Rowing/electric cruising boat

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Chris Partridge Chris Partridge
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Rowing/electric cruising boat

OK this discussion should keep us entertained through those long winter evenings...
Paul and I were chatting about rowing with electric assist, like those electric bikes you can get which discretely help you up hills. I think an electric outboard might be a great addition to a rowing boat. The problem with rowing and sailing is that each interferes with the other - having a sail up heels the boat over and even a slight angle makes rowing awkward. The rowing thwart can interfere with moving about the boat when sailing.
I enjoy row/sailing but it is a bit klutzy which I suppose why people tend to do one or the other despite many valiant efforts to combine the two.
Rowing and an electric motor could be a great combo, though. Rowing will extend the range of the motor, and motoring will allow the rower to go much further than physiological restraints allow. And you could, I think, do both at the same time without discomfort.
Paul wants a hull with a cabin but minimising the windage. There are a couple of kit boats for expedition rowing that could perhaps be motorised, though they are 'rowing boat shaped' so an outboard would stuck out on the pointy stern, probably out of reach of the oarsman.
Design One is the Angus Cruising Rowboat - http://www.angusrowboats.com/Cruisingrowboat.html. I think it is too small for comfortable cruising, being designed for super-athletic oarsmen who want to win races (ie Colin Angus).
Design Two is Chesapeake Light Craft's Faering Cruiser - http://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/wooden-sailboat-kits/sliding-seat-rowing/clc-faering-cruiser.html. It has a lot more space but at 22ft long is a hell of a lot of boat to launch/recover on one's own.
Anyone got any better ideas? I certainly have but this post is long enough already.
Alan Alan
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

The skin on teak boat (see thread in builds) is designed for electric outboard power and rowing as secondary option, although I think it should row well. I never thought of rowelec - like pedelec but it sounds a good idea. With a transom mounted outboard it could be set at a low power level and not steered but fixed. I am thinking of some sort of pedalled front facing system for the future, possibly Mirage like; Tim has already motorised one of those.
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

In reply to this post by Chris Partridge
The CLC is a beast - as wide as Polly wee but almost twice as long!

The Angus is a bit more manageable. We could bang the numbers from the study plan into the "boats" programs that I forgot the name of, and scale to 16ft.

2ft high cabin? Definitely not for the claustrophobic types - I have visions of sliding tables like you see in morgues.

A Broads style lifting roof might work when anchored. But definitely electro-tastic.

-Paul
Timmo Timmo
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

Don't lose more waterline length than you absolutely have to to get it on the drive. Length really helps it move along easily. It's also very important if you want a fixed bedroom area. You need a rowing position to be broadly midships with the seat toward the bow end. Say that cockpit area occupies 5ft. Then you want a 6ft bedroom behind it, plus a bit extra if the boat has a canoe stern. That is 10ft or more aft of the centrepoint. If you're pedalling the seat will be toward the aft of the cockpit area. So you can figure on needing nearer 8ft aft of the centrepoint.

Zelva is 5 metres (about 16ft 4in) long with a maximum beam of 1.1m (just over 3ft 6in.) and she's pretty easy to push along with the mirage drive. Bow and stern are plumb so waterline length is maximised. Very fine entry and exit at waterline also helps but means a couple of feet at bow and stern aren't very useable internally. I don't have a fixed bedroom, being 6ft4in I couldn't squeeze it in, so I am stuck with sleeping half under the aft deck and having to dismantle the seat and use that area as well. I'd really prefer a permanent sleeping area.

A low roofed bed cabin would be more tolerable if you can also cover the cockpit area and use that as your food prep/eating/lounging area.

Also worth checking what the size limits are for an 'unpowered leisure craft' licence on the Thames. The same limitations seem to apply on the Broads and elsewhere so you might as well qualify for the cheapest licence.

While rowing has many advantages, there are huge advantages to facing forwards in a boat that's designed for inland waterways that tend to be narrow and winding in (a lot of) places. So I continue to extol the virtues of pedal power, though the cost of a mirage drive is initially eye watering it does compare favourably with the costs of electric outboards and their batteries batteries and with the cost of professionally made sails. There is also none of the anxiety associated with flat batteries and scarcity of charging points. As mentioned above it also helps with boat length.

You can also pedal and sail simultaneously quite easily. Clearly no reason why you can't pedal and electric motor at the same time either. Though it's rare I've found the pedalling such hard work that I've craved the extra complication and expense of installing electric propulsion. Also the temptation would be to use the power, so I'd get even less exercise!

You're making me wonder whether Zelva will have a successor!

