WiTHiN tour

WiTHiN Tour

I've made some pretty decent progress this week in getting WiTHiN offshore ready - not open ocean ready yet, but I'm getting there. Baby steps.

I think she is almost ready for a multi day calm-water cruising trip. A chance for me to learn more about what it will be like to live within WiTHiN for a slightly extended period - cooking, drinking, eating, navigating, cooling, bathroom, entertainment, sleeping, etc, etc.

Here is a quick tour of WiTHiN in her current state (almost finished):

This image shows the port and starboard dorade vents directed fore and aft. The outriggers are retracted and locked into position with lock pins.

This is a shot from the cockpit looking out the starboard port light. On the lower left of the photo is one of my rudder controls. It slides on a block of UHMW plastic through an aluminum extrusion and can be locked into place using the wing nut to tension the block against the rail.

This is my instrument bar. It's an aluminum tube with a bunch of various electronics mounted to it. Devices can be easily added or removed from the bar, and anything designed to fit on a bike handle bar will clamp onto this. The bar pivots in another tube which is screwed and microed to the top deck. There is a set screw in the pivoting swing arm that drops into two notches in the shell. One notch for a retracted position that moves all of the electronics out of the way, up against the side of the top deck. The second position allows the bar to swing out such that the instruments are facing me seated in the recumbent seat.

This image shows the instrument bar locked in the horizontal position. There is a wing nut and clamp to tension the fit between the two slip-fit tubes so the bar doesn't vibrate.

This is a closeup of the lever on the starboard outrigger. The outrigger tube slides in a notched shell tube that is bonded into the cockpit through two plastic bushings. The slip fit is very smooth and with some silicon lubrication spray, the outrigger will slide out all on it's own. To extend the outriggers, I just reach behind my shoulder, brag the lever and slide the outrigger to it's full and extended position, then insert a shear pin through both tubes to lock the outrigger in place.

To retract the outrigger, I pull on a cord which routes through a pulley and slides the outrigger back into it's retracted position where it is locked with a shear pin.

To guide the floats into their retracted positions on the deck, I have two guides mounted on the hull at the tip of the float and the stern. When the floats slide up next to the hull, these guides direct the float to 'land' onto a locked and supported position against the deck.

Also visible in the above photo is my hanging headrest. This was Ben's idea and it really works well. My head rest is attached to nylon cable and clipped to two hooks that are screwed into the deck walls. This allows me to unclip one side to gain access to the rear compartment, and to adjust the position of the headrest fore and aft by tightening or loosening the cable. It works perfectly.

This image shows the marine battery, recharger and the vent fan. The fan is mounted over the starboard dorade vent with DualLock (like Velcro) which allow it to be moved to another place in the cockpit and sleeping compartment if required. The power cable is a coil to allow it to be moved.

This shows the switch panel, the audio amp and speakers from RockTheBoatAudio. The panel holds a master switch for the amplifier, a switch for the vent fan, a volume control for the audio, and a plug for the iPod or audio input device. The cables shown strapped to the amp all have water proof connectors. The panel isn't water proof, but I can silicon the edge of the plastic panel, and the back of the switches have been covered with silicon.

This is the view through the top hatch to the stern sleeping compartment. The fan, and outrigger sliders can be operated from the rear compartment

Next on the list is to cover the rear walls with aluminum insulation, add a foam mattress to the bed, elastic cord the wood bed down, and cover the cockpit walls with something. I hate looking at the rough Kevlar. I'm thinking of spray gluing some white vinyl onto the interior decking, and something a bit softer for the arm rests (was kayak gunwale perimeter deck, now just arm rests and speaker enclosures, future could be storage). I also need to fasten some netting to the sleeping compartment walls to store stuff.
Before the offshore cruise, WiTHiN needs another lake test - this time to test out the floats. I want to find someone with a motor boat who hasn't parked it for the winter yet. The motor boat can do circles around WiTHiN and make a bunch of waves to see how she handles them with and without the outriggers extended.

