• 25th January 2010 - By greg

    Aside from safety, one of the most important design criteria when Rick Willoughby, Stuart Bloomfield and I designed WiTHiN is SPEED. Our objective was to design the most efficient human powered boat that would be capable of safely crossing a large portion of an ocean. I think we have accomplished that goal, but obviously I won’t really know for sure until I depart on my Pacific crossing on July 1 this summer.

    The bench mark we use for gaging the speed of WiTHiN is the current preferred method of human powering across an ocean – the ocean row boat. Currently, there is an ocean rowing race going on that started in the Canary islands and finishes in the Caribbean. I read the updates every day, and I have also been re-reading my collection of ocean rowing expedition books. The average speed of an ocean row boat is about 1.5 to 2 knots. A recent race update, issued by a 12 man ocean row boat called Britannia 111 who is going after the Atlantic ocean rowing speed record, exclaimed that they were reaching speeds of up to 4 knots with heavy tail winds and a big push by following seas. And was with SIX rowers rowing at the same time!

    WiTHiN cruises along at a steady 3.8 to 4 knots. With one ‘rower’ (but I’m pedaling) – on flat, calm water.

    Sure, she’s a little cramped compared to the spacious ocean row boats, but I enjoy other benefits they don’t. Aside from my greater overall speed, I am better protected from the harsh ocean environment by being inside my enclosed cockpit. The ocean rower is outside when rowing, and risks being knocked out of the boat by a rouge wave, strong winds, getting sun burnt and suffers skin sores from being constantly exposed to salt water. I think the biggest advantage I have over the ocean rowers, is that when the wind and waves start to really rock and roll, I am still able to power my boat forward in the relative safety of my enclosed cockpit, whereas the ocean rower must take shelter in the cabin because it is nearly impossible to control those huge oars in bad weather.
    I just finished labeling a drawing that shows the location of my equipment and supplies in WiTHiN. Since it’s all spread out across the boat, I think I will print this out, laminate it, and paste it up on the cabin wall so I know where stuff is when I need it. (click to enlarge)

    I am planing another 24 hour training session in WiTHiN for some time this week. I’m going to broadcast live streaming video throughout the training session. You can watch it at the FaceBook fan page:


    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pedal-The-Ocean/272363159176?v=app_55841807003 (click on the “My Ustream” tab)

    It won’t exactly be “must watch TV”, but it might break up your day if you’re interested in ‘popping’ in for a visit once or twice. Send me a chat message – it will help break up the monotony for me. I’ll send out another update when I know exactly when I’m going to be doing it.


  • 6 Comments to “How fast?”

    • Rob on January 25, 2010

      Make sure your vessel is TESTED for knock downs and 360 degree roll overs. Check out what a few waves can do to a sailboat: http://youngestround.blogspot.com/2010/01/wind-waves-action-and-drama.html

    • Darrin on January 25, 2010

      I think what you’ve done and plan to do is quite inspirational. I also like the fact that you are doing a lot of testing and erring on the side of “sh*t” can happen”, if I can use such an expression.

    • Darrin on January 25, 2010

      One more comment. I seem to recall a couple that rowed across the Atlantic who in strong storms found that they had to protect their heads from the structure as they got bashed around. I think they might have built a make-shift helmet to get by (perhaps clothing wrapped around their heads). Do you see that as a potential issue for your journey?

    • Diederik on January 25, 2010

      Nice map, Greg!

      Once everything is finished and installed, and your boat is fully packed, could you update a “Welcome to my crib”-tour?

    • Russell Moore on January 25, 2010

      Probably a stupid idea, but could you possibly rig up a system to rock and roll WiTHiN when you do the indoor 24hr tests?
      This might give you a better idea as to what it will be like in actual ocean conditions.

    • greg on January 29, 2010

      Not a stupid idea. I would love to, as that is a very large missing component to my simulation training. It’s a lot of work though – that boat is heavy now.

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