• 24th January 2008 - By adventuresofgreg

    I’ve been spending some time planning out a pretty daunting schedule for the coming year, and if I can accomplish everything that I have set out to accomplish, it will be one hell of an amazing year! I am really excited about it all – I have TONS of work to do, but I say BRING IT ON because I am totally FIRED UP.

    The first major event of the year will be another attempt at the 24 hour human powered boat world record in June!! This time, kayak world record holder Carter Johnson has kindly agreed to join me here in Calgary for a race. Carter currently owns the 24 hour HPB record which is 241 km which he set in his Surfski kayak in the summer of 2006. Last summer, I set a 24 hour pedal boat record of 173 km.

    I’m only 68 km short! YIKES!!! To deal with that, Rick Willoughby and I have come up with a new super boat design that I will have to build. It will be very light, very narrow and WAY faster than the bathtub built for two that I raced in last summer.

    I was looking for someone to build the new boat for me in exchange for some publicity, but I haven’t had much interest, so I’m going to need to suck it up and get back into the shop to build it myself. That’s OK – I can do it. I just have to get myself into the right mind set, clean up the shop, roll up my sleeves and make it happen.

    I have already started my training program which will slowly ramp up my long ‘ride’ from 4 hours, once per week to 16 hours shortly before the record race in June. This new boat will be capable of almost exactly 240 km in 24 hours based on my previous power output, so beating Carters record (and beating Carter) will require that I am in better shape than ever before.

    A June race will make the perfect training milestone for the Atlantic crossing next December. And for that, not only do I need to finish the design for the ocean boat, but I need to find a builder, get it built, test it, train and all of the other zillion things that need to be done to get me across the Atlantic ocean in less than 40 days. Wow – less than 40 days. And less than a year to make it all happen!

    I have been speaking with Kathleen Dohan from the OSCAR program at Earth & Space Research. Kathleen has kindly offered to provide me with research, data and real-time forecasting of the currents along my Atlantic crossing route from the Canary Islands to the West Indies.

    I would like to introduce my PR man Mark Dusseault who did such a fantastic job organizing my Victoria media day. The story got picked up by a national news feed and ended up being broadcast right across Canada. I got a phone call from a friend who was in Toronto on business and he saw me in the Toronto Star! We are lucky to have a guy like Mark working with Pedal The Ocean.

    click to enlarge (photo by Pat Lor)

    For whatever you would like to donate to Pedal The Ocean, I can superimpose your logo onto the bow of WiTHiN in the above photo that Pat Lor shot from the support boat in Tofino, BC. I can also provide you with a large framed wall plaque for your office, and a jpeg file for your marketing. This would also include a small logo on the ocean crossing boat itself, of course. If you are interested, shoot me an email with your suggestions, and I’ll put it together for you. 10% of all sponsorship sales go to KidPower.

    Got to run – I have some work to do!

  • 7 Comments to “FIRED UP!!!”

    • Anonymous on January 25, 2008

      If your race is on calm water and you are feeling strong you could use a hydrofoil for more speed.

    • Anonymous on January 25, 2008

      A good first trial! Nothing like getting out there in the real world. I think you have a history of finding the problems and solving them and there were no huge problems, so things look great!

      In waves the surface water is moving in the direction of the wave, while there is a return flow below the surface. When you are sideways to the waves the surface water will be pushing the hull down the face of the wave and the flow under the surface will be pushing the bottom of the keel the other way, which will encourage roll. It’s good that you’re planning a narrow (short front to back) keel, because then the lateral force from the keel is minimized.

      If you add an idler wheel on the slack side of your drive chain you can have the two sides of the chain parallel to each other in the drive leg. This will let you use the smallest keel possible to enclose them both. It looks though, like you have already figured all of this out. If you are willing to complicate the top of your drive leg a little, the smallest keel would just have a shaft going down the middle. Yes it does cause losses, but it should also reduce drag.

