I tried to contact him by posting
a 'paging' message on the site - no response. Someone sent me a link to many John M.s but I don't know which one.
The rudders look big when one is next to them - most bancas seem to have a postage stamp to go with their tiny prop. Some time ago another poster on another forum mentioned that he had built a banca and it didn't turn well either. He claimed to have improved the steering
by moving the amas (outriggers) back so instead of being centered the aft ends were aligned with the stern of the banca.Thread drift follows:
Rather than install an engine on a small banca that is often used by poor fishermen, I have toyed with building a demonstration prototype using pedal power - similar to the many pedal trikes one sees on the roads.
32) Banka propulsion
– with fuel
getting more expensive, an inexpensive retrofit for mid sized fishing
bankas could be foot powered side paddles. One can see a similar technology in use in fish
ponds where the paddles are mounted on a floating platform and spun by an electric motor
in the center with two side paddle wheels used to aerate the water
. This can be especially useful on the small bankas which are usually paddled since the cross arms that support the outriggers make paddling awkward (if the outriggers and their supports are set back sternward a bit instead of being centered, the boat might steer better as well) – but the small banka will need to be fitted with a rudder
Using a simple bracket that fits onto the gunwales one can use two or four paddles (or more) per side connected to a simple foot crank used for pedaling in a recumbent position and steering with a rudder
– crank dimensions can be obtained from bicycle pedals (6.5”). It might be useful to have a method of reducing bearing friction – oil
, grease, or Teflon inserts. Mounting the bearing brackets is the most critical operation as they must be level with one another and exactly aligned in yaw and roll – perhaps by using an inexpensive laser pointer. For prototype tests and small bankas, the bushing can be as simple as two blocks on the top of the gunwale with a top piece that locks the shaft down – if the bearing slot is square, the cylindrical shaft will only bear at two or three points, places where a smooth plastic insert (Teflon?) can be placed to reduce friction.
One can double the power of the side wheels by putting in another seat on the other side of the crank (one person facing forward, steering, and the other facing aft). A piece of plastic pipe can be used for a circular bushing to hold the pedal blocks and allow them to easily swivel. If paddle spray is a problem the paddle blades (made from cheap steel
shovel heads?) can either be canted outward a bit to throw the spray away from the hull or spray screens can be fitted.
Two sided paddles might be used so that the paddles lie in the same plane as the crank so that both sets of paddles are out of the water
when horizontal for beaching. Side paddles will not interfere with the outriggers and a simple pole running from the gunwale to the outrigger will support each paddle out of the water if desired. The whole assembly can be made to be easily removable if required so it can be moved out of the way while fishing
or storing the banka. Foot platforms (grooved wood
blocks glued together and held centered with washers welded to the crank – perhaps with a Teflon insert to reduce friction) can also be added for comfort and increased power application with pipes placed onto the rod stock prior to bending for foot pedals.
A four paddle wheel
will give a smoother ride but may interfere with beaching if the paddles dip below the keel
unless they are removable. More paddles, larger wheels, and gearing options can be added if desired on larger bankas – pamboats. As paddles are added it may be desirable to add hoops for reinforcing – and if strong enough, the hoops can act as wheels to move he boat over relatively smooth surfaces such as a beach.
One gearing option that may be useful is to rig the system so that one side wheel
goes forward while the other goes backward allowing the boat to spin on its axis for sharp turns. Another option for gears is to put a fixed toothed gear
just inside of each bearing – one could power a flexible shaft that could run a small impeller type bilge pump
and the other could run a small twelve volt DC motor acting as a generator
for LED navigation
lights. It is possible that the paddle wheels will interfere with the long steering pole commonly used and a possible modification might be to shorten the pole and optionally fix it to a vertical rod pivoted at the bottom (a slotted board might be used to hold the rudder straight ahead or at various fixed angles).