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Here are a couple threads with a similar theme ... airplanes instead of boats ... but similar need. The MCM5 gets mentioned a lot.

 

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IF, and only if, you're not "going anywhere" on your boat-wheel you could also consider the MTen. It'd be perfect cruising around the marina, hauling gear/groceries from the car etc. (not cases of wine, too risky to the wine). The MCM5 is considerably more versatile because its wheel is bigger, so if you do intend to take your wheel to town or go for mini tours I'd put that first on the list. The MTen is smaller, lighter, and probably easier to stow but that also limits its utility.

Edited by Tawpie
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MCM5.

It also has the advantage of using the 18650 battery cells that don't have the fire problems that the current LG 21700 cells in the bigger wheels have. Store your wheel in a fireproof box/crate anyways - the one thing you don't want on a boat is a battery fire.

An electric unicycle is the perfect vehicle for a boat though!

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Thanks!  The MCM5 DOES look interesting.  A above linkies help!

The little MTen looks fun, and is wonderfully compact, but I fear I'd use it for 2 weeks before buying a bigger wheel.  

The fire thing SCARES me.  I don't think fire is a huge risk, it just has huge consequences.  If we have a fire aboard, we'll likely lose the boat- which would be inconvenient in the middle of Lake Huron.  Of course, we have lots of "fire" things aboard- a stove, an oil lamp, some Li-ion tools, and a 100 A/H Li-ion battery.  We already have many more ABC fire extinguishers than required, a couple of fire blankets, and a couple of buckets.  Did I mention fire SCARES me?  (I've been involved with several boat fires- If lucky, the people live.  The boat dies.)  My other half is a chemistry professor and I can cobble together about anything.  We'll figure out something.

 

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If I were you, I'd sew myself a fireproof bag from a generic fire blanket. Put one of these sailcloth sewing machines to work:) Or maybe bags ike this exist ready-made. Put this into a plastic bag/box and you're waterproof, too! Nothing more you could want, and nothing to worry about then.

Alternatively, get a plastic box and put the wheel in there, on a bed of a few inches of sand. Easy to do, and should contain a fire, too.

The type of battery packs in the MCM5 has been the best and most reliable of them all. Very very rarely, you can have unlucky water intrusion with such packs (riding in the rain + being unlucky, but as far as I know only with other wheels, not with the MCM5), otherwise they will be great. The current alarming battery fires come from certain bad battery cells, which the MCM5 does not use.

I was thinking about slow internal corrosion from salty air, but if you're in fresh water, that's not a problem.

Just put your wheel into a proper container and don't leave it alone on the boat (well, overnight/for longer). Then you did more than you should reasonably have, and you will be safe! No worries there. This is just an overabundance of caution, just having the wheel in the boat in a dry spot would 99.99% be enough anyways. But better safe than sorry.

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Don't read too much into this. The danger of a fire is really small, but because on a boat it's potentially worse than on dry ground, it's worth thinking about.

The idea is:

  • What starts a fire? Water intrusion (into the battery) would be the main potential cause here* - water splashes can happen. So a plastic bag/box in the mix seems like a good idea.
  • What if there is a fire? The fire shouldn't spread, and not create a hot spot that ignites the fiberglass. So use some kind of container for the wheel, store it in an unproblematic spot so at worst that starts smoking and you can throw it overboard.
  • Don't keep the wheel on the boat overnight in your absence. In the end it's still a damp environment, so who knows. Just basic risk minimization that costs nothing.

The more I think about it, a simple plastic box with a lid and some sand in it is easy, cheap, keeps the wheel dry, and protects everything else if there is a fire (hopefully). Throw in a fire/heat alarm if you like, so you know if there is a problem.

I have no actual experience with this or anything:)

-

* as opposed to corrosion from salty air (no salt here), or the bad LG battery cell type (not in the MCM5).

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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wait a sec, is this boat floating? If so, after your smoke alarm goes off, a tether/leash would let you drag it out of the boat and toss it overboard. There should be enough water around to handle a boat sized wheel, right? You could always stow it in a Hefty Steelsack on the fantail... or in the tow behind dingy!

Edited by Tawpie
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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought an EUC today!

6420936_sd.jpg;maxHeight=550;maxWidth=55

 

If you look carefully, you might notice it looks more like a dishwasher than an EUC.  It costs about the same, so it's got to be about the same amount of fun, right?  Ahh- the price of keeping the other household inhabitants happy for the holidaze.

Back to saving pennies....

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The fire risk is low, but the impact would be high so treat the idea with the appropriate caution. You need to have a place for the EUC where you can get it off the boat fast, but not in a place that would trap you inside if the fire has gone too far before you can take action. An EUC fire produces toxic smoke which would be particularly dangerous in an enclosed space. 

 

 

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Theres a youtube channel called "Cruising Off Duty"  who did exactly that, bought an EUC to take on his boat. He made a few videos about it. You should check those out. If you go to his channel and search for "unicycle", those videos will come up.

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For the EUC model, the Inmotion V8F (16”x2.125”) and indeed the Gotway MCM5 V2 (14”x2.5”) are the most obvious candidates. Both are big and fast enough to have a lot of fun, but they do behave and feel quite different to each other.

 For safe storage, lots of good tips and important points were already brought up. Another one would be to make sure the wheel stays upright in it’s storage. These wheels are designed in a way that prevents rain and ground spray from getting into the crucial parts, but if they were laid on their side after a rainy ride, the water could creep in and do serious damage much easier.

A stand for upright storage is surely a non-issue for you to design and build, be it inside a fire box or just under a fire hood.

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No fun hidden in the dishwasher.  The past month or so has been expensive- about $10K in unplanned expenses.  The fun fund has been raided and depleted- temporarily.  I'll have to see if my want of a new toy outweighs my body's screaming need for some rest.  

I'm thinking I don't want to store these below deck.  VikB is right- the risk of fire is small, but the consequences are dire.  Essentially, it's a small, enclosed, confined area down below- most any fire will reduce visibility to zero and immediately fill the area with toxic gas.  Even with a tether, I can't think of a way to get something the size & weight of an EUC out of the cabin, up the stairs, and over the side with one breath of air.  I think I have a nice protected and sheltered place on deck- I'll have to get out my tape measure to see if an EUC will fit.

Thanks for the "Cruising off Duty" channel.  I've done LOTS of SCUBA diving in their cruising area. 

Thanks for the help & ideas!

I'll get there.

 

 

 

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Cars in seaside areas are more prone to corrosion.

Might be similar with EUCs.

Maybe one day, the battery packs will snap on and off like for drills.  Make it easier to isolate and store.

Edited by Paul A
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  • 2 weeks later...
36 minutes ago, KayakerChuck said:

Update-

Yesterday I bought a used KS 16x.  I'm stretching both my $$ and weight budgets a bit.  

I've not had any time yet to do more than rock back & forth a bit in my shop.  It will take some learning and practice, but I think I can make friends with this thing.

Congrats on the wheel! You will become friends with it soon. There will be some domestic disputes along the way, keep us posted on your progress. Mostly have fun. 

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