Custom made keel?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Manaia, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Manaia
    Joined: Jul 2014
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    Manaia Junior Member

    Hello everyone,
    I'm new in the forum so sorry about starting with a new thread right away... I am currently looking for a boat to convert to a small scale research vessel under sails and came across this:
    http://www.ebay.de/itm/Aluminium-Segelbootkasko-/111397345396?pt=Segelboote&hash=item19efcc9874
    The location is not a problem since I can move around the globe without trouble, but: There is no keel and no rig included at all. Also the design is unknown. The only information available is, that the keel should be 6,2tonns and that is about it.
    Now... do you think it is doable to just add a custom keel and make it work properly? For the rig I'm not too worried.
    And also: If anybody of you has experience in those fields, how much do you think would it be to get a keel made up and mounted? Or if it is not too bad a job I would do it myself as well...
    Thank you very much for your answers already!
    All the best,
    Manuel
     
  2. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    What are you planning to do with the boat?
     
  3. Manaia
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    Manaia Junior Member

    I want to outfit the boat for research globally. Basically build a platform that students, graduates, scientists or media teams need to get to the points of interest. No matter if it is the pacific garbage patch or drowning islands.
    Since the big research vessels are booked for the next two decades and are crazy expensive unless you get massive funding there is a lot of great ideas and interesting projects that are just being dropped.
    This is the attempt to give everybody with a good idea the option to work on it.
    Also I want to outfit the boat in a way that keeps the carbon footprint as small as possible, meaning electric propulsion, big solar array and battery banks, no fossil fuels needed for anything. Holding tanks for grey water as well so no soap goes into the ocean uncleaned.
    That's just some of the outlines of the project, but that would be the basic idea...
    If you ware curious for more information please visit www.projectmanaia.at or write me directly!
     
  4. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    The problems come when you decide on a flag state for the ship. Do you understand the requirements for commercial deep-sea operation of small sailing vessels from XX country?

    Yes it is, but by someone qualified in naval architecture on vessels of this type.


    And your insurance company?

    Huge variation possible, where is the work being done, by whom, in what way? You can build a metal (I see she is aluminum) keel shell and add ballast inside that, or you could build a stub keel and bolt molded lead ballast to it, or you could mold the entire keel of lead with cast in bolts......This keel needs to be properly engineered because if it is not, you and your friends could die.

    You don't know who the builder was (1996-98 Russland?) or if they were qualified, you don't know who the designer was or if that person was qualified. Yet you are willing to risk your time and effort, plus your life and those of your clients? This is the type of undertaking where all the regulation in the world makes sense to me.......
     
  5. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    She looks like an unfinished project to me. Someone has designed her although only the interior plan is shown (top elevation) in the photos. If you can find out who designed her and who built her she may be worthy of consideration, especially if from a naval architect, familiar and experienced with this size vessel.

    Should that be the case, drawings and plans for the keel and rig should have been made even if only outline preliminaries. From these a proper costing can be obtained. My own guess is that the current owner either ran out of money or time or maybe has suffered ill health.

    One small thing to be aware of is that aluminium is a very 'noisy' material and also because of the thermal transfer properties, can give rise to a lot of condensation compared to glass or wooden boats. These problems can be addressed but have to be considered if you are intending to stay aboard for long periods of time.
     
  6. Manaia
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    Manaia Junior Member

    Thank you for the reply!
    I was trying to find out what exactly the boat is already. The current owner doesn't seem to know either. He just mentioned that the mast and keel must have gotten lost somewhere along the way, they were built but are probably still sitting somewhere in Russia...
    Yes, it sure is a project, and without plans I am somewhat sceptic towards buying and possibly spending a small fortune on redesigning a keel and rig.

    As for the answers of the previous poster: I did of course consider these problems and already have most of the solutions. I know that it is a paper war in many instances and learned that lesson the hard way already, but giving up is not really an option here.
    But thanks for pointing the problems out! Keeps me on my toes ;-)
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Research vessels are specialized. That is, the type of equipment and study requires different platforms. Steel, even though it has corrosion maintenance, is the cheapest and probably best material. For example, steel can be repaired almost anywhere with minimal equipment. Also, it is easy to weld attachments for gear. Before you buy a boat, it would be better to make a list of the requirements the vessel needs to fulfill. For example, how much crew it will carry, for how long and in which geographical areas. A vessel that will research the shallows at the mouth of the Amazon will do poorly or sink in Antarctic waters.
     
  8. Manaia
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    Manaia Junior Member

    The plus points for steel are very true.
    I just went towards aluminium for its light weight and stability. Building the same hull in Aluminum and steel is about 40% weight difference (at same stability)
    And that boats are specific is always a clear point. My perfect candidate would be a swing keel, so it is seaworthy but can go towards shallow draft as well.
    As for the Amazon... I've sailed up there on a 180ft schooner before. And there was a research boat working there, that has been in the Antarctic before and is currently detained in Russia.
    I know there is very specific tools (ships in this case) for everything. What I want to build/outfit is the alrounder - basically the adjustable spanner that might not be perfect for every single job but it is good enough to get the job done!
     
