Affordable, long-term liveaboard?

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

  1. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    No it is not. I did some preliminary calculations on Jonathan Coles project and the the figures agree. Obviously, it was a well thought out project and the fact that Turanor Project Solar did not deviate much from the concept provided by Jonathan Cole in Post no. 4 proves that the project is viable. The Turanor major deviation is the suspended hull but that is because it was meant to travel in blue water. Jonathan said that his live aboard was meant to travel short distances only when he desires to and its primary function is for living in.

    So the Turanor has had some problems, so did the the boats that I have built. Some brand new equipments just happen to fail at the most opportune moments. Peters Principle. Every boat is built upon the success of previous ones and the more boats that is built, price (material and labor) goes down. The concept proved it will work, not 100% at the moment, but soon.
     
  2. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Which figures do you consider to be viable?
    I didn't raise any questions regarding his LOA, beam, L/B hull ratio or displacement. Structural soundness of his concept may need explanation since it is long slender hulls with 14-20 ton displacement.

    The area of my objections on JonathanCole's concept are discussed in detail, but to summarize;
    1. Cost of the project budget of $150k, when his optimistic itemized list was $200k not including any labor, engineering, testing, and minor failures.
    2. Exclusive renewable propulsion system in general. If target niche was retirees with absolutely no time constraints then this is not a problem. But his stated goal was to "inhabit water planet", that sounds like most people with busy working schedules traveling most of the ocean surface.
    3. Supposed initial affordability and low maintenance cost with exclusive use of renewable energy.
    4. I can explore concepts with above criteria, but his intolerance of any objections to his ideas are the signs of misguided idealism and lack of Physical Laws, IMHO. My major objection was his attitude.

    So, what was viable? Any faults with my objections?
     
  3. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Just started looking back thru this older subject thread from the beginning, and wondered where you ended up with your project??
     
  4. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Floating Cottage, Raft, Houseboat

    In general I think the discussions here have 'over-complicated' the liveaboard houseboat idea. look at a few of these floating rafts I visited in Thailand recently:
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/retirement-houseboat-floating-home-23987-11.html#post679692

    I will be posting many more photos over at that subject thread very soon, including a few of a couple of these 'vessels' under construction. I think you will find its entirely possible to build a relatively nice but inexpensive floating cottage.
     
  5. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Enviromental Unit

    Also posted over on that subject thread...

     
  6. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Brian, the original goal was 'something practical for a couple to live on, economical to build and operate, staying on the water for weeks at a time, in protected water. debate technology watermakers, sail/engine/motor sailer, etc.' and implied traveling live aboard rather than floating stationary house.

    But the Koh Panyee island football (soccer) team video was GREAT!

    As for UVA Learning Barge and Elizabeth River Project is an awesome stuff. Thank you for sharing them.
    Some good things I liked was definitely about restoring polluted river and getting public participation by Learning Barge project. On the Learning Barge, they produce all their energy renewably and is off grid. Most importantly, they had a sufficient budget and design concept that made this sustainably operable without huge finance and immature technology. Composting toilet and rainwater collection are other commendable practical solutions that work.
    However, to nit-pick (all for improving excellent project), I question use of Ipe wood as sustainable decking material. Yes, Ipe is sustainably harvested Brazillian hardwood used for high end decking material, but Brazillian rain forest is shrinking at alarming rate and transporting them over long distance adds more fossil fuel use increasing carbon footprint. Another concern is the concrete basins as wetland. If these basins are just small hands on wetland examples that would be good for hands on experience to the public, but if this is their system of wetland restoration then this is another Green-washing of real need for real swampy wetlands.

    Just my $0.02
     
  7. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    The original opening posting

    I think my posted references addressed this.

    This can be a pretty big discussion matter. I think you will find that some of these matters have been touched upon in that other subject thread, but certainly not all.

    When you see a few of the postings I will eventually add to that other subject thread you will begin to get an idea of how cheaply these floating 'rafts' are built in Thailand,.....mostly the structures from relatively cheap steel fabrication.

