Building a better Lifeboat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Portager, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. Portager
    Joined: May 2002
    Posts: 418
    Likes: 13, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 325
    Location: Southern California

    Portager Senior Member

    The "Heavy weather capable dingy design" thread posted by zorton got me thinking about one of my pet projects. I've always admired the enclosed rigid lifeboats like the big boats have (see http://www.nme.no/new_equip_pages/new_telb.asp), but I can't fit one on Portager. There is a Canadian company that builds small, 4 and 6 man rigid lifeboats, but they are still much too large for Portager. The inflatable liferafts are less than an optimal alternative since they require annual inspections which make the total cost of ownership much higher than expected.

    It occurred to me that it should be possible to produce a folding lifeboat based on the folding Kayak technique (see http://www.foldingkayak.com/construction.htm) with a rigid internal skeleton and a waterproof fabric outer skin.

    Anybody got any good ideas on how to build a better lifeboat?

    Cheers;
    Mike Schooley
     
  2. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
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    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    How about a rigid hull inflatable, which can double as the vessels tender, with a rapid-******** hardtop / shelter......
    ......I know, you can just hear it now ..."mine erects faster than yours!...."
     
  3. Portager
    Joined: May 2002
    Posts: 418
    Likes: 13, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 325
    Location: Southern California

    Portager Senior Member

    Self Inflating Rugby Ball

    And I thought it was how long you kept it up that counted! Why didn't somebody tell me!!

    Sounds like a workable approach, although you might want to store the lid on the RIB to reduce response time. Maybe you could store the lid on the davit and have the ability to launch the RIB either with or without the lid attached? It would also be good if the lid made the RIB self righting. Water ballast in the bilge would help.

    I had something a little more compact in mind. My concept is football (rugby ball) shaped with 6 panels so the cross section is a hexagon. When deployed, it would be about 8 feet long and 4 feet high. There would be 6 curved ribs running from end to end so that when you release the restraining bands in the middle it would pop open automatically. There would be a water ballast bladder inside for stability arranged so that one rib would be down forming the keel. An inflatable "air mattress" type floor would be on top of the ballast bladder to prevent hypothermal. There would be zippered access panels in the sides and vents in the "roof". When it is collapsed it would be about 6 inches in diameter (150 mm) and 10.75 feet long.

    Cheers;
    Mike Schooley
     
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