Dare to Say No

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Chris Ostlind, Nov 23, 2009.

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  1. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    A few real muscle cars:

    These technologies have hardly been tapped for modern use. Our world is so focused on no-muscle power that we have not applied modern technology to these common requirements of transport. Meanwhile the populations grow heavier and less agile. Some use their muscle power producing heat in a gym - how silly is that?

    Can you imagine the buzz of getting over 80mph under your own muscle power in a road vehicle. This impresses me.

    Rick W
  2. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

  3. portacruise
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Thanks for the videos, Rick. Wish this muscle power would catch on and expand in the USA. Here cyber exertion would seem to be expanding instead. Tonight's national news had a story of numerous sedentary youngsters at 11 years old, 3% with high blood pressure and 5% with undiagnosed heart conditions. What do you think of the simulated cyber sporting and exercise routines?



  4. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    I don't think it is a step in the right direction. I expect it appeals to the health concerns about sedentary lifestyle but is hardly purposeful exercise.

    Of the places I have visited, Holland is the only country that seems to have made an effort to integrate human power as a practical means of transport. Everywhere else I have visited seems to view it as highly unsexy to use muscle power for everyday requirements. Muscle power has been relegated to an inconvenience by all the modern "conveniences".

    Actually one of Bill Bryson's travel books tells a story about his time living in New England when he invited a next door neighbour and wife for dinner. The neighbour drove - it was less than 100m down his driveway and up Bill's driveway! Bill thought they were just taking the piss out of him for a joke but he soon learnt that his neighbours would never consider walking to a dinner engagement - it was just not done. One of those archaic rules of society like wearing a jacket to a luncheon in 40C temperatures. I have actually seen grown men in a complete quandary over this dilemma.

    We need to develop technology so the convenience of muscle power is rediscovered. It needs to become an unavoidable part of living like it was before the vehicle age.

    Rick W
  5. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Cool bikes!
    Not so wonderful here alas... too many hills!

    ...ps... could this thread possibly drift any further from its beginnings, I wonder.....
  6. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    On Bikes -
    Too many hills!!! - Methinks too little imagination! THey even have energy recovery of F1 cars now.

    On bikes & boats-
    My opinion is that we will see a lot more human power in our future transport options. Including recreational boating.

    In Melbourne our public transport system cannot cope with the shift from road to rail/tram/walk commute. (The shift may not have been as severe if our roads were better)

    At the beginning of the thread I thought I was in the minority but it has become clear that there are more human powered recreational boats being sold than ICE powered and sailed boats combined. AND this part of the market is the only area that is not showing a strongly declining trend. So extrapolating a few more years it is highly likely ICE will not be of serious interest for recreational boaters.

    Getting out in an ICE powered boat burning fuel will be like taking a fag at the back of the pub. Permitted but frowned upon by the vast majority.

    So there might be more money in the big end of town and that is no doubt what some in the forum hope to serve but the majority of boaters are taking a serious look at paddle, pedal, oar, sail and electric as the future acceptable alternatives. In democratic society the majority rule. Money might talk but ultimately the majority has the say.

    As far as US goes, recreational boating has to involve less consumption. The country has to dig itself out from a mountain of government and personal debt. The currency is devaluing at a fast rate. It means the country will have difficulty buying the things offshore that they have come to rely on. The focus will be more on internal reliance and this cannot be done overnight. All those big pleasure boats do not add to their capacity to produce. They will continue to decline in value and fewer new ones sold.

    So in terms of the beginning of the thread we need to understand the market and the market forces. Human power dominates the market in terms of customer numbers. There was nothing at the beginning of the thread that limited the scope of recreational boating. Not sure what Chris had in mind when he started but I know he had a hand in some sweet HPBs:

    (Not as good as mine for speed because I leave dragon boats in my wake but comfortable small boats - can even take a decent bump!)

