Can someone please point me in the right direction?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by eitanwaks, May 16, 2006.

  1. eitanwaks
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: Israel

    eitanwaks Junior Member

    Hi,
    I guess I have to introduce myself to make this formal so here it goes.

    I'm a 24 year-old college student in Israel. I guess it's been three years now that I've been thinking about building my own boat. Had the case been this simple I probably would've done it by now however there are several factors that get in the way.

    1. First and foremost, I can't find a design that would be suitable for my needs.

    Now, everyone's going to be asking what are my needs so I'll try to make the list as concise as possible.

    1. Because I was injured five years ago I am a quadriplegic. This means that I am bound to a wheelchair. I would have to have the boat completely accessible to me although I doubt that I will be in control all the time.
    2. My primary motive for building a boat would be to take one year of my life or maybe more and to circumnavigate the earth. In addition, my uncle is a skipper so he would probably use the vessel frequently. Furthermore, a week here, two weeks there in the Turkish/Greek/Croatian Mediterranean would be great.
    3. I would like to build the boat by myself. I'm just finishing building my own CNC machine and I have the proper skills and resources (I believe).
    4. As a student of mechanical engineering I'm very interested in the design process so I would like to be involved.
    5. I would like to have as much control over the boat automated as possible. That way I will be able to control the boat.
    6. If possible, I would like two rooms because I will never be alone on the boat.


    So that's it. I understand that this is a very specific grocery list but, it's a dream of mine and I will make it come true. The freedom that comes with sailing is a special experience especially for me.

    Thank you all for your time,
    Eitan Waks
     
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  2. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    It sounds like this would be quite a challenging, but fun, project.
    I will say firstly that this will not be an inexpensive project.
    Now for my take on your requirements:
    1. You need an accessible boat, navigable by wheelchair. This implies the need for large deck and cabin floor areas, and the need for something very stable. My suggestion: Catamaran.
    2. Circumnavigation over one year or more. This implies you need sufficient space to comfortably live at sea. It also implies that you need something very seaworthy that can handle big water. This complicates the building-it-yourself thing. Not only will it have to be big, it will also have to meet "All Oceans" scantling requirements for whatever classification agency your insurance broker likes.
    3. You probably don't have all the skills you need to design and build such a craft. However, the rest of your story (mech.eng background etc) indicates that you can readily learn many of these skills. You will certainly need a lot of help, as do all boatbuilders. An experienced NA would be a good friend to have at your side.
    4. Find a naval architect who you feel you can work with. An engineer and an NA make a formidable combination that together can surmount most problems that will appear in the design and construction of this boat. Either on their own, though, will not have an easy or fun time. Since it's your boat, you can definitely have a high degree of involvement throughout the process.
    5. Automated is quite possible with today's equipment. Are you thinking power or sail?
    6. If you meet requirements 1 and 2, you will have no problem carrying a few passengers/crew/slaves. :)
     
  3. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    INteresting!
    I read some years ago in aboating magazine that slow motions was most important when you are in a wheel chair. That means probably a boat with relative high displacement relative to waterline area, a deep narrow 8relative) design.
     
  4. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    How about a SWATH?
     
  5. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    Will a SWATH be stable enough to sail?

    How about a heavy displacement flush decked double ender with high sail area to wetted surface, so it keep moving in light winds?
     
  6. SeaSpark
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Holland

    SeaSpark -

    Sailing

    Eitan,

    Welcome to the forum i hope you will find loads of good information here to help you with your project.

    I have been thinking about easy to handle boats for a long time, when i was 19 (38 now) i injured my legs. i'm not in a wheelchair but am missing one knee and the other is a bad state.

    First of all, would it not be a good idea not to use your wheelchair when you are sailing your boat? Boats are full of handrails to hold on to when weather gets bad. When you add extra handrails you would be able to move around the boat by use of your arms.

    Second i would keep the rig as simple as possible, preferably with no headsails. The rig i have in mind for my own boat (when i can afford it) is the swing rig http://www.stadtdesign.com/products/SwingRigInfo.html (see attached picture). A boat equiped with is is robosail http://www.robosail.com/ a automated boat! The swingrig has an unstayed mast, so there are no stays on deck that limit movement of a wheelchair.

    I think many existing designs can be adapted to your needs. This may save you the trouble from building your own hull, a big challenge when you are in a wheelchair.

    Most of your choises will depend on size of boat and budget. When you want to use your wheelchair a catamaran would seem a logical option to me. For example: http://www.zonnetij.nl/

    Have to go now, will be back.


    Good luck with your project,

    Jeroen


    (edit) With the handrails i mean two parallel handrails low above deck level. For example one on a low coachroof and one parallel at same height where the handrails are that prevent you from falling overboard (hope i am clear). It is hard to make the deck of a yacht a save place for a wheelchair in rough conditions. The lack of headsails means you will not have to go to the front of your boat often. The mainsail can be controlled from the cockpit. In the cockpit you can make provisions to securely attach yourself in a comfortable seat with contols in reach. In the cabin a seat hanging from a rail going round the cabin can help you be mobile. Just some thougts i am sure more ideas will pop up.
     

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  7. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Pontevedra, Spain

    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

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  8. SeaSpark
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Holland

    SeaSpark -

    Building a hull

    If you do want to build your own hull a system like North uses to suspend a person to fabricate 3DL Sails would be a great help. http://na.northsails.com/Racing_Sails/How3DLIsMade.htm

    Could you please tell us something more about the criteria for your design? As mentioned a heavy displacement boat has a much more pleasant behaviour at sea. Many people with pefectly good legs prefer a heavy boat for ocean crossings. If you prefer a more sporty type a light displacement catamaran seems a good choise. Some may say light cat's are dangerous at sea. The option for a sporty light monohull is also open if you can live with the uncomfortable motion.

    I would not want to rely to much on automated systems at sea, electronics and salt water a no friends.


    3DL factory:
     

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