Affordable, long-term liveaboard?

Discussion in 'Projects & Proposals' started by Filmdaddy, Aug 4, 2005.

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  1. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Hull Material

    Can ply-epoxy hull be armored with aluminum skin? It would be ideal if feasible, since ply-epoxy can meet all the structural requirement and have aluminum armor provide hull skin durability in Northern latitudes. I don't mind the bare aluminum look. Corrosion from eddy current is probably my biggest concern. I like wood.

    FRP pangas, not interested due to there typical heavy weight and old FRP probably have some blisters and delaminations. I think better use is making them into work floats or barges for commercial operations. Ultimately all plastics (petroleum derived or supposedly Green plant derived) should be reconstituted for petroleum and rest incinerate cleanly as possible, similar to tire pyrolisys.
     
  2. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Diesel Engine 300 HP

    I am not stuck on Cummins 300 hp engine :( and I knew about the diesel doesn't have good fuel efficiency at low RPM :( :( and that 1200# weight was a concern for me too. :( :( :( Hahaha!
    But, I don't think 175 HP diesel with 2x 75 HP electric motor would work either. I chose 2x 5-12KW electric motors because they are light weights and have been used in sailboats with some success at displacement speed. Doesn't 75 HP 3 phase electric motors weight 500-1000# each? The 5-12 KW electric motors weigh 25-40# each. Add 175 HP marine engine (500-700#) and battery banks for 2x 75 HP electric motors, yikes :eek:

    We had few 1.6 rabbit diesels in US while back...1980s? Not many around and most were modified to be bio-diesel recently. At least in Northern California they did and you know most hobby-mechanics bio-diesel mods doesn't get done properly.
    Maybe better way to do this is get a 300 HP gasoline OB for emergency, and get rabbit diesel (or Jetta diesel) for fast displacement cruising and recharging battery banks. I would still have small AC motors (5-12 KW) for maneuvering and possible back up cruising propulsion. My cruise speed is 8-12 knots. For most ocean crossing 8 knots is probably fine, 12 knots if I need to go against 8 knot current as in some places in PNW inner passage..

    Another thought is just 300 HP 4 stroke OB with a 12KW generator and 2x 10 KW AC motors. I hear new 4 stroke OB is very fuel efficient at low RPM to the point where if most cruise is done at low RPM than WOT then gasoline OB fuel efficiency can be better than diesel inboard. Since my boat wouldn't be that heavy, this may work. What do you think?

    If parasail can be installed instead of sails, then how would it compare to unstayed ketch junk sails for reaching and downwind in terms of single hand operation, ease of control, performance and cost?
     
  3. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    I'm not personally very keen on Junk sail, even the heavily modified 'western' ones. I would prefer a Lug sail, even a high peaked one, even as extreem as a Gunter lug, where the mast reefs with the sail. Here is an unstayed lug, nearly a gunter lug, with quite high performance.

    http://www.roxane-romilly.co.uk

    Masts, of almost any height, will be a pain when motoring fast. At 30kt they will represent a disproportionate part of your drag too.

    Parasails of any kind are only a help when one wants an extremely low center off effort, i.e. deck level. I was thinking they might allow either no mast, or a purely nominal one, and allow quite modest outrigger stability.

    Parasails are basically useless in a maneuvering situation, needing a couple of hundred feet to leeward to 'fly' and probably 20 boat lengths to douse or set, even using 'help'. They have an advantage in medium winds as they will fly up much higher than the water surface. BUT, if the wind drops, so do they. In fact a mast and such will hold a sail up to the wind when there is no wind, and so can 'ghost' when a spiniker, or parasail, will collapse into the water. In very light conditions, we douse the spinnaker and hoist a 'drifter' instead. Note; we once beat an americas cup contender around a short course because they could not fill their spinnaker, and sailed over it!!

    So, on balance, a parasail alone might be useful for long passages with the wind behind the beam, or downwind, allowing a more 'power boat' design, especially of a trimaran, but not much else. I am envisioning you 'launching' such a parasail, probably an old 'square' parachute, time expired, from a 10' high tube with a trumpet mouth at the top. One set of 'risers' would lead from the deck, the other from somewhere on the 10' pole/mast.
     
  4. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    Brilliant actually, now you are onto something.

