First Post; Lurked Plenty: Adding Hull Buoyancy To A Vhull 14 Foot - Looking For Ideas/Suggestions

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by robmcg25, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. robmcg25
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 20
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    Location: Ohio

    robmcg25 Junior Member

    Hi all,

    I am trying to increase the Buoyancy of my little fishing boat I have converted into a camping vessel. Me and a few buddies go camping once a year to a large water bound national park, we typically load up and head out not to return to the car for 5-8 days and only live on shore between boating to new locations, about 1/2 way through the trip the return trip to the car is to far to make without wasting an entire day. We typically move every day or every other day. I have rigged up a solar panel, deep charge 200AH solar panel to power our backup power source of a trolling motor, flood lights, 2 small bilge pumps and some other small features to plan for worst case scenarios.

    My boat has proven to be able to handle 2 people + all the gear we need for a week long life in the woods without issue. My worry is this year we will be bringing a third + his gear as well.

    I don't want to replace my boat, I would much rather keep Frankensteining it to fit exactly what I need it to do. Be a small camping barge.

    I am willing to put some money into it, but buying 2x $1000 aluminum pontoons is definitely out of the question.

    I would like to know what have you guys seen, tried, tested or any other general ideas that might help me out.

    The most viable options I have came up with so far are;

    1) Buying a 10ft row boat and hauling gear only in that behind the 14ft boat but I would have to haul it upside down on-top of my boat and secure the load for a 16hr drive. The real issue I have with this is, is this legal to haul the boats like this as long as the load is secure and would the tow boat need registration too?

    2)Buying a sheet of closed cell foam and attaching it with glue/epoxy to the bottom of the boat and pretty much wrap the entire thing it, idk if this is legal and I worry about damage to the foam from docking, I already know a lot about foam types, corrosion, absorption and having to be oil & sun resistant. Overall I bought a metal boat to dock where fiberglass can't, on the shore.

    3) Having a tig welder attach 4 aluminum brackets to my boat that I can lock smaller dock floats in when needed and remove when not. This would definitely add the flotation I want but also add a ton of drag.

    4) Somehow attach docking buoys, PVC inflatable pontoons or some other semi soft flotation to the boat. I feel like they would pop and defeat the entire purpose of existing and be a waste of money Not to mention the only way I can think to attach them is with trailer straps and I feel like the force of the water wouldn't play well with this setup at all.

    5) Somehow use a 2 part closed cell foam to make a flotation type of bra / buy one, does anyone know a reliable supplier that doesn't want thousands for foam?

    Also I know boat limits would restrict me to 4 people and 765 pounds according to the panel on my boat but I am more worried about a wave rolling over us and that is the last we ever see of my little boat and are now stranded in the deep woods.

    I have taken the boat out on lake Erie in 3 foot waves and already felt that fear, that was really dumb and scary but 2 foot waves fully loaded is even scarier.

    I am very open to any critiques, ideas, suggestions and appreciate any time you spend reading and replying to this.

    Here is my boat pics for anyone asking the question why. I think the answer: because I want to, is obvious.

    Imgur https://imgur.com/a/6sJamlr There is also a group of 3 headlights on the bow of the boat, I forgot to take a picture of.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    This idea has some merit, and could well be a solution, except they are made on the other side of the world. However, you could probably arrange something similar yourself, locally, it is just flexible, closed cell, polyethylene foam, and a plastics fabricator could probably whip something similar together, but you'd need some minor smarts to attach them securely.

    Kapten Boat Collars https://www.facebook.com/KaptenBoatCollar
     
  3. robmcg25
    Joined: Feb 2019
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    Location: Ohio

    robmcg25 Junior Member

    You know this was kind of what I was thinking about making with the 2 part foam from molds. I have actually looked into this site before, the two issues are they are super expensive and I can't find any besides this company in Australia
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    This is a flexible product that you buy already made, you sometimes see this stuff used between concrete slabs in the expansion joint, It comes in sheets, usually maximum 2" thick, but fabrication shops can build it into thicker slabs. Similar material is used to make "pool noodles". It is not cheap, but not prohibitively expensive either. I'd just about guarantee it is more affordable where you are, out here things tend to be top dollar.
     
  5. robmcg25
    Joined: Feb 2019
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    Location: Ohio

    robmcg25 Junior Member

    I know what you are talking about. I've tried to source some of this foam before about the best I've found is a 4ftx8ft sheet 6lb density 1" thick for about $180 after accounting for it's weight, it would only provide about 140 lbs of buoyancy. If I remember the math right. I was researching this stuff about two years ago heavily.
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    How much does the Kapten man want for a 14 footer ? Don't forget the $AUD is about 70-72c US.
     
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Without knowing what you boat looks like it is difficult to come up with ideas. Sponsons at the stern to carry the load could help.
     
  8. romeomikehotel
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 17
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    Location: Ft Lauderdale

    romeomikehotel Junior Member

    Look at Morris Materials pour foam. Should get you enough foam and in budget. You can fashion the shape from whatever material you want, drill a hole, pour the foam in and seal it back up with epoxy.
     
