• 5th August 2008 - By adventuresofgreg

    We were in Whitefish, Montana at our cabin for the weekend and I got in two great days of 8 hours straight, non stop in CriticalPower2 on Whitefish Lake.

    The good news is that the conditions were way less than favorable and I still managed to end above record pace each day. I also found that because the lake is so big, that if you know what direction the wind is coming from you can go to that side of the lake and get calm water.

    On Sunday I was on the north side of the 10 km long lake enjoying flat, calm, glass-like conditions when the water on the south side was rolling with 2 to 3 foot waves! By mid-afternoon the waves on the south end would swamp my hull from the tip of the bow all the way back to behind my seat. I got soaked and CP2 took on so much water through the seams that I couldn’t lift her out of the water.

    On Fridays ride the wind picked up in the afternoon while I was en route back to the south dock and I got blown to shore and had to jump in and drag CP2 onto the beach. I waited for 20 minutes until it calmed down a bit and re-launched. Made it back to the main dock safe and sound. On Sunday I used my large rudder which made ALL the difference with control in the rough water. With the large rudder on (slower due to increased drag), I spent about 50% of the day in waves and wind I was still able to maintain an average of 10.4 kph (10.2 required for record). My small rudder is more efficient, but I can’t use the small rudder in large waves – just not enough control. The large rudder worked really well.

    Sunrise on Whitefish lake

    I think I can do the record attempt at Whitefish lake. According to rower Skip Schloss and a few fisherman I spoke to, it was unusually windy for the weekend there. But even with that wind, I was still able to find large areas that were very sheltered. On Friday the wind was from the south west and I had the entire 10 km west side that I used that was very calm. On Sunday the wind was from the north and the north tip of the lake was very calm. On a typical calm day, I would expect that there could be many calm areas. I was also told that the ski boats disappear mid-August when school starts back again. I found that the waves from the boats don’t effect me as much as I though they would. There were dozens of motor boats all around me on Sunday, and I didn’t see my speed being effected that much from them. The wakes are large and rolling, not choppy. I think additional skin friction is caused by small, scattered waves, not by large rolling smooth waves.

    I think that a large, retractable rudder for turning would be beneficial. When I was looping around the North end of the lake, I found that I could do a fairly tight turn and stay in the calm water easier with the large rudder than I could with my small blade. When I was touring the west side of the lake on Friday, my turns with the small rudder took me way out into the middle of the lake which was fairly wavy. The small blade is more efficient for keeping on track though.

    I borrowed the retractable rudder from my Hobie Mirage drive kayak and I want to install it on the stern of CP2. When I need to turn around at the end of the lake, I’ll just flip down the large rudder, do my turn, then flip it back up again. I think this would be more efficient in the long run than doing HUGE wide turns with the small rudder and risking drifting into windy, wavy conditions.

    After I finished shooting this video I found a plastic bag in my waste pouch and placed the camera into the bag. A minute later the wind and waves pushed me into shore. I had to jump out and swim to shore with CP2 in tow. I landed on PGA pro player Tyler Erickson’s beach. He kindly offered me a ride to the main dock, but I was able to push off after a few minutes when conditions calmed a bit. Thanks anyhow Tyler – nice to meet you!

    Early morning on Whitefish Lake

  • 3 Comments to “Whitefish lake”

    • Anonymous on August 5, 2008

      Given your record pace in unfavorable (windy/choppy) conditions – it would stand to reason that the evening/night/early morning conditions will be much calmer … hence adding to the likelihood of capturing the record.
      Great job Greg!

      Too bad we didn't get some video of a 0-10mph "Drag Race" between your racer and your Hobie Mirage drive kayak!


    • Certifiable on August 6, 2008

      What about the weed factor?
      Will you start your 24 hour attempt in the morning or night and why?
      What is your nutritional/hydration strategy during your attempt?
      Is your prop shaft unsupported beneath you?

      Maybe it is too late to modify CP2, but have you thought about moving your small permanent stern rudder up near the bow and leaving your temporary Mirage rudder in the stern? With the small rudder near the bow, you might have a greater turning leverage on CP2's center of lateral resistance (CLR), which is probably aft of CP2's midpoint due to the propeller's area. This results in a better turning radius due to the propeller acting more as the pivot point in the water. You could see any weed stuck on the bow rudder versus being blind on a stern rudder. The retractable stern Mirage rudder could still be used for tighter or rougher water turning while being cleared of weeds when retracted.

      Two rudders on opposite ends will have:
      – Greater turning leverage than two rudders on the same end.
      – Less drag because they only need to turn half as many degrees as two rudders on the same end to effect the same radius turn. So when two stern rudders turn 10 degrees to the right to effect a left turn, the two oppositely mounted rudders need only turn 5 degrees each to have the same radius left turn. Of course, the bow rudder would have to turn left and the stern rudder would have to turn right to make the boat turn left.
      – The ability to make the boat sideslip when turned in the same direction. In side hitting waves or winds, this would confer the ability to eliminate or resist sideslipping because the rudders would track the boat better. Given CP2's narrow, long and deep displacement, which resists sideslipping, this may not be a big deal.

    • Anonymous on August 14, 2008

      Tell us more about the drag race. How does the Hobie compare?

      Have you tried CP2?

      Rick W.

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