Keel pin-up girl

I figured you were probably getting sick of seeing my (just turned 47 year old) face on the blog, so I got Helen to pose with the new keel for you. You are welcome.

The keel consists of a 3.5" diameter stainless steel pipe welded to a 3 foot long stainless tube. The tube slide over a stub tube which is welded to a 1/4" stainless steel plate which is bolted to the hull through the seat rails.

I welded a 1/16" thick steel fin to the keel strut. I'll fill the gap in with bondo and shape to an airfoil. Everything was going too well. I finished welding on my fin and went to slide the keel onto the stub post and it didn't fit! Then I realized that I forgot about the weld-through on the other side of my stainless tube! ARGH! It was a bead running about 12 inches down the inside of the tube - impossible to grind off with a standard grinding bit for the dremel.

I ended up having to make my own took to reach down in the tube to grind off that excess weld. It took me as long to grind that weld-through off as it did to make the whole keel!

The keel is bolted onto the plate on the hull with two bolts to nuts welded to the other side of the tube. To get the keel on, I will tip WiTHiN onto her side and from the dock, slide the keel tube onto the stub post, then screw in the bolts.

The big cylinder was filled up with lead shot. I purchased four x 25 lb bags (EXPENSIVE! They cost $50 a bag!). Unfortunately, only 50 pounds worth of shot filled the 24" long cylinder. I think the cylinder pipe itself + the keel strut, etc is probably worth another 20 lbs, so I'll have a total of about 70 lbs. I wanted 90 lbs, but I will have additional ballast on the floor of WiTHiN, so I'm pretty sure I can match the stability we experienced during the keel test at the pool last week.
To fair out the leading and trailing ends of the ballast cylinder, I welded some plate on to form a round leading edge and tapered trailer edge. I will fill them up with bondo mixed with lead, then sand smooth

Expedition Progress:

Have you ever noticed that progress comes in bursts, and in between these bursts you slip backward? Right now I feel like I am stuck in an anti-progress eddy!

Quotes for shipping WiTHiN to the Canary Islands are coming in at around $14,000 one way! And I have to drive it to New York. This is about double what I had budgeted. Then another $14,000 to ship her back from Antigua to Miami, and again, I would need to drive to Miami to pick it up. I also found out that I need to allow 7 week delivery time.

If I am to meet Nick (my support boat) for a November departure, I need to have WiTHiN shipped out by the beginning of August. I set a deadline to have the new boat built by Early June, but that was based on getting plans finished two weeks ago.

We have to finish the drawings, contract a builder, have the entire boat built, install all the hardware, and equipment and supplies and then get it out to Tofino for sea trials - all before August first. Oh, and then I have to drive for 3 days to New York.

Postponing for 1 year is something that I am seriously considering. One advantage is more time to seek that elusive major sponsor, and another advantage is more time to develop that sea experience that I am so lacking thereof. If I did postpone departure for a year, I would definitely plan some intermediate challenges.


I had a 6 hour training ride scheduled for tomorrow, but the weather is going bad. Snow and a high of zero, so it looks like I'll be riding inside for the day. Yeah! fun fun fun.

The good news is I got an iPod Touch for my birthday, so I plan on watching some TV shows, podcasts and YouTube while sweating away downstairs in my basement for 6 hours. Maybe hour 1 I'll read my book (see what I'm reading on my FaceBook page - Greg Kolodziejzyk), hour two - play some Guitar Hero, hour 3 - a bit of email on the iTouch or Nomad, hour 4 & 5 - watch a DVD movie on TV, hour 6 - watch some YouTube videos on the iTouch. I can also listen to a couple of audio books I have started (Long Way Down and The Proving Ground), and some tunes.

