Advice on Raft/barge/ferry from lumberyard material for occasional 6 mile trip

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Randall Brower, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I get the upriver swing from current bit.

    I'd be balls to the wall up the middle of the river with such a barge.

    Just like the idea of driving it with a separate boat. I suppose towing would be better; except not sure about downstream.
     
  2. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    Yes downstream not much of an issue so long as you stay in the deep water. I guess I would be uncomfortable with 10,000 pounds behind me when going down stream and you inadvertently ground on a sand bar with the tow
    boat. .
     
  3. Rumars
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    Rumars Senior Member

    Common people, the solutions are obvious.
    1. Speed: current is running 8mph so to get uphill a displacement vessel must have a waterline lenght that permits speeds over that. To get uphill at 3mph over ground he must drive 11mph through the water, wich means a lenght of minimum 60ft.
    2. Propulsion: you don't drive a big heavy displacement boat with an outboard designed for planing. Regardless of the kind of engine he needs the right prop with the right reduction. Realisticly that means a diesel engine with a big prop. 100-200hp would do it no problem and have reasonable fuel consumption.
    3. Draft: either use a vessel config where the prop is always in deeper water and protected, or use paddle wheels.
    4. Fuel: if diesel is to expensive he can always go to wood fired steam. This of course requires compliance to federal steam regulations and that could be more expensive then buying diesel.

    The ideal vessel would be a 80ft+ sternwheeler, diesel powered, double planked wooden hull, with a loading ramp. Such a vessel can be buildt and operated with more or less local resources.
     
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  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    None of the outrigger canoes and flimsy catamarans would survive the first impact at 8 MPH against a rock. Check out any video of kayaks and canoes going through rapids in that area.
     
  5. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Is a flat bottom float barge a displacement hull or semi-displacement? I like your point here about hull speed which has been greatly glossed over.

    I can't recall if the trucks need to go upriver or just down, but running a truck upriver on a flat bottom barge gonna take some serious umph.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Flat bottom boats will plane nicely. Think of a regular jon boat.
     
  7. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Not sure if a flat bottom boat with a 6 ton jeep is planing is all.

    not in my wheelhouse
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It's a matter of enough power. However, I think this idea revolves around a slow moving barge. For 9 knots, that would be a waterline of about 45 feet at displacement speeds. Semi-displacement is often the worst operating range in terms of efficiency.
     
  9. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    Too much fuel. Randall already stated that a couple of pages back. And he's got access to barges already. Hence the cat solution. Less fuel. No rocks or rapids in the Yukon river here. (btw, check out catarafts if you're interested in how catamarans get on with white water.) A rapidly moving channel and silt bars is the main hazard to navigation, and more of a problem for larger barges. Have a look at the excellent Alaska's River Highway video that Bluebell posted a while back.
     
  10. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    the problem with the cat is wetted area is too low which drives the ppi down; we have had multiple posters over the last years with insufficient buoyancy and the answer is always the same; if you have the hull go all the way across; it offers you more loading capability at less draft

    the cat hull option would need to be really big to have 8000 pounds available loading for the truck and the vessel draft would be deeper than a flat bottom barge

    Anyhow, cat is out I'd say.
     
  11. Randall Brower
    Joined: Apr 2020
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    Randall Brower Junior Member

    I wouldnt call it a road but there is an ATV trail to the shore due north of the parking lot. But its not desirable for heavy loads like the ferry is designed for.
     
  12. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Fuel cost solution way out of budget and frought with it's oun problems.

    Six miles of cable connected to a waterwheel driven winch.

    Better yet,
    Two barges connected with six miles of cable. The one traveling down river deploys drogues to pull the other upstream.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
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  13. Randall Brower
    Joined: Apr 2020
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    Location: Tanana AK

    Randall Brower Junior Member

    Spot on. I've seen that design many times. Just drive the boat up into the notch in the rear between the two main logs, lash them together and hit the throttle. When in port it makes for great place to park your boat.

    As for the "winging it", it was meant to be comical. Someone mentioned something along the line of my having a well thought out plan vs just winging it. If I were going to wing it, I would have already built (and perhaps already sunk) a couple of versions by now to find out which versions don't work, but sinking the &^$* thing along with my cargo was something I was hoping to avoid. Thomas Edison didn't burn down his office with each light bulb that didn't work. Nor do I want to spend a couple hundred hours and a few thousand dollars to find out it wont carry the load or cost me a day and $500 in fuel to get up to the landing. The reason Im on here with you professional boaters and designers is to find out how to make this work within budget and meet the challenges of shifting sand bars, suitable landing area and pulling it onshore in the winter. The landing at the Fairbanks road head does not have any deep water to dock at. Its all gradual sloped gravel.

