The word «propulsion» in everyday language means: «the act of pushing forth» or «the state of being pushed forth». And in the context of boats, the image of a rowboat with a rower and oars is a very genuine rendition of the term.
Of course there are concepts of propulsion other than rowing. The propeller is a very popular one, driven either by a human being or a human-made machine. Jet propulsion would be another, rockets yet another…
But let's stick to the propeller and its technical requirements:
- Efficiency — transforming the power provided by the human engine into thrust with the minimum waste of energy. Among other aspects, this requires avoiding friction wherever possible, using powerful propellers, choosing the best gear ratios…
- Reliability — performing its function safely during its lifetime, which requires the use of enduring materials. Endurance can be «related to torsional stiffness, fatigue life, corrosion resistance, ability to survive collision and ability to sit the boat on flat ground.» (RW)
- Low drag — minimizing the submerged hydrodynamic resistance. For practical reasons it will have to locate the propeller within reach of the athlete seated on the boat.
After a long quest we finally selected the Curved-Shaft Propulsion System as being today's state-of-the-art solution.
The following pages are mainly presenting this type of propulsion, its components and some selected products (pages marked «•»), highlighting the technical details of each and giving our recommendations, based on user feedback and expert knowledge.
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Our boat is better than mine.