    Down in New Zealand, Auckland actually, a local built a series of fantastic boats. The first was 38' long, of unknown beam, but back then it had 5 outboards. His reasoning was, an outboard was light and cheap, and though it burned more fuel than an equivalent power diesel, it's actual cost to run over a season would be less. Maintainance was easier, and therefore cheaper, the lighter weight of the engine meant the total installed power weight, engines plus fuel and installation, was much lower, and therefor needed less power. The hull form he chose was the Lurssen, from 30's Germany, and used successfully on german "S", or "E" boats, their motor torpedo boats of WW2. Lurssen still builds 'super yachts' today. The design had to be such as to support the weight of the OB's on the transom, but they were quite light compared to an equivalent diesel installation. More or less the opposite of centering the weights.

    His next boat was even more interesting, a 63' long 'cruiser' with 2 decks I think, and powered by 7 outboards. He instaled an Onan generator for auxiliary power, the first such in NZ as i recall. Now remember, these were 2 strokes, and probably about 150-175hp at the time. I wish i remembered the weight/displacement, but it was very light.

    The boats were all strip planked using western red cedar, with fine bows rolling into a near flat bottom at the transom. A rounded 'hard' chine with classic dead rise shape, a bit like a down east lobster boat, with no keel/skew.

    Though he usually blew up to Kauai, or Rangatoto with friends, he sometime cruised further, in which case, he raised several of his motors and 'cruised' on the rest. I have always been extremely impressed with the concept, though the Lurssen hull form certainly helped too. He was running fewer OB's at lower speeds so he could run the remaining OB's at better, more efficient RPM, but also to reduce empenage drag, a big advantage.

    I am a bit astonished at the weight of modern 4 stroke outboards, but you are right, they do use fuel directly in proportion to actual power produced/used by the propeller.
     
  5. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    I would not cover plywood with aluminum, getting an adhesive that accepts the diferential expansion rates from sun heating, and water splash cooling is not a trivial task. Aluminium and steel boats are notoriously noisy, but honeycomb or foam might help. I know foam stabilizes plywood quite well, but i am not so sure about aluminum.

    Here are a couple of relevant posts for hull concepts.

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/long-skinny-power-boats-5073-6.html See Posts #87 and #88.
     
  6. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    We at Boeing had a special program (run by a colleague) to recover carbon fiber etc from scrap produced during manufacture. We actually sponsored/supported a plant to do just that, including recovering steel and carbon black from tires. There was a lot of PR millage in it too. People imagined we could recover the carbon fiber, and re-use it. In fact the aircraft industry is not allowed to re-use scrap aluminum as its pedigree is unknown, raw, virgin, material only (sort of).

    What we found was that it was far cheaper to simply chop up the carbon/epoxy scrap and use it for new road surfaces. These surfaces were far better for wear than rock, and the demand was insatiable. Then we discovered that the people who made carbon micro floats (balls) to support deep sea drilling shafts used new carbon fiber, but preferred our scrap. This market alone could use 10X what the whole aircraft industry could produce were all our planes carbon fiber. We at least were very parsimonious with producing scrap, that stuff is very expensive.

    The same program did lots of work on Bio-diesel in our planes, and in fact we tested some successfully. Unfortunately after several weeks of collecting, all over the west coast, we only had enough bio-diesel for one small tank, but we flew the mission anyway. About 7% of the fuel used was Bio-diesel. Note, no modification to the engines was needed, merely care with the fuel.
     
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  7. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Affordable Cruising Sailing Rig

    I am not a good sailor :( And, since I am looking for an affordable, durable sailing rig, I look for a low tech sail rig with low stress, low tensile parts and low CE. I was hoping junk rigs will give me easier control, longer lasting rig and something I can fix if something breaks during passage making. Performance is not a major priority (I think), if I can do 6-8 knots then it should be good. Narrow high L/B ratio hull should help achieve this easily ???

    Mast height is an issue. Raising and lowering mast is an issue. Mast drag is another issue. So, even with a junk (balanced lug) sail I was thinking retractable masts. I am open to any gunter, lug or spritsail rig. Do I sound lost? :p
     
  8. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Power Propulsion

    Lurssen hull seems interesting and very similar hull design concept with what I want. Good bow overhang, not too much flare but still sharp bow. Good displacement hull. Mine is flat dory but, narrow dory hull should behave more like narrow round hull except for more lift from the flat bottom. Stern is little different though.

