Electric assist.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by BATAAN, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    This seems like an interesting concept, especially since it's been developed well on bicycles. You can dial in the assist, 0%, 50%, 100%, 200%, so the pedaling is what you can handle. They claim 5 knots and 4-5 hours endurance, double if you pack spare 12v batteries.
    Seems like a silent way to explore some estuaries and see/photograph wildlife, a rather good compromise tiny 'family' boat if the children aren't too big.
    Thoughts?
     

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  2. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

  3. paddilack
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    paddilack Junior Member

    Nice,

    but how fast is it if you drain the batteries? Can you reliably get back to shore? I like the idea, but think I would like another type of hull with less windage. As is this is a "mill pond vessel" in my opinion, not really suited to even moderate weather or distance without protective clothing.
    I would sure like to see a canoe or kayak hull with this technology.
    Native Watercraft "ultimate" for instance, or why not a Hobie "Adventure" wearing a propeldrive instead of Flippers flippers?

    Anyway, I think it is a great idea to combine power and exersize on the water as well. I understand it works pretty well on land.

    Regards,
    Paddilack
     
  4. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Been done already: http://www.hobiecat.com/kayaks/accessories/evolve/

    Don't understand the advantage of proportional input especially in a boat. Why not just run the prop drive at low speed and input whatever human power you want above that to get your workout. Agree the hull is a brick...

    Porta

     
  5. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    It looks pretty good but I'd like to try it before commenting further.
     
  6. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Evidently one market is resort operations, where support boats are available if someone gets too far downwind and out of battery poop.
    For protected estuaries, given enough battery charge, this seems a stable platform for various activities like duck hunting, photography, a lovely silent and stable floating camera platform for movie making, nature observation, scientific sampling in shallow, protected sensitive areas.
    Specialized uses to be sure, but uses.
     
  7. DStaal
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    DStaal Junior Member

    It's a built-in throttle: When you stop peddling, the propeller stops. Pedal faster, and it goes faster. You basically end up with one less control: You just have steering and pedal. For resort, photography, or similar applications where you aren't planning on cruising any real distance, but want to do a lot of small movements, (and/or want to free your hands) it'd be quite useful.
     
  8. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    I agree w/ DStaal, the control box makes the thing more intuitive. While admittedly appearing clumsy compared to a normal boat, it's a specialty vessel, and very well thought out. One person can pedal with assist and silently move a much larger load with more stability, and higher off the water for visibility, or two can pedal and get more range, or take turns etc. The height is a detriment in the wind, but that's what 4 hours of full power capacity is for. Few small skiffs carry more gas than that. If you use minimum boost and pedal a lot, it's much longer. You could pedal out, conserving battery, then when you are tired and several miles down wind still have enough reserve to get home while you rest and watch the boat go.
    And like always, a beach umbrella with a light lanyard to the outside of the top makes a great spinnaker for an outboard skiff, steer with the motor or an oar over the stern, just hang onto the umbrella by hand and if you are overpowered, let it go overboard and recover with the lanyard to the top (not the handle) which will cause it to skip along behind you until the gust is past and you can recover it. Redneck sailors forever.
     
  9. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Hi, DS:

    JMHO, but I have tested many bike assists over the years including the bionex, and haven't found bio to be of any advantage to a regular bike assist or even a regular bike because of weight, cost and maintenance issues.

    An above water fisherman's "V" tube or pontoon can do the same throttle effect with fins and some have been rigged with motors to do similar things, there may have been a commercial version over the years. When the prop stops due to tangling weeds, you can reach over and untangle instead of being dead in the water....

    Various forms of no hands steering have been used with one man human/electric boats ranging from seat leaning devices, to minor touch rudder effect devices. There are also electronic GPS linked motor devices. With 2 man "bass buster" boats the 2nd man can do the steering, and clear weeds, etc.

    Above water fisherman's pontoons can be inflatable or solid hull, and some are light enough to be packed in to just about any location, even when they have micro motors. http://www.electricpaddle.com/specs.html

    Here's one that could be improved and fitted with a motor for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFS1ZJ2x41s&feature=related

    Hope this helps.

    Porta








     
  10. DStaal
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    DStaal Junior Member

    All of which is great if the idea is to get exercise, or to get a cheap boat to use for yourself.

    I don't see that as this boat's market. In this boat's market, you strap a lifejacket on someone who's never been on the water before, and let them at it for a few hours on their own. (Don't bother with an instruction course: They won't listen anyway.) And note I didn't say anything about no-hands steering, I said no-hands throttle.

    So you want stable, dead-easy to use, and a long life when mistreated. Maintenance is only a minor issue: You will have trained maintenance staff come in on a regular basis anyway. Up-front cost is only relevant as it applies into lifetime cost, which is going to be dominated by whether you need large maintenance on a regular basis (that is: anything that can't be done by a guy with a toolbox and parts in a couple of hours), and how many you need to support a given number of users. (Note that more needed training actually increases that number: You'll have to have one for training the customers, while the rest are rented out.)

    So it sits like a brick in the water. Good! That means it's unlikely to roll, and it won't drift far when they stop pedaling. (And therefore handle somewhat like a car, which your customer is expecting.) It's got a lot of windage? Good! It means when the customer overloads it, it won't get swamped quickly, and they'll head in if there is a slight breeze. Can't clear the prop if it gets weeds? Good! It means they aren't going to put their hands in it while it's spinning.

    You're looking at this as a boater. Don't. It's not a boat for a boater; it's a boat for non-boaters.
     

  11. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

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