Where to start on a pedal powered boat?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by ryan808, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. ryan808
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    ryan808 Junior Member

    I have been searching for a long time for a place that would answer this particular question. I skimmed through the thread "pedal powered boats" and it is pretty complicated for me (I have very basic design knowledge on buoyancy, fluid dynamics, propulsion, physics, etc. as I am 16) I decided to make a open water raft/ship with a reliable source of kinetic energy output and with the abundance of modes of propulsion choose the propeller due to efficiency (I agree that a paddle wheel may not be the most efficient or effective choice given my circumstances), power, and accessibility (with my modest budget).
    I want to know what is the best way I can translate the pedaling motion on a boat-mounted bike-like thing to a sub-surface propeller. Please keep in mind I really have no experience at all and am not sure where to start. If anyone has any ideas, it would really help!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  2. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Your expert on this is Rick Willoughby. If you do a bit of a search you will find oodles of discussion on the subject.

    The site at http://www.autocanoe.com

    has plans available for apedal powered boat that I am realy impressed with.
     
  3. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    tinhorn Senior Member

    Here's a link to a simple drive system: http://www.recumbents.com/WISIL/hpb/compact_drive.htm

    There are some lo-tech designs here: http://www.svensons.com/boat/ (scroll down to the bottom of the page)

    Sorry for the low resolution of this PDF - if you print it out it might look crummy. I had to reduce the file size so I could post it here. There are some fantastic ideas in these old patents. I'm not here to shill the book, but you can buy a spiral-bound copy at http://www.lulu.com/content/2096438

    (I see that reducing the file size caused some pages to blank out, but there are still some great pics remaining.)
     

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  4. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    There is a simple attachement for a drill motor to allow you drill at 90 degress to the normal drill axis, they are fairly inexpensive and available at tool supply places like Harbor Fright tools.

    They are strong enough to take the power from a peddle boat, and though there would be some power loss through it due to friction, I doubt it would be worse than anything you could make.

    All you need to do is find a way to mount this simple little 90 deg gear box and you will have something that works well, is compact and way easier use than anything you could fabricate.

    Rather than try and fabricate parts yourself, I would suggest you try to adapt something like this to your peddle boat, it would be far easier and work well.

    I had a similar idea years ago, that is to make a small boat that you could mount a bicycle in and peddle aross a lake, and then remount the wheels and go for a ride. You are correct, a propeller is far supior than a paddle wheel.

    Good luck.
     
  5. ryan808
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    ryan808 Junior Member

    hmm....
    The 90 degree gear box sounds really promising!, There aren't many Harbor Frieght Tools places on Oahu that I know of... Could you possibly estimate the price of such a gear box?
    Thanks!
     
  6. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    To do anything from scratch you need to be able to weld or braze. It is possible without this but much more tedious. If you cannot weld then think about buying a drive leg or Hobie mirage drive.

    The hull can be made in many ways. Think long and slender. A single hull will be faster than a catamaran but the mono will need stabilisers.

    The one component I would buy is a good right angle drive:
    http://www.mitrpak.com/product_datasheet.php?product_id=34
    You can use the cheap right angle drives from drills but they need a lot of strengthening to get even short life from them.

    Paddle wheels can be made very efficient but are not that simple either.

    Rick W
     
  7. kmorin
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Alaska

    kmorin Senior Member

    Link to a Pedal Powered Boat Plans

    ryan808, I don't mean to suggest that you'd necessarily have access to the tools and budget that this link's boat would require.

    I provide this link simply because it is ONE place to begin with a pedal powered boat. Evidently this boat was built and pedaled down the Mississippi River by a Mr. Bill Hayward, in the '90's?

    http://www.gartsideboats.com/catrow2.php#pedal

    There may be good ideas on this site, especially the very fully explanatory image provided, that may help your thinking. I believe you could buy the study plans for this boat (don't know that) for less than the construction plans- so you may get more details than you now have for a reasonable fee? not sure of budget for plans in your project, but here's a beginning.

    I particularly like the 6:1 gear reduction and shaft angle changing "box" at the center of the drive. I'd like to build one, even if it might look a little different in welded aluminum.

    cheers,
    kmorin
     
  8. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    Harbor Freight is a mail order company, you can order off the web site. The tool is at the link below, it only cost $15. plus shipping. You might also see if they have a local Harbor Freight there, they have a number of retail stores around the country.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=92188

    Sears also makes one, Craftman brand (I happen to own one). It has a plastic housing and a removable handle. The handle mount would make it easy to mount it into a frame. It costs about $20. I should think you have a Sears nearby.

    It is at this link: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00926333000P
     
  9. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    tinhorn Senior Member

    Man, go with the Sears product.
     
  10. diwebb
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    diwebb Senior Member

    Hi,
    Mcmaster Carr Supply company have several options for right angle drives and flexible drive shafts that may be of some interest. You can get them at www.mcmaster.com and if you look at page 1002 of their catalog you will find right angle drive gearboxes in 1:1 and 2:1 ratios from one third to five horsepower. You can find four different drill right angle drives on page 2364 and flexible drive shafts on page 1153.
    I find this mail order catalog one of the best sources for that "cant find it anywhere" kind of thing!!!
    All the best with the project.
    David.
     
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  11. ryan808
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    ryan808 Junior Member

    Thanks!
    This sounds perfect.
    How do I rig it to the bike, as in what else would I need to construct it as well as about how long would it take. I'm leaning towards the Sears model. FYI, I could make basic welds if necessary...
     
  12. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    you will have to get it, and see how it attaches to the drill, and then duplicate the attachment. If I remember, it uses reverse threads so it will not work loose. Good luck on finding that, perhase if you have a few junk drills around you can use it for the reverse threaded shafts, and go from there.

    Good luck
     
  13. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    The rightangle attachment just chucks to the drill like a bit!
    the handle keeps it from spinning! I know some one that
    used and old KitchenAid mixer to make theirs. He used up
    all my water proof grease on the damn thing! Twice!

    It has foils and flew with controls like and airplane!

    I think he beat 50mph several times!
     
  14. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    How big was the motor?

    Rick W
     

  15. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    Well, the day I saw the thing in the water, some kid named
    Greg LeMond was peddling it! They were in the mid 40mph
    because of wind problems. It looked like a spider to me!
     
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