WiTHiN progress

I've been posting fewer blogs showing progress of the human powered expedition boat WiTHiN, not because we haven't been making progress, but the progress isn't visually as impressive as it once was when we were making the big parts. Now it's small things that take a lot of time. For example, it took a couple of weeks to prepare all of the hatch and port openings. Each hole that we cut out of the panel needed to be reinforced with 12 layers of unidirectional carbon wrapped around the opening then capped with a layer of bi - this is VERY time consuming, but it's required to properly distribute forces around the opening.

It took a few days to make the rudder tube (pictured below), and a week or so to tape all of the seat panels, etc, etc, etc... But - we are definitely getting there.

We are now basically ready to build the torque tube that will hold the keel. Once that is in, and the rudder is finished (mostly done - also pictured below), it's time to fix the cabin top to the hull, tape it all up and start body work. Then ports and hatches are installed, then all of my equipment - water maker, GPS, AIS receiver, radio, solar panels, wind generator, etc, etc. My good friend Manny from Rohmec Industries is involved again by offering to machine the prop, parts of the drive leg from MitrPak, and the keel.

I am really aiming for water testing by the end of August. My goal is to have WiTHiN ready for sea trials in September / October out in Tofino again and I am trying to come up with some sort of intermediate challenge that will serve as a really good test of the boat, equipment and systems and as well as provide me that more needed experience. Maybe a multi-day - straight out into the Pacific, out and back trip? I was thinking about circumnavigating Vancouver Island, but that would be 20 days or more and I'm not sure I can take that much time. If you have any ideas, let me have them.

Below are some random progress shots:

Cabin top showing the reinforcements for the port cutouts

Inside the cockpit with view through the forward hatch

Piles and piles of hatches and port lights from Glenn at

The cabin top
The stern with the rudder shell. A stainless steel rudder tube fits through two plastic bushings pressed into this shell.

This is the bottom side of the stern top deck cover. The rudder shell fits into this cup.

Here is the rudder. It is a stainless tube with steel sections forming the rudder profile, then covered with micro / epoxy. The micro needs to be sanded smooth and to the exact shape, then covered with carbon.


9 Responses to “WiTHiN progress”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    I looks like a fun boat even after you finish the race something you could just go for a camping trip around a lake with.  

  2. # Blogger Bruce

    Thanks for posting the commentary and pictures. As a sailor and kayaker I find these details very interesting. You are doing fine work with high quality components and materials. WiTHin will be quite the complete little yacht when she is finished, and a showpiece for all kinds or aquatic and human-powered technology. Yes, you could go lake camping with her, but then you could drive a Ferrari F1 to work too. Keep up the good work.  

  3. # Blogger Bruce

    Likely you have thought of this already, but I would be certain to install a well-anchored stainless U-bolt somewhere on deck that you can reach from the cabin when you exit the boat, in case you have to go on deck or overboard to fix something at sea. That way you can clip a lifeline/harness to it and not get separated from the boat.  

  4. # Anonymous Dave

    Will adding all those extra windows weaken the rooftop? The other boat looked tougher, like you could surf down Pipeline Hawaii with it lol. I cant wait to follow along when you leave next year. Anytime someone crosses the ocean in a windsurfer, pedalboat or a kayak they have all of my attention. I saw that you stated it could take up to 85 days? Thats still 35.5 miles a day in a pedalboat. That's badass! You ever see those sails for kayaks? They are really small but could aid you tremendously.  

  5. # Anonymous Dave

    In a worst case scenario can you deploy airbags to keep her afloat until someone can reach you? A good drysuit wouldnt hurt either if you had to survive outside the ship. Those salt sores people get are pretty nasty too. Maybe fresh aloe or aloe gel would help I dunno. Do you have a sports doctor your'e working with on nutrition details? I'd like to see what kinds of meals and first aid items you bring. Take care.  

  6. # Anonymous Dave

    I know this might be a stretch to consider but I was thinking about a solar powered air conditioner unit for those long stretches with no wind. Maybe too much weight?  

  7. # Blogger Adventures of Greg

    Bruce: We have some deck loops that we will be instaling on the bow, stern and bow sides for lines, sea anchor, etc.

    Dave: The windows won't weaken the structure, as we have strengthened the perimiter of each cutout to compensate for that. I love the slar powered AC unit! I know a guy who rowed the Atlantic and he had a mini refrigerator to cool a small bottom of champagne for his half-way celebration.  

  8. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Hi Greg,

    I posted here a couple years ago, and found myself wondering what had happened to you. Good on you for keeping on with the dream, and Hawaii sounds like a great objective.

    I was probably a bit down on you in my last post. I think I might have questioned the stabililty of your design, so I chuckled to read "WiTHiN was found to be very wobbly and she bobbed around excessively."

    The keel bulb was a good move, and I was impressed to read about peddling into 18ft swells, but when I saw the video I laughed out loud. The sea-state is barely above calm. Sure, a nice swell and some slop, but seriously, it hardly looks like there's any wind out there.

    The new design really looks better still. Having a chunk of lead down low will probably help keep things stable on the good days, but if you ever have to paddle side on to the weather, I still think you're going to be doing barrel rolls.

    I'm sure there's a reason you have avoided outriggers, but I hope that's not just because they look like the stabilizers on kiddie bikes. I'd bring some bamboo and foam with you on your next sea-trial.

    And of course, you probably know that the only reason that kayakers and row boats get away with being so narrow is their paddles act as the outriggers. You don't have that option.

    So anyhow, sorry to be such a downer. You've clearly got the tenacity and endurance, but I'd definitely recommend you get a second opinion from a boat designer who knows more about small boats and the sea.  

  9. # Blogger Adventures of Greg

    Anonymous: I appreciate your concern, and taking the time to offer your thoughts. I have heard this criticism before and I always ask for a QUALIFICATION. Stuart Bloomfield and Rick Willoughby are both professional engineers (+ Stuart is a naval architect) and both have tremendous experience designing and building boats of various sizes. If I have to put my trust in someone, I feel that I am in very good hands. Why do you feel that I should abandon their advice and substitute yours when you won't provide any qualification to back-up your opinion. Again, I don't wish to be confrontational in any way, as I really do appreciate you taking the time to follow.  

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