2014 Spring: Get the water out of my cockpit

Sea kayaking in rough water my result in capsizes. If this happens, the kayaker will try to roll (the 'Eskimo-roll'). If unsuccessful, the kayaker will eventually exit the kayak, a so‐called “wet exit”. Once in this situation, the kayaker re‐enters the capsized boat from below and tries to roll the boat up. This techniques is known as “re‐entry & roll”. Than the problem is that it leaves the paddler with a water‐filled cockpit (often more than 100 liters) resulting in a sluggish boat and a terrible loss of stability, in wavy water easily leading to capsize again. An annoying and dangerous situation.

To regain stability, the paddler needs to empty the cockpit once in the boat as quick as possible while staying upright. None of the presently available pumping alternatives is satisfying.


Research / Design question

Last semester, a BSc group has developed an innovative concept with a ‘paddle-pulling line’ driven axial pump. However, their proof-of-principle was only for one component in the chain, and maybe not even optimal yet. Your assignment would be to either develop this concept into an optimised and working integrated prototype, or to come up with an own innovative, possibly better(?) solution.

Obviously either of them has to meet a range of practical limitations and constraints. You will also be guided by Axel Schoevers, who is a sea kayak coach.


Obviously, you have affinity with designing & constructing and with fluid mechanics. Wb and MT students are equally welcome; at least one of the team members has swimming diploma A or better.


Involved People:

Facilities used: