Paddling a proa

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by alan craig, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    alan craig Senior Member

    I'm just daydreaming here, not planning to build anything yet. A question for paddlers; is it possible to paddle for hours over one side of a canoe without fatigue? The day dream is of a narrow hull stabilised by a small outrigger, and foot steered. While pondering this I discovered YT videos of Hawaian island surfing canoes with outriggers, but I'm thinking more of flat water, and possibly a stabiliser big enough to allow stepping on it onto the shore.
     
  2. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    Hi Alan
    My baby tri allows two of us to paddle between the beams, and t0 swap sides. It is a little restricting, but that could be designed out in theory.
    Have a look at the Open Canoe Sailing Group (because they commonly stick small outriggers on canoes) and maybe join the facebook group and post the question?

    Best

    Adrian
     
  3. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Hi Alan,

    I have built a single outrigger, sit-on-top, kayak-paddled racing boat.
    With light cross beams placed fore and aft, there is room to paddle both sides.
    Paddling on one side is compromising for your body and is more likely to lead to injury.

    I think the answer is no, you fatigue much faster paddling only on one side.
     
  4. garydierking
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    garydierking Senior Member

    An outrigger canoe is paddled from both sides with a single paddle. Every year there are races between the Hawaiian Islands of 40-50 miles with single seaters and six seaters. You can buy them or build from plans here: Gary Dierking's Boat Plans for Amateur Builders https://www.duckworks.com/gary-dierking-s/128.htm
    There are many more to look at here: Outrigger Sailing Canoes http://outriggersailingcanoes.blogspot.com/
    I have rigged up foot pedal steering on my Ulua model and it is easier for long distances.
     
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  5. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    Great looking, fast looking boats, Gary - thanks for the link.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    In the past, cargo canoes had paddlers on each side. They paddled all day, every day. As far as fatigue is concerned, that depends on how athletic you are.
     
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  7. alan craig
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    alan craig Senior Member

    Not athletic I'm afraid, Gonzo, apart from a lot of dog walking. Thanks for the responses; I think I'll move the goalposts a little. I had a good look at the links to various Pacific proas, all very interesting.
     
  8. tlouth7
    Joined: Jun 2013
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    tlouth7 Senior Member

    Paddling a canoe primarily on one side, or on one side for extended periods, is pretty normal. This is generally done in a kneeling position which doesn't work with your foot steering. I don't think the foot steering is necessary though as steering a canoe is pretty easy.
     
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  9. alan craig
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    alan craig Senior Member

    tlouth7, That was my original guess. The reason for this post is, I rowed a home-made 14ft skiff down about 50 miles of the river Thames with other home boat builders and didn't enjoy facing backwards and bumping into the scenery. So I devised and test a pedal powered flapping fin device to allow forward facing propulsion in my existing boat. I tried Mirage Drive fins and own design fins but could not get the device efficient enough to be useful so I was pondering alternatives. Anyway, I didn't realise canoes could be maneuvrable to the extent in this video :
     
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  10. tlouth7
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    tlouth7 Senior Member

    That's pretty incredible! Obviously his boat and paddle are optimised for this kind of thing; you would want a boat that tracks pretty well, and a more efficient blade shape.

    If your proa was symmetrical you could turn it around from time to time if you want to swap sides. Have a look at sprint racing canoes (C1) to get an idea of how narrow they can be even without an ama.
     
  11. Clarkey
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Clarkey Senior Member

    I think you might like one of these then (you will see more too):

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Have you considered a sculling oar or yuloh?


    -Will (Dragonfly)
     
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  13. Robert Biegler
    Joined: Jun 2017
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    Location: Trondheim

    Robert Biegler New Member

    I have been thinking about making a flapping fin device myself, so do you know what the problem was?

    I know of four front rowing systems. The most sophisticated is Ron Rantilla's: Forward facing rowing for canoes and rowboats https://www.frontrower.com/

    Gig Harbour Boatworks has something that looks more conventional: Forward Facing Rowing System | Gig Harbor Boat Works https://www.ghboats.com/options/accessories/forwardrow/

    I have no idea how difficult it would be to learn to row with your feet:

    Here is a combination of rowing and flapping foils:

    And here are foot-operated flapping fins that should suit a single outrigger boat, if they don't share the problems of what you tried already:
     
  14. Robert Biegler
    Joined: Jun 2017
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    Location: Trondheim

    Robert Biegler New Member

    I have been thinking about making a flapping fin device myself, so do you know what the problem was?

    I know of four front rowing systems. The most sophisticated is Ron Rantilla's: Forward facing rowing for canoes and rowboats https://www.frontrower.com/

    Gig Harbour Boatworks has something that looks more conventional: https://www.ghboats.com/options/accessories/forwardrow/

    I have no idea how difficult it would be to learn to row with your feet:

    Here is a combination of rowing and flapping foils:

    And here are foot-operated flapping fins that should suit a single outrigger boat, if they don't share the problems of what you tried already:
     

  15. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    alan craig Senior Member

    Just in case anyone wants to see the flappy fin thing I made, here is a link to a description on another forum:
    Builds in Progress - Pedal fin propulsion for small boat http://uk-hbbr-forum.967333.n3.nabble.com/Pedal-fin-propulsion-for-small-boat-td4031477.html
    From conversations with others, the fins might need to be more deeply immersed to get away from surface effect.

    Regarding the pictures in posts above, a stand up rowing Venetian Sandolo accompanied us for a while on our Thames trip; it went very well - about 20ft long and 6ft beam. I've enjoyed all those other contraptions on YT but some of them take up an awful lot of room in the boat. At the bottom of this page is a recommendation for the thread "Most efficient - paddling or rowing?"which I found useful.
     
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