The Carambat Family Human-Powered Boat Challenge was July 4th, 2003!

The rules were loosely as follows:

The competition took place on the Northshore on lake Ponchatrain. Using at least one bicycle and no more than a $200 budget, build a human-powered boat that can go out, turn around and come back. The one that does so in the shortest amount of time wins.
There isn't any prize, just braggin' rights :)

The race now has it's own official website!

The Nautilus
The Nautilus is name of the boat to be presented by the Carambat family in Baton Rouge (Mike, Bia & Amanda). Concept planning began in early January of 2003 and construction materials have been gathered over the past two months from Flea Markets, Goodwill and the kindness of friends and strangers :)

The inital concept drawing is as follows (subject to extensive change):

Designed to handle 300 pounds (pilot & mechanics), the mechanics are supported on an aluminum pipe frame by two styrofoam and fiberglass nacells. Initial calculations dictate that two 8'x 2'x 2' nacells should displace enough water to not only keep it afloat, but to have a decent enough water clearance. Longer nacells were considered to get it higher out of the water, but as the craft needs to turn quickly, a square body was preferred since the amount of time turning would probably be much greater than the amount of speed lost in the straightaway.

Powered by an exercise bike, this pedal based system not only has a larger main drive sprocket than a bike, but also has a large, heavy flywheel which we intend on using to store initial burst energy and energy lost to exhaustion. This in turn drives a right angle bevel gear system which by use of regular 10-speed chain and sprockets drives the main propulsion unit. Finding a cheap method of clutching the flywheel is currently proving difficult and it may be dropped.

Based on the Archimedes Screw, the main propulsion unit is a 3' long, 6" diameter cyclinder with a one-flight archimedes screw mounted inside it. When turned, the Archimedes Screw has a nifty ability to pull itself through water much like a wood screw goes through wood. The screw is made of fiberglass and foam and rides inside a clear 6" cylinder made of acrylic.

Vectored thrust. The output of the screw is channeled into a cone which increases it's velocity out of the rear of the craft. This cone can be turned much like that of a jetski by two handles on either side of the pilot.

Construction Photos

Need a Handy-Dandy Pontoon Calculator thing-a-ma-gig?