« 20ft Pedal Boat "Blue Skies", Design #92  »

"Blue Skies" is an oddball little boat that we built several years ago with and for our oddball friend Bill Hayward. Bill got hooked by the idea of pedal power after many years of rowing and was looking for a boat to do some long distance cruising. To add to the challenge he needed liveaboard accommodation and the ability to operate on fast flowing rivers and in shallow water without damage to the drive system. A tall order to say the least, but the boat has proved most successful and logged thousands of miles around the waterways of North America. Her lines and specifications are in the plan catalog.

She was built canoe fashion, cedar strip over a temporary mold, glassed inside and out. There is a 6 ft. 6 in. sleeping cabin forward; accommodations are extended by a bimini top with side curtains over the cockpit. The drive consists of a bicycle crank turning a shaft through a 6:1 bevel gear running in an oil bath. The shaft is fitted with a universal joint where it exits the hull and the outer shaft is supported by a pivoting skeg that folds up into a trunk in the stern. The skeg extends under the propeller so that on grounding it kicks up without damage. Both skeg and rudder can be hoisted for beaching.

Pedal Boat "Blue Skies" in shallow water with propeller and rudder raised.Detail of rudder assembly.When the skeg is lowered the propeller operates in clear water below the hull. The 13 in. x 18 in. propeller turns at about 300 RPM, and delivers a sustainable 4 knots.