Prime Cuts: The ultimate pedalo

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Design challenges often involve safety but facing giant waves, possible typhoons, occasional icebergs and likely interest from monster sharks in nothing more than a pedalo requires some specialist thought.

The Torepedalo is the result of over a year of design work: a fast, stable boat that cuts well through the water and the air. At over eight metres long, it’s huge for a pedalo but tiny for a place for two people to live for over six weeks.

Not only will it be packed with all the needed supplies and equipment, but it has some serious design clout behind it too.


– It has to carry everything that two people need to survive for up to 90 days, make electricity and water, protect those on board from the elements, be a home, a bathroom, a kitchen, a toilet, a bedroom and a hospital – and then it needs to be pedaled 3,000 miles through some of the roughest waters in the world.

– Oh, and it’s made to self-right: to roll itself right-way-up in the event of a capsize without intervention

– To determine storage volumes and living space every single item to be loaded on board was weighed and modeled in 3D

– This extended to the bodies of the crew Mark Byass and Mike Sayer who with the help of white lycra gimp suits and a sophisticated scanning machine at Bentley Motors, were scanned to create 3D CAD data of our shapes that could be placed in the craft model with all the kit ‘wrapped’ around them

– Showcase and Maya was used for the initial concept modeling of the craft, before the multiple design iterations for the surface modeling were created using Alias Surface

– Computational Fluid Dyanmics (CFD) was used to model the airflow over the boat in the variety of wind conditions, with analysis company Exa for performing the aerodynamic simulation runs

Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, head of engineering at Bentley Motors, suggested using a belt drive to power the pedalo

– In rough seas a stern prop could be lifted out of the water, so a propeller position on a keel board directly under the peddler was the best solution

– The hull went through lots of testing at the University of Newcastle, with its shape alone creating 40% less hydrodynamic drag than typical rowing boats

Follow this link to help sponsor the journey.

Showcase and Maya (polygon modelling) for concepte
Alias Surface – surface modelling

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