A Submersible Anyone???

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Charlie Alpha, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Charlie Alpha
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 41
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: Venezuela

    Charlie Alpha Junior Member

    Good Day to everyone,

    Any one who have delt with a SEMI SUMERSIBLE

    Great Idea the AquaSub http://www.rqriley.com/aquasub.html , Nope I am not building one but have an Idea in my head that doesnt let me sleep which is very similar to the AquaSub, combine with the Platypus

    http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/platypus-submarine

    and the reef explorer.

    http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/reef-explorer#!/photos/125507/3

    I only qouted these models because they are the ones that come closer to my original Idea. What I am looking for is information "constructive" critisim, ideas, sugestions, opinions and hey why not an investor or two.

    So here it goes. I live in Puerto la Cruz Venezuela land of beautiful women and cheap and I mean cheap cheap cheap GAS (some 20 cents a galon) so designing a gas sucking craft will not be a limitation. The Vessel I have in mind is a relative small one between 21 and 24 feet SEMI SUMERSIBLE for Tourist application to carry some 12 passengers . I am thinking on a multihull configuration Proa, Cata ,Tri for obove water space very slim hulls for less displacement, and a feature that I really want is that is to be able to rise the underwater viewing ports above water when needed this is for actraction reason ( making a dramatic entrance in the water during inmersion for the people on board as well as for maintanance to keep these viewing ports or panoramic window above water for cleaning or prevent fauling) and the last and main reason is that it will be a very slow boat with all the bulk under water but if rised above it will produce less drag and be able to transport and move from one dive location to another alot faster.Another thing and it is that it should be small enough to be able to trailer it. One last thing Yes you guessed it !!! Economy, it cant be very expensive and I dont mean have to be cheap. But basic, funtional and pleasant to look at as well as Secure.

    Many materials come in mind fiberglass, plexy , tempered glass, steel, wood, and cement or the combination of all,
    Many other things also swirl in my head draft, displacement, ballasting, mechanicaly, water or air pumped , ventilation , powered or electrical and so on and so forth.

    Something like the Reef Explorer but in catamaran configuration is what I think Ideal, where I could change draft by means of ballasting or De-ballasting. But also a Trimaran where the center main hull could change depth by means of mechanical or even hidraulic device like the Platypus have also crossed the thinker.

    My back ground; lived all my life around boats motor and sail,captain, diver, shipchandler, agent, and lately marine contractor maintenance of motoryacht and sailboats.

    I have started to put these Ideas on paper and as soon as I have something to show will be posting .Your comments will influence alot on how fast and how it will come out, thanks to everyone and I will keep awaiting your Ideas.

    Ahhh almost forgot why to build such a craft??? well there is a demand for it and no offers to cover it.There is not an existing underwater tour in the country except for scuba diving.Not even a glass bottom boat.

    Regards

    Carlos A Gonzalez
    charliealphams@gmail.com
     
  2. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,936
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1593
    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    great idea, but if it were me I would not use ballast to raise and lower. If something malfuctioned when you had passangers you could have serious problem.

    for a tourist ride I would think a tri configuration, the amas would be able to carry the full displacement weight on their own, and than you have the center hull raise and lower to get the underwater view. With it in the lowered position I would have the upper part of the hull above the water line, so fresh air ventilation is never and issue and if there is a malfuction everyone can exit the craft without having an emergency.

    Only the viewing ports (windows?) and the passenger compartment would be below the surface when in "submerged" operation. With cleaver design the passengers would have the experiance of being in a submarine without the danger.

    I would go buy a used beach cat and build a two or four person "proof of concept" craft out of it (using it for parts), and from there build your full sized version. You will learn a lot about the problems you face building a working but scaled down technology demonstrator, it could save you many thousands later.

    I would build it out of fiberglass, and style it and paint it to look like a metal submarine, like an amusement park ride. It would be easiest to just power it with an outboard (or pair of outboards). OTOH, with a inboard engine you can run a hydraulic pump and raise and lower the center hull with hydrualic cylinders, like the way the tailgate goes up and down on a large delivery truck.

    Sounds like a fun project. keep us posted on what you come up with.
     
