Any and all info anyone can provide will be appreciated.
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- Location: Upstate South Carolina, USA
What I found interesting was that a spring steel shaft with a prop on the end will self stabilize. No need for a strut to hold it in place. If it hits an obstruction it will just "walk" over it.
Rick Willoughby is the guy to know about pedal drives. He's an Australian that has been working for years to refine his boats and drives to be the most efficient. I helped a couple Seattle teams with their pedal drives for the race this year, which mostly amounted to convincing them to use Rick's designs. Team Turn Point also had a Rick W inspired drive.
I have one of Rick's single racing pedal boats which I've raced in local Sound Rower's races. I crewed on Puffin, in leg one, which had one Rick W drive, and one Seacycle drive.
Rick is on the prototype phase of a commercially available drive unit. Hopefully it will be available this winter. Let me also say that Rick is very generous in sharing his knowledge and time. He is retired and does not charge for his work.
I'm more than happy to answer any questions, or put you in contact with Rick or parts suppliers. matthewjohnson1 At hotmail
I have two of Rick's propellers and two stainless spring steel shafts for sale cheap if you are interested. Rick is great! He helped us out a lot with answering many questions about pedal drives for our boat. I would ask a couple questions in an e-mail and he would generously reply with a couple paragraphs!
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I am a huge fan of pedal power and it puts a smile on my face everytime I pedal out of the harbor. Every small sailboat should ditch their outboard and setup a pedal drive!
Funny story about this: A friend has been sailing on Felix with his son a couple times and now has the sailing bug. He finds a boat that he really likes and takes his son with him to check it out. His son isnt so excited about the boat for some reason and so the dad asks his son afterward what was wrong with it. Son says "but dad it dosn't have a pedal drive"
Here is a screen shot showing a cross section of the pedal drive we made. It consists of two AngleDrives connected by a stainless shaft surrounded by a fiberglass strut. The kickup pivot is on the same axis as the top bevel gear which allows the chain to keep tension while retracted. To retract it you pull a small uphaul line. To lower it you let go of the line and start pedaling.
We have a 20" RC aircraft prop on it now but we could gain another ~ 5% efficiency by cutting a custom prop.
Hope that helps
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