boatpacking

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by dkubiak, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. dkubiak
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    dkubiak Junior Member

    Since injuring my back, I have been unable and will never be able to enjoy backpacking - one of my favorite activities. However, while living in coastal North Carolina I came up with the concept of "boatpacking." I suppose it isn't a new concept, but I essentially want to build a small lightweight boat with a steady platform that I can take on extended trips. I plan to cook food as I would on a backpacking trip and even set up my tent to sleep. I have several requirements for my boat:

    1. It must be steady
    2. It must have a platform of at least 14' x 7'
    3. It must be inexpensive to build
    4. It must be able to travel 8-10 mph with an outboard
    5. It must be inexpenisve to build

    This is my idea:

    Build two 14ft stitch and glue canoes with a covered top (a pontoon). Build a lightweight platform connecting the two canoes. Attach a refurbished 10hp outboard. I would purchase a canopy typical of those on a pontoon to provide shade. I would cook my meals on a whisperlite camp stove and sleep in my tent (once properly docked or anchored).

    My wife thinks the idea is crazy. What do you all think?

    Dan

    Note: I intend for my first trip to be in Pamlico Sound.
     
  2. duluthboats
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    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

  3. dkubiak
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    dkubiak Junior Member

    Yeah, that looks like it would do most of what I want. It is a bit pricey, though ($4755.00 if you get the tent). At least I know the concept is realistic. I bet I can build a similar boat for much less money that is custom designed to hold my tent, stove, fishing poles, et cetera.

    I am considering this canoe for my "pontoons":

    http://www.riverstoneinternet.com/canoebuilding/ultralightcanoe.html

    Does anyone know how I can figure out how much weight these canoes can bear and what size motor I would need to travel 8-10 mph? (I really like the idea of fixing up an old Evinrude from the 50's)

    Thanks!

    Dan
     
  4. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Dan,

    The idea is certainly doable, but:

    I think 14 feet is entirely too small for what you want to do and where you plan to go. A 14 foot canoe is basically a one person canoe and will not likely have enough buoyancy for the intended use when joined with another and the necessary platform and stuff you will want to carry. If you make the canoes more beamy to get carrying ability, there will likely be wave interference between the hulls.

    10 knots is well beyond hull speed for this length, so that dictates narrower or longer hulls.

    Pamlico Sound show little mercy on a 14 foot boat. I live there. Sure, you can do it in 14 feet, but will you want to do it twice? 20 feet sounds more reasonable.

    You will want it to be stable with crew standing at any place on the platform.

    For a camp cruiser, I'd be leary of making it ultralight. Nothing less than 1/4 inch and a protected keel.

    An old 10 hp OMC should be plenty of power.
     
  5. dkubiak
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    dkubiak Junior Member

    Thanks, Tom. I currently live south of you near Emerald Isle. My plan was to put in somewhere in the Currituck Sound and travel south to Emerald Isle. I am unfamiliar with the waters further north, so you can be a big help to me.

    I plan to survey the area in a larger boat first, but perhaps you can initially describe the waters on the sound side of the islands. How deep is it? What are the currents like? Are there safe places to anchor for sleeping? Do you think it would be better to travel near the islands or near the mainland? Are marinas frequent enough for regular refueling?

    Also, why would I not want an ultralight camp cruiser?

    Thanks for your help.

    Dan
     
  6. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Dan,

    If it were my cruise, I think I would rather stick close to the sound side of the outer banks. The water there runs from shallow to real shallow so a good depth sounder and GPS will be great aids. It will also be a good cruise in a larger boat so long as it is shallow draft. Marinas there are but you will need a guide to best locate them. Lots of anchorages and your boat should beach well if that is necessary. Claiborne Young's Cruising Guide to the NC Coast will be useful.

    Currents will be no problem with the exception of Oregon, Hatteras and Ocracoke Inlets in an ebb tide, especially Oregon. You should either have trust in your engine or have a small 3hp kicker for insurance.

    Mosquito protection at night is a must at some places and that includes a means to pee inside.

    I have made this trip but in pieces in various boats.

    When I said ultralight, I mean ultra frail which includes running into things like the bottom, shells, fishing stakes, etc. What is the wish for ultralightness based on?

    Good stops:
    First Flight at Kitty Hawk
    Manteo, Maritime Museum and Elizabeth ll there
    Wanchese and the boatbuilders there
    Fishing fleet just north of Oregon bridge
    Hatteras and fishing fleet there
    Ocracoke
    Portsmouth Island restored village
    Atlantic
    Sea Level
    Marshallberg and boatbuilders there
    Harkers Island and boatbuilders there
    Cape Lookout and Lighthouse ( accessible from inside beach)
    Beaufort and the Maritime Museum there
    You know the rest of the way
     
  7. dkubiak
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    dkubiak Junior Member

    ultralight

    I don't really need it to be ultralight. I suppose I am more looking for simplicity in design. The canoe I posted above would be easy to make. I plan to do some serious reading on hull shape before I dive into this project. Do you recommend any books for an amateur?

    I am in the process of moving to Ohio and not right into a house, so I won't be setting my workshop up again for at least 8 months. So, I plan to make the trip in the spring of 2006. I know that is a long time, but I want to learn something about boat making first, take my time making a good boat, then plan the trip well.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Dan
     
  8. SeaDrive
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    SeaDrive Senior Member

  9. dkubiak
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    dkubiak Junior Member

    flat bottom pontoons??

    Thanks, I like that design. What if instead of canoes I made what would essentially amount to pontoons shaped like two narrow, long Carolina Skiffs?

    [I don't really understand the advantages/requirements of flat-bottom vs. v-bottom, so perhaps this idea is foolish. I'm going to get the book recommended to me in another post so I can figure this stuff out.]

    Dan
     
  10. SeaDrive
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    SeaDrive Senior Member

    It's more like boat-resort hotel than boat-backpacking, but you might like to check out the boat on this site.

    http://www.treasurecoasthouseboatrentals.com/

    It was designed by Phil Bolger for river work. It's a trimaran, but the hulls are flat-bottom skiffs. So, it sort of proves that your idea is workable. One of the problems is that shape required for a 15 kt skiff is very different from a 5 kt skiff (i.e. rowboat). There aren't too many ob skiffs designs that are as narrow as you want for a half-catamaran since they would be dangerous.

    Bolger did do a small catamaran along the same lines:
    http://www.common-sense-boats.com/fish_cat.htm
     

  11. dkubiak
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    dkubiak Junior Member

    Thanks, these are good examples and I will definately be influenced by them. Now that I know the idea is possible, I'm going to devote some time to learning about boat design. Then, I will design and build my own boat! I can tell already that his website will be my most valuable tool.

    Dan
     
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