Pedal Powered Boats

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Guest625101138, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Vantage475T
    Joined: Aug 2016
    Posts: 105
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    Location: Lymington,UK

    Vantage475T Adventure Trimarans

    Tiny, I'm waiting on some final costs but based on what I know I would say around £750 for the first one and £650 - both inc VAT and delivery to the UK taking into account shipping, import duty VAT etc.

    For my boat the 1st one will almost certainly be the better bet but I will need to think through the fitting.

    If anyone might be interested I can look into ordering a small batch of them.
     
  2. Andrew Kirk
    Joined: Jul 2021
    Posts: 63
    Likes: 44, Points: 18
    Location: Chorley UK

    Andrew Kirk Pedal boater.

    Would it not be a blatant act of theft to buy anything from Ningbo Vicking or any of the other copiers? If you tried to retail these products I'm sure you'd soon be in a legal battle with the manufacturers of the originals and have your stock seized, and rightly so. Theft of intellectual property is just the same as breaking into someone's house and stealing what you fancy. You have every right to disagree.
     
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  3. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    yes.
    I am playing with a short story in my head that goes roughly like this:

    Joe (could be me) : "*******! This stupid piece of plastic crap. Why on earth would someone manufacture a tool that is so bad! Is it even meant to work without braking. I will hunt down the man who builds these and let him have it."

    after a long hunt Joe reaches mr Li in China.

    Joe - having cooled down a bit: "Mr Li? WTF? why do you do this kind of crap? Don't you have any pride?"

    Mr Li: "Look Joe. I would like to make better products, and I have in the past, but they came out 40% more costly and the wholesalers wouldn't touch them. Everyone else would make these cheap ones for this price so if I want to stay in business so I have to too. Don't blame the me blame the wholesaler who doesn't want to pay more."

    After a little research Joe finds out who is the wholesaler and gets on a call with Mr Poon.

    Joe: "Why on earth do you peddle this kind of trash. Couldn't you pay just a little bit more and actually trade goods with utility instead of waste that is designed to disintegrate in use?"

    Mr Poon: "Oh, we like selling products we would use ourselves too, but they are more expensive. When we get those on our catalogue nobody overseas buys them. So here we are. Don't blame me blame the retail store chains that only buy this crap."

    Again Joe finds out who is the retail store buyer and gets him on the phone.

    Joe: "Ok mr Willis, can you tell me why you buy this stupid stuff that is not even meant to operate without braking?"

    Mr Willis: "Ah yeah it is bit of a bummer. We do get quite a few returns on those."

    Joe: "So why do you sell such products?! Why don't you choose quality!?"

    Mr Willis: "Oh we have some quality tools too but they cost quite a bit more. They don't sell well at all."

    Joe: "I see, I see. I have heard this story before. So whose fault is this time?"

    Mr Willis: "Joe. It wouldn't be very polite of me to point that out to you."
     
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  4. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    That being said, it is a bummer that they cost north of $1000 made in the west.
    That is not a reasonable price for such a simple product. I am not blaming the producers but mean that for consumers that isn't reasonable.
     
  5. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

  6. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    I make art. I sometimes sell them, or at least offer them for sell at the craft fair and regional markets. I have cheap art, hand painted chicken signs on scavenged pine, and high art, pyrography, carved and inlaid too.
    20190324_151353.jpg 20190322_183851.jpg
    20210411_103543.jpg
    The shoppers come into my booth and they love the chickens. They compliment them and point them out to friends, but some people look at the $75 price tag and get indignant.
    My wife and I take a pickup truck to a mill that sells a pile of cutoffs by the bed load. The two of us put a couple of hours in picking through the pile and filling the bed with wood. Each piece is then planed and sanded and an edge put on them. I sketch the chickens out by hand, some are traced with carbon paper, then my wife paints the bodies, about forty minutes per chicken. I paint the faces and the lettering is done by either of us. We use 6 coats of spar-varnish to finish them and attach wire hangers to the backs. In the end, $75 for a larger sign, one with three chickens and writing on it, has over ten hours of labor. We are not doing these to make millions, but it would be nice if people who liked them could appreciate the time and effort that went into them. On the other hand, the high art pieces are priced closer to the $25/hr mark because I wanted to get, for my expertise, about what my plumber makes (roughly $100/hr). But, when I looked at the estimated price, I thought, "no one is going to pay that for art." And, I halved the price. However, I don't calculate the time that goes into the design development, the back and forth between the customer and me to refine the design. By the time all that time is figured into a piece, the weather station above, for example, at $1400.00 only puts me in the $25/hr range and I don't get regular work, at that.
    I do it because I love doing it, but I make more selling jellies and jams and honey from our bees, than art.