  9. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    That isn't the case. Stability is a function of hull design, and without a keel, you are quite unstable even with aluminum.


    Well, this isn't the boat for you then. Its a very specific design.

    In your quest for a 'enviro-friendly boat', consider the rig. For this boat, a 'proper' marconi rig will cost at least 4 times what you are planning to pay for the hull. It may not be as cost effective as some of the more traditional rigs - including the working junk rig. In some other boat designs, you have a lot more flexibility on the size, placement and rigging of the sails.

    Bear in mind that you have a real purpose for this boat ( unlike a lot of boat owners), and the purpose will require proper certification for insurance and international travel. If you are planning to fit all this special gear - the design needs to be able to cope with the additional weights and stresses.

    The effort and cost to retro-design and fit out this hull need to be considered carefully.

    Finally, do a search of solar powered boats on this site, and find out why all the projects were abandoned. Solar is not viable yet - either in cost or performance.
     
  10. Manaia
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    Manaia Junior Member

    Hello and thanks for the answer...
    Just to clarify: With stability for Aluminum and steel I meant the resistance of the hull (sorry not native speaker) so not stability in terms of not capsizing but in terms of a big wave won't dent the thing...

    Thanks for the "not the boat for you" part, this was actually the advice I was hoping for... Do you have ideas/suggestions/input on what would be a good boat for the purpose?
    For solar: I do believe it is possible to work with it properly and there is boats out there that are running purely on solar. And I'm not talking about the million dollar circumnavigation solar boat, but a solar catamaran, that is currently cruising around the world - successfully...

    Generally I tend to like metal better for a hull than fiberglass and wood, but I keep finding wood/epoxy designs. Any experience on those?
     
  11. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    Might be worth getting a job running a few actual research boats before you try to re-invent the wheel.

    Tom Wylie did a 65 foot sailing design to be used as a research/classroom boat that has been successful, named the Derek Baylis. Randy Repass, founder of West Marine, has a sister-ship as his personal cruising boat.
     
  12. Manaia
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    Manaia Junior Member

    Believe it or not, but I did actually work on research boats for a couple of years already. The problem is, the ones doing the actual research are usually big ships (50 meters and more) and they are expensive to run. Therefor nobody who is actually working on projects without financial outcome can afford them even though the results would be interesting and important to have to protect the areas...

    I am aware of the tall ships programs with school group cruises and taking samples etc. But that is not what I have in mind...
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    The 'right design' is a combination of many things - what it is built from is not necessarily the first question.

    if safety at sea running through dark waters with sunken containers and reefs is possible, steel is a good candidate.

    I think your real problem is the financial side of the matrix. For your stated purposes, ( making lots of money from chartered research ) I don't think you have the required capital if you are looking at budget priced failed projects.

    Why dont you sit down and do a detailed financial plan that goes something like this

    1) Number of paying passengers per year ( dictates size of boat ) - cost to customer
    2) Number of trips ( allowing for maintenance stops )

    3) Running costs - Insurance, Fuel, Supplies
    4) Fixed Costs - depreciation, maintenance
    5) Depreciation of initial investment

    = Profit/ Loss

    With this plan, you will see if the whole idea is even viable. After the research, you will have a lot more answers to rely on. If it is financially viable, you will find the money. If it isn't, you have saved yourself a lot of effort.

    Another consideration - are you even qualified to command say a 10 person boat through international waters ? if not, what would a commercially accredited captain cost you ?

    The boat design is way, way , way down the list.



    Edit - here's a budget level charter solution

    http://wharram.com/site/news/2012/opportunity-to-work-on-gaia
     

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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  14. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    Was just reading your web-site and you talk quite a bit about making boats "greener" with electric engines, wind/solar etc. How much experience do you actually have with these technologies on small boats?

    You are looking for sponsorship and funding but have very little information about your experience in the field on your web-site. Do you have the experience/licensing to run a commercial boat with passengers? Have you ever run a commercial marine operation of any type? Spent much time running complex boats offshore in remote locations?

    Also a heads up on re-fitting boats elsewhere in the world. The USA is by far the cheapest and easiest place to equip a sailing boat. There is a good reason European cruising sailors buy lots of boat stuff when they visit the US.
     

  15. Manaia
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    Manaia Junior Member

    Thanks for the reply,
    the cost benefit calculation is one thing that still messes me up. Too many unknowns in there as well. This is a dream I have been working on for years already - well, not as a full time job but it has always been in my head and on my mind...

    As for the licence - yes, I do have my skippers ticket. As long as I stay below 300 tons I'm fine ;-)
     
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