• 4th March 2010 - By greg
    I think this must be a record – first outside ride on March 1st. And,
    first injury of the season. Watch the movie below – warning: extreemly
    disturbing injury scene. I lowered the camera down to get a low angle
    shot and smashed my knuckles on the ground.Broke a finger nail. I know – danger is my middle name. That’s just
    how I roll. 🙂

    I have a technical problem that needs a solution. We learned during
    the inside passage sea trials that an auto steering servo will greatly
    add to my overall efficiency, and make staying on track and not
    broaching during big following seas much easier to manage (esspecially
    during sleep).

    I have a Raymarine ST1000 Tiller Pilot (compass or GPS driven auto
    steering for sail boats) but it requires 18″ of tiller movement. My
    little tiller handle only requires 4.5″ of movement. Using a large
    lever is not possible, as the lever would extend into the cockpit. I
    can accomplish the leverage using a block and tackle to “pull” the
    handle as shown in the illustration, but I’m not sure how to “push”
    the tiller back – or if this is even the most elegant solution.

    I just heard back from Raymarine – they say that there is no getting
    around that 18″ tiller radius requirement:

    Unfortunately not, this unit is designed for 18″ and there are no
    calibrations or manual adjustment to deviate from that 18″ dimension,
    The engineer he didn’t have any recommendations for your application.
    I see your application, and my only suggestion would be to increase
    the tiller length although from the looks it isn’t something you will
    have available.

    I posted the problem on the PedaltheOcean Facebook fan page – (please
    consider joining if you have no already. I update progress there more
    often than this blog http://www.facebook.com/PedalTheOcean ) and
    recieved 59 suggestions (and counting!) Thanks! There were some really
    great ideas.

    Some ideas involved pulleys, gears, and hydraulics, but a simple lever
    is the easiest option – if only I had room! I sat in the cockpit today
    and played around with the Raymarine unit trying to see if I could
    find someplace to install it that would give me my 30″ of linear space
    to mount it (this allows the actuator arm to extend fully), and
    somewhere I could install a lever that is 18″ long (from the end of
    the actuator arm to the fulcrum). And I think I found a space that
    would work. I can mount the ST1000 under the starboard arm rest and
    angle it from the front bulkhead down to the floor near the seat.
    There is slighty more than 30″ here. Then, I can make an 18″ lever
    that passes through the arm rest. I need about 6″ of throw to push my
    little tille handle, and 6″ of movement on that lever works out to be
    just about the same level as the steering handle.

    Ken is back from Belize on March 17th, so we’ll have a couple of weeks
    to install the autohelm before we leave for Tofino sea trials on March

    The other thing I’ve been working on is NEW SOLAR PANELS from PTO
    sponsor Goal 0!! These guys are amazing – really. They have sent a
    team to their manufaturing plant in China to work with the engineers
    on constructing some custom shaped chrustaline panels to fit onto
    WiTHiN’s triangular shaped panels. I ran a test with one of the Goal 0
    panels and it was pushing out EIGHT TIMES what my flexible PowerFilm
    panel was producing.

    The images below show some paper cut outs placed on WiTHiN to
    calculate the exact size for these custom solar panels.

    And the last item that I have been working on is a soft cover for the
    arm rests. Ya – I know. What a baby. Both Bryon and I learned during
    the inside passage sea trials trip that we really needed something
    softer for the skin on those arm rests. We’re tough, but not that

    To solve the problem, I velcroed some medical sheepskin to the arm
    rests – CUSHY! Now WiTHiN is FULLY PIMPED OUT! A mirror ball would
    complete the decor.

    The focus for me now is to train, train, train. I’m out tomorrow for a
    6 hour outside ride. And, get ready for the next sea trials at the end
    of March. This trip will be solo, and will be in the Pacific off shore
    from Tofino. I’m going with Clive and the safety yacht and we will
    work out some safety, navigation and communication proceedures. Should
    be fun – I’ve been watching the weather out there:


    and 20 foot waves with 40 knot winds are not uncommon this time of
    year. No wonder they call it the graveyard of the Pacific. Yikes!

    Posted via email from adventuresofgreg

  • 4 Comments to “Sheepskin solar panels!”

    • Pete H on March 4, 2010

      What’s with the rough cut edge on the Ventisit seat pad?
      Ever make one for the BatMoBent?

    • Doreen Wilkinson on March 4, 2010

      Would a sheepskin alternate covering for seat be a good thing to
      have on hand to change textures (“bed sores”)?

    • Bryon Howard on March 4, 2010

      danger … danger … danger.

    • Otha Pico on April 29, 2010

      Enjoy your opinion. Hope solar power info can help someone save money.

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