Row Vs. Wade

Rowing is definitely better than wading, kayak paddles, canoe paddles, or any kind of motor in flat open water. I have studied a bunch of the physics and math behind how levers work and have proven to my satisfaction that oars are really cool. What inspired this is a weekend trip Kaya and I took. (He is a teenage boy, but otherwise very cool and a good fisherman). We had a bunch of camping gear and I knew the water would be flat and we would have lots of miles over Long Lake to cover. I decided to take the Adirondack out. It is outfitted with fixed oars and I was thinking that even with the fatter beam it would go farther than my Minehune2 with less effort. I normally paddle the Minehune2 with a really long kayak paddle I call the RLP12 . The Adirondack is far heavier at almost 36 lbs. and is lower at the whales but I intuitively guessed we could go farther in it with the same energy expended. It is not a real Adirondack Guideboat but in fact a far more incredible craft that the incomparable Captn. Schulz made as a design prototype for these beautifunctional craft:  (  I was proud to serve as the “Igor in the Lab” in the construction of these amazing craft . In the prototype, there are small problems in the rowing physics that were corrected for the boats he has offered to the public. The 13′ skin on frame prototype is STILL way faster than any paddle boat on the water. We only averaged around 3 knots, but this is with minimal effort that I easily sustained for 14 nautical miles. (I got sore but I have’t paddled much this summer and I’m damn near 40, and slightly crippled by severe spinal injuries.) It got me thinking about math, rowing, and how to outfit  the slightly larger version of the Minehune2 Cognac/Currach I call Sisyutyl  with oars.  They can be inconvenient in tight spaces, and when turning through waves, traffic, skinny rivers, etc.  so it is important that the boat not be designed to only work well with oars; but the effort to speed ratio of well designed oars is unmatched by any other technology for propelling a small boat. I know what has been said about fast sea kayaks with high-tech paddles and yulohs (a type of bigaz chinese sculling oar)  being possibly faster than oars but the math doesn’t support that claim. Please enjoy some pics of our weekend 14 mile row, my mad scientist notes, and rowing Sisyutyl sketches:

Just after sunrise, the Lake steams like soup. Also there’s a heron over there.

We found this campsite in the dark in the “deadzone” between Big Sandy and Tum tum. Most the banks are privately owned, gaudy McMansions for the Rural Rich. It makes camping or even finding fresh water a bit challenging.

Photo on 2013-08-28 at 14.14

Conclusion: The Sisyutyl with 75″ oars and no elevated seat.

Photo on 2013-08-28 at 14.15

As you can clearly see here, the energy expended in oar pulling gets far more energy toward forward propulsion than any other paddling method.

Photo on 2013-08-28 at 14.11 Photo on 2013-08-28 at 14.11 #2 Photo on 2013-08-28 at 14.12 Photo on 2013-08-28 at 14.12 #2 Photo on 2013-08-28 at 14.13 Photo on 2013-08-28 at 14.13 #2

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