Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

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While I may not be able to walk on water...I could maybe run.
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

A catamaran treadmill sits, Velcro tethered, to the end of a dock.
Buoyant enough to keep itself afloat; you know that the second you set foot on it, the contraption will begin to sink under your combined weights, so you run full tilt down the length of the peer and vault barefoot onto the non slip tread, legs pin-wheeling in mid-air so as to find purchase the instant you land.
The upper track upon which you sprint meshes directly with a split lower track which has small louvers that partly open to displace an optimum amount of water yet fold effortlessly while ascending the rear of the track where upper and lower tracks converge. The split lower track system lets a hydrofoil wing raise the craft out of the water once enough velocity has been attained to do so.
When the craft has broken contact with the surface of the water by a few inches, only the lower portion of the louvers themselves will make contact with the water, allowing you to change resistance settings and switch to the next gear.

Prior art, but a little hard to read. http://onemansblog....foil-water-scooter/
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 03 2007]

Sketch. http://s68.photobuc...rent=Tread-ski2.jpg
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 07 2007, last modified May 09 2007]


       I'm thinking this one will need a heap of R&D before it will work.
DrCurry, May 03 2007

       It would need a huge amount of G&T before I'd even try it. And it may require A&E.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 03 2007

       I don't understand...
BJS, May 03 2007

       MB, Gin and Tonic?
po, May 03 2007

       Quite so, Po. And A&E = Accident and Emergency for any colonists.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 03 2007

       Nice link, [2 fries]!
pertinax, May 04 2007

       I've seen people trying to use that hydrofoil scooter. It's utterly daft, difficult to do, and hopelessly inefficient.   

       So, bun.
moomintroll, May 04 2007

       My mental image of this idea seems to have a lot of trouble with focus right now, so let's review: this is basically a treadmill that floats on a pair of canoes (catamaran). In order for the whole contraption to stay afloat with you on board you have to run like a crazy person which causes the track to move rapidly. The problem with having the track somehow making direct contact with the water underneath the craft is that you would be going backwards (hint - we REALLY need an illustration) relative your position, which is why you need the lower track. The lower track converts the motion of the treadmill's track into forward propulsion.   

       OK, so far so good (how's the drawing coming?). When the craft rises out of the water on the hydrofoil how could the louvers be strong enough to provide forward propulsion unless they're ponderously long? And where would the gear mechanism reside?   

       Without a picture (hint, hint) the concept seems rather cumbersome. Could you perhaps rig a gear-drive assembly off the treadmill's rear axle to drive a mini paddlewheel device that's at the rear of the craft? That would eliminate the lower track which would lower the center of gravity making the whole thing more stable.   

       Oh, almost forgot: just how does one steer this wondrous contraption? (and where's that #@%*& diagram?)   

       Whew! There's a start on the R&D. However, I think with a little tweak this could look cool to the extreme. Build it so the running surface of the treadmill is right at water level so to passersby it would look like you were actually running on water. For that I'd give you a baker's dozen buns.
Canuck, May 05 2007

       Ulp, no dozen buns for me then. Steering would be accomplished by leaning, and in answer to your question, I got yer #@%*& diagram right here.   


       ooh, I love it when you talk like that...
Bun for your diagram!
xandram, May 07 2007

       Thanks for the #@%*& illustration. It rocks. I especially like the fact that your intrepid Tread-Ski rider appears to be wearing a life jacket, but where's Ogopogo?   

       I hadn't even considered the lower track being perpendicular to the upper. So now can you see why my mental image was so far out-of-whack!?   

       Hang on a second. If the lower track is perpendicular to and is driven by direct contact with the bottom of the upper track would it not be moving in the wrong direction (stern to bow)as you ran on the treadmill? (You still get a single bun for your quick response to my request for the illustration)
Canuck, May 08 2007

       Now I don't understand.
If it were a single track, the direction of the track would be opposite to forward travel, by having the upper track mesh with the lower one it changes the direction of force...

       ...and you should look again because I don't know how you could have missed Ogopogo.
It dang near ate my idea.

       <bows in 2 fries direction - I am not worthy, I am not worthy > In my opinion that is the best drawing of 2007! Alas, my only bun has been spent.   

       Wait for it, wait for it. There! The cloud has lifted from my brain. The main track, when it curls under the treadmill interfaces with the INSIDE of each lower split track, which means the outside of each lower track drives the louvers, or paddles, from bow to stern. C'est magnifique!
Canuck, May 10 2007

       Waiteth, so thou can't walketh on water yet? By Satan, I got that, like, 2000 years ago! I could get thou through this troublesome lake, and thou could remaineth dry, the sea parteth for me... Anyway, good luck making this one work. I really don't seeeth this happening, and I've seen the future. I shall giveth thou a bun, for, thou knoweth, the drawing.
TahuNuva, Nov 21 2007



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