      I think a good structure for the keel would be steam-lined structural tubing. Stream-lined tubing is a little shorter in the flow direction than is ideal for minimum drag, but I don’t think that is a big compromise and it will reduce the area of the keel. The 4120 tubing that Aircraft Spruce and similar places sell does not have a sharp trailing edge, but that can be fixed. Aircraft Spruce also sells two different extruded aluminum stream-lined tubes. The smaller of the two has flat interior walls that would make it easier to machine and modify the tube for mounting things to it like the gear box at the bottom. The aluminum tubing also starts with a sharper trailing edge.

      On the windows, You might try sealed double pane plastic. Ideally the two pieces would have a perfectly dry and sealed air space between them. You might fill it with dry nitrogen. I’d make the outer pane thick enough for strength and safety and make the inner one thin so that it will heat up to the air temperature inside the boat and not add any more weight than it has to. If you still have problems, I’d try triple pane.

      Ventilation may be the biggest problem. Small sail boats typically have an V-angled board in front of the cockpit to deflect spray. In reasonable weather when you have the cockpit open, a splash shield might keep you drier. It would also help to have one vent towards the front and one towards the back so that the air flows past you. Can you actively rotate the vents so that the forward one can always be pointing towards the wind and the rear one away? However, with the trade winds at your back, flow through the vents may not be very good.

      I wonder if it would be easier to move the seat out of the way so that you have just enough room to untangle your legs from the drive leg to sleep. That seems easier than trying to get past the seat and into the back. It also lets you stay in the “roomiest” section of the boat while improving the front-to-rear trim while you are sleeping. You might have to make the seat so the back and bottom both separate into several, easy to stow, sections. The thing I don’t like about giving yourself too much more volume in the cockpit is that it will make the boat lean more in side winds and add weight in the worst place for stability. If you add more weight up there you will have to add more weight to the keel. both will slow you down.

      Finally, did you try extending the floats? They might make it easier to sleep.

      Peter Raymond

    • Paul Bell on January 25, 2008

      Hey Greg,
      Your trip will be in December. What is the expected weather and water temperature expected to be for your route?
      For your sleep test I think being tied to the dock would be the roughest place to be. If you are just out in a big swell you should just be rocked to sleep 🙂
      I'd be interested in seeing your training schedule. Are you planning any Marathons this year or traing specifically for the 24 hour and the crossing?
      Looks great so far 🙂 Awesome work 🙂
      Paul Bell

    • Anonymous on January 25, 2008

      It's good to hear that you're fired up and ready to take it on. You've got me excited about the goals I've set for myself too. You're out of my league with the boat design now so I don't think I can offer any help there. Glad to hear that you're setting up the pedal/row race for the 24 hr boat record. Sounds like the new boat will be more than a match for it.


    • charlitos way on January 29, 2008

      Hi, Greg i have been thinking about the problem that you have trying to get to the back of the boat and i have thought of a solution. Im sure that it crossed your mind but, why not use a reclinable seat? You could just lean back and slide into your bed. Pull the handle and the back of the seat goes up giving you enough room to sleep confortably.

      Hope everything goes well.

    • nick on January 30, 2008

      These cams are from canaries, el bahia is on the world ws tour where I have spent a month or two (el medano) – The trade winds increase through the year until July although waves are not a factor in any deep water. Days are longer too.


      I have both as wallpaper for the last few weeks – the appear live using the active desktop would you believe!

    • David Tangye on March 29, 2008

      I suppose your program at Google Docs is out of date right now? but noting:

      "3. astro navigation course (Helen?)" I wonder what you need these days. I first went deep offshore in the mid '70's, so had to navigate by sextant. Training first by catching the sun in a bucket of water, halving the angle and no refraction needed. Apply the almanac corrections and sight reduction tables and see if you are where you think you are :-). Then down to the bay, then later try it on the deck of a rocking yacht. If its cloudy you use dead-reckoning for a few days and hope, and maybe radio direction finders and still hope. You might be accurate to within 5 miles at best, 30 miles often. Hmm, and you expect to miss some rocks by 20 miles! A kayak is too low in the water to get any useful sextant sights anyway.

      These days, you buy a satnav for a few bucks and press the ON button. It tells you where you are within 10mtrs.

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