  3. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    CA,

    What is the budget and the time frame?

    There is a design I have seen, I'll look it up and post it.
     
  4. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,051
    Likes: 237, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    I have a vague recollection of boats with the underwater view in mind. I think that they were used at one or more of the Florida tourist attractions. Silver Springs maybe? They were monohulls, electric power, and a substantial part of the boat was above the surface. The underwater part had many windows.
     
  5. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Is this it?
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    No, that's not it.

    I can't find it...

    Somebody help me out here, it was a tri with a centre flooding section that submerged as the OP has suggested. It was plans in a magazine probably 25 years ago. Thought I could Google it up but no luck...

    A guy got 1/3 through building one here in Victoria BC at the dock yard but gave up on it...

    Well, s*#t, it's the first link the OP posted for crying out load.

    I'm going back to bed.
     
  7. Charlie Alpha
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 41
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: Venezuela

    Charlie Alpha Junior Member

    Hello Petros,

    And thanks for the reply. When I say ballast is to lower and raise the water line below or above the viewports / panoramic window the top portion deck and access latter will always be dry and above waterline , so I dont think will be any trouble it will only mean that I have to cruise very slow with the hulls down deep in the water untill problem is solved I have thought of emergency counter ballast( if there is such a term) like concrete weight at bottom of hull that I could let go( easy to make and cheap) to compensate and gain bouyancy if necessary.this for catamaran configuration.

    The TRI configuration is the one that I have given the more thought and seem that I am on the right track because you have the same idea that I had. I have an advantage on this point do to fact that I am in property of five bran new (never used 5 year old) surplus pick up cranes Ezy Lift http://ezylift.com/ that I can use as a whole or parts of it they work on 12v have their own hydraulic pump two 1 inch cilinder and electric winch 1000 pound lifting cap. metal frame and struded aluminum pivoting frame. They can be used to lower and raise the center hull either by pivoting like the Platypus or direct drive up and down from the hydraulic cilinder .

    Building a smaller version 2 sitter for axample wich could be towable from a dingy will help alot to try and see errors and refine the design before putting more money in the proyect but before I get there I will make more than one scale model for sure.

    Also agree on power with outboards and I was thinking a small gen even portable one to run batteries , compressor , pump , fans etc.

    Thank you much I was very shy to post my Ideas now I regret I didnt do it earlier.

    Let me know what you think abou using the pick up cranes?????
     
  8. Charlie Alpha
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 41
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: Venezuela

    Charlie Alpha Junior Member

    Hey ya Tom,

    Hehehehe a spark of humor is always welcome,:D you know what if we flip the BUg upside down keep the wheels as flotation the windows will work great as viewing ports.

    You ask earlier for budget here is what I have in mind

    Some 3000 USD for the first part of the proyect: research, drawings, computer models,trail and error, scale models, maybe a small version two sitter of it etc

    For the final stage some 20000 USD most of it will go into materials and hand labor

    In addition I have already in stock many things that I will be using like all the Knowledge racked up over the years ( impossible to put price on that) as for all the tools that I will be required to use and like I mentioned in an earlier post the hydraulic cranes that will be used for sure as many other equipment that I have adquired and are sitting around doing nothing just occupying space .

    As for time frame . Well with the idea running inside my head for years and finnally with enought confidance money and time. I believe is now or never and 1 year starting 3rd of June ( My Birthday will be the present to myself) should be enough. Or better said My Birthday is the one day I can do anything I want without my wife nagging and complaiting and if I put a deadline on it I better meet it because she will be counting the days until my next birthday hehehehehe.Thats quiet an insentive to push forward !!! In case you are wondering next one will be my 47th Bday.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  9. Charlie Alpha
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 41
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: Venezuela

    Charlie Alpha Junior Member

    Yeap

    Have seen those being on them as well semi and complete submersible last one Sea Explorer in Aruba about 4 years ago love the experience my kid (10 yold then ) thought of it as a outofspace Adventure y try to make him change his mind and think of it as a innerspace but he stud his ground he said until the end was like being in Outer space . That kind of feeling is what I want to provide tourist visiting my town. I will post about the geografics , weather , and some views of where I want to operate this SemiSub
     
  10. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,936
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1593
    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    looks like the EZlift cranes have a lot of parts that would be useful, make sure they are not more valuable to sell off and use the money to build your boat. It would be a shame to use parts off them if they were worth a lot to your neighbors. Otherwise it would be a good source of parts. I was thinking you would go hang out at a place where they repair heavy construction equipment and get friendly with the owner, and ask if he has any used but working spare parts he could sell you. Might be a sours of parts larger than what you have on the EZlifts.

