Thank you ....I am a bit overwhelmed by your generosity...
I think I have mislead you...I meant a boat less than 7 meters. I hope this does not blunt your enthusiasm. The reason for this is the small size and shallow depth of the waters that we want to navigate. I got the >< the wrong way around sorry.
See answers below
Dear George, (Greg)
Can I have the answers to the following questions
1. You preferred steel. (this is because it is almost impossible to imagine a trip without running into something, also this is fresh water so very limited problems with rust):
Can you verify the quality of steel?
(Not really, it is delivered here from china and Vietnam by questionable merchants who buy it wholesale and dump it off at my door. We build many things from steel here, we use several tons every month and I know that the quality is variable. However I can source some from the BHP plant in Ho Chi Mihn City which is above average quality):
Basically structural quality steel will do but tell the dealer to give you the plate from the later part of the batch. That way you will get low sulphur and phosphorus percentage - good for low corrosion over the years.
(I think we are just going to have to live with this, is very cheap to build things here and there are many simple steel boats that last for decades)
2. Good that you have a good team. What kind of welding machines and how many do you have ?
(We use basic stick welders, there are three of them and 4 experienced welders, they can successfully weld 2 mm plate with this primitive gear. We cant get argon or other gasses here so MIGs etc are out of the question. These guys can really weld tho...)
3. Minimum draft in the area u will be plying.
(effectively 0mm :-) the draft will limit the range of the boat as these river run for hundreds of Km into the mountains and just sort of peter out. In a practical sense 300mm would be good... )
4. How many passengers?
(For this boat and for shorter trips say up to 100 Km up to 6 people. For longer trips just 2 or 4 of us. If we were to work out how to produce these boats we would set them up for much shorter trips with a maximum of passengers on bench seats for trips to the market or school etc. Basically for villagers these bouts would be teh equivelant of a mini bus or larger family car.)
5. Duration/length of trip?
(As long as we can, I think the reality is that we should design for up to 200 km if possible between refueling which is why I am looking at a small boat with an small efficient engine. With this boat we plan to just travel as far as we can up some of the larger tributaries, the Nam Ou , Nam Kahn etc. These wind up into the mountains for a very long way. Fuel will be teh limiting factor in most cases. )
6. Do u need a toilet / pantry on board?
(basic toilet is good, sometimes access to the shore is difficult. We can store food in lockers, there are village markets along the river banks, lots of fish, would be good to have a very simple galley, just a one burner gas stove to prepare food)
5. What is the comfort level?
(I suppose comfortable camping is how to express it. Ok, so remember we are in the tropics, very hot sometimes and never gets colder than the need for long sleeves. Not much need for walls, just canvas sides to allow some privacy. We would need a double bunk and head room if possible. The main issue is insects that need to be screened out.
6. still water speed Desired? (> 6 knots)
7. What is the tide current? (The Mekong flows at about 3 knots, but to get upstream you can stick close to the banks where the current drops to very low speeds, the smaller tributaries are variable, but small boats with simple 5 Hp gasoline engines and inefficient propellers can make effective headway. )
8. can you get a propeller made there if I send you the drawing?
(Yes there are good foundries in Thailand which I can access.)
9. Give details of the engine , whatever you have or can get.
(I cant work out how to attach files that are not from the net so I am afraid that I will have to ask you to look this up yourself .. http://www.liveupdater.com/norwood/....esBrochure.pdf
The 14 HP is the one I prefer as I already have two of them and can easily get parts etc, they are a fantastic little engine)
What i am thinking of is a catamaran hull with single direction curveture.
why? (I think after my admission of stupidity you may wish to revise this. I have run out of internet time so will continue tomorrow)
1. cat hull will give you very high stability. Tourists hate a boat that rolls. A dolphin pops up and all the tourists crowd to one side can cause a catastrophe in a single hull.
2. The passage between hulls allows float sum to pass by.
3. Rudders/props are wider spaced - giving you more maneuverability.
4 A lot of underdeck storage space.