Friday, March 14, 2008

Oar+Some - A fast pedal driven catamaran

Oar+Some is a boat concept and design project. The quickest way to get the idea is to view the video, or the browse the pictures. In essence it is a human powered (you pedal it), catamaran designed for speed. Think of it as a top notch, high performance touring bicycle for water.

Design goals
To aspire to the straight-line efficiency in the water of a racing kayak or rowing shell. To exploit human leg power, comfort and endurance. To provide a facing forward sitting position. To be sufficiently stable for non-experts to use. To have very low power transmission losses.

Current status
A concept is designed - including a novel propulsion system using a semi-automated oar-paddling action. This has been detailed to an extent in 3D CAD - as a communication and 'buy-in' medium. This is where the 'virtual' photos and video come from. Prototyping and validation of the key concepts has started. Early consultation with water sports experts and manufacturers has taken place.

Take it on - get involved - collaborate - help!
I have decided to turn this over to being an open and collaborative project. This act of placing the design in the public domain means that no-one can now patent it ! (Patent law). Anyone is welcome to take the idea forward in any way they want to. If like me you are chiefly interested in validating and developing the design - please get in touch, or go your own way and keep me informed. If you are an entrepreneur and think there is money making potential - by all means go for it - but I would appreciate being kept in the loop.

The propulsion system
This is the key unique feature of Oar+Some. See the dedicated page describing the propulsion system.

The story so far - prototype
See dedicated prototype page

A physics diversion
Interested in some water propulsion physics? - here's a brief discussion of Froude Efficiency.

Hobie's competitive pedal power system
The water sports product company "Hobie Cat" have a product for pedal-powering kayaks - called the Mirage Drive system. It is a stand alone kit that can be fitted to existing boats, and converts your reciprocal pedalling action into a wave like motion of fins under the hull. Very interesting. See their Mirage-Drive site here.

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