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Jet-boat vs. Pedal Boat

We just finished two successful tests out at Ghost Lake on Friday and Saturday. Everything went pretty well according to plan. Here's the video:



On Friday, Ben and I off-loaded WiTHiN into Ghost lake and tested the new trolley system for launching and the outriggers. The floats retract and extend very easily. When they are extended, I can stand on WiTHiN and walk onto her top deck without any issue at all - very stable. When retracted, I noticed that WiTHiN is a bit tippier than before but that is probably due to the additional weight of the floats and hardware above the roll center. It was so slight that it didn't need to be offset with additional ballast. For ballast, I was using 50 pounds, plus my 40 pound battery, plus about 15 pounds for the wood bed frame in the back (plus my weight).





I still could not get WiTHiN to tip over from a seated position. She rocked from side to side quite a bit, but it was impossible to tip her over. We capsized WiTHiN again, this time with the floats retracted and without me in the cockpit. It was difficult to tip WiTHiN upside down, and she righted immediately, so I know that she is still capsize-safe with the floats on and in.






With the outriggers extended, I was able to stand up, climb into the sleeping area, extract my emergency paddles from under the bed frame, sit on the deck and paddle. As I was sitting on the deck paddling with my legs in the cockpit, I could rest my feet on the steering handles and steer while I paddle- that worked out quite well.


Unloading WiTHiN is a bit of a pain, but it's a one to two man job now rather than a whole crew. Ben and I made a trolley out of two 700 bike wheels to sit below the drive leg. To deal with the leaky drive leg bay, I just sealed up the plug on the bottom of the boat. Now the drive leg is sort of in there permanently until we cut the silicon seal open. The trolley protects the prop from the ground when launching the boat. Ben made two ramps for the trailer that we can roll WiTHiN down and walk her right into the water. Then someone needs to get wet up to their knees to take the trolley off.


On Saturday I met my sister Theresa, Joey Weber, his friend Peter at Ghost lake. Peter has a jet-boat for wake boarding and was kind enough to pull his boat out of winter storage just to help me out with this wake test. It was so cold on Saturday morning that the section of water over the boat ramp was frozen solid! We had to break the ice apart before launching our boats.

The jet-boat wave test was a blast. I know that this is nothing like the Atlantic ocean, but it is one step in getting out to the ocean for more advanced testing. It would have been impossible for Peter to capsize WiTHiN - and even if she did, there would be no issues at all.


I was very surprised to find that my dorade vents were pretty well water proof! I was repeatedly hit with a wall of water from the wake boat and never got wet inside - not even a drip. I even had the vents open and the vent fan running. Ben poured water directly into the vent and it was still dry inside. My hatch is still leaky though, but only if we pour water directly over the seam. It never leaked during the jet-boat test, or during our second capsize test on Friday.


I found it very difficult to see through my front window. No problem seeing through the vertical port light windows, but my front windshield was both fogged up due to the cold, and covered with water droplets. I may have to add a small manual wiper blade to the front window. A 360 degree video camera and monitor would work very well and would allow me to spot other boat traffic 360 degrees around WiTHiN, but I'm really unsure about that wet environment and video electronics. Any ideas?


Next step with testing is to get to the ocean. I have been speaking with the WestCoastPaddler community about advice on a route to take through the gulf islands, winter kayaking off Vancouver Island and finding someplace where I can expose WiTHiN and myself to some more advanced winter sea conditions. I will keep you posted. I would like to make the trip mid December. The goal is first to gain some experience living aboard WiTHiN - cooking, bathroom, sleeping, long days and secondly to test her (and me) in some more typical ocean conditions.




I've been following Justin and James crossing of the Tasman sea in their two-man live-aboard kayak. They are doing amazingly well. It is making me think more about December of 2008 and my own ocean crossing. I need to get moving! There is SOOO much to do between now and then. The very next step is to try and finalize a design for the new boat, then find a boat builder. Rick is thinking that it might be something like 30 feet long and just as narrow!! WiTHiN is 18 feet long now.

All for now - thanks to Theresa for filming the action on Saturday and HUGE thanks to Joey and Peter for the wake board boat.

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13 Responses to “Jet-boat vs. Pedal Boat”

  1. # Anonymous Cyrille

    dayyyyaaaaam..... i really wish i coulda been there Greg - that looks like it was a total BLAST! ... she looked solid out there - very stable.  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Greg
    It looks cozy inside.

    Within seemed to get a bit of a forward momentum from the wake. Will be interesting to see what it does on decent waves.

    Rick W.  