    Come up with a real sexy and swoopy design, like a futuristic space sub. Or go perhaps with a "steam punk" look (designed to look like old fashioned heavy steam run machinery). That could be a lot of fun.

    I love the idea, if you were near by I would come over and share ideas with you. Though it seems 12 passenger is a pretty good sized boat, you would want to have at least one crew plus the pilot I would think (maybe just a pilot), with motor, generators, hydraulics, etc sounds like a 10,000 lb boat. That would be considerably more costly to build than say a 8 or 10 passenger size. But you also need enough passengers to make it pay off as well. I am an engineer and can help with design and details, but the economics of it are another matter you should consider if you want it to be financially viable. A boat like that does not have any other uses.

    How much would a tourist be willing to pay for a ride like that? Is that going to be enough to make it worth the effort? Once built there will be operating cost, fuel cost, registration and inspection fees I am sure, maintenance costs, etc. Calculate out your best guess and see if its worth it. Than double your estimated build costs and operating cost, if it still works than go for it.
     
  11. Charlie Alpha
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 41
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: Venezuela

    Charlie Alpha Junior Member


    I wasnt thinking in taking apart all the cranes maybe two the other 3 are for sale they should bring in some 10000 for the proyect. You will be surprised here sometimes used parts come out to be more expensive than buying new ones .

    As for the looks of the craft I am thinking slick "real sexy and swoopy design, like a futuristic space sub" will be more appealing for my target pop, yet simple and practical.

    Financial : thats why I am thinking 12 pax 2 crew ( me and deck hand ) I have to crush numbers but lets consider some things and make some very raw figures

    1) No other tourist attraction like this in the area I live in the coast , in a national park, with some 10 beaches and some 32 small islands visited by locals ( not considering peole with their own boat, jet ski, wind surf, kite surf etc) in the off season and packed full not a bit of sand available to lay a towel on high season. Available for this people are:

    Beach shades with chairs more than 500
    Pedal Boats maybe some 50
    Boat rides ( from 12' wooden pangas or peñero to 100' plus Azimuts) hundreds of them
    Towed innertube banana sauces rides over 50
    An ocational Parasail has operated in the area before

    Yes I am doing my home work!!!!

    2) Fair weather two seasons WET and DRY is always hot 85F / 90'sF , Dry season well it doesnt rain from Jan till May, Wet season it rains almost every day but no all day storm Monzoon type kind of storm. Almost predictable an hour maybe two of rain every day around 3 pm that predictable and then will clear again very seldom days of all day drizzel or really cats and dogs stay home is not need to get wet to your knees kind of day. I will be very conservative to say over 250 working days weather wise.

    3) Holydays I cannot think of place (country) with more holydays than mine. Carnaval around Feb. oficially 3 days normallythe whole week, eastern another week , school vac from july to sept, Xmas from the 15th of Dic to jan 7th, with countless local and national days Independance day, Labor day, signature of Independace day Simon Bolivar birthday day Columbus day and the list goes on for ever All other religious holydays saints , Virgin Mary , Patron Saints, and on and on and then the normal 52 normal weekends sat and sun. Last time I checked we had 189 free days out of 365 more excuses for days not to work than to work yes thats 176 working days.Of course not everybody is off all the Holydays but evryone will try to make an excuse to take a day off.

    4) Cost of fuel 20 cents a gallon I dont even consider the cost of it in my budget .

