• 3rd October 2007 - By adventuresofgreg
    “Take me to your leader”

    I am planning on running a full-deck capsize test this Saturday at the lake.

    While I have been away eating and drinking to my hearts content in Italy, Ben has been hard at work in the SquirrelWorks shop finishing the installation of WiTHiN’s full top deck window and hatch. (We named the shop SquirrelWorks after our mascot black squirrel that hangs out near the windows on the south side of the shop.)

    I decided that I did not like the side-entry hatch and we moved the hatch to the top. WiTHiN is NOT stable enough to stand up in without it tipping over, so I need to think about some other way to add stability for entry/exit.

    The new top entry hatch
    The old side entry hatch – don’t like.

    One idea is a swing-arm outrigger. The single arm outrigger would be a long strut that rotates on a bearing mounted on the top of the deck. When it is stowed and not in use, the float becomes an extension of the stern of WiTHiN. To use the outrigger, a handle could be used from inside WiTHiN to rotate the arm into a 90 degree position.

    The swing-rigger concept:

    When I first drew this up I liked it, but now I don’t. Too many things can go wrong with that outrigger arm and the mechanism required to activate it. If this outrigger is the only method of providing the stability that I require to stand up, climb out, get in and get out, and it failed, I would be in trouble.

    Instead, we are going to experiment with a ballast keel. 25 pounds or so about 4 feet below the hull might provide enough counter balance to allow me to stand up through the open hatch. It may also allow me to climb in from water level. This is something that I will experiment with on Saturday.

    The additional ballast added to counter the weight of the top deck is 70 pounds secured to WiTHiN’s floor. I welded a threaded rod to the seat rails that secures a stack of standard weight lifting plates.

    The hatch is secured with 4 window latches that pull the hatch tight against a neoprene seal. I decided not to put hinges on it yet and instead to hold it down with 4 latches and have it tethered to the boat. When not on, this option will allow me to dangle the hatch door inside the cockpit or strap it to the roof. If the top hatch works, then I can always add two hinges later.

    We are trying to source a 4 point safety harness right now. This harness with me bolted to the seat rails in the front, and the rear bulkhead in the rear. When I am in, and strapped down to my seat, we should be able to flip WiTHiN upside down and I should be safe and secure in my recumbent seat. This will keep me safe during a capsize and will also keep the weight on the bottom of the hull to assist in right-siding.

    Some other changes we made are new steering lines that route through the deck. I have two lines on the perimeter inside decking that I can hold onto to move the rudder. The line is a loop so i can control the rudder with one hand or both – way better than the plastic push-pull arm that I was using for the 24 hour record attempt.

  • No Responses to “WiTHiN ready for capsize tests!”

    • Anonymous on October 4, 2007

      I believe I can chime in with my extensive nautical experience from whitewater kayaking – including 2 hours in a pool and possibly twice that much on a real river.

      I was surprised how well I could stabilize by using the kayak paddle. If you were holding it you could actively stroke the water to provide as much righting force as you needed. If there were a way to clamp the paddle to the hull it would give you static stability. I assume you're going to take along a paddle of some kind anyway in case the prop breaks (if not may I suggest it?).

      Anyway, this seems like a simple solution that serves 2 purposes.

      Nick Hein
      Morgantown, WV

    • Anonymous on October 4, 2007

      Hi Creg,

      I agree with Nick that you outch to thing of some back-up power, just in case.
      Q.: What may go wrong with your propeller system?
      Kayak padle – I can't see you sitting accros the deck and padling away, kayak style. Ideas?

      Outrigers; Interesting, but I agree with you that there are too many elements that may go wrong..? Also – it will bounce arround with the waves… Use a pivot on it so the outrigger keeps always aligned with the flow of the water?
      True permanent outrigger, hawaian style too heawy?

      An inflatable "side deck" (semi-circular shape? that extend on one or both sides of the WITH-IN? May be quite light and stable. Compressed air capsules may be used to inflate it? It may also give solid platform to relax on? Not to mention it'good use in emergency situations.
      Second thought: It may be also used in case that boat capsize, to help bring her back up?.
      Installation: On the outside.

      Keep thay good work! Quite exiting. We'are currious to see your on-water testing: Climbing in and out… and then there are no waves – yet.

      So many things to thing of…

      Take care!


      OVIFO Aéros R&D
      Montréal QC

    • Adventures of Greg on October 4, 2007

      Ineresting comment about using the paddle for stability. I will definately have a paddle with me.

      Remember, I need to be able to CLIMB up the side with a rope ladder and get in without tipping her over. In waves.

      How would you see a paddle with possibly a paddle float working in that case?


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