Tim.



On 10 Oct 2016, at 17:56, Paul (admin) [via UK HBBR Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

The CLC is a beast - as wide as Polly wee but almost twice as long!

The Angus is a bit more manageable. We could bang the numbers from the study plan into the "boats" programs that I forgot the name of, and scale to 16ft.

2ft high cabin? Definitely not for the claustrophobic types - I have visions of sliding tables like you see in morgues.

A Broads style lifting roof might work when anchored. But definitely electro-tastic.

-Paul
Sail when you can, motor when you can't http://www.millibee.co.uk



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Port-Na-Storm Port-Na-Storm
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

One of the problems with electric is ensuring a good supply of the electrons.
Some people go to extraordinary lengths......................................



On our recent cycling holiday one of the party used an electric bike. It was a fairly basic shopper type with a step-through frame although we saw a large number of people on proper electric/mountain-bike hybrids which really looked the business for those heading up into the Alps.  I had a go on the shopper and was very impressed how much assistance you got even on the lowest setting.
Our longest day's ride was about forty miles and the battery seemed to hold out fine.

I'm wondering if any of the electric bike technology could be adapted for boating, or whether its similar to what Torqueedo use. They certainly don't need a couple of car batteries and probably have much more efficient motors than your average trolling motor.

A pop top roof would be a good idea but light enough to lift without any assistance or if you must with a couple of gas struts from the tailgate of a Ford Fiasco. Weighing the boat down with unnecessary electrical gizmo's would be counter productive.

I think I would try to put the drive unit somewhere just aft of the Pedalling/Rowing position in its own well so it can be lifted out when not in use, because as we all know dragging a prop is like towing a bucket.      
alopenboat alopenboat
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

On 10 Oct 2016 at 13:27, Port-Na-Storm [via UK HBBR Forum] wrote:

> I think I would try to put the drive unit somewhere just aft of the
> Pedalling/Rowing position in its own well so it can be lifted out when
> not in use, because as we all know dragging a prop is like towing a
> bucket.  
>

Hobie sell a Torquido-based unit that drops in where the Mirage drive
normally goes.

--
Sail when you can, row when you must, motor only
when you have to be at work in the morning.

Alastair Law
Yeovil, England.
<http://www.little.jim.freeuk.com>


Chris Partridge Chris Partridge
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

The Hobie eVolve is an amazing bit of kit. You can either mount it in the Mirage drive slot or on the stern, where it sort of hops out of the water and lies on the stern like a beached porpoise when out of use. There is a video here: https://youtu.be/qxmhQtOCTyo

I think it is a bit underpowered for a cruising dinghy however.
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

In reply to this post by Timmo
Tim,

We must organise a day sail or weekend. Then I could try Zeldah's pedal drive and see how I get on with it over a Km.

Regarding electric bikes - a man on a bike is incredibly efficient in energy per kilometre, more so than an Eagle or Condor. So yes tiny lithium batteries are fine on a bike, but it takes a lot more power to push a hull along.
Lead acid batteries are cheap and cheerful for MilliBee; but a lean mean rowing hull would get away with lighter weight batteries.

I'm warming to the Angus boats. The RowCruiser has a built-in cabin, all of 2ft high!



But the Expedition rowboat is 43% lighter:




What was Zeldah's size 16 x ??

-Paul

PS: The software was Hulls. Unzip and run hulls32.exe    http://carlsondesign.com/projects/hull-designer/
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

There is an interesting sailing rig being developed for the Angus Rowcruiser
http://angusrowboats.com/blog/developing-the-rowcruiser-sailing-rig/

For rivers Grahams mizzen worked very well and it won't interfere with rowing or using electric.

Paul
simplesimon simplesimon
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

Those sails would appear to be designed for the BIC O'pen.
You can probably get them in UK but they're not going to be cheap - even training sails (smaller) for the BIC are £150.
(The UK distributor doesn't seem to have a website, just a facebook page)

Simon
Chris Partridge Chris Partridge
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

In reply to this post by Paul (admin)
Phil Bolger said he was mystified by people who would look at his rowing boat designs and say "That's a nice rowing boat, let's sail her."
I'm mystified too. Rowing boats are intended for rowing and trying to sail them is frustrating and joyless. Even a proper row/sail boat like Snarleyow involves compromises.
If you are prepared for the rigours of camping in the Angus Rowcruiser you would be better off adding a Hobie eVolve drive for extra oomph, IMHO. The boat is small and slippy enough to be driven along by the eVolve quite nicely I think.
Chris Partridge Chris Partridge
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

Although it has to be said that the eVolve is even more not cheap than the sails.
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

In reply to this post by Chris Partridge
I agree with you Chris. I would only bother with a simple, low-cost tarp for a self-tacking "fit and forget" Mizzen.
They seem to work well on rivers, but probably to much faff in Chichester harbour unless you are heading downwind. Mark (DCA) did very well with a recycled bag for gravel, about 4 sq ft on his Hobie kayak, some string and a bamboo stick.