    Rick W
  7. Timm
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    Timm Senior Member


    Interesting videos on the bikes. I am familiar with recumbents, but didn't realize how fast some of them were going now. I ride a few thousand miles a year for exercise, but if I ever have to get a real job and commuting by bike is feasible, I'll probably do it. Quite a few people are now bike commuting here in the states, some areas just aren't very well suited to it. We have no bike lanes on our major roads around here, although we do have a 46 mile long bike path that I ride nearly every day.
  8. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Geez Rick... I didn't need the sermon again!;)
    KERS (as used in F1) requires enormous energy input and yields short term energy output. (Yes I know they use energy recovery to charge batteries in elec vehicles). The trip down one hill may be just as long as the trip up the other, but you won't regain enough energy to get back up the other side.
    Look at the places where bikes are really popular - they're all flat (except of course in places where they can't afford any other kind of transportation)

    As for all that other stuff... I still think its crap:eek: People simply aren't going to sell their 40ft cruisers and go paddling instead. I'm not arguing that the market for paddle boats has seen massive expansion. Nor that the number of boats being sold around the world might be less than it was a few years ago. It's your conclusions that I take exception to: to suggest it's because your average Joe has seen the (green) light and would rather totter down to the lake for an hours exercise than to get away with the family for a weekend on the boat.... sorry - I just don't buy it.
    Time-poor people &/or those with limited resources, and in particular an enormous number who are looking for a more pleasant way of getting some exercise have flocked to paddle-ski's - bravo.
    In time, I agree, (as I have said before) the nature of boating will be different to what it is today. It will evolve, just as it always has. But, I'm sorry, I still don't think we'll all be roaming about in paddle-boats.
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  9. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    As far as the "technology" goes we have been so besotted by cars that we have not made any real provision for other efficient forms.

    There are quite a few people commuting by bike in Australia. Very few of them use faired recumbents. The trikes are reasonable road bikes but they are too wide for cycle lanes. They also suffer the disadvantage of no visibility over top of cars. This is a significant safety cross against them.

    So the "technology" of transport requires a lot of rethinking. It is amazing how many people you can pass through a cycle way compared with single person cars on a roadway.

    A fully faired trike can keep up with most city traffic even with only half fit old dudes spinning along so they would be viable if given the space. Faired bikes are really too unstable at low speed and cross winds to be anything but speed setters but then the design might have a way to go yet.

    Here is my favourite trike:
    Keep thinking I might buy one. They are still being developed but there is some good technology involved in the chassis, body and mechanicals. It needs stop lights and turn indicators to mix with existing traffic. These things are capable of incredible speed on a decline. I know the builder destroyed a set of disc brakes on one of his test runs. I think he got to 110kph but left it a bit late for braking and had to apply full braking from that speed. The tiny discs did not appreciate it.

    Rick W
  10. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude


    Who is buying the human powered watercaft? People with cars to haul their rotomolded boat to the water and/or people with a boat big enough to carry a few to use as TOYS to paddle around an anchorage after they burned your yearly allotment of fuel to get there.

    Get a grip. The only people I want to see pedaling their asses around town are 20 something hookers. :)

    No one is going to pedal, row, or paddle 25km each way to work regularly unless the climate allows it, AND they have a place to store their transportation, AND they have a locker room and shower at work. Try to fit your human powered lifestyle into the reality of Vancouver Canada. Pouring rain and 5 deg C are not conditions that anyone would pedal, row, or paddle to work in ... unless they are card carrying members of the lunatic fringe.

    You can make it work. Good for you!

    Equating sales of water toys to a movement away from or a replacement for powered watercraft is delusional.

    Boat sales are down? Sure ... people bought toys, most of them are plastic, they last damn near forever. There was a huge boom in boat sales when people that could not afford boats could after FRP boats hit the market. There are only so many people that want to have a boat in the first place. It is a limited market since there are few piratical uses for boats. Boats don't replace cars for example ... no one decided to buy a boat to get to work faster and more economically. The cost of ownership is high, boats are a storage problem. There are all kinds of reasons not to by a boat. Fuel expense is the last thing people consider until AFTER they own a boat.

    No one says, "Gee, I'm not going to buy this 16 foot runabout, I'd use more fuel than a peasant in China. I'll buy this nifty Hobie kayak that I can pedal instead." The kayak is NOT a major expense, it is a cheap toy to get out on the water now and then.

