Thursday, 5 July 2012
Wot, no oars?
Of course she has an engine. She needs to be moved from place to place without having to get 18 oarsmen together, for a start, and even with a full crew there are moments when you want a bit of extra oomph - when you are trying to get onto a jetty in a high wind and lots of current on live TV, for example.
And the hidden propulsion is actually rather innovative and interesting.
Two electric motors drive feathering, adjustable-pitch propellers on saildrive legs, providing lots of torque and silent running. The motors are Lynch pancakes, designed and built in Britain by Lees Motors, and the props are Bruntons Autoprops, again designed and made in Britain.
The drive train is even regenerative, so when the barge is moored in a flowing stream the batteries can be recharged. Of course, the crew could charge the batteries by rowing but it would be very hard work (remember, this is supposed to be fun).