The Whittaker style paddle wheel uses off-axis blades to increase efficiency and eliminate fouling. It is ideally suited for amphibious projects and applications where weeds would tangle in a normal propeller. It is low-draft and works well whether the blades dip just 3" into the water or go as deep as 13". Here's how I made one using a recycled plastic barrel and a bicycle crankset.
The Whittaker from dawn thomas on Vimeo.
What you'll use up:
1 large plastic barrel (HDPE) (the one in this Instructable is probably 30 to 35 gallons)
: I've since learned that the BLUE HDPE
barrels are far less prone to fracturing than the WHITE barrel shown in ths instructable-- so use a blue barrel if you can!]
A couple of lengths of 2x2 redwood
About 2 feet flat steel approx 1/8" thick,1-1/2"
Bicycle crank, 3-part style (the pedals come off the spindle)
30 stainless steel wood screws and 18 fender washers
Rust-inhibiting spray paint
Saws-all or scroll saw or keyhole saw
Driver or screwdriver
Table saw or mad skills with a circle saw
Here's an outline of the steps:
1) Build a couple of triangles from the wood, 20" (ish) on a side.
2) Cut and weld the crankset to fit into the triangles. Screw the armatures to the triangles.
3) Cut 6 paddle blades from the barrel. Make them 1/6th the circumference of the barrel and 20 to 24" long.
4) Screw everything together.
5) Mount to your amphibious vehicle.