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Deep water entry test


This sequence shows how I will get into WiTHiN from deep water. I build a wood frame that simulates the size and general shape of a door that I will cut in the side of the top deck. This door will swing open like a gull wing door. The bottom of the opening is a few inches above the water line. I can kick myself in through the door head first, put my hand down on the flat seat (the seat has to be fully reclined first), push my head and upper body up with my arm, sit on the seat and then finally pull my knees through, then feet. It's actually fairly easy. I reverse the procedure for exiting.


The other part of that strange looking wooden contraption is holding 60 pounds of weight at the exact location of the center of mass of the top deck. The top deck weighs 60 pounds, so this simulates exactly what effect the full top deck will have on the stability of WiTHiN.


My first test ride included only 25 pounds on the floor as ballast to offset some of that 60 pound weight up high. She definitely rocked much slower than before due to the center of mass now being further away from the center of roll. She also sat lower in the water due to the extra 75 pounds and sharp turns came very close to flooding the cockpit. Flooding during a turn or from waves will not be an issue with the top deck on unless the hatch is open. On the ocean, I will need to think about a bailing system for when that hatch is open and waves splash in, or I am getting in or out.


When I go into a turn, WiTHiN leans into the turn for a second or two, then she leans the opposite way. When I re-center the rudder, the opposite lean continues for a second or two, then she levels out. I call this 'recoil steer'. It is caused by the position that the rudder and drive leg take during a lean into a turn. I'm not sure I completely understand what is happening under the water, but this is normal. With the 60 pounds on top, the recoil steer seemed exaggerated, but again, this could be due to the increased displacement from the extra weight.



Next on the agenda is rigging up some lines for the rudder instead of my push/pull rod. Then I can prepare the top deck (insert the 2nd half of the bulkheads), and glass the top deck right onto the kayak hull. Then, I can cut out the door, and cut out the window. Then I crawl in and finish off glassing the bulkhead seams, and inside perimeter of the top deck. Then the window and then small hatches for the rear and front compartments. Finally, I need to add vents and a couple of windows - small hatches that open for fresh air - one on the ceiling and two for each side (left hand side window will be on the door).

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7 Responses to “Deep water entry test”

  1. # Blogger loyalisaac

    Greg,

    Great to see you practice deep water entry. One thing to definetly keep in my is the fatigue factor if this becomes a necesity. Being a veteran of 35 years of sailboat racing, and having dumped my share of boats, I can tell you this creates a whole new ballgame. Good luck in your latest quest!  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    First, Congrats to the new record!

    Looking at your photos on the reentry test it looks as if your head and upper torso are out over the starboard side of the kayak which will not be possible with the top on. If this is the case, you should build a mockup (chicken wire?) of the cockpit top and see that reentry can be managed even with that restriction. Balance might be a problem. But on the other hand I suppose you have tabs on this and it is only a result of photo angle making it look as if you are over the starboard outline. Keep going!
    Mikael Moller
    Sweden  

  3. # Anonymous Alex

    Greg

    Just a thought, would it make life easier if you had something you could "stand on"? I was thinking of something as simple as a bit of stainless steel tubing on nylon shock cord. Attach it to say the seat frame of Within, and you can flip it out the hatch when you need it. That way you're not just pulling up with your arms and shoulders.

    Just an idea.  

  4. # Blogger scott

    Greg,

    Just surfing and found this possible funding source. http://www.rwjf.org/programareas/programarea.jsp?pid=1138
    This is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who provides:
    Childhood Obesity


    A $500 Million Commitment to Reverse the Childhood Obesity Epidemic
    Learn more
    2006 Awards: 128 Grants; $41.8 Million  

  5. # Anonymous Alex

    Yet another thought from Alex. I was reading an account of James Cracknell's and Ben Fogle's row across the Atlantic.

    The journalist kept on mentioning the fact that they stripped off as soon as they were out of sight of land. Why? Apparently all that salty spray soaking into their clothes causes no end of chafing.

    So what's the relevance? Well I know Within will be more watertight than the average Atlantic rowing boat, but you're bound to get spray and deep water entry and exit will get you soaked too. So I was just thinking, you might want to watch out for err "snagging obstacles" if you take a leaf out of their boat.  

  6. # Anonymous James

    Greg... I'm no boatwright, but you're ocean pedalo has me confused. - The ocean is very different from a flat water lake. How will you keep yourself from capsizing? In a kayak or row boat, we use oars/paddles for lateral balance, but your boat method dosen't have that. - Outriggers would solve that question if you hadn't thought of it.

    When you're going to sleep, what will keep your boat balanced and pointed into the wind? When the weather picks up how will you attach a sea anchor to keep from slipping? How are you going to get out of that side hatch when the seas are up? Are you really going to have enough space in there for 30 days of supplies. What will keep the inside of the boat cool with all that humidity and tropical sun (might want to paint it white for a start)

    Your boat looks to me, a casual observer, to be too small and unconventional to be safe for any length of time at sea. I'll be delighted if you really have thought these things through, but if not, I'd recommend getting some other opinions on the design ASAP

    I don't mean to be a bore. - Kudos to you on your impressive determination. This is fascinating and I want to see you do it!

    james  

  7. # Blogger Jaymz

    I read a little more of your blog, it looks like you were ahead of me with many of my concerns. It still looks wacky to me, but at least you've thought about it!- If you'd ever like to test it out in San Francisco, we'd make sure you had a good support crew.

    It looks like you might not be aware of the 'self-bailer'. Great little invention which might help you out.  

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