Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Gunwale bobbing

Abstract : It has been shown experimentally that small droplets, bouncing on a vibrated liquid bath, can "walk" across the surface due to their interaction with their own wave-field. Gunwale bobbing is a life-size instance of this phenomena in which a person standing on the gunwales of a canoe propels it by pumping it into oscillation with the legs. The canoe moves forward by surfing the resulting wave-field. After an initial transient, the canoe achieves a cruising velocity which satisfies a balance between the thrust generated from pushing downwards into the surface gradients of the wave-field and the resistance due to a combination of profile drag and wave drag. By superposing the linear wave theories of Havelock (1919) for steady cruising and of Helmholtz for an oscillating source, we demonstrate that such a balance can be sustained. We calculate the optimal parameter values to achieve maximum canoe velocity. We compare our theoretical result to accelerometer data taken from an enthusiastic gunwale bobber. We discuss the similarities and differences between gunwale bobbing and hydrodynamic quantum analogues, and possible applications to competitive sports.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Olivier Devauchelle Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 1:57:02 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, August 6, 2022 - 3:43:44 AM


Files produced by the author(s)




Graham P Benham, Olivier Devauchelle, Stephen W Morris, Jerome A Neufeld. Gunwale bobbing. Physical Review Fluids, American Physical Society, 2022, 7 (7), pp.074804. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevFluids.7.074804⟩. ⟨hal-03746510⟩



Record views


Files downloads