    If you think a paddle toy is a viable replacement for a powered boat you have no grasp of reality. Launch area to good fishing = 10-20 miles ... I think I'll paddle ... right. Maybe if I paddle very hard I can tow my kids around the lake on a water toy ... right.

    Thanks for saving all that fuel ... I'll burn it for you ... then offload the toys and peddle/paddle around before cocktail hour.
  11. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    People are not consciously making a choice between ICE powered boats and human powered boats. It is a shift in buyers. The market is changing.

    There is a growing number of people who find the idea of burning hydrocarbons in vast quantity for pleasure unpalatable. It does not fit their values and concerns. We know this is the majority and it is no doubt a growing proportion because it is what younger people are being taught in our schools.

    The issues you raise about travel in Vancouver is the sort of situation that I refer to as the technology gap. Existing bikes are not suited to this. Faired trikes are getting closer - but there is a technology gap no doubt. As I said Holland is the only place that has kept human powered transport on the agenda.

    What you do is increasingly being frowned on as anti-globe and what I do is being embraced because it appeals to the those concerned with the future of the globe. As you and like minded people fade out you will not be replaced with the same ilk - you are a dying breed. Unbridled consumption is no longer in favour.

    Your style of boating will become prohibitively expensive and less common. My style will become more common. It is not necessarily individuals changing their mind but shift in the attitude of the buyers in the market.

    Rick W
  12. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    You are right about the 40ft cruiser. I expect that people with a 40ft cruiser will find them harder to sell. They will not be able to bear the drop in value. This is already happening. They hang on but the boat will be a source of pain rather than pleasure.

    Rick W
  13. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Markets always change ... why they change the way they do is another question.

    Define "vast quantity".
    Younger people are being taught what exactly?
    That the streets are too dangerous for then to ride their bike to school so Mom fires up the minivan instead? That they should be aware of energy usage not use more than they need? They sure as hell aren't being taught to say, "Daddy, what kind of a car were you getting me for graduation, can I have a bicycle instead?"

    Bikes will need full enclosures, heaters, windshield wipers and snow tyres.

    Every one needs someone to fell better than, someone to look down upon at any time thesy please ... help yourself to me.
    Me and my ilk ... I've been dissed by a guy in a pedal boat. Dying breed? Not hardly, we can afford three families, alimony to wives one and two, and a good pre-nup with wife 3. Not to mention the little ******** we sire with the house staff. We own the damn oil fields. :)

    In my youth, you would be a hippie. That lifestyle still popular down under? Do you think there ever come a day when I can't afford to buy fuel from myself?

    Peace Brother enjoy the commune. :cool:
  14. Claus Riepe
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    Claus Riepe Junior Member

    I find I quite agree with what Rick has to say in this.
    Surely the change will not come digitally off/on but gradually, and with different speeds in different parts of this world, but a change will come, has to come too, and it will be hard for many.
    Rick is particularly right about thousands of expensive boats sitting mostly idle in many marinas today, the problem of disposal is only being postponed waiting for better days again. I would not hold my breath for that.

    Back to boats. I had a poor sailer, so I needed a big engine, and used that a lot. I have a much better performing -and safer- boat today, lighter in weight too, so I have a smaller engine as well. And because the boat sails so well, I need that small engine a lot less. This new boat is a win-win-win. A win for the designer and builder, a win for my enjoyment and a win in terms of my carbon footprint. And yes, I sold the old boat in time. Someone elses problem now.
    The change is a chance for the boating industry, not a threat.

  15. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    You are correct here. But you are no longer in your youth. You are now old and dreaming of your youth. It has gone so enjoy what you can of what is left. You are one of the "me" generation who cares for one thing alone. Your last post makes that very clear.

    I am part of the "me" generation but my conscience simply does not allow me to consume in the way I used to. My wealth will be passed on to my kids, not consumed. From there I do not know as they do not have much interest in bringing more people into the world.

    My thinking is now mainstream. You only need to look at the number of human powered boats being sold and used regularly. Many are concerned about the future of the globe.

    Rick W
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