Folding houseboat design idea

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by lance linked, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. lance linked
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 25
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    Location: Pennsylvania, USA

    lance linked Junior Member

    This has prolly been done before, but I see no reference: a houseboat that folds for trailering on a single removable axel or separate trailer. I imagine a glass covered plywood hull and deck about 8x20' x 2' depth, faired and with a motor well and wheel-well reliefs, and topped with a 6' wide cabin about 7'6" tall by 14-16', with slide in cabin sides (like a pull out on a motorhome) that are floored, side walled, and with partial end walls. These pull outs land on fold down deck panels that are supported by glassed plywood sponsons.

    All fixtures are mounted to the sliding floors/walls, and the shed roofs over the pull outs can fold down plumb when the pull outs are drawn in. The fold down deck panels that support the pull outs are 4-5' wide, and can be the length of hull or just over length of cabin, and have steel angle linkage and framing under lightweight deck to hold sponsons down in water when deployed. When lifted, the deck extensions hinge at the fixed wall point, store in plumb against the retracted cabin walls, and the sponsons fold down close, under the 8'4" trailer width.

    I imagine a cable ratchet system mounted on the face wall exterior for operating the articulations. I would like to make the trailering frame somehow integral to the hull, but can imagine a separate submersible trailer. I imagine that this design would weigh in about 3,000 pounds if the fixed cabin frame was a lightweight steel cube (schedule 10 1.5" pipe rigidly welded). Wall panels could be made of a composite construction mounted on a marine grade ply floor, with thin fiberglass panel exterior, 1.5" foam core, 3/16 luan interior, all glued up monolithic, with a 1 1/2 sq wood perimeter glued in, using lightweight windows and doors, and having bump stops for unit travel control and latches to hold the roof down to the extended perimeter wall. As an option, being able to lift the roof 15* on good weather low bug factor days would be delightful.

    See the attached sketch. Any thoughts appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    I'd thought about doing something along these lines with a catamaran separated by an X-hinge structure where the cabin sides were fixed and the ceiling/floor between folding (no walk around deck as you seem to hope for though). The difficulty I quickly realized was bridge overpass height, as the thing that resulted was rather tall when put on a trailer. Some relief was to be had, at least the theory, by also adopting pop-up camper tech but then the thing seemed to be becoming very complex, structurally speaking.

    An actual tent top might work for that format ... but then it's a tent, no matter how nice.

    I then thought that central barge hull would permit lower down accommodations (less worries about over passes) and the walk around could fold down (like yours seems to) to be kept stable by light dismountable amas normally just barely touching the water, but then that seemed to limit the expanding bits to things like staterooms and these would hog up deck space when out.

    All I can suggest beyond those meager observation is looking to RVs for inspiration and wish you well.
  3. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    Look at trailer tents or camping trailers/ TOP IS HARD ONLY THE upper SIDES are fabric and netting, Top folds straight down. Lower sides are all hard. Over all about 4' to 5' tall when trailing.

  4. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    The best solution is to place the towing RV on top of a folding Myark trailer barge that barge weighs 1600 kg and is 1.200 m wide in folding form and 3.6m wide when unfolded.

    You get the best of both sea and land for example you can drive the RV onto a remote island, beach, river bank or lake edge if the whether is rough or one may want to use the folding barge for a speed boat as with out RV on top as shown in movie with 2 X 15hp out boards it can quickly explore the large remote lake in NZ.

    The Myark folding trailer barge in the movie is .800 wide when folded and 3.6 unfolded and weighs in trailer form 800 kg.

    Attached Files:

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