KISS.

-Paul
Port-Na-Storm Port-Na-Storm
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

I really like the Angus RowCruiser, its a really well thought boat and seems to do everything it needs to pretty well. There's a video about it here.
https://youtu.be/7bUxWQ9Kxcg
It does however have a few drawbacks;
Without the amas its a bit tippy for sleeping in.
The rowing outriggers make it difficult to get in and out of on a pontoon or similar.
The amas have the same effect.
Its too long to fit in my garage, which would make building it difficult.

However, if you take a few design leads..................a bit shorter, a bit wider on the beam, electric drive to augment the oars.



LASER41420 LASER41420
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

Hi,

The hull shape is basically a large decked in canadian canoe hull, with windsurfer rigs cheaply
available from ebay or even free. Most of the rowing kit and amas could be fabricated in the
garage as well. There are compact trimaran designs out there where the outer hull can be moved
so that the hull fits in a smaller marina berth.

I have solved the rowing outrigger problem on my rowing canoe by putting in hinges so that they
fold up for going alongside, they would probably work wi.

If anyone fancies a go at the sailing rig I have a sail and mast in my shed.

Regards

Steve
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

In reply to this post by Port-Na-Storm
Thanks Graham,
Great video, very exciting.

I can store 20+ feet, on its side, at the side of our house which is about 1.5m wide. Alongside the neighbours garage wall in fact, then I can build a rain cover/car port along the side to keep the rain off - we've been toying with that idea for years.

I can build about 19ft or more using the solid roof extension of my 9ft shed. Would have to fill in the sides, temporary polythene sheet or something more substantial.

Have you noticed most of the RowBoat lines can be extracted from the study plan? - at least enough for the Hulls program which has a magic "make it wider" function.

The brutal decision now is - how long?

-Paul

Timmo Timmo
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

Simple... as long as possible, bearing in mind you have to store it, tow or car top it and move it about on land. Once on the water, the longer the better provided you don't plan on doing a slalom course in it because it will not turn on a sixpence, nor for that matter on a crown (whatever a sixpence and a crown are/were. And why a sixpence and not a threepenny bit, they were about the same size?) 

So, no real help at all from me! 

Let's try harder...

If you keep it at 16ft or more you should be able to get an easily driven hull with enough stability to be able to walk around a bit on board.

Tim.


On 14 Oct 2016, at 12:02, Paul (admin) [via UK HBBR Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks Graham,
Great video, very exciting.

I can store 20+ feet, on its side, at the side of our house which is about 1.5m wide. Alongside the neighbours garage wall in fact, then I can build a rain cover/car port along the side to keep the rain off - we've been toying with that idea for years.

I can build about 19ft or more using the solid roof extension of my 9ft shed. Would have to fill in the sides, temporary polythene sheet or something more substantial.

Have you noticed most of the RowBoat lines can be extracted from the study plan? - at least enough for the Hulls program which has a magic "make it wider" function.

The brutal decision now is - how long?

-Paul

Sail when you can, motor when you can't http://www.millibee.co.uk



If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:
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Timmo Timmo
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

Just in case they stimulate more ideas these are the offsets I started with for Zelva (working title at the time being Saltway Raid Boat.)

Once I'd set up the moulds the entry at bow and stern got finer and the tumblehome went as well as minor tweaks to get curves as fair as I could, so these are not final offsets. I'd have to take them off the boat itself.




Not having entered a learning curve for any boat design programme the graphics are actually Excel spreadsheet graphs. Hence lines being straight between points. Primative, but worked well enough for me at the time.
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

In reply to this post by Timmo
Here is a hull I quickly produced in Sailcut CAD (www.sailcut.com)

5000mm x 1000mm but it only does single chines at the moment. But the software is open source C++ which means that any programmer can improve it. I have emailed Robert Laine about the chines issue.



-Paul
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Rowing/electric cruising boat

In reply to this post by Timmo
Tim,

That's a nice set of curves  Can you upload the spreadsheet file please? Use the More tab - or send me the file if it all goes wrong. There will be a limit on the file size, but I managed to upload a 4.7Mb file.

Cheers
Paul
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