Cable or Chain Ferry

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by oliver.ilg, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Can't remember what powered that one in the Clint Eastwood western, The Outlaw Josey Wales, might have been a horse !
     
  2. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Good video, Doug.

    How about making few technical considerations?

    Of all the propulsive solutions seen so far, the mechanically pulled cable makes most sense, IMO. It is the only one which can give 90+% mechanical efficiency and 75+% energy efficiency, plus no through-hull shafts and mechanisms in the water. It is probably even cheaper to manufacture and maintain.

    The solutions which use propeller, either electrically-powered via overhead cable or diesel-powered, will necessarily have nearly half the input power wasted, due to relatively low prop efficiency in the river environment.
     
  3. parkland
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    parkland Senior Member

    I've been on one, it was about 10 car capacity.
    It had big drive wheels where plastic coated cabe rode on, and wheels to kept it tight on the drive wheels.

    The drive wheels were 5 piston hydraulic powered. One powered on each side of the boat, and idler wheels on other end. I'm almost sure the 5 piston hydraulic motors said caterpillar on them.

    And I'm sure a diesel power unit down below as well obviously.
     
  4. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    You can look up Needles Ferry, British Columbia. They have two cables that lay below the bottom of the boat. Not sure on the depth or even perhaps the cables lie on the lake bottom and two drums that the cables, ( looks like maybe 3 inch diameter nylon rope) wrap around. Basically, they just winch themselves back and forth. With river current, this probably is not practical

    If you have a reasonable current, consider a Reaction Ferry. Absolutely no power requirements. Look up Lytton Reaction Ferry Crossing, You Tube and you will see how they work. Cheap to operate.
    There is a static cable mounted across and above the river held in place by two towers upstream from the ferry. The Ferry is attached by a traveller basically a couple of pulleys that hold the front and back of the ferry. By lengthening the distance of the front and back cable, the boat is pushed across the river, the angle of attack with respect to the current can be changed and the resultant reaction push, moves the ferry back and forth.
    There is a chance that they might not just lengthen or shorten the attaching cables but rather have a movable rudder that gives the boat the force to move across the ferry across.

    You might try getting in touch with the Ministry of Transportation which operates these as several over the last several years have been replaced with bridges and they might have a few lying around.
     
  5. parkland
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    parkland Senior Member

    The ministry of transportation in BC operates a few cable ferry boats. The one I spoke of was the harrop proctor ferry on kootenay lake.
     
  6. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    I've been on several cable ferries across rivers with currents which propel themselves by pulling on a cable or chain.
     
  7. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    DCockey
    With river current, this PROBABLY is not practical

    The ones that you rode on, ie cable or chain drive in a current, where did the cable/chain end up after the ferry was on one side or the other.

    In Canada, it would be difficult to restrict navigation with a cable or chain that stretched below the water level due to the Navigable Waters Act.
    Just curious how they dealt with this on cable ferrys on rivers with a cable/chain drive

    Hence my comment, PROBABLY not practical
     
  8. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    The cables/chains behind the ferry drop to the bottom of the river behind the ferry. The cables/chains are not stretched tight but have some slack.
     

  9. Solar Guy
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    Solar Guy New Member

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