Sculling Paddle - Design and Fab Services - Akertoys
 
[Adan] Well, as Nancy correctly guessed in the comments, our "What is It Wednesday" challenge image did indeed depict an implement intended for human-powered boat propulsion.  In this case the object would most correctly be referred to as a sculling paddle.
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Here's a bigger picture, laid out in the freshly-mown grass.


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Here's how it's intended to be held.

"Sculling," in the context of paddling rather than rowing, is a cool trick that lets you move continually forward without removing your paddle from the water.  You just slice from side to side, in a figure 8 motion (more like ∞ actually), and each time you reverse direction you tip the blade slightly so it's always "climbing."

The customer is a very experienced fisherman (actually has "fishing consultant" on his business card) and came to us with an image in mind of what he wanted.  We helped him clarify the image, added dimensions that matched his specific use (from an elevated chair on a fishing boat), and of course I tried to apply a little some of the experience from my years of kayaking :-)  We iterated three times to get to this one, which seems to be a pretty fine product.  The customer can now maneuver his boat along a riverbank with just his one hand, while he occupies his other hand with the various tasks of fishing.
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This image shows the blade contours.  It took a little wrangling to teach Jobot how to get those nice slicing edges to taper down in a varying angle all the way around the blade perimeter.  It turned out pretty great, though.  I'm delighted.

The wood, by the way, is cypress.  It's supposed to be fantastic for prolonged exposure to water.  To quote from the Wikipedians, "Bald cypress wood has long been valued for its water resistance thus called 'wood eternal'. Still-usable prehistoric wood is often found in swamps in New Jersey and occasionally as far north as New England although it is more common in the southeast." The customer is going to use this one without any finish at all, and if it starts to show adverse affects he'll add a spar polyurethane or some such magic material.  It's a crazy light wood.  It's like working with the world's strongest styrene foam.  Just holding it with my left hand while sanding left some alarming divots from my wedding ring!
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Another image of the blade contours.  Pretty huh?


Anyway, hope you like it.  We have the customer's permission to reproduce and sell this product (his primary interest for the moment was to have a few for personal use), so if you have a burning need for one (or similar), do feel free to let us know.


And of course, let us know anything at all you feel: comments, hurrah!  And, finally, if you'd like, feel free to follow @Akertoys on Twitter.

good looking
6/11/2011 03:01:44

How much for 2 ea? I have one very similar but, is broken at neck. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Gary

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Ronnie Capps
5/12/2016 21:09:54

Dear Sirs,
Could you make a custom sculling paddle like the one which you have pictured? I would need it much shorter than the one pictured. I would prefer 28 inches total length.
Thanks
Ronnie

Reply
5/13/2016 10:24:35

Hi Ronnie! At the moment we're not able to do that, unfortunately. Thanks so much for your interest, though. It's a cool paddle, I do hope to get back to making them someday.

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