    Empennage drag? How does it work for boat hull? Is it more like slight drag to keep better tracking? So NZ boater with 7 OBs left few OB down with balanced drag for improved tracking? Or does a good empennage drag configuration actually improve acceleration?

    Main 300 HP OB with twin electric motor on amas is from my other boating concept. Slow cruising catamaran with high speed main hull strapped between the hull for fishing and runabout duty instead of carrying a dinghy.

    A four stroke outboards are getting lighter by squeezing more power out of smaller engine blocks (4 cylinder instead of 6 cylinders). I think their weight is becoming on par with 2 strokes now.
     
  9. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Ecological Sustainability RANTS

    This is subject I am becoming more passionate every day these days. Most "ecological", " Green", "environmental" and "sustainable technology" is usually "Green Washing" than actual conservation of our environment. I am becoming more believers of low cost is the Green Technology for most part. Expensive Green technologies usually have high embodied carbon footpring if not before manufacturing of the product but definitely during the life cycle of the product. I am more amazed how poor third world people recycle our junks very effectively and environmentally.

    I was involved with used tire pyrolysis couple of decades ago, and it works but finance is hard to make ends meet. Yes, you get some steel fibers, some solvents and some carbon black. I have seen Koreans cut old tires into long strips of steel belted rubber rope for truck load tie downs, back in 80s and 90s. (They were kind of third world back then sorry) Complete reuse of absolute junk here in US back then. This was before current nylon tie down straps with inexpensive racheting lever mechanism.

    How many South and Eastern Asians use a small 1-2 cylinder tractor for family owned farm and compete with Farming corporations from Western countires using huge combines.

    And, Thai Longtail boats are a wonderful testimony of inexpensive, fast, efficient use of modern technology in most economical form. Yes, I will agree many of their motors probably don't meet CARB (California Air Resource Board) and possibly EPA standards. But they can and still be super economical and ecological.

    Most smart environmental law school graduates go into litigation rather than IP protection or corporate counselling. More money in litigation. What do they with the money, BURN CARBON! Vacation, bigger house, imported wine, expensive car!!! They make money off by suing people supposedly polluting our environment, but they don't do anything actively to help our environment.

    As much as I like to conserve environment, I support nuclear power plant. Utilizing open nuclear power plant installation and public inspection would make our energy production much safer. Even with Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima, what is total death toll? 1000, 10,000 lives? What is our death toll from coal power generation? 100,000 per year? 1 million lives per year? Why are we using coal power generation? Ask environmentalists! They didn't want the nuclear power.

    How bad is Chernobyl, few thousand dead, tens of thousands suffering from radiation related diseases. Wildlifes are back like gangbusters and thriving in highly radioactive area and reproducing, and wildlife population growing.
    Fukushima could have been prevented by following existing guidelines and laws. Broken rules in a lithium battery factory can be just as devastating but not as bad as coal generation. Three Mile Islands? No immediate death. Next door power plants within 300 feet are still operating and people working there. Across the river, ~2000 feet, family homes mow their lawns. I bet more people died in 70s from anti-nuke demonstrations. I am not glorifying nuclear power, just putting things in proper perspectives.

    I do work in Cleantech industry and am a Green professional with multiple certification too. I drive a hybrid car and has solar panels on my house. We use greywater for our garden and we produce less than 1 CF of garbage per week. We recycle much as we can.

    I planned to use diesel engine in my boat so I can have fried fish and chip on my voyage then use used vegetable oil in my engine, but it isn't working out, :mad: Maybe I can have a diesel generator ;)
    Biodiesel is another false economy, less food for hungry and Mazola corn oil at $9.98 per gallon, hmmm.... Kind of like a new $9,000 sailing rig to save fuel cost on a sail boat. Buy a new 9.9 HP OB for $2,000 and cruise with $7,000. You will need a replacement sail before you can spend $7000 on your fuel. You can cruise faster with OB than sail too.

    I am done with my environmental rant for a month :p
     
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  10. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member

    I believe in living responsibly. I try to obey that principle in my own activities. I also believe in live and let live, a principle called freedom. I absolutely hate and despise "political" environmentalism. Everybody who wants to dictate to others should be dictated to and see how THEY like it.
    If we are going to shut down coal power plants then indeed nuclear or some alternative energy needs to come on line BEFORE the coal plants shut down. Unless you want a third of the USA blacked out. A COLD NORTHERN third.
     