Labels: , ,

9 Responses to “Keel pin-up girl”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    I was taking a close-up look at the front of the keel tube where you've welded in x-plates contoured for a nose shape. It looks like you may have used a semi-circle x-section. That might not be a good idea. If there isn't a defined nose (point of minimum radius) for the streamlines to attach to, the stagnation point will wander all over the place. This could result in the keel wobbling around and causing drag and squirrely handling. Check with Ben on this if you haven't already.
    NicK Hein
    Morgantown, WV  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Love the pic of Keel Babe of the Month, but.... Your 50 pounds of lead buys you what? Lead has a specific gravity of 11.4, which means you have 1/126 of a cubic foot's worth of lead. But you have to subtract the would-be weight of water, which is half a pound, so your real negative buoyancy is 49.5 pounds. Steel is around 7.5, so at 20 pounds you have 4 and a quarter percent of a cubic foot, so subtract another 3 pounds, so your total of 70 pounds represents a negative buoyancy of 66.5 pounds. Use that in your figures to generate the real effect.
    Meanwhile, more pix of Keel Babe of The Month!  

  3. # Anonymous Ray Girard

    If you happen to have no futher successes from this point on, you have GOT to know that, at least, you are the world's BEST project updater anywhere. Where do you find the energy to keep us informed of every little step in this world-sized project while still accomplishing all this? You don't leave out a fact. ""Nobody does it better.-CS""
    -ray g-  

  4. # Blogger Adventures of Greg

    Keel chill

    Remember that this is just a prototype/practice boat. When I am out in the pacific gaining experience,
    II will alwAys be near a support rib. Also the purpose of the keel is to counter balance my weight while standing up and getting in. While under way, the additional keel weight and other ballast in the boat will dampen a bit of the roll, but to maintain general stability while under way, I done require any additional ballast  

  5. # Blogger Alex

    Greg, don't get disheartened about putting off for a year, we've just had to do the same kind of thing on our project, and it put a real downer on things for a while because I'd got the time frame in my head. But now I can see how much better prepared we'll be, and am not regretting it at all (well maybe a tiny bit).  

  6. # Anonymous Anonymous

    it looks like to me time to test out all the details on such a important mission is needed, kind of hard to test a race car by just going around the track once!

    I started building my motorcycle design  

  7. # Anonymous Anonymous


    Your schedule looks awfully tight. Postponing would make sense to me.

    Also, have you considered building the boat in Europe ? That way you would not have to ship it. You could fly to Europe and test it there ! There are some pretty good boat builders in the Netherlands and in Britain. You could even pedal the boat to Spain as a training ride.


  8. # Anonymous Studli


    Your keel is looking real good, one thought I had might be to have it retractable (just like your drive train was) that way when your looking for efficiency and stuff you can throw her away (hide her somehow) and when you have to do number 2 or turn around in your boat you can throw it down and lock it into place. Just a thought!

    Don't give up for this years launch date, do everything you can to get it done, if it works woohoo, and if it dosen't you have another year to build something fun (maybe cross canada) but you'll be in top-shape right after your 24hour race... You seem to have a good friend's support use them to help you...

    Thinking more about your keel, you could have either on a hinge towards the back of the boat, or retractable just like a sailing boat and go right up through your cockpit and go right up through the roof even. not ideal for turning around but when your turning around it should be down anyways...

    P.S: Found it funny how when your put a picture of your wife on the site you get the most blog's... lol..

    Mike Studli

  9. # Blogger David Tangye

    1. The keel seems to have a high stress point where it leaves the hull. Are you sure it will not bend there? The trailing plate will not help unless its epoxied onto the hull with additional bracket plates. Then it would help a lot, and this would be easy to do.

    2. I would definitely delay a year. You do not have anywhere near enough time to trial and shakedown.

    3. I would not consider a retractable keel. Fixed is far stronger per weight, with less risk of failure points. I am sure you will be aware that the exact fin and bulb shape will be critical to minimising drag.  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to email updates:

Email :

About Greg video:

    follow me on Twitter

      Adventures of Greg Home
      Motivational Speaker

      featured slide show:

      Archives (newest first)

        Web This Blog

    © 2006 | PedalTheOcean BLOG by Greg Kolodziejzyk.
    motivational speaker
    No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.