  9. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    [​IMG]

    The more you mess with that boat and diverge it from original, the less it will be worth to most potential buyers. No matter what you do, a 14' boat is going to be marginal at best for 3 men, both safety and comfort/workability wise, as you noted.

    Sell it and buy a larger more capable boat. Since its for group trips, maybe even organize it as a buy in, time-share to spread the costs?
     
  10. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    robmcg25 - Are you seeking more buoyancy to make the boat more seaworthy, to improve floatation if the boat swamps, or both?
     
  11. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    IMO this would be your best option.

    Ohio has its our laws that may differ from my own state's.
    • Row boats don't usually need to be registered
    • Seen many small boats transported upside down on top of tent trailers, so should not be issue over another vessel, if trailer is strong enough.
    • Second boat could serve as emergency escape craft
    • Second boat could be utilized to fish an adjacent spot
    • If it doesn't work the row boat could be resold with no financial loss
    • A clueged together strap-on could not be resold
     
  12. robmcg25
    Joined: Feb 2019
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    Location: Ohio

    robmcg25 Junior Member

    About 1200 AUD +10 per fitting and it looks like you would need at least 14 of the fittings.

    It is the 14ft pictured here Meyers Boat Company - Official home of Meyers boats, Michicraft and Sportspal canoes, Snark sailboats, Seacycle waterbikes, and Walden kayaks https://www.meyersboat.com/#/meyers/models/Pro I have tried to locate some bolt on sponsons for the sides/front. About the only thing I have found is the beaver tail stern floatation pods for sale at dicks and they need to be welded on, which isn't the worst thing but I believe they add about 1lb of flotation per USD costing $90 per side. That barely equalizes the motor.

    I am not worried about resale value, the boat would already not be sell-able to anyone who doesn't want exactly what I have built so far.

    Seaworthy, I plan on filling the seat cavities with 2 part foam for swamping.

    I have been thinking of this more and more as well, all of your points are valid, I can find a decent one around here used for about $200 which makes it more enticing, I really need to call the police and state troopers to see what they say about hauling it this way. I am redoing the trailer completely this year, I am going to knock off any rust/bubbles from the frame re-weld anything that needs to be, completely redo all the lighting and upgrade the axle of the boat from a 1 ton axle to a 3 ton axle, so we can put gear in the boat while traveling too. Also we don't camp in Ohio, typically we go to the surrounding states national parks or further, this year is rainy lake Minnesota.
     
  13. robmcg25
    Joined: Feb 2019
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    Location: Ohio

    robmcg25 Junior Member

    I will definitely check them out, thanks.

    Edit: this is basic 2 part foam slightly higher then the cost at amazon. As for your suggestion. That is definitely an idea I was considering, just making a fixture out of wood or something and filling it with 2 part foam.
     
    romeomikehotel likes this.
  14. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I'd use Pool Noodles, with about 1" OD PVC pipe inserts. By using the PVC the paracord wont cut through the foam.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/5-Pack-of-52-Inch-Noodle-Builder-Noodles/759421436?selected=true
    I'd go with 6" dia monster noodles.

    Drill about 1/8" holes about every 2' just under gunnel and use paracord to tie PVC reinforced Noodles up tight under gunnels.
    Then another row of PVC&Noodle under that. IMO running cord behind first noodle up to same tie-hole will keep 2nd row snug to hull.
    Then a row sitting between the 1st and 2nd, to create triangle, and about 9" of extra beam floation.

    But I wouldn't want to count on this if it mattered, or I'd at least TEST IT in similar conditions. But a few rows of Paracord, PVC & Noodles shouldn't cost more that $200, and worse case you still got a bunch of useful material.

    Last time we took a highly loaded canoe out and wind picked up and suddenly we were getting wavelets, the main thing we noticed was the snowballing effect. Some water gets in and that lowers the freeboard and that has more water coming in faster, etc. IMO the only thing that saved us was two oversized mostly empty ice-chests that were lashed down and stayed down. Yeah, keep stuff that floats lashed down so it will help if swamped.

    My advice: keep your eyes peeled and setup your phone to check Craigslist every 30min for "free boat" or nearly free "fishing boat", AND....have a trailer and vehicle (all 4 sizes of tow balls) ready to retrieve it at moments notice. Last month I saw a 19ft "good condition, no trailer" alum vee boat offered for free JUST BECAUSE THEY NEEDED IT MOVED OUT OF THE WAY and they weren't "boat people".

    "boat must be moved today, trailer has flat tires" is another one to be ready for, and by "flat" they mean "completely blown due to extreme age", so if you don't already have spares maybe get some.
     

  15. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I mean sponsons on the back. You continue the bottom profile to make it longer. They look like two boxes, which give more buoyancy and provide storage space. I cubic meter of volume has one ton of buoyancy.
     
    romeomikehotel likes this.
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