  11. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    More Rants

    Haha Yobarnacle, fortunately I don't have any power ;( And, I am just saying, we need nuclear power until we have true clean power, not current dirty coal power.

    I can go for hydrogen power produced from solar power, clean coal power, tidal current power, offshore wind power, heck gravity power or even dilithium engine. Currently, hydrogen production requires more energy to produce hydrogen than the hydrogen energy it produces. Clean coal isn't clean yet. Methane hydrogen is scarily abundant. Nuclear looks really good for next couple of hundred years.

    On other hand, you would think environmentalists will be happy to see PV panels installed on desert for power generation and transmission to nearby city? Nope, these same environmentalists sue solar power developers for some lizard habitat protection and require environmental impact study for transmission towers. Do you share my frustration?

    I said I wasn't going to talk about environment for a month. Darn, I lied like a typical environmentalist. I do have environmentalist credentials but I have never participated in any environmentalist political activism YET. Except for online forums... never mind, I need to get some work done this week.
     
  12. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member

    I have faith in mankind. We are the dominant species because we are the most adaptable, among other things. Like most aggressive. :)
    We have lived in the artic and the tropics as primitive stone age societies. And, on the sea!
    Now, we can also live in outer space, in the air, and under the sea. Expensive, but we figured out how to do it.
    We will figure out our energy and pollution problems as well. IF we are allowed to think and invent and NOT restricted by well intentioned but IDIOTIC regulations.
    It's frustrating for ALL of us, except maybe those causing the problems and maybe for them too. Can't cause problems FAST enough? Who knows?:(
    Hope you have a productive and happy day. Whistle while you work isn't just a tune from a Disney animation. It's a cheerful atitude! :)
     
  13. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    For complete answers to the above questions, read "Physics for future Presidents" by Richard A Muller. He has exact statistics, which i could quote, but the book is an excellent read.

    I am familiar with the process used to burn coal with NO waste at all. ABB, or ASEA as it was when i worked for them, built and operated such a plant for decades successfully. It used extremely high pressure and temperature in a closed loop system where all byproducts were either burnt as part of the process, or extracted (heavy metals etc). The waste heat from this process (carnot cycle) was used to heat the roads and sidewalks of a city. in summer the roads just got a little warmer, in winter, NO snow or ice. Why don't we build such here?

    I also know how to design, and probably build, a completely safe nuclear power plant, with no waste issues, and no chance of proliferation. In fact, any competent and knowledgeable Physicist should too, the 'pebble bed' reactor. It is only the public's ill informed concern about any Nuclear plant, and the political fallout from that, that has stopped such plants being built.

    Worse, i also know how to design a Fusion Power Tokomak that will work today. Unfortunately, it runs so hot, the walls of the copper containment vessel are slowly eroded, BUT. The tokomak walls will last at least 8 years at full power, and this copper is recovered from the process, so no waste. In fact, the tokomak would be probably be obsolete after 8 years, so why not. Well because no one wants to admit in public they are building such a plant for a limited life span??

    A colleague at Boeing, the one responsible for alternate aviation fuels, went out and bought a new car when he saw the predictions for oil availability in the future, an Audi TT. His thought was, he might as well enjoy what little oil there was left. As one of the Boeing representatives to the 1st world conference on alternate aviation fuels, I not only championed the use of the Fisher-Trobish process, but suggested we add suitable additives (technically contaminants) to this otherwise pure fuel, to emulate the product of a normal refinery cracking process. The Fischer-Trobish process turns coal into fuel, diesel and jet fuel being very similar and roughly interchangeable.

    I remember many years ago helping calculate that it would be cheaper for Britain to provide every household with a new refrigerator every 5 years, rather than building a new power plant big enough to power all the old refrigerators. In due course, Britain, and America, both introduced incentives for people to buy more efficient appliances. I have no illusions that my work helped, far too obscure.
     
  14. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    I agree with your requirement for long range cruising at 8-12kt, but I am not sure how to reconcile this with a 30kt top speed, let alone respectable sail power as well.

    Your original suggestion that a 10:1 length/beam ratio is sound for this purpose. Let's assume 40' LWL, and 4' LWB. This also implies a vertical stem and stern, though we can discuss this later.

    A 4' waterline beam is quite narrow, but not impossible. If we flair the upper works out, above the waterline, and especially if we raise the height of the deck house for standing headroom, the hull will rapidly become unstable. There are three solutions to this, great depth and therefore displacement and weight, or an increase in virtual beam, usually accomplished by outriggers. Finally, dividing the 4' beam hull into two 2' wide versions, and separating them by some margin, the catamaran.

    Whilst a monohull 4' WLB is possible, it is not very practical unless it is either ballasted, which increases displacement and drag, or artificially stabilized. The one possible exception might be Wm Gardens Tlinget, and it's cousins. These are typically up to 60' long, just to get standing headroom over a portion of their length, and rely on 'Dory' like flair for stability. They are seaworthy as long as the crew is still in charge. Tad Roberts had a similar design.

    Typically, and classically, both catamarans and trimarans of 40' LWL pare their hull beams down far less than an aggregate of 40:1, with typically 2' maximum beam for the center hull, and perhaps 6-9" maximum beam for the floats, or 18" each for catamaran hull maximum beam.

    I can see the attraction of a Philippines type boat, and it is attractive. A 4' beam, 40' LWL center hull, stabilized by very small, typically 8-10" diameter, full boat length, floats, spaced some 12-14' or more from the center hull centerline looks very economical, BUT. It will be quite sensitive to lateral loading, and any significant weights placed much more than 4' from the hull centerline will depress that side float. If the float support (aka) is kept open, ie roll up, stoweable netting decks in fine weather only, and no 'rolling' forces are exerted (no sailing), this configuration should be fairly safe. Modern designers seem to prefer shorter, deeper, ama's/floats, much closer to the main hull (less overall beam), rather than the thin, long, wide spaced, floats of the Philippines.

    What does this mean.

    It means, build a long thin plywood boat, 40' LOA, 36'+ LWL, 3.5'-4' WLB, with flat bottom, flared dory sides up to 1-2' above the WL, carrying the flair forward into the high bow contours. Above this flared side, the flare would be exaggerated, creating bunk flats, or other accomidation out to about a total hull beam of, say, 8'.

    Now some choices. I would choose a pair of OB's, for redundancy, to give the top speed desired, 20+kt! using only one for cruising at slow speed. The only big issue I would have with this is, gasoline may become increasingly difficult to obtain in marinas. Note; as the trucking industry is forced to use CNG, diesel might also become harder to find, and more expensive too.

    Now I would have a separate diesel electric generator, wind generators, and solar panels charging as many batteries as you could stand in weight. These would drive a pair of electric motors on the stern of each ama. These motors would also generate into the batteries in tidal, or sailing conditions.

    For sailing I would have to make two choices; a 'real' rig, and 'real' ama's, or parachutes and 'small' ama's.
    Currently, my choice would be 'small' ama's and a parachute, primarily because I had the electric motors and battery power for in harbor, and maneuvering. Further, I would choose the short, tall, close Ama's, though I have no logical reason for this.

    Though the main hull is very narrow, it is stabilized by the ama's, and so should support a fishing platform, even a fishing chair, above the OB's and even a bunk under this fishing platform.

    This boat is designed to be quite fast, 20+ Kts, so wind over deck is going to be an issue. Though I recommend a high flared bow to ride OVER waves, the whole front of the boat needs to be more or less weatherproof. Ie a glass windscreen, and watertight hatches in the deck.

    The stern WL would be either 4' wide, or perhaps slightly wider (tapered 'triangular' hull form), to support the OB weight. The bottom would 'ramp' up such that it was close to the surface at 8-12kt cruising speed. At higher speeds, side strakes, retractible or fixed at the 'new' waterline, would support the stern at speed.

    Cheapest construction in the PNW might be strip plank western red cedar, but I would be concerned about the effort needed to Long Board, or sand the finish. I think my preference might be plywood, well supported by stringers and bulkheads. The main hull would indeed look like an extended dory.
     

  15. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member

    Does the containment have to be pure copper? Why not beryllium copper or beryllium bronze? I used to compete in western fast draw when younger. Cap and ball as well as cartridge revolvers.
    Changed all my steel nipples for beryllium bronze nipples. Didn't get beat up from the hammer like steel, and the spark hole didn't get enlarged/burnt by the fulminate of mercury caps like steel did. More dependable ignition.
    Maybe beryllium would withstand the heat better than pure copper?
    Wasn't expensive as cylinder nipples on cap/ball pistols. Course you could hide 50 nipples in your fist.
     
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