Pedal-powered composite boat – Project Torpedalo

A schematic of the boat.
A schematic of the boat.

Project Torpedalo was initiated by Mark Byass and Mike Sayer. Its objective has been to design and construct a safe, reliable and fast pedal-powered boat to attempt the 3000 mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

The automotive engineers have two goals: to raise as much money as possible for the two charities Motor Neurone Disease Association and Make-A-Wish Foundation UK; and to set a new world record.

Composite design and construction

Byass and Sayer set themselves a budget of £0 to design, test, build and equip the boat.

With support from various organisations, a boat that is 40% more hydrodynamically efficient was designed, comprising three separate watertight compartments with two sealed areas of reserve buoyancy, and the inherent ability to self-right if capsized.

The drive system is a two-stage belt driven design with an efficiency above 80%.

With the assistance of various composite suppliers the boat moulds were produced and the boat was constructed at Norco GRP in Poole. (See the feature Project Torpedalo – pedal-powered boat on course for Atlantic crossing for a detailed description of the boat construction.)

The finished shell of the boat will make its first public appearance at the Southampton Boat Show in September.