    They also get pretty inventive with relatively system generator systems.

    As for power to move around wait till you see their 'push/pull' vessels fashioned from welded steel and old diesel truck parts. These tug vessels might well be built of plywood, and the tug vessel could also double as your vehicle (dingy) to the landside dock areas when you were 'anchored out'.
     

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  8. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    I just discovered this thread. The original concept had lofty goals, but some of these concepts have been explored pretty thoroughly in the near past too.

    Here in Seattle, and also in BC Canada et-al, there are plenty of Millionaires/Billionaires with nearly self sustaining floating homes. The rules in Seattle are quite complex, and drive design as well. Floating homes have no propulsion, and have one tax rate. Boat houses may have no (legal) shore service connections. House boats must have propulsion, and are often barges or houseboats with an outboard, sometimes electric. They have another set of rules, and a different tax rate. Then there are the truly ‘off grid’ designs which tend to be barges, though longer and narrower, and though occasionally with power, some have a sail rig too. These often rely on buddies with actual tugs or trollers to tow them to a new location. At the very bottom, 2 tiny live-aboard barges (Escargot) have pedal power, and one at least moves about the lakes quite a bit.

    These barges are, plywood (a bit rare), steel, concrete, foam, logs, and occasionally PVC plastic. Sometimes a combination of several such. Many are built extremely cheaply, out of necessity, and a bit like the floating shanties on the Mississippi during the depression i think. However, manny are well thought out, virtually self sustaining, very comfortable, and totally mobile, if a little slow. The exception might be the couple of space-ship like vessels, single hull, flared bow like a ‘house boat’, 2 story, fiberglass hull, aluminum and black glass superstructure. These are self supporting for weeks, and can get around pretty quick, 12-15kts at least. Another, one at least, in BC, is completely underwater, no heating or cooling bill, and has a beach on its 'roof'.

    Few fall into a clear cut category, except those in the city environs for tax purposes, and many barge like ‘homes’ that are permanent live-aboard have survived severe storms of a PNW type.

    I have no statistics, i doubt anyone has, but their could be 100’s of people living their lifestyle in this way.

    At the ‘luxury’ end of the scale, these floating houses are often on concrete tanks (a ‘barge”) with the house built of aluminum and glass with excellent insulation. Often the reverse cycle heating/AC relies on water temperature for differential. Some have underwater viewing ports. At least one, has stand alone solar, composting toilets, and either zero, or very little waste or shoreside services. It is not ‘mobile’ in the normal sense however. As far as i can tell, not one is a multihull, and plenty get about easily enough, though hardly economically. Except perhaps the sail powered version, some of which are ‘trillo’ barges. Few go where they want, when they want, they “live’ on the water, and usually work their too.

    In a previous job, i/we explored the ‘floating’ homes in the Netherlands, where some homes actually float in quiet water, and others are ‘fixed’ in marshy land. Seattle has lots of flood prone land, and we were exploring the floating, concrete basement concept for such marshland dwellings.

    I too was impressed by the floating, and ‘island’ villages in Thailand, though all i saw needed pretty calm water to exist. Their sense of community seemed to help, and some seemed to have lived in one area for generations. Hong kong, and other such areas also sport such communities.

    Having just helped design the 787, i can tell you, all electric systems may not be so economical, or efficient. Please note; these so called “green’ electric systems require some pretty mucky manufacturing processes for chips, wire, and batteries.
     
  9. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    [​IMG]
    It doesn't really matter, but this is what the OP said comes closest to what he was looking for. An actual boat that can easily go places and is not so limited as a houseboat is when it comes to moving around.

    But, having been hijacked by JC, the OP abandoned the thread and started over on another. So that's why it doesn't matter which way the thread goes, as far as I can tell.

    That said, house boats are very interesting. The floating home with a towboat is also very interesting. I don't know how regulated it is though in the US, I suspect there are very few places you can use something that is not very mobile, as in "OK Buddy, move it along out of here".

    I would like to see a lot more photos of the Thai push/pull boats, those things are killer.
     
