Nauticraft

Posts Tagged ‘pedal boats’

Pedal Drive Unit: Quadritwist Belt Drive

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

We are asked from time to time by prospective new customers just what our drive units are like and what is meant by the term “Quadritwist”.

As far as what our drive units are like, the first impression on seeing one in a Nauticraft boat is that it “belongs there”.  This visual impression comes from the drive unit housing being made from the same material as the boat – a white plastic with black specks (we had the black specks incorporated into the material a few years ago).

On our original drive unit (which we now also call our “inboard unit”) the driving belt twists four times going through its path, from the pedaling sprocket to the driven sprocket, over the idlers, and then back around to the start – hence the term “Quadritwist”.  We have a very positive regard for this system because it gives us the required directional change as well as the required speed increase (a 1:4 increase) with no energy robbing torsional or axial side effects; with this type of layout the twists of the belt are actually “natural” ones.

Looking further at the drive unit it is obvious that the pedal cranks come from the bicycle industry, and this is so, as we purchase these cranks as well as its axle assembly (known in the industry by the unlikely term “bottom bracket”) from a bicycle parts supply house.  The pedals also come from there and, because they are often used that way, are of the “barefoot” type (some sophisticated customers, familiar with upscale bicycling, sometimes change these pedals for their own particular choice).

An even closer inspection of the drive unit shows that the mechanical aspects (all of the moving parts) are located on the outside of the drive housing.  Our drive unit is designed this way because the mechanical parts (particularly the belt and sprockets – being of plastic materials) do not need oil or grease lubrication as do metal parts (the plastic materials also are not susceptible to water corrosion as are metals).  Also, because all mechanical assemblies need care and maintenance from time to time, it is far easier to service an assembly that is out in the open.  For instance, although it will serve for a long time, the drive belt can be changed for a new one without removing the drive unit from the boat – and without requiring any tools.

We designed this system ourselves (using the quadritwist philosophy originally proposed to us by Phil Thiel, a marine engineer from Seattle) and have been happily using it in our boats for over 15 years now, with only incidental changes.  We manufacture it right here in our own shop – from rotational molding the housing through all of the subsequent assembly steps.

Next time I’ll talk about the “swing down” drive unit used in our Sprite model – why it doesn’t use the quadritwist system, but how it is similar to it as well as how it is different.

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Curt’s Corner: Summer 2011

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Chelsea on Super Sprite

We get a variety of questions when folks call inquiring about the boats and often it’s to ask if it is big enough to fit a pet.  I say pet because, although it is mostly dogs, we do have a few folks ask about other 4 legged friends as well.  In this month’s narrative, read Curt’s version of “Chelsea’s Pedal Boat Adventure” from Summer 2011.

 

 

 

New Colorful Striped Bimini Top Option Availabe

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Pure Michigan

Friday, June 24th, 2011

With summer officially here, Nauticraft invites you to Michigan for a visit.  In looking at a US map you can’t miss it, it’s the state that looks like a mitten with all the water surrounding it.   There’s tons of stuff to do here, including fishing, boating, and watching the sunset over Lake Michigan.  There is golf courses that are nationally recognized, campgounds on the beach and fine dining.  Michigan hosts music festivals and county fairs, NASCAR  and Broadway shows.   We have our share of big cities and small towns, and some big cities with a small town feel. 

Go to Michigan.org to see all the great things going on in Michigan this summer!  And then take a look at Nauticraft Boats!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Although many parts of the US are cold and even snowy, we are confident spring is coming!  Think ahead to warmer days this holiday season, give the gift of a Nauticraft boat!  And if you order prior to Dec. 31st, we’ll throw in a gift for you.  Purchase an Encore and we’ll include a bimini top

Encore Pedal Boat with Bimini Top

Purchase an Escapade and we’ll ship you a Storage Cradle at no charge to you.

Escapade Pedal Boat on Storage Cradle

Announcing the Super Sprite

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

We are so excited!  The Coast Guard has approved the Super Sprite and it is officially ON THE MARKET!  We are in production, and will be sending an announcement and press releases for a major introduction prior to June 1st 2010.  The introductory price for the Super Sprite pedal boat is $1,995 US.  Check out the specs and see great photos:  Super Sprite Pedal Boat Brochure with Specification

Super Sprite Updates

Friday, January 29th, 2010

The Super Sprite pedal boat is nearing it’s completion.  We are now building a boat to send to Maryland for Coast Guard testing.  This event should be taking place sometime in the month of March, and as soon as we get the okay, we will be putting it into our line.

In the mean time, we have assembled and sold one to our dealer in Cape Coral FL, Don Clark of Sea Lark Sales.  He will be available by appointment to demo the Super Sprite and the Escapade during the months of February and March.  Please contact him directly to set something up at don@sealarksales.com or by calling (239) 699-0216.

Pedal Boat and Erie Canal Part 2

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Our thanks to John for this  update of his trek:

Dear Folks:  Here is an “end of trip” summary of my Erie Canal Escapade with emphasis on the boat and our performance.  The trip, from Tonawanda (Buffalo) to Waterford (Albany), 324 miles took 20 days at about 7 hours or less per day. During that time, there were two additional down days due to weather (rain).  Nine of the days were last summer, when I interrupted at Lock 25 near the Cayuga-Seneca Canal junction.  I picked up again at that point this year on August 15th.  After 5 days of 90 plus degree weather and bright sun, I was close to heat stroke.  I docked at the Holmes Marnina at the east end of Oneida Lake and went back to “home base” at Canandaigua Lake for 7 days.  I then completed the trip over the next week.

The Escapade performed magnificently throughout.  The so-called “prevailing westerlies” never materialized.  On only two of the 20 travel days was there significant west wind, with virtually no pedalling.  (John installed the sail kit from Sailboats-to-go).  On many days there was significant east wind, and the rest NE wind.  With the east wind, the boat, without the windshield and with bimini up, penetrated easily.

I noted the cadence: with minimal effort I could maintain 60 cycles/minute for long period-about 3.5-4 mph.  Reducing the rate to 55 cycles/minute- no effort, which I could maintain indefinitely, I still went more than 3 mph.

Earth Day Exhibition features Encore P/E and Escapade

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Don Clark of Sea Lark Sales, will have a display of Nauticraft pedal and electric boats at Rochester’s 4th Annual Earth Day Expo, the largest earth day celebration in Michigan.  It is located in downtown Rochester, and is scheduled April 18th from  10am to 6pm and on Sunday, April 19th from 10am to 4pm.  We are proud of Don’s efforts in this endeavor, and invite all to visit the festivities.    

Free Boats featured on Doug’s Discoveries

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Doug Rafferty, of WGME 13 in Portland, discovers Maine’s exciting outdoors, in a whole new way!   Cathy Daly, our dealer in Maine, introduces him to Nauticraft boats.  Ride along (watch the video) while he takes a little tour of Casco Bay. 

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Nauticraft Corporation
5980 Grand Haven Road • Muskegon, MI 49441
(231) 798-8440 • Toll Free (888) 709-7097
inquiry@nauticraft.com