    As for the catamaran, I think the issue would be draft. Thin and pointy enough to cut through the waves and have low fuel consumption means that when I hit the shore about 20 feet away from the waters edge. The shores have about 2" slope on 12" run. So 24" draft means the front is at least 12' out. Then the other challenge would be once I drove a truck up on it the cat would be firmly planted into the rocky bank unless I backed it up another 10 feet.

    My cap of $5000 is my personal cap. That's all I would be willing to put toward this project because thats all Im willing to contribute to my having a dock out in front of my house to park my boat at for May through September. And my 5000k cap is only that high if I could use it to go up and get heavy loads 2-3 times a year and perhaps charge $500 to $1000 for someone to borrow it for the day. And we arent likely to live here but 3 to 5 more years before my wife gets a huge promotion. Then it would come in handy to move all my stuff up to the landing when we move.

    As mentioned before, if we didn't have a commercial barge system at 15-22c per lb, then a whole lot of these suggestions would make a whole lot more sense. I love fallguy's solution of "steel shell to be built. The bottom all steel" and would strongly consider it, but we just hit that financial issue of throwing a $10k - $20k solution at a 15 cent problem. Don't get me wrong, 15 cents adds up. But still!

    Someone mentioned just ferrying it in smaller amounts in several trips. That's exactly what we do. I've not mentioned this already because I don't want the ensuing questions that are bound to come, but the #1 reason why Im back on this quest for a ferry solution is that I was appointed as the city manager in March and am responsible for the city's liquor store. As with most bush villages in Alaska we have a very large population of alcoholics so we run about 3000lbs per month in liquor store freight, year round. Perhaps more when its -50. Consider loading 100 cases of beer and liquor into the back of a truck in Fairbanks then driving 45 for the next 6 hours down a very bumpy frontier road, then -- 100 cases out of the truck into the boat. 100 cases out of the boat into the truck. 100 cases out of the truck into the liquor store. That 1000lbs just became 4000 lbs. If I had the liquor distributor load my trailer then drive 6 hours, then back it onto the ferry and float downriver. At 6 knot current then its roughly an hour to get to the landing. Hook up the city's truck and pull it to the liquor store. Now that 1000lbs is only 1000lbs and I avoid a trip to the chiropractor. My thought was if I was building something big enough for this, I might as well make it big enough for a 5000lb truck.

    All of you guys have been very helpful and I appreciate every post. But these are the constraints. Every dollar saved in freight is a dollar to use on roads and other city works department. Low gas prices are fabulous when you are filling your tank, not so great when your state and village economy is based on it.

    I would still love to come up with a solution that fits the constraints.

    Thank you to whoever sent the link to madison boat and barge. I wonder what the load capacity is for the 6x20? While I couldnt pull a trailer on it, I can see if fitting other criteria. Wish I had the plans for it. (Out of time, gotta go)
     
  14. Randall Brower
    Joined: Apr 2020
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    Randall Brower Junior Member

    I really like where this is going but forget that the current is a real problem when you are sticking 60 feet out into the river (40 ft boat with 20ft ramps). You would have to take one massive 100ft rope from the back of the boat up to a tie off point which would be a tree. Perhaps even need one at the front of the boat. What about the cat idea but side loading? That way the current is flowing under the bow.
     

  15. Randall Brower
    Joined: Apr 2020
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    Location: Tanana AK

    Randall Brower Junior Member

    Im told that you dont ever operate near the banks unless you are willing to drop $500-$1000 on a new lower unit. You never know when currents have moved a sandbar. From the upriver landing you go straight north to the channel and stay in the middle of the river following the channel until you get to your boat slip then you come in at a 45 degree angle with enough speed that you can pull up your motor and run to the front with the bowline as you come ashore. Anything else and you are gambling on a new lower unit. When recovering your boat with a trailer you also come in at an angle with enough speed to get in between the runners and pull up the engine. Its a two man job. You've got to have someone upfront to grab the bowline. I've seen natives take 3-4 times to get it right. Current is a real beast to deal with. That's why boats stay out all summer long. I've inquired about cutting a canal to an inshore marina but they said the silt would fill it up in short order. We would have to drain and clear it every year.
     
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