Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wind-powered baidarkalounger

I don't know how much I already revealed about the baidarkalounger project, but here's a recap and update on recent developments.
Recap: The concept was simple - build a baidarka that is wide enough to be stable but not so wide that you can't paddle it. The baidarka should also be large enough so you can move around in it without capsizing and the cockpit should be large enough so you can lay down in the boat if you want to. In other words, I was going to build something on the order of a partially decked over canoe. This basic concept was then expanded to add features to the boat to make it sailable, namely, rudder, mast steps and lee boards.
Update: Here's the story in pictures.

Here's the cockpit coaming, 24 inches wide and 6 feet long,
long enough for just about anybody to lay down in the boat.

Here's the completed frame. As you can see, plenty big and the back of the cockpit is high enough to lounge against.

The boat with the skin on. Total length, 18 feet of which 6 feet is cockpit.

The boat set up with a sailing rig courtesy of Time Anderson. The sail was cut down from a wind surfing sail.

The boat floating empty. Note both the bow and stern clearing the water.

The boat with a paddler. Note that the stern no longer is out of the water. Correct trim with a single paddler is with the paddler forward of the back of the cockpit.

With the paddler sitting all the way to the back of the cockpit, the bow comes up some. That's Joe Karr doing the test drive.

And here's the boat running before the wind. Both lee boards are up to reduce drag. The sail is reefed. I'm still not real bold with the sailing, given that the water is cold right now and I wasn't wearing a dry suit. Maybe next time, dry suit and full sail.

Closeup on one of the lee boards. For now, the apparatus is held to the gunwales with C-clamps. Once I figure where the ideal location is for the lee boards, I will rig up something more elegant. As this sail test revealed, I also need a bigger rudder.

And here it is, sailing done, lee boards strapped to the roof. I suppose they'll help the car track better in a beam wind.

Conclusion so far: The sailing rig needs more testing. I am already thinking of making a 15 foot long version of this design. At 18 foot it's a lot of work to push along with a paddle. It will go 4mph. With two people, it will go 6mph, but both paddlers have to paddle in synch or the paddles will clash. Great boat though for taking out a few kids or the family dog or a few hundred pounds of camping gear.

1 comment:

Bill Samson said...

Looks gorgeous Wolfgang. I borrowed a sailing Klepper last year and even with its huge rudder it was still pretty unresponsive - so you're right that a bigger rudder is needed.