Mad tinkering indeed! But mad tinkering is one of my favorite things, so I've done some research on this. In terms of power, pedaling makes more power than fixed seat rowing. Just keep in mind you probably only have a reliable 1/4 hp continuous.
The first question is what water you're using it on. For me, paddlewheels would be a natural because of shallow, weedy, sheltered water. Bolger's feathered-bucket wheel seems promising - see MAIB Feb 1 and Feb 15, 2006. Let me know if you don't have them and I'll dig 'em up. Also, check out http://www.ihpva.org/HParchive/PDF/29-v9n1-1991.pdf
for a big article on paddlewheels and an analysis of Bolger's Madeline.
If you're looking at deeper, less weedy water you have more options. Props can be used - see Phil Thiel's page at http://www.mission-base.com/pedal-power/pp_index.html.
But they seem like more mechanical trouble than they're worth in some ways. Pedals are reciprocating power and turning it into rotary power is not necessary. The Hobie Mirage drive demonstrates this. A home-buildable version of that sort of drive is Harry Bryan's fin drive - see http://www.ihpva.org/HParchive/PDF/36-v11n1-1994.pdf.
Also google "Harry Bryan Thistle" and you can find some photos. This system also does a much better job of getting out of the way when not in use than a prop or paddlewheel system.
Pedal powered auxiliary?
Posted by: "GarthAB" garth@...
Date: Wed Sep 5, 2007 12:40 pm ((PDT))
If I build a JB Jr., I have the crazy notion that I'd like to make a
pedal-powered auxiliary for it. Does anyone on the list have
experience with using pedal-power on a larger boat? I've seen the
Hobie Mirage drives on kayaks, and they look very cool, but I can't
imagine how one would mount on a JB. Jr. -- it would require
cluttering up the whole cabin. So maybe something with bicycle
components and a prop that could mount off the transom, and get power
through a chain? Maybe something that can lever up and down, so as not
to drag when not in use? I suppose this is getting way off into
mad-tinkerer territory, but I figure we have a few mad tinkerers among
us. . . .
Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
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