlan, IN

Post by Brian Eager »

I don't know how much help this will be but i'll throw it in. This past summer I had the opportunity to have a brief time on the water in a factory built pedal caft. It had the paddle wheel in the front and rudder in the rear. To my mind it was a clumsy steering arrangement at best, by the time you had water pressure on the rudder that would actually start turning the craft, you were way past the point that you were attempting to steer toward. I think that if the wheel and the rudder were closer to each other, the steering would be more responsive.

About the open arrangement of the powertrain, it's about the same as a bicycle, and I don't get caught in that while riding.

Brian
Noah was a first-time boatbuilder

Fanatic
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Post by Fanatic »

Brian, you make a good point that I had not considered, that the steering could be clumsy. Maybe you are right that it would work better if the wheel and the rudder were closer together. I will have to think on that some more.

Also, I think you are correct about the chain mechanism being no more problem than it is when riding a bicycle, at least while underway. I guess my concern is about it being in the way while tied up fishing, moving around the deck easily, and possibly carrying a child passenger. I visualize, without the wheel at the stern, being able to extend the deck a little further back and adding a child's seat.

Your constructive thinking is very helpful, just what I am lookin for, so if anything else comes to mind please let me know. In all probability, I will build this thing pretty close to the plan, but I like to think about what I could do to improve it. Thanks a lot.

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Graham Knight
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Location: Shepperton, England

Post by Graham Knight »

Can't you just fit a chain guard?
Graham in Shepperton, England

Good, Quick, Cheap, pick any two.

John Bowen
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Post by John Bowen »

In all probability, I will build this thing pretty close to the plan, but I like to think about what I could do to improve it.
Oh, how we amateur boatbuilders drive the designers nuts. :roll:
One day.

Fanatic
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Post by Fanatic »

John,
Do you think the Wright Brothers ever asked themselves "which end should go in front"? :lol:

Barry
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Location: Bellflower, CA

Post by Barry »

If I were going to build it, I would try a front paddlewheel and a rudder behind each hull. As you said, this would make the deck less cluttered. You will have to improvise linkage to the rudders. I would anticipate that, as another poster mentioned, the steering will be less responsive.

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SammyRye
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Location: Northwest Wisconsin

Post by SammyRye »

:) Agree with Barry on adding the rudders to the rear. It would be easier to steer, and perhaps more responsive with two vs. one. Also, that eliminates the problem of extending below the hull.

Graham makes a good point as to the chain and sprocket - it would be easy to fabricate an enclosure. As for the rest, experiment and see how it turns out. Whatever you do - have fun!
8)
Buy it or build it? I'd rather build it!

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Dave Grason
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Location: Lake Barkley, KY

Post by Dave Grason »

SammyRye wrote:It would be easier to steer, and perhaps more responsive with two vs. one.
It works for Hobie Cats.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

Fanatic
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:24 am
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

PedalIt

Post by Fanatic »

Good suggestions from all, and very much appreciated.

I like Barry's idea for the double rudder, and if I decide to do the mod I will definitely include that. I am not too concerned about the steering being a little unresponsive. This thing ain't no jet ski, after all. I'm keeping busy doing a little mental design work trying to figure out how to do the linkage. That should keep me out of trouble for a while.

Yesterday I received my S&G Kit from Glen-L, timely and in good shape. Also I have been rounding up the hardware and now have most of it. So will probably be starting building pretty soon.

Thanks all.

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leakcheck
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Location: Lander Wyoming

Post by leakcheck »

Hey Fanatic,

If you really get hung up on some of those design issues, just watlz on over to "Joe T's" and sip on a marguerita around the pool until you come up with the answer!!!
Steve

Fanatic
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Post by Fanatic »

Leakcheck,

Been there.

Done that.

Goin' back, soon and often! :wink:

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