Do they exist? articulating paddle wheel

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by justinDesign, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. robherc
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    robherc Designer/Hobbyist

    Have the center of the feathering wheel be movable, I.E. with a lever, with it aft of the center of the main wheel, you'll get vertical paddles across most of the bottom & with it higher (rotated 90 degrees towards bow) you'd get horizontal across most of the bottom. Other option would be to simply use stronger paddles that can stand being stabbed into the sand/mud, but either way should work.

    ------EDIT------

    I just looked at the diagrams again...might have to move the center of the feathering wheel a bit fore of top-dead-center to achieve horizontal paddles across the bottom of the whee's rotation...somethin' you'd have to play with 'till you can get it adjusted to wherever it works best for you.
     
  2. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    The first two photos is one I built. I like the other a lot. I found it on the net, it's called "Capt. Binkley". I can give you more info if you want, it might be a good idea to PM me to remind me of the thread, I don't get around here too often.
     

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  3. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Here is another approach to feathering wheels, I don't know if it was ever tried or if it works. It eliminates all the contraptual appendages and is simplicity itself.
     

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  4. robherc
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    robherc Designer/Hobbyist

    Sam-

    My guess there is that the floats will torn towards horizontal at first impact with the water, assuming the wheel is moving at any reasonably-high RPM. The weights in the floats will keep them aligned vertically in the air, at low speeds, but the weight would have to be extreme in order to resist the thrust from pushing the boat through the water.
    My opinion, not proven but I'd be quite surprised to see real-world results to the contrary.
     
  5. Dan Listermann
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    Dan Listermann Junior Member

    SamSam,

    Great! How well did your boat do?

    What was its draft?

    How did the paddle hold up in shallow water?

    What was the diameter and length of the paddle. How many blades did it have and what were their width?

    Any info about rpm - speed? What HP was the motor? Did the splash guard need to be that big?

    How was the rudder arranged?

    Where can I see more of "Capt. Binkley."

    Thanks!
     
  6. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I also think the weights would only keep the paddles in a somewhat vertical position out of the water and would not do much , if anything, to keep them vertical in the water.

    Once the paddle was submerged, and I suppose it would have to be totally submerged, it seems possible the forces on both sides of the pivot point might keep it steady, hopefully vertical.

    I've posted about this before, along with a modern (1980's) claim to be the inventor of this system. The claimant claimed that it not only worked, but was something like 50% more efficient than a standard paddlewheel.

    I also believe the standard paddlewheel is one of the most efficient forms of propulsion to begin with and it's demise has more to do with excess weight, distribution of weight, maneuverability in tight spaces, has problems in waves, etc. The advantage of a mechanical feathering apparatus would not seem to me to be worth the trouble.

    Paddlewheels are also more vulnerable to cannon fire. ;)
     
  7. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    The small sailboat, without the skeg, is the hull I used (from Harry Suchers book "Flatbottom Boats"). I built it from 5/8 ply. I might have misread the plans or it was a typo, but I think 3/8 would work fine. One problem with the boat was it was very easy to twist the hull, you can see it in the picture with the two poeple in it. I put a front deck on but that didn't help. Maybe some coamings all around would have worked. The larger sternwheeler is from the same book and shows the shape of the rudders I used (two of them). Click on the thumbnails and then click on the resultant pictures to make them bigger and readable. The other photo has to do with the Capt. Binkley and that is all I know about that, I got them on an image search a long time ago. I think the boat belonged to the homestead shown.

    The draft was 3-4", you can get an idea from the plans how deep it was sitting. The rudders didn't extend below the bottom of the hull and I don't believe the paddles did either. I just put another photo of the boat on the trailer that might help see things.

    The wheel was 3'10" wide and I'm pretty sure it had a 4' diameter to the outside of the paddles. The paddles were treated wood 1x6 decking.

    The engine was a 5HP B+S engine. I couldn't find a centrifugal clutch so I used tension on/off the drive belt as an alternative.

    The wheel RPM was not more than 60, depending on how fast you wanted to go. The transmission (the belt goes to the transmission on the gunnel, then chain goes from the trans to the wheel) was from a riding lawnmower or something. 5 forward speeds, neutral and 1 reverse. 3'rd worked good, 4thwas ok, 5th lugged it too much. In first, if there was in inch of water or so, you could caterpillar walk it like over sandbars.

    The splash guard was not much bigger than it had to be to keep the paddles from filling the boat with water. It was just some 1/8" paneling, so it didn't weigh much.
     

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  8. Dan Listermann
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    Dan Listermann Junior Member

    Did you have any "stalling" problems with 12 paddles on a wheel that small at high rpm?

    How did the stearing do at low speed?
     
  9. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I'm not sure what you mean by stalling. I guess it didn't have enough horsepower to spin the wheel so fast it "dug a hole" and more or less spin it's tires. In 4'th or 5'th gear if the throttle was full, it would seem to lug it down and overwork the chain and wheel supports to where I thought something might break, so I would back off the throttle or downshift to 3'rd.

    The steering was ok, but nothing like an outboard. Of course the slower you went the less responsive it was, as the rudders have to have flow to work. It wasn't something you wanted to work through a crowd of boats with and a push pole came in handy sometimes. On big sternwheelers they often have another set of rudders behind the wheel to use the flow created by the wheel to help steer. Steering in reverse was very responsive one way but not the other. I never figured out why that was.
     
  10. Dan Listermann
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    Dan Listermann Junior Member

    Maybe there was a gyroscope effect going on.

    I am toying with a sidewheeler design using wheelchair motors and batteries. I mostly expect that I will be paddling around a pool section of the river facing our camp. No great distances involved and only enough speed to go up river at a reasonable rate. The boat could be steared bulldozer style without needing any rudder. The key is how much horsepower is needed to go up stream. Also with electric motors, the space needed for drive train is pretty much minimized. You can sit on a battery box.
     
  11. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    The power can be determined accurately if you know the required speed, the total displacement, length and beam of the boat. Limits on the size of the wheels could also be a factor. Efficient wheels need to be big.

    Rick W
     
  12. Dan Listermann
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    Dan Listermann Junior Member

    Looking at "Tinhorn's" 1890 file, I can't see what "g" is. I though that it might be the acceleration due to gravity, but that did not seem to balance out.
     

  13. Jimbo1490
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member


    Doesn't one of these qualify?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voith_Schneider_Propeller
     
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