• 14th February 2008 - By adventuresofgreg

    The new design for the ocean crossing version of WiTHiN is here:


    I am still working on nailing down the exact measurements, and in order to learn about what those measurements need to be, I built a wood and coroplast mock-up trainer:

    The sliding canopy works exactly the same way it will on the actual boat.

    I can reach my bow storage compartment by leaning forward and crouching right in front of the drive leg. I will cover the hatch opening with a pull-off kayak-type hatch instead of a hinged hatch because the swinging door would interfear with the drive leg.

    I can access the stern sleeping cabin through a Lewmar hatch that I cut out of plywood by opening up the sliding canopy cover, standing up, turning around, opening the hatch door downward, and sitting with my legs through the hatch opening. If need-be, I can also enter the hatchway with the canopy closed by lying on my stomach and entering head-first.

    The problem I had with entering the cabin head-first in the prototype WiTHiN was that once I was in the stern cabin there was no way to turn around again. I need to sleep with my head toward the hatch and the cockpit.

    Behind the seat is an enclosed storage copartment that will hold the water maker, and sea anchor. One of the features of the sliding canopy cover is I can kneel up on the storage compartment to deploy the sea anchor to the stern. The forward wall of this compartment behind the seat is sloped with storage bins accessible while seated.

    There is a smaller perimiter deck in the gunwales that will hold the steering handles and sliders. I can store things in these arm rests as well.

    Since all supplies and equipment are kept in water-tight compartments, the cockpit can get wet, splashed with a wave, or completely flooded. There will be an electric bilge pump in the foot well which is the lowest part of the cockpit.

    I still need to build-out the walls for the rear sleeping cabin and experiment with those dimensions to make sure that it is comfortable enough and that I can move around in there. I also need to figure out where the horizon line is when seated and looking out the front window so I can draw where the port lights (small side windows) need to go. I need to be able to see 360 degrees from my seat to spot other boat traffic. This doesn’t mean that I need a contiguous window all around – I can move my head right to left and forward to back to expand my total field of vision through each window. I want to use a transparent hatch cover for the sleeping cabin so that I can see through it and hopefully see through the rear window as well – something else to experiment with.

    When moving around in the cockpit and into the rear cabin, the seat is in the way. I need to figure out some way of either easily moving it out of the way, or folding it down. I would rather move it right out of the way because it makes standing up in the cockpit and reaching things stored in the bow compartment a lot easier. Any ideas?

    My seat is now higher also – in fact high enough off the hull bottom that I will be able to remove the seat to squat over a toilet bowl – something else to experiment with. No, I won’t invite you over to train with me on that day.

    Training – foot numbness, hours and power

    And finally some really good news – with the new higher seat position, some super-lose shoes, and exagerated ‘circling of my legs’, my feet are no longer going numb.

    My training hours in my little red playhouse are now up to about 10 hours per week. I am in base-building phase right now preparing for the 24 hour ‘pedal vs. paddle challenge’ in June. I always start each training season out with a maximum 20 minute effort which serves as a baseline to measure any fitness improvements as my training season moves forward. A sad 250 watts was measured – but I expected this. My peak 20 minute power output has been as high as 309 watts on my triathlon bike.

    Pedal vs. Paddle Challenge

    I am still moving forward with the Pedal vs. Paddle 24 hour human powered boat distance record attempt and race for early June. I have a new design from Rick for his fastest boat yet – V11G:

    Jarrett Johnson from Innovention Technologies in Weyburn Saskatchewan is CNC machining the styrofoam hull and outriggers. My friend and PTO sponsor George from MitrPak is providing the gear box. I’ll be doing the carbon fiber composite work, and metal fabrication myself.

    I plan on building a web page to announce the race and make it official, but I think I want to get the boat finished first just to make ultra-double-extra certain that it is as efficient as it should be – that is, that I didn’t make any construction blunders resulting in a sluggish boat. Not only is Carter Johnson going to join me in the race, but I am also interested in inviting a couple other types of human powered boats to race with us. A rowing skull, an outrigger canoe and maybe another kayaker. It should be pretty interesting!

    New T-shirt design:

    Be part of a WORLD RECORD Support Greg’s quest to become the fastest human to cross the Atlantic ocean under his own power with a $100 “Across With Greg” sponsorship that includes YOUR NAME on his boat “WiTHiN” and this super-cool T-shirt!

  • 3 Comments to “My little red Coroplast playhouse”

    • Alex on February 15, 2008

      Greg, are you dead set on a hardshell seat, or would a Euromesh style seat be acceptable? I'm sure a mesh seat could be made up so that it folded, perhaps the back folding back flat to help getting into your rear compartment, and the seat squab folding up so that you can stand on the floor etc.

      Also a mesh seat should mean that if you get water on it, which you're bound to do it'll just drain right through, whereas foam has the absorbtion problem. I'd have thought that a soggy salt-water filled seat would be a prime cause of chafing, especially as you'll no doubt be going nude which seems to be what the majority of ocean-rowers do.

    • Amber Dawn on February 19, 2008

      Hey Greg,
      Fancy trick, when your hatch closes you disappear! Just shoes left on the pedals 🙂

    • David Tangye on March 29, 2008

      Would it be best to not have the sliding exterior hatch and the hatch to the rear open at the same time? Else you risk getting swamped. So to sleep, Open sliding hatch, stand, turn, crouch somehow, close sliding hatch, open rear hatch with toes!, slide in. Dunno if its doable, but I would like to think that the paddling station can get swamped and the kayak and sleeping section in particular is still watertight and buoyant.

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