Pedal Power or Oar Power - which is more efficient?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by SailorDon, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. SailorDon
    Joined: Apr 2013
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    Location: Livingston, TX

    SailorDon Senior Member

    Thank you for your medical advice on knee surgery, Dr. portacruise!
    I get around just fine with my walker and wheelchair. :)

    I just don't do marathons. :D (Which makes sense because I've never done a marathon.)

    With respect to competitive bicycling; upright vs. recumbent, ask a bicyclist. Maybe they care. As an oarsman, I don't really care.

    However if someone invents a recumbent pedal boat that the average dude can pedal at 10 mph constant into the wind and waves for 2 hours constant (with a beer in each hand), that would get my interest.
    It is important to stay hydrated while out rowing for a couple of hours.
    I still haven't figured out how to drink my beer while rowing. [​IMG]
  2. frogger1225
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    Location: Pennsylvania

    frogger1225 Junior Member

    Problem already solved. Also can be used for trim control.

    Attached Files:

  3. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    something like this is a better bet. less aerodynamic drag, more capacity, and lower CG. If you buy your beer, or other adult beverage in a 2 liter bottle, it will plug right in to this unit.

  4. penguin78
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: aus

    penguin78 Junior Member

    I say, the most efficient is : Pedal-powered Oars.

    I find the assumption that pedals have to rotate a prop, decidedly unimaginative

    In your minds' eye you can see a prop's at the perfect speed relative to the boat. However it's still twisting and cutting the water; Above and below that perfect ratio, efficiency is lost.. either the prop is dragging in the water because it's too slow, or the prop is slipping through the water creating turbulence because it's too fast.

    Now imagine the oar-paddle.. Well, if you push that too hard, the resistance curve is steep, one can more readily gauge the optimum force, and optimum efficiency. If you don't push enough, the oar is carried efficiently back relative to the boat.. effectively stationary in the water, Exerting no drag and not slowing the boat, until it reaches the end of the stroke.. at which time it is removed from the water.

    Without any calculations, based on my above simple description, and what you already know intuitively, and what you have felt when rowing, I'm sure you can believe that rowing / paddles are more efficient than props, whether they be driven by legs, or arms.
  5. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell "Whatever..."

    Why is it my oars never foul, but my prop and strut do all the time?
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Well your strut likely isn't seeing enough use, so talk to the other half and get this possible prostrate issue worked out.

  7. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Since you went there: outboards anything or pedal powered screws are far less efficient than oars when it comes to dealing with people who inflict bad puns on captive audiences. Definitely a plus for me.
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