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Friday, June 21, 2013

Võrtsjärv 2013

Test concluded in 11-12 June 2013

This time there were four main reasons for the test. First, filming of the car on water and road. Second, have two persons overnight sleep in the car. Third, test extra inflatable pontoons attached to car for more stability of heavy loaded vehicle. Fourth, launch kitesurf kite and test how it would be sailing the amphib. As a lot of time was spent on filming (look at video sections for some of it) then almost no pictures.

Wind was again over 20 knots, so driving required attention. It is easy to lose your focus, when cameraman on passenger seat and makes interview with you. As usual for me, I trusted navigation devices instead of common sense. So we ended up on some gravel roads and road renovations. Film crew was happy and car dusty.

At arrival local boaters announced that due to heavy storm they can not come with small boat they planned for film crew. Were seriously doubting to come with bigger one also. After lengthy preparations for water I finally saw what they meant. Their boat did turn the nose up to the sky several time in severe angle. Amphibear was more stable as waves were quite short compared to Amphibear full length. But I imagine how it will bounce around in raising storm on any sea as this 15 foot boat did on the lake.

After film crew left we started to install and inflate the pontoons. In theory these should help. In practise there are needed solutions for two problems. Supporting and attaching the pontoons, as if these provide buoyancy then there are serious forces involved and a lot of attachments needed. Sharp metal edges can be problem also, as inflatable pontoons are flexible and move around then they can be quickly worn by any small sharp metal object. And there is a lot of  kind at the car of stainless steel frame and aluminium pontoons. Made my remarks for homework.

Inflatable pontoons form also some more deck area. Must be secured seriously. This is just shape test.

Kite we started to test at dawn and we discovered two things. It can be launched from Amphibear. We could lay it over the car and have wind to form the right shape of kite for flying. We can not do it any more, as there was left only about 6 knots of wind. We packed it again and drove to river mouth anchorage for sleeping test. 

To have idea of this sleeping conditions take your grandmothers old clothes closet, lay it down on the floor. Drop in some mattresses, sleeping bags and two persons, close the doors and start preparing your bed for the sleep. First you need a lot of patience as all things can be done one person at a time. Second you need acrobatic skills, as setting up, reaching up and changing place requires to take positions good for posters in some niche magazines. But sleeping itself was uneventful. Ventilation from mosquito netted rear windows was sufficient. As usual, all windows got steamed (I was too lazy to set up all nice curtains for all windows, what my wife sewed for the car). In the morning it was easier, as no mosquitos we could open all doors and clean the mess we created. 

I am happy with the test results, as usual long list of needed improvements, but nothing too dramatic.

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