I would also like to do one more capsize test - this time with the outriggers locked against the hull. WiTHiN should still be capsize proof, but I want to be certain. I would also like to do a capsize test with the outriggers in the EXTENDED position. One of the advantages of being able to retract the outriggers from the cockpit is if she were ever to capsize with the floats extended, I can pull on those two pull-cords to slide the outriggers in which would allow the boat to quickly flip back around to right-side up.

If you saw the first capsize test video:

You might have noticed that quite a bit of water was leaking into WiTHiN from the drive leg bay. This is mostly because the water line on WiTHiN is now much higher than before and we're had to extend the drive leg bay walls to stop the water inside the drive leg bay from over flowing into the boat. The plug is no longer deep enough to displace the water that fills up the bay. We were going to build a new plug, but since this is a prototype, I'm going to take the easy way out and simply seal up the drive leg by adding some silicon around the bottom of the plug on the underside of the hull. The drive leg will be locked into the DOWN position. That's fine because for this prototype, if I have problems with the drive leg, I can just call for help or paddle to shore. I will have emergency paddles on board, and I will be able to extend the outriggers, sit on the nose like a log and paddle using my kayak paddle (something else to test at the next lake test).

You might be wondering how I plan on launching WiTHiN with the drive leg locked into it's extended position. I have a new design for a trolley for the trailer which should allow me to launch her all by myself:

The trolley is made with two 700 cm bike wheels and is held in place with a strap that wraps around the bow directly under the drive leg. I should be able to pick WiTHiN up from her stern at the rudder, and roll her off my flat deck trailer down the ramp into the water. All of this probably WITH the outriggers extended. Once she is in the water, I can climb up onto the deck and un-fasten the straps which would free the trolley. The trolley will have some flotation, so it can be retrieved at the surface of the water.

And finally, a few minor items for the todo list: Mount the flashlight, mount my knife, mount for the VHF radio (maybe on the instrument bar), a 360 degree white marine light outside somewhere - probably mounted onto the rudder tube, mount a few LED interior lights (I have these LED stick on dome lights), some mounts for cameras, oh, and paint and body work. I think that's about it!


10 Responses to “WiTHiN tour”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Greg & Ben
    You have done a fine job of breathing life into a concept. It looks like a real little ship. I hope you find it a secure and comfortable operating platform. It certainly looks the part even without a paint job.

    I for one cannot wait for your report from real water.

    No doubt it is a bit heavier now but evrything at least looks practical, robust and well thought through. It has been a good learning exoerience.

    Keep it going.

    Rick W.  

  2. # Blogger Ray

    You seem to be trying to keep all the functions as simple as possible. Good choice.
    Imagine if 50% of your controls failed. Would you still be able to continue? It seems like you would.
    Oh, ya, bring along some extra wingnuts.
    ....And how are you working the food aspect?  

  3. # Blogger amanzi

    Greg forget those Outriggers the Sea will DESTROY them and cause Problems. Use a Stainless Steel Box Keel welded to a form fitting SS outer Skin which Bolts to a Form Fitting Inner SS Foundation.
    O = Front on Hull View
    _U_ = Box Keel (Obviously Welded).
    add Rudders to the 2 Keels and and extend the Horizontal Foundation for added Stability. Good Luck!
    I need your email address to send drawings.  

  4. # Anonymous Alex

    Greg, it's the first time I guess I've seen Within looking so complete. I was immediately struck by how much less cramped you'd feel day in day out if the top hatch was clear or even just transluscent. Have you thought of something like that? Also are you going to have any portholes in the rear sleeping compartment? Might be nice to have a view out to see what's going on at night, maybe look at the stars as you lay in your bed. Then again it might look like you're laying in state in a boat-shaped coffin.

    It's a pity the vents have slightly destroyed her very slippery looks, but I'm sure fairly certain you've already thought of that.  

  5. # Blogger Adventures of Greg

    Hi Alex: Any additional windows would contribute to solar heating. I really have to be diligent about keeping the sun out as much as I can. Even as it is, I was working inside WiTHiN yeserday with the top on and the fan going and it was getting fairly warm in there. During the heat of the day with me producing 150 watts to power in there and most of it being dispersed as heat (unfortunately), it will probably get too hot inside. I will need to experiment with additional vening.

    Yes - I agree that the Dorade vents look ugly.


  6. # Anonymous Eric Krueger

    Greg, I am forever amazed at your persistence and determination! Glad to see that you are planning a outriggers-extended rollover test- this has been a nagging thought in the back of my mind. If those slender aluminum tubes bend or kink or fold then you could get into a situation where the damaged outrigger is neither fully retracted nor properly extended, which might get dicey in big seas. I am sure you can avoid or solve this problem like you have with all the others!  

  7. # Blogger "the Dude"


    rather than full windows or even portholes in the rear to avoid heat build up, how about a little spy-hole lens, the type mounted and used to see strangers at the door? I don't know if they are waterproofable, but being able to look outside without having to open the hatch makes some sense.

  8. # Blogger stevekaminski

    Hi Greg,

    I think I wrote you a long time ago about the possibility of adding the power of your arms to the mix. But now, pretty late in the game I know, but I just had to offer my two cents.
    I was always uneasy about the stability of you cool looking design, so I gave it some thought as to how I would maybe do it.

    First, I don’t think of your boat as a kayak any more. I see it as a small, low speed power boat. And, of course, you’re the power. (a one human motor, which appears to be about ¼ hp) When you started thinking about stability and anti-roll possibilities, I got to thinking.

    At my harbor (Channel Islands, CA) I see kayaks all the time. They rent Ocean Kayaks which are designed for more stability than an Eskimo type. For good reason. When I take my 29’ twin eng. boat out in the ocean and imagine being in a hull such as your, I am concerned. I believe that you may need stability more than occasionally. And, although you have done a nice job with you telescoping out rigger design, I am concerned about the added complexity and vulnerability to damage from ocean waves and chop.

    So, I opened up my “Rhino” 3-D modeling software and roughed out an idea. I think you’ll see what I was trying to do once you see it. I started by overlaying an image of your boat as it is now. Your long, thin hull is great, but I felt it needed more side to side stability, not unlike the kayaks I mentioned. I worked off of that to add outboard hull shapes like “cathedral” hulled power boats. This is an attempt to integrate forms into one simple and straight forward shell. No moving parts and mechanical parts to foul. I can also visualize gaining some elbow room and interior space with this type of form.

    I also modeled it with a sliding window. It seemed a good idea to allow for ventilation, as well as ease of ingress, egress. The fixed windshield could be a good grab bar.

    If you’re interested in seeing what I came up with, let me know. Just email an address and I’ll send some images. You’re doing, and have done a fantastic job in the HPV area, keep up the great work. Don‘t know where you get the energy.

    Steve K  

  9. # Anonymous Anonymous


    Nice job man. I always get amazed about how fast things move around you. I have to say that I am still very concern about the floaters. I think they are going to be more a problem than a solution. I have seen aluminum bars bending pretty easyly, and by the picure you posted, the arm is very long and maybe easy to bend. If it bends, you wont be able to retract nor extend the arm anymore. Well, I am sure this is a minor concern now.

    Actually, I wanted to tell you something i saw in a sailboat that can help you with the ventilation problem during the day. I've seen some little exastions (dont know if i spelled right) fans that moves by a little solar panel about 2x2inches. They use it to get the bad smell of the boat's bathroons. I think it is worth a research.

    Keep going man!


  10. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Have you considered using fiberglass or carbon fiber with some very minor flex for the outrigger extension tubes? There are issues with telescoping designs when bends, breaks or dents develop. The device effectively becomes disabled maybe even locked in a dangerous configuration. I learned this from failure of the telescopic tubes in my suitcases, which are usually the first thing to go. My oldest suitcase over 20 years uses an inner tube made of stiff plastic composite. It has enough give that you can't break it under severe bends and is self lubricating with some give. So it can still be extended and retracted despite dents and non-linear bends in the outer metal tube. Hope this helps.


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