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Old 18-08-2012, 17:38   #1
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Kayak Cruising with Torqeedo Electric Assist

Below is what I posted to my forum and will copy and paste here. I'll keep both forums up to date with my yak cruising.

As I mentioned in another topic, I will no longer commit my short vacation time to trailering the T back to the Midwest for the NATS or the Bash. What I intend to do instead is to return to cruising, but in a way that fits my time constraints of caring for dad. I have cruised in the past using my sailboat's dinghy and have covered the length of Lake Chelan, the San Juan Islands (both Washington State), the Valdez Narrows and Colombian Glacier, and 850 miles of the Yukon River in Alaska. This is camping in the traditional sense, no RVs, just my 15 hp powered inflatable dinghy and whatever shoreline I pitch my camp. This dinghy was a conventional hull, so at cruising speed would get around 10~12 mpg, (2) 6 gallon tanks giving me 120+ mile range before needing to find more fuel.

Next dinghy will be a much more efficient cat hull, and electric powered. But for now, going with the extreme hull efficiencies of a Hobie Oasis kayak. This is so efficient that at 3.7 mph, will only consume 21 watt/hours per mile. By comparison, my home built electric scooter would consume 120 w/hr/mile at 30 mph as a wheeled conveyance.


Next Friday I'll pick up the Kayak from the dealer and a lady friend and I will pedal propel it on Lake Natomas, Rancho Cardova, up river (American River) through Orangevale then Folsom before turning around to return to Nimbus Dam where we launched. Stay tuned for how that turns out.

Now back to efficiencies, with the Torqeedo evolve electric drive in one of the two Hobie drive wells and my battery design, this kayak will cruise with no pedal assist for 73 miles, which will make a nice overnight trip following the 75 mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe. For really serious long range cruising, I'll be outfitting it with 136 watts of light, flexible, thin film solar panels. This is how the range will break down with solar, Engel marine freezer, and electric cooking.

1/2 power throttle setting 3.7 mph

For a 2 day trip

Range with solar, 157 miles ......solar and fridge, 146 miles......solar and freezer, 107 miles.......solar, freezer, and electric cooking, 83 miles


Above is a 2 day trip
Below is a 10 day trip

Range with solar 493 miles,........solar and fridge 438 miles,......solar and freezer 243 miles,....solar, freezer and electric cooking 123 miles.

So as you can see, if I want to cover more than just 12.3 miles per day on a 10 day trip, I'll have to pedal some to add to the propulsion equation, and that is the whole idea. Since caring for dad I have lost a lot of conditioning that I used to get playing tennis everyday. With this setup I'll be able to see via digital readout just how much in watts my muscles are working, and slowly get back into shape at the same time getting my cruising fix.

That is why here in the Cruising Forum I've added this topic, to document the build and future trips. Of course there will be a lot of pictures as I plan to circle the shoreline of Lake Tahoe, Folsom Lake, Lake Powell, and maybe if I feel it is stable enough, Catalina Island, Sea of Cortez, and the Florida Keys.

Stay tuned for next Friday's posting.
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Old 20-08-2012, 04:03   #2
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Re: Kayak cruising with Torqeedo electric assist

Good fun Bob! Will your flex panels be fixed in position or will you be able to tilt them towards the sun?
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Old 20-08-2012, 06:21   #3
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Sit on top kayaks are nice. But if you plan on doing long distances, you would be wise to invest in weather gear">foul weather gear to keep you drier and avoid loosing too much body heat.

It looks like she will be a fun and interesting set-up.

Bill
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Old 20-08-2012, 11:23   #4
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Re: Kayak cruising with Torqeedo electric assist

Bill,

I see from your avatar you have experience on this mode of marine transport. Care to tell me of some of your trips?

Dumnmad,

I'm thinking of having the forward support height adjustable for both better solar collection when heading east at the end of the day and a better forward view from the rear seat.
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Old 20-08-2012, 16:56   #5
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If the question is am I an armchair guy? I have well over 10, maybe over 15,000 miles paddling. Numerous 24-40 hour sessions of non stop paddling or paddle sailing. Done the North Carolina OB, Florida, pretty much every corner of SW Florida south of Sanibel, finished four 300 mile races from Tampa to Key Largo and a 1,200 mile race around Florida. As well as bunches of open ocean miles here on the east coast of FL.

The best advice I can give is to tell you to visit the Watertribe.com website there are still some real good long distance paddlers there. Also be sure to read the safety gear that Chief requires and read the various articles- especially the old ones- there is some good lessons to learn. WaterTribers may also provide some good insight into rigging solar on a micro cruiser. There is more than me naval architect in the group and other engineers and engineering types.