  3. # Blogger Ray

    Greetings,
    There must be a treatment which could be used on the front window which would sheet off the water for better viewing and less fog. Even if you had to renew the treatment with a spray bomb or such, if it gradually wore off, it would be better than another 'device' to manufacture.  

  4. # Blogger fruey

    Greg

    I believe the kind of products marketed by Rainx might help : http://www.rainx.com/

    I remember seeing demos, they're not a replacement for wiper blades if visibility has to be perfect, but they're pretty good to repel rain and stop windows fogging up.

    -Fruey (www.caperet.com)  

  5. # Blogger Epco

    Hello Greg,
    It´s interesting and fun to read about your this experience. I saw the video about the sight insight out and I thought you have a very limited view of the outside and what´s going on there.You must certainly have thought to build a transparant perspex (or a better material)cockpit to have a much better (360°) view and probaly more save. However I didn´t find thoughts about this option.
    How are you protected against a Japanese whalehunter who might think you are a (little) whale (or compareble situations)?

    I´m a velomobile driver myself and interested about all kinds of HPV activities. Its great to read about you!

    A lot of greetings from Holland,

    Epco B.  

  6. # Blogger charlitosway

    Hey Greg:
    Man i was at work when i saw the video and i was jumping in my seat. It was really amazing to see WITHIN perform and she was faster than i expected. You can expect 3 to 5 foot waves offshore in the Atlantic in a normal day, i know because i live in Puerto Rico. Its going to be a bumpy ride. You said you need to have a camera to see 360 degrees. Iwould suggest a diving camera or a water tight casing for a less expensive one.As for the foggy windshield i believe that more ventilation or a fan blowing against it would solve the problem. You can even use a liquid that is used to defog diving masks available at your nearest dive shop.  

  7. # Anonymous Stefan

    Or you could save yourself the hassle and use some dishsoap in some water and rub it on the inside of your window.

    Do it like the paintballers.  

  8. # Blogger roa6528pl-google

    When I looked at your within
    I thought about wipers on windshield.
    You probably fought about it. anyway looking good on calm sea/lake  

  9. # Anonymous Alex

    I'd recommend RainX as mentioned above. When the wipers went phut on my Mini Cooper I managed to drive 80+ miles in pouring rain and the view out was fine. Not quite as good as with wipers but plenty clear enough.

    They also make an anti-fog for the inside which works a treat too.

    Potential sponsors even?  

  10. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Hi Greg,

    Do you have a seatbelt? I think you will need a 3 point harness to keep you in your seat during rough seas. Nothing heavy duty, just something to keep your head from bashing all the protruding bits within.

    Also, I recommend that you spend 24 hours in the boat, even if it's in your workshop, to give yourself a better idea of how to handle the rigours of eating, sleeping, and eliminating in such a tight space.

    One more thing - how easy is it to access that front storage area? Are you goind to be able to fill it with supplies and still be able to access them? Looks pretty tight!

    Looks great so far!

    -Warren.  

  11. # Blogger David Tangye

    Hi Greg,
    Those stabiliser floats look exactly as I envisaged them in my earlier post. I shoulda read more before I posted :-). Are they not swung out, but pushed out? The struts look a bit flimsy for offshore. You will have to be really careful they don't bend in bumpy seas when deployed, as then one might be stuck in the out position, and you will really be 'up the creek' :-).

    Windscreen wipers wont work offshore for any period of time. It would be a really tedious expenditure of energy. Better go for diver's goggle clear, and ventilation, as suggested by others, and a super-absorbent cloth.

    Best of luck.  

  12. # Blogger David Tangye

    OK, I see the pics of the inside float strut housing. Nice job. Ordinary clam or cam cleats will not fail. For added safety, just tie off the tail of the retrieval line, which could be kevlar cored so it cant break.

    I would still be concerned with a float rotating when deployed in light sloppy seas. There is a lot of angular force potential between the front and rear of a float.  

  13. # Anonymous Dave

    I saw the inside of WIthin and agree with Warren who stated something about a 3 point seat belt. In rough seas or even worse, a cyclone, you don't want your head raking across those window hinges. Also, do you plan on deploying some kind of drag anchor while you sleep so you wont get blown off course or turned over as much? Another thing Im thinking of is some kind of a chord or tether in case you need to go outside to do some repairs. Don't want to get separated. Are you sure the windows can withstand the pressures of cyclone swells? I really admire what youre going to do and I think it will work. The only thing Id be really worried about is approaching land. Big waves, coral reefs and huge rocks. I hope you have some kind of redundant system or air tight compartments that won't fail. Do you have a drysuit too? Make sure you keep the GPS locator beacon on you and not the boat. Good luck to you bro and godspeed.  

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