• 24th February 2007 - By greg

    First – welcome to the new look for the PedalTheOcean.com BLOG! Let me know what you think. Pat from RaceRecon and I have been working on a new web site for the PedalTheOcean expedition. We’ll launch http://www.pedaltheocean.com soon! Part of that process is revising the BLOG to this new look! It’s based on Google Blogger, but I will have the pages automatically FTP’ed to the PedalTheOcean.com server rather than Google like they are now (this is just temporary). The advantages to this new approach are many:

    1. Using the Google web application to post blog entries is SUPER easy! Way, easier than before. Plus, since it is web based, I can BLOG from anywhere in the world.

    2. I can send a BLOG post from email, or from my camera phone, the satellite phone or my rugged Recon PDA.

    3. Each blog post is a single html page including the index to the blog updates and does not contain old fashioned frames (my grandpa tells tales of how they used to use html frames a way back in the olden days).

    4. Your comments can be posted directly onto the blog update page. I hope this will invite more feedback and even some dialog between all of you rather than just me and you. To leave a comment, just click on the talk bubble icon below the headline for this blog update.

    Let me know what you think.


    I was welding so much I got a sun burn on my arms – forgot to wear long sleeves. Well, the stainless steel drive leg is almost done. It works pretty well – The SRM chain ring pulls the chain through a 1/2″ diameter stainless tube which runs down to a cog mounted on the right angle gear box. The two 1/2″ round tubes keep the chain guided all the way around. It fits so tight in there, that it would be impossible to derail the chain.

    The square tube ‘T’ that you see in the photo above was to keep everything square until I had it all solidly welded together. Then I welded in a third 1/2″ round tube on top of the square tube and cut the square tube out. This was to keep the profile of the leg very narrow to slip though the water. As it is, it’s only 1/2″ wide down to the gearbox which is sort of big. I’ll build a fiberglass fairing for the struts and the gear box.

    The action is OK, there is a bit of chain rattling along the chain guide tubes, but I know that won’t even amount to a fraction of a watt of loss.

    I am concerned about making it water tight. The gear housing at the bottom is theoretically water tight – ie: I fabricated stainless steel that fits snugly all around the gear box, but I know there will be leaks – even after I bolt the gear box on using rubber gaskets. I still need to make a removable cap for the front of the gear housing, and this also needs to be water tight.

    I could just cover the whole structure permanently with epoxy, micro and fiberglass. that would certainly make it water proof, but it would also prevent me from servicing it which I don’t like. I can’t see why there would ever be any reason to service it unless the chain broke and got stuck in there. As it is, if the chain breaks and can be pulled out, I can thread a new chain through by just spinning the prop which turns the cog which winds the chain around.

    The other option is to build the fiberglass fairing enclosure such that it is water proof, but hollow and can be removed to gain access to the drive leg mechanicals. Not sure how to do that easily.

    Rick W. was worried that eliminating the heavier square tube and replacing it with the small round tube would allow the leg to flex, but these round tubes are fairly thick and I can’t even bend it or twist it a bit if I jumped on it. I was going to brace the 3 round struts with cross bracing, but I really don’t think it is required. It’s pretty beefy and solid. I was also going to wrap stainless sheeting around the strut, but I don’t think that is necessary- I’ll just let the fiberglass fairing seal that up.

    I think I will leave the drive leg as it is for now. It’s ready to be mounted in Within and tested thoroughly. I’ll fair it later when I figure out what to do about making it water proof.

    Next on the agenda is to add a couple more layers of glass to the Hayak hull. I weighed the deck and it is about 50 pounds which is right about what I expected. The kayak hull weighs less and we’ll be adding ballast to the hull floor anyhow, so I don’t see the harm in adding some additional weight to the hull in the form of a thicker skin.

    Then I want to build the drive leg well (that holds the drive leg in place), the seat and seat rails. Then I need to work on the rudder, then the bulk heads. Last but not least, i need to figure out how I am going to hinge that canopy top and how I’m going to add a window to it.


    The KidPower school program is sort of taking off. I am booking a school presentation every two weeks. My sisters Theresa and Carol, sister in-law Jennifer and Helen are managing the bookings, and other logistics for me. If you are in Calgary, have a child in grade school and would like me to visit, just have the teacher send Theresa an email.

    The plan with KidPower is to take it nation wide. I’m now in the process of developing a template that we can duplicate across the country. If we raise what we need to make this expedition happen, a percentage of what we raise will go toward making the KidPower national program a reality.

    Did you see 20-20 last night? it was a show about risk evaluation and how we are incapable of properly evaluating risks. We are scaring ourselves to death. We are afraid to let our kids go outside to play because of fear that they will be kidnapped. The chances of being kidnapped are less than being hit by lighting TWICE! Yet, the kids stay inside playing Xbox and snacking. They get fat and this becomes a serious problem when they get older because it leads to the #1 most dangerous killer of them all- heart disease!
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