• 13th November 2007 - By adventuresofgreg

    The suggestion from the Association of Ocean Rowers Forum was to cover the interior surfaces with aluminum insulation. I think it’s a good idea, as I really do need to do everything possible to decrease solar heating in there. The sun shines through the Kevlar/fiberglass deck and any outside sunlight entering will contribute to heating. I think that this is going to be a problem – Rick’s concept is that the boat stays closed up as much as possible to protect me from the elements – both the effects of the sun and salt water on my skin as well as flooding waves, etc.

    This photo shows how much sunlight shines through the Kevlar/glass deck

    As I was spray gluing the foil into that nano-small space, I decided to experiment a bit with how exactly I plan on getting into and out of there. From a seated position in the recumbent seat, I can roll over to my stomach, kneel on the seat and crawl into the rear area head first. I could accomplish all of this without having to open the top hatch.

    However, I don’t want to sleep with my head facing the stern. I need to have my head up toward the cockpit to have easy access to the dorade vent shut-off valve, the top hatch for emergencies, and any equipment / supplies I might be storing in the cockpit.

    The roof on WiTHiN is slightly too low to allow me to sit or kneel and do a U-turn in there. The only way currently for me to get into the rear compartment with my head facing the bow is to stand up through the open top hatch, step back behind the half bulk head into the rear compartment, kneel down, replace the top hatch and crawl backward.

    This is fine, but I wanted to avoid having to open that hatch every time I go to the back. What if the waves are huge and I can’t risk opening the hatch? This is one of the reasons I built a PROTOTYPE version of WiTHiN first. So I can learn more about what the actual ocean boat needs to be like. Perhaps I need to increase the height of the deck on the ocean boat by a few inches to allow me to sit up in there. That would be really convenient and probably worth the extra windage that few inches would cost.

    I got an email from Klass who has installed those Dorade vents before and he says they are NOT water tight and will definitely leak if mounted vertical. Oh well, I need vents, and these are probably as ‘water-proof’ as it’s going to get, so I just need to make sure that I have easy access to the shut-off valve at all times. That is one of the reasons I used Velcro to mount the vent fan – so that I could rip off the fan to push the stopper on the vent opening if I needed to.

    I wanted to show you some excellent design work by Richard Roarke who is part of the design team. Richard will be playing a bigger role (hopefully) in the final design of the ocean expedition version of WiTHiN. When a final design is decided on (this will largely be based on test results and feedback from the current prototype version of WiTHiN), I want to get molds CNC cut from computer files, then have an all-carbon fiber boat fabricated by a reputable boat building company.

    Richards retractable outrigger concept is based on swinging parallelogram tubes rather than telescoping tubes like I have currently. Much more robust I think, and more appropriate in an open ocean environment. You can see in the illustrations that the floats tuck into pods when retracted and when extended they are smooth and round and would be capable of being used during forward progress.

    I’m still not sold on using outriggers of any sort for the ocean boat. I need to repeat this because I get so many emails about the inappropriateness of my sliding outriggers for the ocean. I KNOW THAT. The current WiTHiN is a prototype only – a chance for me to experiment with various approaches and learn more about what will be required to make a record Atlantic human powered crossing.

    I think a ballast keel is the best option. This will keep the hull and deck of WiTHiN very aerodynamic for windy conditions, and should give me enough stability to stand up without tipping over. Currently, without any kind of heavy bulb on a keel, WiTHiN is fully stable enough to make forward progress when i am seated in my recumbent seat. She is also very capsize proof, as we had to really work to tip her upside down with me strapped down into my seat. Even without the seat belt, WiTHiN righted immediately when capsized. The keel would be required only for when I needed to stand up, climb outside, etc, but I am certain that it will come in handy for keeping WiTHiN riding nice and steady as she rides up and down ocean swells. A ballast keel tend to keep your mono-hull vertical over the swells, whereas outriggers will want to ride the water surface.