  10. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    NoahWannabe,

    Thanks for voicing out your objection but I think such harsh words like >drawn on a napkin< and >lack of understanding in laws of physics< is inappropriate. You obviously did not read the other discussion on the project on the other thread of same project.

    This is not something that is just pulled out of a hat. Jon Cole is serious about it and has invested time, money, and a lot of thought in the project. I met him. He is a very intelligent person, mild mannered, and keeps an open mind. He travelled halfway around the globe just to visit our shipyard in the Philippines because we were designing/building a series production of the large 80 footer cat. He also visited and explored our tax free Eco Zones and other boatbuilding facilities. Because he was thinking on an international scale, he also visited New Zealand and Thailand but at the time, unfortunately, I was already working in another country.

    You contradict yourself by saying >this is not rocket science< and yet accuse him of >obviously you don't have any engineering background<. His project was collaborated by other notable members of the forum and all our computations showed that it is right on the money, ballpark, or needs a little tweaking on his original estimate. The cost he had in mind is within the budget based on hundreds of quotation he received from OEM manufacturers. Of course, he realizes that to go on a mass manufacturing scale, he needs tons of money to invest on equipment and infrastructure. The design he had in mind was built for a purpose and it is that purpose from which all calculations and estimate has been done. As for power management, nobody could beat him as he knows what he needs, what to put in the boat, where to get the equipment, losses, efficiency, ect. The project has gone through the preliminary boat design spiral.

    Had we known that project Turanor sourced the solar panels (the chunky bit of the cost) somewhere in an electronic manufacturer in the Philippines, the project could have been a go.

    And what is wrong with >inhabit the water planet<. That is his mission/vision statement. It may take him several years to achieve it or produce several hundred thousand to do it but that is his business plan. If he fails, he has only his wounds to lick.

    You are being clouded by your perception >because you, JonathanCole, was very condescending and lacked basic laws of Physics and material science<. You should be nice to other forum member. Forum Rules.
     
  11. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    I was getting ready to build a Pilgrim 44 recently, but was told by another forum-ite that George's weights were too light, and it would sink lower than indicated on the plans. This was an issue, as i was already concerned about the free board.

    In researching such vessels, i discovered that the more elegant, and ‘ship shape’ a vessel was, the less likely it was to get complained about, and ‘moved on’ by authorities, or otherwise. i can believe this. Few people object to an elegant boat, especially sail, in their sight lines. Few people like an ‘eyesore’ replete with geraniums and bicycles, whether sail or power in their sight line.

    i also read about one of Phil Bolgers designs, i think it was called the “Barge Houseboat”, which despite its name looked just like a 40’ sport-fisherman on the outside, complete with flared bow etc, but was a flat floored apartment inside, with a double bed in the bow, and a ‘normal’ shower, toilette, kitchen, and living room etc toward the back. I cannot now find my diagram/drawing of it.

    In the same vein, a Bolger AS29 or AS-39 might be unacceptable, whilst a Bolger ‘Romp” or “Red Zinger” might be acceptable. http://hallman.org/bolger/isometricseven

    In the original brief, the OP? (what’s an OP?) suggested dynamic positioning using electric motors from a GPS. Typically windage is the worst issue with these class of vessels, and i could imagine the power drain being quite high. Certainly far higher than the power needed to raise a couple of anchors.

    I am very impressed by the Thai engine power schemes. During my visit, i had it explained at some length to me by a Thai boat builder. They mount their engines relatively high in the boat, with a steep (very steep?) shaft line down to the propeller. In the west we would condemn the steep thrust line as being wasteful of engine power. The Thai’s claim the easier run aft to the propeller counters any propeller loss, and allows easier mounting of the engine. Actually i was amazed they didn't have oil pick up issues, the engine was so steep. Classically a ‘tug’ pulling a string of barges (I saw them all the time) would have the engine virtually on deck, in a house, and the propeller (and engine) shaft might have 20-30’ down angle.

