Engines Vs multiple paddles

8 years 11 months ago #9911 by benneta
I was at the Outrigger Canoe sprint championships on the weekend and particularly with the OC6's but also noting some previous threads on this site I was wondering if anyone has a good explanation why, if it is so important for all paddlers to hit the water at the same time, why multicylinder engines spread the firing order evenly around the crankshaft. Based on our paddling theory all cylinders should fire at once to get the best acceleration out of a car? Is it just because the engine would shake itself to bits if it did?

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8 years 11 months ago #9912 by Red
Replied by Red on topic Re: Engines Vs multiple paddles
Hi Benneta,
Paddled outriggers for a while (I would not consider myself to be an authority) and paddling in time is essenital. The weight of an OC6 is around 130kg. One paddler alone cannot propel that weight with any great success. But when 5 paddlers (6 if you include the steerer) apply force at the same time the canoe can be propelled forward, and maintained, with greater speed. So if one paddler is out of time, they are trying to move the canoe on their own. I am sure there is a formula the RAB et al can quote here.

Granted, it is something that we didn't try - staggering the timing of paddle strokes down the canoe. Trying to paddle in time with others was hard enough. I can tell you though, when the timing was out in the canoe, it felt awful.

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8 years 11 months ago #9913 by Hiro
Try to picture you and five friends on land, having to push a heavy truck. Would you try to push altogether at the same time or push one at a time ?

all cylinders should fire at once to get the best acceleration out of a car? Is it just because the engine would shake itself to bits if it did?

you just gave the answer to your question.

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8 years 11 months ago #9918 by Rightarmbad
Here is your answer.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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8 years 11 months ago #9919 by latman
i have paddled for years but not thought about this much honestly , but if you do a tug of war everyone has to pull together or you are screwed.

I guess that a car engine has 25kw per cylinder (approx) where a paddler is lucky to have .25 (also approx) so perfect timing has always been critical , years ago (In my K4 days) we had strain gauges on our paddle shafts that measured/graphed the force curves we generated and we all tried to make them the same (and bigger) for better sync

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8 years 11 months ago #9983 by benneta
thanks all... I think we've proved that cars should start with all cylinders firing at the same time - but that's ok.
It would still be good to see an OC6 trying to paddle 153624 or a K4 doing 1243.
cheers
AB

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