    Rick Willoughby sent this to me the other day. The illustration shows how a hull weighted by a keel behaves in ocean swells compared to a flat bottom boat or a multi-hull would behave.

    I can’t add a heavy keel to WiTHiN right now because I need to be able to self load and unload off a trailer down a boat ramp. I will definitely experiment again with a temporary strap-on keel.

    I have another lake test scheduled for mid week if Ben and I can get the trailer mods finished tomorrow.

  • No Responses to “NASA interior”

    • Manfred Mueller on November 13, 2007

      Regarding the space problem:

      You say that you have to open the hatch in order to get from the seat to the stern or the other way. And you are afraid of waves flooding the interior during this operation.

      Think of this workaround: why not install kind of a watertight bag in the hatch opening? When you open the hatch there still would be this bag to seal the opening but this bag would be big enough to allow you to stand up and turn around.

      Just an idea …


    • Adventures of Greg on November 13, 2007

      Hi Manfred: Yes I am concerned about flooding when I need to open that hatch, and yes, I had thought of a bag – not a bad idea. I think I might rather prefer a slightly taller roof height which would allow me to do that 180 while inside the rear area. This should also allow me to sit up the the back which would be nice.

    • Paul Bell on November 13, 2007

      Love the work so far Greg !

      From my bit of experience and from the tons of Solo sailing I have read about I'd say that you need to be able to get into the rear bunk without opening the hatch.

      Have you thought about strapping yourself in the bed? I would think that you would have to plan on the boat being rolled at least once during your event. Hate to be injured getting rolled around while sleeping.
      Just a thought from some of the reading I have done. I guess all your gear needs to be strapped in well 🙂



    • Marc from France on November 14, 2007

      Greg, Why are you soo concern with the windage of your boat? The trip you are looking at Canarie island to caribean is a 100% downwind trip. In fact windage is a help!!
      So get that cabin bigger and more confortable. More "confort" will give you more strengh. You are looking at more than 30 days in there!

    • Adventures of Greg on November 15, 2007

      Manfred: Can you guarantee that the wind will always blow from the West to the East? Every day? Always? Even during storms?

    • Marc on November 16, 2007

      Marc from France
      Only statistics! but real one.
      You can see them on the US pilot charts http://www.nga.mil/portal/site/maritime/index.jsp?epi-content=GENERIC&beanID=461216974&viewID=detail_view
      For having built many ocean rowing boats, I can assure you these boats do not go against any wind more than 15 knots ( or no more than an hour). They just wait on a parachute anchor for the wind to turn. And yet they all get to the carribean!!!
      If you leave the Canaries island with a good 5 days weather( quite easy to get) and take a route south toward the cabo verde island for the beginning then you "should" be in the trade wind all the way.

    • Anonymous on November 28, 2007

      The outriggers – still have my worry over their solidity – being joined to the boat by single, relatively small dia. tube? I KNOW YOU KNOW… From the video, being chased by the jet boat – they seems to do their job well.

      SAFETY – Looking over your pictures of the interior – I can see there are quite a few raw and square metal fittings exposed… You may bang your head against these quite hard if sea get rough. Wearing a helmet inside? I suggest you add some close cell foam padding over these…

      Tried to take a nape inside yet???
      And got rolled over? Sorry, I know, I am pushing…But will give a good idea what may happen – if.
      My hat to your never ending energy! Good 3D CAD renderings, very useful to see what one is thinking. What software are you using? Looking good!
      The flip-up hatch: I would prefer a sliding back canopy – as the P-51 MUSTANG. You used a similar in the tricycle project. May be used to clear larger area and help access to the rear? Will the final boat be a bit larger? Thing of your comfort; 30 days with-IN… wouldn’t be that easy!

      Back to the T-SHIRTS: A WiTHiN image over a map, showing where the trip will be happening would be nice touch. And some Canadian leafs on the edges…

      Martin, Montreal

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