    The boat builder showed me two vessels, one the Marriott’s converted rice barge, and another moored alongside it. One had a ‘western’ engine installation, nearly horizontal shaft, the other a ‘Thai’ engine installation, a very steep engine and direct drive propeller shaft. I can’t now remember which was which.

    There was a documentary, BBC i think, about two guys who owned an antique tug, and a classic steel barge. The tug fitted in a kind of “V” shaped wooden socket at the rear of the barge, and pushed. The documentary had them traveling all through the french canal system, so the barge must have been less than 16’ wide. The barge was high enough inside for them to walk around and live in, and they had umbrellas and deck chairs on the deck, held parties for people along the canal sides if i recall. They didn't show much independent travel in the Tug, but clearly could have. The tug was really skinny, and quite deep draft.
     
  12. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    I liked them very much myself, and took a number of photos. I'll likely post them on that other subject thread, to go along with the Thai floating rafts, and houseboats.

    But I had some 'descending order' in mind about the postings, and those have gotten delayed/distracted by some old Dynarig sailing rig considerations I needed to attend to.
     
  13. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member

    I'd like to see those photos. I'm planning to push one Albin with the other.

    Kinda like this photoshopped picture
     

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  14. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Brian, somehow I thought the thread originator (OP?) wanted a live aboard with reasonable internal propulsion system to move around few weeks at a time. Not a floating house. But, I wasn't complaining, as I always seem to learn much from your postings.

    I also like your Motorsailer concept catamaran perhaps little smaller. 30-36 feet length range with aft mast. A single diesel generator with 6 hours cruising battery capacity to drive twin AC electric motors. 15knot max and 10-12 knot cruise. Offshore capable hull. How well does aft mast sail rig work? Has any been tested?

    Sailor Alan, could you elaborate? Some of Thai boats seem to work like a surface piercing propellers and some are steep angled but buried deep aft. They are all well behind the hull. How does 'run aft to the propeller counter any propeller loss'? What is running aft the propeller?
     

  15. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Long boring defense; hopefully somewhat constructive

    rxcomposite, you thought my words were harsh and inappropriate enough to direct me to forum rules but when JC balked at another member and you didn't have any issues. Why is that?

    Rxcomposite and JC, both of you used Turanor Planet Solar project somehow vindicates JC's live aboard concept. So which portion of his project was right on the money? If he was the leading expert on this issue, especially on his power management calculation then why JC's project estimate was $150k and Turanor (TPS) project cost was $19 million? Turanor project team obviously hired all the wrong guys.
    rxcomposite, you keep mentioning JC's numbers were valid. Then, please, share some specifics that we can learn from. I have mentioned several issues with JC's project goals and assumptions. Let me know which of my objections were clouded.

    rxcomposite, nothing wrong with inhabiting water planet. Nothing wrong with renewable energy propulsion. And that is why I have been lurking here for years to learn from this group. I just find that such a noble environmentalist with a high environmental moral position would need '1000 sf of onboard living space and a car to carry onboard' little odd. And, it really irritated me when he was condescending to others because others didn't see his definition of environmentalism as he sees it. So, I am just jabbing him a little like he did to another member. I just can't stand people "Green-Wash" their view of environmentalism and have an attitude at same time. So if you think my objections were wrong then be specific about which my objections were wrong.

    Maybe this was my problem all along. I didn't get the memo that there was another thread that I was suppose to read before I can comment on this thread. Where was that posted in this thread? And isn't that a cross threading which is against the forum rule? I am a newbie here so please educate me.

    rxcomposite, all jousting aside, I am not here to argue but if anyone accuses me of my error then I will defend myself up to a point, or if I was wrong then prove them to me then I will apologize. Fortunately this was a long Holiday weekend for me and I was not accused of any specific wrongs yet, so I did long winded defense. Apologies to bystanders ;)

    Again, if there were any specifics of JC's concept that were legitimate and if they are not part of an Intellectual Property then please share them here so we can do $19million project for $300k one off. I would prefer 10 meter minimalist version not 35 meters.
     
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