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View Poll Results: If towing a paddle wheel boat should the paddle be allowed to rotate freely or fixed
Fixed (can't rotate) 0 0%
Rotate freely (disconnected from the drive). 9 100.00%
Doesn't matter 0 0%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 16-07-2020, 02:43   #1
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Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

If you have to tow a paddle wheel driven boat for some distance, would you let the paddle rotate freely (disconnected from the drive) or would you lock the paddle so it can't rotate.

Why?
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Old 16-07-2020, 04:41   #2
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

Freewheel, less drag?
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Old 16-07-2020, 05:15   #3
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

Oh gawd... here goes the whole freewheeling prop debate...

But seriously, what on earth are you up to?
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Old 16-07-2020, 05:24   #4
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

Well you see, a helicopter....
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Old 16-07-2020, 09:34   #5
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

Just curiously, what are you towing and how far or long will you be towing it?
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Old 16-07-2020, 09:40   #6
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

I feels like I be fallin’ into a trap of some nature here???? Anyway, I’d want the paddle wheel removed,.
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Old 16-07-2020, 10:38   #7
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

Depends, stern or side? Number/design of blades? Size of boat? Draft? Distance to tow? Open or protected water? Minimum depth?

Without knowing any of those things, I'd say freewheel for side to avoid impact damage, and drag reduction, locked for stern since (I think) the paddle is no lower than the hull and thus protected from damage and should produce minimal drag, and it just goes against the grain having anything unsecured on a boat (though it seems it wouldn't make any difference at all).
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Old 16-07-2020, 10:48   #8
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

At the risk of being an idiot I would let it freewheel if the wheels are on the sides.


If the wheel is behind, there should be little difference as it will be immersed in turbulence. And turbulent water follows the hull.


b.
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Old 16-07-2020, 16:52   #9
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

Really there are no tricks or traps. Remember this is posted in the Challenge section of the forum so it more of a process of thinking through the issues and making basic assumptions using your water rat brain.

E.G. Paddle wheel vessels are usually used in protected waters so it safe to assume the tow will also be in protected waters, with good weather and deep enough to float both the towed vessel and the tug. Clearly for a 100 yard tow, it makes no difference but for a 100 mile tow, the tug would be wanting minimal drag. Are there other factors to consider?
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Old 16-07-2020, 17:19   #10
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
..........I'd say freewheel for side to avoid impact damage, and drag reduction, locked for stern since (I think) the paddle is no lower than the hull and thus protected from damage and should produce minimal drag, and it just goes against the grain having anything unsecured on a boat (though it seems it wouldn't make any difference at all).
Interesting to think the stern paddle is no lower than the hull, I always assumed the paddles would be somewhat lower but that is only as assumption on my part.

However I don't think they are any more protected from flotsam regardless of their lowest depth.
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Old 16-07-2020, 17:26   #11
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

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I feels like I be fallin’ into a trap of some nature here???? Anyway, I’d want the paddle wheel removed,.
No trap .

OK, removing the paddle wheel seems like a big job and maybe there is enough initial benefit for the work involved but then what. Where would you stow the wheel(s) or otherwise transport them to the destination? Surely you wouldn't dismantle them into the components pieces and then re-assemble the wheel(s)!

But your tow, your decision; just get the paddle boat to the destination in one piece and in the same condition!
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Old 16-07-2020, 17:35   #12
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
At the risk of being an idiot I would let it freewheel if the wheels are on the sides.


If the wheel is behind, there should be little difference as it will be immersed in turbulence. And turbulent water follows the hull.


b.
b, you risk is unjustified .

I would like to hear more on your thoughts on why turbulent flowing water would not affect the paddles in the same way as smooth flowing water.

It seems to me that if the tow was moving at say 5 kts, side paddles would experience 5 kts of smooth(ish) moving water against the paddles. A stern paddle would experience 5 kts of turbulent water moving against the paddles. Maybe I am missing something?
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Old 16-07-2020, 17:45   #13
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Interesting to think the stern paddle is no lower than the hull, I always assumed the paddles would be somewhat lower but that is only as assumption on my part.

However I don't think they are any more protected from flotsam regardless of their lowest depth.




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Old 16-07-2020, 17:48   #14
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

I suspect that the builders of stern paddle wheel boats either put enough rise in the bottom of the hull or mounted the wheel far enough back from the transom to allow the paddles to work efficiently and that consequently, unless you towed it fast enough to get up onto the plane, a fixed paddle in the flow would generate a lot of drag.

Freewheel the beggar for best towing efficiency.
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Old 16-07-2020, 18:24   #15
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Re: Towing a Paddle Boat - Best Way - Paddle Fixed or Free

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Really there are no tricks or traps. Remember this is posted in the Challenge section of the forum so it more of a process of thinking through the issues and making basic assumptions using your water rat brain.

There’s a “challenge” section..? Isn’t life difficult enough with boats already?
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