Enclosed Lifeboat Design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by gman1984, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. gman1984
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    gman1984 New Member

    Hello everyone!

    First post here...I am a former merchant mariner interested in VERY utilitarian ocean going designs. I did a search but could not find any information on my topic, so here goes:

    A couple of years ago while searching the net about the incredible voyages of some hardy small boats I stumbled upon a page by a fellow from, I believe, Norway or some such matter who had converted an enclosed lifeboat into a sailboat. It seemed to work perfect for what he wanted. I remember thinking at the time that it was a terrific idea and was a little surprised that I had not seen in before, given how many posts litter the internet boat/yacht forums from people seeking to find/build small "micro cruiser" ocean going vessels. Such as the typical dreamer who posts about wanting to hit the oceans on a 10k budget, etc.

    I am by no means a boat builder or even designer, but am interested in seeing the feasibility of a design I may be interested in passing onto someone to build for me in the future, which is to take a modern fully enclosed lifeboat like the one pictured...replace the motor with a typical large diesel of your typical ocean going motor boats and also a sail design for get home and/or motor sailing.

    Any thoughts?

  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Not very "sporty " . But if you Throw in enough cases of beer ,plenty of books , next years calendar , Im sure you could cross the ocean with it.

    Spend your days at sea racing jellyfish. Perhaps incorporate a sun deck, so from time to time you could escape the cave and soak up some rays.
  3. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Gman--Do a search to locate my thread (just located it back on page 29)"Reverse Engineering conversions and modifications" posted about a year ago on this forum. It's a long hot thread but worth the read. I have converted several ships lifeboats into motorsailers. Also On the forums opening page scroll down to heading" Boatbuilding " and under that scroll down to The Nancy G ------ A surfboat style lifeboat i am presently converting. Feel free to ask any questions on either post---Geo.

    A yacht is not defined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner--
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Several years ago anchored off our town for a few days was one of these enclosed lifeboats being used by a man and two young sons for their summer adventure cruise.
    The boys always looked terrified or elated, it changed by the second, while the captain spent a great deal of time in a local saloon of disrepute.
    The woodsman/captain was markedly unschooled, unshorn and rustic in outlook and odor, but quite practical as a mechanic and dealt with cruising problems as he would a chainsaw or a bear.
    He found the diesel engine that it came with just fine at about 25 hp not using a lot of fuel because it was expensive, and he used large rocks for anchors because they were free.
    He said the 'rocking and rolling' was excessive sometimes when ships 'went by too fast'.
    They were still 100 miles short of open water at the time on their journey and I always wondered how they fared in the open NW Pacific.
    He figured the life boat is to survive when the ship goes down so why not just start with the life boat and not worry?
    To someone like him from XXX which is 2000 miles from salt water, this is perfectly good logic until you do it.
    Just think of it as getting in a big orange oil drum and having someone roll it downhill for two weeks.
    There are better boats.
    Some ideas of my own for the design:
    A pipe from deck to keel, to socket a free-standing mast light enough to pull out and lay down on deck, so that means short and hollow like aluminum or carbon.
    On this mast a sprit-sail with a very square head, so the luff and leech are short and the head and foot longer, with the leech as close to vertical as possible and no boom.
    A light 'sun deck' a couple of feet wide as was suggested above with some sort of life line.
    If you want to sail it, make the rudder bigger and understand it won't go to windward.
  5. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Looking over that craft I think it is much more bluff in the bow than the traditional open 26 footers of the 50"s-on. Not sure i would take this one on as a motorsailer conversion as those old 26ers were pigs to winward even after installing a 3 ft.deep ballasted full keel. However they went like a bat outta hell on a beam wind and with a big rudder tracked like a train in a following wind. Those however were double enders , I notice this one is not. I agree I think with all that top superstructure this one would be a vomit comit-roll like a drum as you say. That upperworks would have to go and in place a much lower less top hamper design. In all honesty Possibly better to look for an old style 26 double ender to work with or better yet with todays prices an uncompleted or fixer upper project if one is tight for funds and has the time for sweat equity.
  6. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    I wouldn't want to be in that boat when the tanker stops to rescue it and finds out you're just on a lark. Does SOLAS have anything to say about the (nonemergency) use of lifeboats?

    I think there is a built in assumption in these designs- that someone is coming to get you. Maybe OK for a paranoid cruiser.:eek:
  7. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Thats an interesting thought- ships diverting their course to pick up possible survivors in a lifboat. An ocean crossing could result in alot of vessels checking it out. Might be a good idea to paint it a totally different colour.
  8. Matthew Bertoni
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    Matthew Bertoni New Member

    Looking for a diesel motor that would fit a 35 ft US Navy Lifeboat [Wellin Davit and Boat]

  9. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Need approx. displacement plus do you want an air or liquid cooled engine.
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