Thursday, May 31, 2007

Surprising Support

Well the other day I mentioned my idea on the AngloInfo forum, asking if
anyone knew of a charity I could support as part of my trip, I'd already
asked once and had no replies so I didn't expect a lot. But I'm amazed,
people really seemed to get it and were full of interest and support, both
in their postings and in private messages. It's very encouraging.

Also I'm finally beginning to manage DelftShip, the boat design program. I
can't say I understand all the technicalities of boat design by a long way,
all these LCBs and CLAs, but I have at least managed to get it not to leak,
now I need to get it into a rendering program so I can animate it for this
website. I still think I'll use Kayak Foundry when it comes to building it
though, as it gives you nice simple to print out offset plans.

Mind you the whole design might end up different. I'd started off with a
slightly fat kayak, with a shaft driven propeller, but that seems to have as
many problems as it does advantages. For a start it's too fat to be able to
make the hull form out of single sheets of plastic, they'd have to be joined
at the keel. Also the shaft driven propeller seems to be causing no end of
problems, all down to having to turn the drive through ninety degrees.
Finding a gearbox is proving harder than I thought, partly down to the
vocabulary of it all partly down to the costs, if I can find a suitable
supplier in France then I'll be happy, but until then I'll be looking at a
conjoined catamaran, as I'm calling it. The advantages to this are that the
hulls can be made of a single width of PVC and I can go back to a twisted
chain propeller drive, which will pivot up between the two hulls, also it
could well be more stable, the downside is that the superstructure will all
have to be redesigned and might mean I end up sitting higher. We shall see.


Part of my research on the build has taken me to the IHPVA Human Powered
Boats mailing list and I've found out a lot of useful information there.
But, I do sometimes get a bit frustrated with some of them when they don't
seem to get what I'm on about. I know a lot of the focus of HPB-ing is
towards racing, and there don't seem to be many people interested in
pleasure boating. That's the frustrating bit, because racing means stressing
things to the limit, and that means using high end components. So if you're on a
budget building interested in pottering along the canals it can be a bit
frustrating. Maybe I just need to explain myself better, maybe I just need
to climb that steep learning curve?