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Old 20-08-2012, 17:23   #6
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Re: Kayak cruising with Torqeedo electric assist

Bill,

I will go right to that site, thanks a lot! I would like to take two weeks and yak cruise the Florida Keys and maybe make the 72 nm jump over to the fort on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas.
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Old 20-08-2012, 17:43   #7
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Re: Kayak cruising with Torqeedo electric assist

The ultimate way to travel by kayak is using the Feathercraft folding kayak.
Feathercraft**
Using these boats one is able to go literally anywhere on the planet. The cost of getting there is a lots less to fly in as apposed to many other ways. I have run a kayaking company for 26 years. Have done hundreds of trips prior to the business. I like adventure kayaking and paddle much of New Zealand parts of Aussie and Japan. The only problem is now my elbows are wearing out.
So got myself a Searunner Trimaran. I believe it is the cheapest and best alternative to adventure sea kayaking. I can take my kayak on the trimaran now to the desired location.
Looking back i wish i was able to travel more to various corners of the planet and kayak.... Time fly's when you run a business and do everything yourself.
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Old 20-08-2012, 18:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer

make the 72 nm jump over to the fort on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas.
I and others have pondered that crossing many times. There is too much risk and the only plan "B" involves a ride in a USCG helo, so I don't know of anyone who has done it except for Verlen Kruger. Verlen did it in a Kruger Canoe (like the one in my avatar) but rigged as a catamaran to another Kruger. Two hulls with rigid aircraft tubing joining them gives a stable and robust platform that allows one of the team to sleep.

With all due respects, canvas skin boats are great in any locale that does not have coral, oysters and other things that will tear a fully loaded boat. Eventually,I may get one as a day tripper off the sailboat. But as a (former) Fla kayak owner, every year or two I would spend some time just filling and fairing the gouges.

Bill

Yikes!!! Did I just say something pro-catamaran?????
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Old 20-08-2012, 18:14   #9
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Re: Kayak cruising with Torqeedo electric assist

rossad,

That was some impressive kayaks, 19.25' X 22" beam was one I looked at. For folks to be helpful for my new venture into kayaking, I'll have to say for 59, I'm very out of shape and weigh 260 lbs @ 6' 1". My hope is to enjoy some cruising/camping, where I can contribute with both leg muscle groups (why I chose a Hobie Oasis with Mirage Drive) and upper body (standard paddles), but always have full electric when needing a break. I also went with the Oasis for it being a tandem and 550 lb load capacity. With the tandem drive I can have the Mirage Drive for my seat position and have the Torqeedo evolve electric drive secured in the other seat's drive thru hull. I'll have the control head back at my position so I have both the speed control and all the readouts plus GPS. The display shows among other data, watts being consumed by the motor, and it is this readout that will tell me how my muscle conditioning is going. In the beginning, if I set propulsion for say 250 watts, I'll be doing good in my present condition to contribute 50 watts cont., so might see the readout dropping to 200 watts.
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Old 20-08-2012, 23:02   #10
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Re: Kayak cruising with Torqeedo electric assist

Only a lightweight folding kayak is one able to fly into area's that you would never be able to get to. Packed and carried on small wheels with a backpack your totally mobile. Very effective way to explore places. If you have keep it simple you can do more.
You just need the knowledge of how to with what and where. Sea kayak cruising is great in all the pacific island in a folding kayak, dont take short cuts and listen to the locals.
Not many people are doing this kind of kayaking but its attractive...

Electric motors are great for kayaks but when your moving them around every kg matters, as good as they seem sometimes its best to use the wind and tides to help go forward. Sails are a great option for travel on kayaks. Also whom you meet sometimes you get lifts by other boats for crossings etc.
Its a shame its now a rare breed for adventure kayaking... to much other stuff going on like watching pics of mars on an ipad.
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Old 21-08-2012, 00:24   #11
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Re: Kayak cruising with Torqeedo electric assist

I'm just going to used my enclosed car trailer to get it to the water. It is overkill, but will allow packing the yak at the water's edge easily and when not being used, protect it from UV. See the height of the Excursion 4X4 SUV? I don't want to even try and lift it on the roof, plus every roof top carrier I've seen is rated below the weight of the Oasis.

Living were I do, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento to the Bay, American and Sacramento River, Folsom Lake, all should keep me amused for two day, two night outings. As I start feeling comfortable with its sea keeping capabilities, I'll venture off shore. As much sailing as I've done, I know the wind is fickle and in a boat that won't point too good, I'd rather know that I can go 4 kt all the time and my chosen heading.
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Old 21-08-2012, 02:47   #12
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Re: Kayak Cruising with Torqeedo Electric Assist

Nice and why not it all makes good sense.
Enjoy ..... that is what its all about anyway.
Health is wealth and wealth is health and if you have not your health your a poor man indeed.
Doing what your doing is good for your health so your on the right track.
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