Boat camper topper to haul behind prius

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Kirk, Feb 20, 2022.

  1. Kirk
    Joined: Feb 2022
    Posts: 52
    Likes: 4, Points: 8
    Location: Peoria Illinois

    Kirk Junior Member

    Brainstorming phase.
    Little background.
    I'm in Illinois. Ungodly taxes. They were charging, $150/year for a trailer. Talk about unfriendly towards small business owner starting a lawn mowing business.

    I bought a chopped up pop up camper. Only $18/year since it is a recreational vehicle. The lift/crank part still works. Have a 2005 prius with hitch & inverter to tow camper with.

    I want to get my captain's 6 pack license. Underway 4 hours/day 360 days. (i think these are rules)

    I looked at buying a 26 foot macgregor d sailboat. Taxes & trailer taxes more fees & more fees. planned to put it at marina within walking distance. $1675 marina. +$600 insurance. $800 in government bs. $4500 boat gonna run $7600 1st year.

    I think under 16 feet no motor = Illinois registration not required = no taxes. $18 to register for 3 years. Minnesota wants it registered i think. I plan to camp trailer boat to some national parks.

    & I'm on Illinois River 60 miles away is somewhere i want to boat to. Yes easier to just trailer.

    I own 16 foot canoe.

    Trailer is 7 feet long. 6.5 ft wide. 11 feet from back of trailer to hitch.
    ......
    Ideas before going after sor.
    1. 4 people be nice. 2 required.
    2. Light able to be carried to water by one person. Maybe could breakdown into two pontoons one to be used as kayak. Bn
    3. Paddled nice
    4. Fish able
    5. Under $1000 in materials. Used sail.
    6. Sail power
    7. Rowed
    8. No need for speed. More looking for cheap. That meets requirements for captain's license
    9. Trolling motor & depth finder eventually
    10. Also like bikes to fit on trailer boat.
    11. Foam basement insulation with poor man's fiberglass maybe.
    12. Acts as roof for trailer.
    13. Gf gotta enjoy it. She enjoys fishing.
    14. gotta be safe trailering & boating

    So....
    ......
    Some pics.

    On the low effort side can throw canoe in trailer & put tarp over trailer but probably needs a power source like sail for captain's license.

    On high side could put solar panels. Trolling motor. Outboard maybe. With some way to pedal it. That acts as camper roof. That can be sailed
     

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  2. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 1,013
    Likes: 225, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    Get a job working on a boat with an experienced captain to learn from.
     
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  3. Kirk
    Joined: Feb 2022
    Posts: 52
    Likes: 4, Points: 8
    Location: Peoria Illinois

    Kirk Junior Member

    What would you suggest on Illinois River? I like where i live.

    From what i could see the pay seemed like $15 to $20 working on a barge doing manual labor. I currently make more dealing cards on a gambling boat. Building boat camper would be more of a hobby/entertainment. After captain's license Maybe 7/8 years later could make some money running a charter if i could handle the drunks.
     
  4. Tops
    Joined: Aug 2021
    Posts: 96
    Likes: 26, Points: 18
    Location: Minnesota

    Tops Junior Member

    In Minnesota you can permanently license a trailer for 75$ or something like that.
    Camper trailers are cheap here too.
    Boats above 9 feet need to be registered and registered w/ numbers on hull regardess of size if motorized.
     
  5. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 1,013
    Likes: 225, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    Just saying that if you want to be a charter captain, you’d do well to get some valuable experience in that field, while also collecting your sea time, by working onboard a charter or commercial vessel.
    The Coast Guard is scrutinizing sea time more diligently nowadays, and you may find your investment in rafts and canoes is useless, as well as not preparing you for your desired job.
    Your location is your choice, I’m glad you like it!
     
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  6. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
    Posts: 2,576
    Likes: 408, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1669
    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    Before you start off on the wrong foot I suggest you read this. Captains' License Information https://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=054-09&category=captains-license-info
    It describes the requirements for an OUPV (6 pack) license. Also the time required must be documented. You can't just say I have done this and that. Someone, usually an employer, or another person with an OUPV license has to certify your experience. Your canoe is not going to count for much. The advice given above is sound. Go crew for someone. It doesn't necessarily have to be a licensed skipper and you don't have to be paid. As long as they can write in their log that you crewed for so many hours on such and such a day or write a letter attesting to how much time you have crewing for them. . By the way, sea time in the Coast Guard or Navy, counts as well. Or you can take one of the Coast Guard Approved courses from a school like the Chapman School. There are quite a few. But make sure they have Coast Guard Approval.
     
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  7. Kirk
    Joined: Feb 2022
    Posts: 52
    Likes: 4, Points: 8
    Location: Peoria Illinois

    Kirk Junior Member

    Thanks. I'm not planning to count Canoe time. Coast guard form doesn't have option for paddle power. Altho did just buy a tiny sail.

    According to this website:

    HOW .marinerslearningsystem.com/resources/uscg-sea-time-documentation

    YOU PROVE YOUR BOATING EXPERIENCE FOR A CAPTAIN’S LICENSE?