    I completely understand that these numbers are hard for a buyer to take. If they weren't, inflation from the ease at which a customer parts with their money would soon bring it right back up to such a condition.

    There's a balance that has to be struck between being a cheap ******* and an understanding patron of quality products.

    -Will
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
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  7. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    Yes. And I fully get that people making the pedal drives are not laughing on the way to the bank. It is very hard when the product is a niche to get to volumes that would sustain more reasonable prices. And often a chunk of capital would be needed to get significantly lower production cost (molds or larger production runs, whatnot). These investments might extend the market significantly making it worthwhile - or it might not sell any more. Not easy to take such risks.

    Nice signs by the way.


    And back to the allaround marin unit above at 700 euros or so starts to be worth looking at. 1:10 drive and looks to be well made.
     
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  8. jakeeeef
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 148
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    Location: Hamble

    jakeeeef Senior Member

    I have ordered one of each of Ningbo Vickings three drive units. The slightly hydrodynamically faired pedal drive, the cheaper tube shaft pedal drive (which I suspect might be the former, just without a plastic shroud), and the shocking fake of the Hobie Mirage drive they also do.
    The three came up to 900 and odd USD delivered to the UK, so not as cheap as they first appear.
    Not sure what's going to happen with import duties etc. I imagine an unpleasant and costly roller coaster on that front.
    So we'll see. I'll report back on here as and when something arrives. It's my first order on Alibaba, and the process is quite clunky in some ways, for instance you don't seem to have full control over what things might cost, which is a slight concern!

    I'm building a prototype electric assist pedal boat with a view ( hope) towards crowd funding and small scale production. Hence the pedal drives from China, but I'm likely to use them as inspiration and proofs of concept rather than actually use them in any final design, due to intellectual property rights and the expected poor quality.
    The fake Hobie Mirage Drive, I also ordered, because I often use these on boats, I like them and the real ones are impossible to find used now, without buying a very heavy and slow HDPE kayak with it. I'm also interested to see how it compares (I have 2 real Mirage Drives here to compare it with).
     
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  9. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: United States

    Skyak Senior Member

    I am quite pleased to see that somebody is doing this. I have similar interests for US market. The Hobbie Mirage clone might not be in violation of any IP because it has been about 17 years since going on the market. Be careful of the mounting. Companies typically follow up their significant proprietary products with "improvement" patents that are more about creating FUD around expiring patents with commercial value.
     
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  10. jakeeeef
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Hamble

    jakeeeef Senior Member

    Yes, hopefully if it becomes clear that the Mirage Drive protection is over others will make them
    a) cheaper and
    B) better.

    I like the technology, but they didn't do much with it over the years to improve efficiency. Just extra features for fishing market share, like reverse gear. I'm sure there are fin improvements to be made for faster boats beyond the larger Turbo fins they brought out quite early on. Fin materials don't seem to have evolved much.

    Separate to my above electric assist pedal boat project, today I have been filling a Hobie kayak's mirage drive well with plaster of Paris, to build a male mould so I can run off a few composite drive wells ready to be glassed into various craft.
    I tried it last week with cement, and though it broke out ok (to my relief,) the cement block cracked up a lot getting it out.

    Now I just need to find a beat up retired surfski to glass my drive well into!
     
  11. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: s.e. england

    alan craig Senior Member

    US patents last 20 years apparently, from date of filing. I've seen a Chinese "mirage drive" which had bevel gears instead of the wires and chains of the Hobie product, the owner was very happy with it. He kindly gave me a spare set of fins which I've yet to incorporate into a project.
     
  12. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: United States

    Skyak Senior Member

    My recollection is that the IP protection lasts 17 years from issuance. They take a few years to be granted and during that time you can warn violators. This warning is of value toward the remedy if the patent is issued. I got a few in my corporate days so I went through all the training about IP strategy and legal. It changed quite a bit to harmonize national systems but the same strategies and problems remain.
     
  13. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: United States

    Skyak Senior Member

    I am puzzled why you would put that power source in a big heavy craft designed for a power source two orders of magnitude larger. You could stich and glue ply a far better hull faster than a refit and save more than a hundred pounds.
    It is interesting that Hobbie's latest mirage driven hull resembles a planing hull more than a kayak.
     
  14. jakeeeef
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Hamble

    jakeeeef Senior Member

    Hobbies latest hull resembles a planing hull rather than a kayak because that allows fishermen the width and stability to stand up to cast. I can assure you it doesn't plane.

    Again what I said about the products being tailored to the biggest market ( fishing), not optimised for speed.
     

  15. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    By the way looking at the different pedal units the Old Town one looks really good.
    They are all meant for fishing so efficiency is not main concern, thus many are very bad hydrodynamically. But this is decent.

    2A89D698-432E-4E4E-A692-04544936B73C.jpeg
     
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