    5) For an innertube towed ride they charge 30 Bs roughly some 7 bucks for a 5min ride say I plan to charge 25 USD per person per 30min ride 10min cruising from beach to inmersion site and back and 20 submerged

    Now considering all the above which are very good PRO's

    Lets crunch some raw numbers and try to be very conservative: In any given day 9 to 5 , 8 working hours lets say 4 are efective and we can get 1 ride per hour full 12 passsenger so

    12 passengers x 4 rides/day = 48 passenger rides/day at 25 USD per passenger ride = 1200 USD/day

    We are not going to work 365 days a year maintaining , bad weather , brake downs, etc we are not going to work 189 holydays but lets be real conservative and fix a goal at 100 Operating days per year.

    100 Operating days per year x 1200 USD per day = 120000 USD per year

    HUMMM looking good thats the good part lets go to the other side lest start with the worse


    120000 - 12% sales tax urggggggggggg ( 14400 USD ) = 105600 USD
    105600 - 2% gross income tax (2112 USD) urggggg again = 103488 USD
    103488 - salaries wedges benefits of 3 employees including
    1 minimun wedges 1 mid range 1 Capt. minimun salary
    here is very very low (372 per month) including me
    at around 20k a year around 40000 USD = 63488 USD
    63488 - marina slip or dry cradle 6000 USD = 57488 USD
    57488 –maintanance and upkeep 10000 USD = 47488 USD
    47488 – permits licence registration insurance 5000 USD = 42488 USD
    42388 - anual haul out mayor repairs work
    paint antifauling 10000 USD =32488 USD
    32488 – operational cost gas, oil, etc 5000 USD =27488 USD
    27488- miselaneous and unpredicted expences 7488 = 20000 USD

    20000 Profit plus expences and my salary covered doesnt look that bad off course very raw numbers have to research more some items will be more some will be less. And Thats for a very conservative estimate could be alot more days to work and thats not even considering selling the service to School trips, fundations , summercamps ,etc. that will increase potentially the income because will not vary the expences in the same proportion.

    Before anyone says any thing I know is a very long post , and this is not a Bussines Economics forum that some may think that has nothing to do with the design of the boat but for me at least is probably the most important thing in designing not only a boat but any other product. NO MONEY NO GO!!!





    pe
     
  12. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,936
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1593
    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    Now, what do you figure it will cost you there to build such a boat? The up front investment has to pay off as well.

    Might be also worth considering a simpler more traditional glass bottom boat, cost much less to build, but you could not charge as much per ride (it would be also much easier for someone else to copy that if you are making a lot of money with it, not so with your tourist submarine).
     
  13. Charlie Alpha
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 41
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: Venezuela

    Charlie Alpha Junior Member


    Believe me I have looked and consider many options, the glass bottom boat among them. I could actually buy one in the States and ship it in a container for less money than building one here. But is not only the money making that appeals to me from designing and building a creation of my mind You may call it EGO but the achievement gets you lots of self retribution , and a sence of proudness that couldn't find from just going and buying a boat against making building and sweating something very unique. A real dream come trough. And besides is not a submarine and not far from a glass bottom boat y will be something in between different that will stand out in the crowd.

    Also you are right when you say "(it would be also much easier for someone else to copy that if you are making a lot of money with it, not so with your tourist submarine)" I have seen it happening time and again A good example the banana inner tube tow ride from one or two where kids and adults will stand on a line to get on them to a swarm of towable rides that have to fight each other to get a client lowering prices to make the day. I think I will be jumping ahead by skipping the glass bottom boat.
     
  14. Charlie Alpha
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 41
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: Venezuela

    Charlie Alpha Junior Member

    OK enought with the Bussines talk lets hear about the design itself. Now I will try to start in some modeling I think I will do it on clay or plaster , solid models just to get ideas of how the craft will look this will be form and design . Some drawings I have already made (freehanded) . I desided to make two one will be a Catamaran for the ballasting tanks system and the Trimaran for the hydraulic lift/ lowering center hull system maybe a third one for a mono hull configuration I ve being thinking about the last few days here below are some images from the web that I have found interesting
     

  15. Charlie Alpha
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 41
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: Venezuela

    Charlie Alpha Junior Member

    The Platipus Trimaran center hull lowered into the water below water line scuba divers ride like on a bike
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.