    Most license applicants self-certify their days of sea time spent aboard their own boat. Proof of ownership of the boat that you’re claiming days of sea time on must accompany your application.

    I will record my time truthfully. I plan to record my time using the form:
    Small Vessel Sea Service Form CG-719S
    https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/NMC/pdfs/forms/CG_719S.pdf


    Gf n i have a sailing class on Illinois river this coming June.
     

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  8. Kirk
    Joined: Feb 2022
    Posts: 52
    Likes: 4, Points: 8
    Location: Peoria Illinois

    Kirk Junior Member

    Illinois hurting for money. Mn n Iowa licensing seems much cheaper. But my trailer/RV sticker was $18 this year. & to get unpowered boat stickers for 3 years is only $18 total ($6/year). Probably sticker my canoe & haul it up to Wisconsin/Minnesota this summer.
     
  9. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 6,060
    Likes: 1,210, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

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  10. Kirk
    Joined: Feb 2022
    Posts: 52
    Likes: 4, Points: 8
    Location: Peoria Illinois

    Kirk Junior Member

    Sorry about my tax ramblings. I'm more in brainstorming phase. Working towards statement of requirements. I wanted some input up front. The coast guard captain's license & boat tax costs are pretty strong drivers of my boat design.

    I like the design you posted. I'm thinking a 3 or 4 piece double kayak pontoon sailboat eventually with a trolling motor. I'll have to make a model 1st.

    Was joking with gf i was gonna build this. See pic teardrop camper n boat.
     

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  11. SolGato
    Joined: May 2019
    Posts: 214
    Likes: 133, Points: 43
    Location: Kauai

    SolGato Senior Member

    I’ll repeat what I’ve said before in other posts, that you should consider finding a project beach catamaran.

    Many have fallen into disrepair, but still have good hulls and cross beams.

    They make a solid spacious and stable platform for getting on the water, and they are light and compact enough to be easily towable behind a small vehicle.

    You could set one up to be demountable if you felt it was necessary, but you could also make a pair of beach wheels to aid in launching.

    If you put a deck on the trailer, you can fit a lot of stuff under a beach cat down low between the hulls.

    Propulsion-wise you can adapt a pedal prop drive, a Hobie Mirage drive, build a paddle wheel, add an outboard, sail, etc..

    A simple and inexpensive way to make it a Camper Cat is to mount a truck camper shell on top. The shell can easily be removed. I suggest using rubber Jeep style hood latches.

    The most important thing to consider when choosing a model to use as a platform is how much stuff (weight) you want to add to it. The classic Hobie Cats do not have large volume hulls, so you have to keep things light. The Prindle 19 would be one of the better older Beach Cats to use for something like this. Their cross beams are flat and easy to work with, and the hulls have good volume to float all the additions.

    To give you a better idea, here are some photos of my Hobie with a long bed high top camper shell on it. I used it like this to camp up rivers and fabricated a cargo rack atop for “luggage”. The older fiberglass shells like this often have very strong roofs allowing you to stand on them, have lots of windows for light and air, and a good amount of head room. And shells like this are so out of style now, people often give them away.


    View attachment 176268 38D7095B-B2C6-45E5-B9F2-B175BA27B0C4.jpeg 1A9CC8D0-BEDA-4C76-83E8-5535057A32DC.jpeg BB0ACA4B-5DAF-41D1-AC42-57411338EAC5.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2022
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  12. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 1,827
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    was a fad in IIRC post WW2 era of small streamlined campers with small matching runabouts on top.

    Guy I knew in HS dad had one. If I'm ever in that 'hood again maybe I'll take a pic.

    Concept could be re-discovered with stitch and glue especially as micro campers are also a fad again.

    I guess you could do either boat as roof so open topped (or tent) with boat removed, or such that the boat serves as 2nd roof and camper is hard topped. I guess a close fitted boat hull would offer insulation.
     
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  13. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 6,060
    Likes: 1,210, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    I drove 275 miles one day up to a favorite lake I like to fish. Required a trailered boat and a motorless boat for the bwca.

    Got the big boat in the water, pulled the other boat off the truck. Back went cachink and barely able to load it all back up. Slept in the truck and drove home next day. Camper topping boats is not done because too easy to get hurt.
     
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  14. Tiny Turnip
    Joined: Mar 2008
    Posts: 800
    Likes: 227, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 743
    Location: Huddersfield, UK

    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    Sell the Prius and buy yourself one of these bad boys. :rolleyes: (turn up the bass to fully appreciate this masterpiece of marketing)

     
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  15. Kirk
    Joined: Feb 2022
    Posts: 52
    Likes: 4, Points: 8
    Location: Peoria Illinois

    Kirk Junior Member

    Thanks super cool design.

    Really liked oars
    The sliding cab
    Also the rubber fasteners
    & of course the spot to put a plant!
    & while thinking about my design do i have to hold my dog? He's like 50 lbs :)

    Really nice fit n finish. Thinking when i get to mine more going for functional. & more on ugly side.

    Wonder how much the bike/boat/camper is? I wouldn't feel comfortable riding that on the roads most likely especially in US. Looked like really tight fit for two camping.
     

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