I build longtail boats in Thailand specially designed to go in less water than Thai anf Lao boats. See my site, read my blog view pics and videos and feel free to ask any questions. please use the forum only. See the site at http://longtailboats.webs.com/
Just joined, so greetings to everyone. (Sabaii dii)
I live in the Lao PDR (between Thailand and Vietnam) in a town called Luang Prabang.. a fantastically beautiful place on the Mekong River. Very few roads here, limited technology, lots of mountains and unmapped landscapes, but many many rivers..in fact the entire country is accessible by these waterways if you can use them.
Spent a lot of time in boats in other places so want to build one a small one here to explore this amazing place (+ Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam) . I now run a workshop here and have some very skilled local tradesmen (mostly metal work) , not strong on technology but incredibly skillful at sticking pieces of metal together accurately, basic mechanics..and survival engineering...fantastic team...
So am pleading for help with the design in return for hosting anyone who would like to visit here, as much BeerLao as you can drink , personal guided tours, all the Mekong fish you can eat, etc etc...
Boat must be:
Small (>7m) / shallow draft (>300 mm) ;
Very tough (probably steel hull) as there are lots of rocks, floating logs, no info and variable depths during wet / dry season;
Low power, no access to "proper marine gear" so will use the trusty Kobota 14 hp thumper diesel (RT140 DI-ES) if I can (if not am open to suggestions). It is cheap (I already have one) , very reliable and you can buy parts at any village market (almost). I will have to use a light truck gearbox for F - N - R as I have not really got an option, importing stuff is a nightmare and no one here uses a gearbox in their boats;
Don't matter if its slow, (Sabii Sabii) in fact most of the smaller rivers are too full of snags to do anything more than a few knots but need to make at least 5 to get ahead of the current;
So please help me out with any suggestions that you might have re: designs, personal experiences, anything else you can think of.