forcing trees and bamboo to grow into boat-framing component shapes?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I've heard the English used to cut down trees and then bent the off-shoots from the stump into shapes for their bows, or maybe the off-shoots just curved about right as they grew out and to the sun.

    I've also noticed that Viking boats bows were very heavy pieces of wood, and pieced together.

    Ever seen those odd trees(evergreens) that got 1/2 grown then lived through a land-slide, and have a nicely curved trunk, or those curvy Bonsai Bamboo plants?

    I'm thinking Bamboo(fast growing) would be the thing to try.

    Curved bow and stern, with the base of the plant as bow and stern and the tapering uppers of each leashed together to double-up and compensate for smaller size for the keel.

    Ribs would be likewise, with the base of the plant at the gunnels/rail and the smaller uppers overlapping at the keel.

    Stringers would be the base of the plant at bow and stern, and overlapping at the middle.

    Most of the curve would be at the base of the plants, because that is how I've seen them grow.

    I wouldn't be adverse to using more than bent-grown stalk for the same framing member either. It seems a cluster of 3 would be a naturally stable number to lash together, and could be well spliced with its opposite members where the smaller diameter sections meet.

    Fabric covering, or "unsupported fiber-glass" or fiberglass over fabric.

    This would be a double ended canoe/dory in the 15-30 foot range, so the bamboo would need to be 10-20 feet high.
     
  2. uncookedlentil
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    uncookedlentil Junior Member

    I used to build strip plank canoes but now I'm growing 10' to 20' bamboo.

    I would love to discuss post peak carbon boat building Small cat or tri, maybe even a proa and combine it with bam boo and fabric?
     
  3. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    think you could put a bend on a few of those bamboos?

    Are you growing in pots or in the ground?

    I figure the two sorts of bent plants are:

    1)grown normally for a while in pot, then tipped on the side to cause the plant to head up

    2)grown in ground, and tethered over while still young for sometime, then allowed to head skywards.

    How long is it taking to grow 20's?

    I'd imagine the stuff grows at much different rates according to climate and species.
     
  4. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    We had the Bamboo discussion here in the past. In the first moment it sounds good, but has no real advantage over the "good old" proven timber.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  5. Lurvio
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    Lurvio Mad scientist

    Traditional Finnish horse-pulled sled skids are made of tree trunks + part of the lower stem. The tree was dug out of the ground and the skid shape carved out of it. The usual curve in our local trees is a bit steep for the average boat stem but I'm sure there are a few adequate shaped trees around world just waiting to be a part of a boat.

    L
     
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  6. uncookedlentil
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    uncookedlentil Junior Member

    thanx apix

    do you remember any specific objections to bamboo usage?

    they seem like very lightweight, self replicating, and easily harvested building units. plus they whip and lashup better than a dominatrix

    pardon my computer skills, too much to learn
     
  7. uncookedlentil
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    uncookedlentil Junior Member

    I'm considering a cross between umiak and south pacific lashup with double skin and recycled water bottles for positive flotation or just cruise on out to that spot in the Pacific where there's a floating island of plastic the size of texas and help yourself to the abundance.
     
  8. uncookedlentil
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    uncookedlentil Junior Member

    strength and smoothness vary wildly also
     
  9. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    What would that be please?

    And: plastic bottles...???
     
  10. uncookedlentil
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    uncookedlentil Junior Member

    plastic water bottles could be used to insure that positive flotation chambers remain just that, in case of skin degradation in response to collision damage.

    just trying to kick around some ideas to transform my old, toxic, high end wood consumptive, boat building career into something more planet benign.
     
  11. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    ...boat knees and stems are regularly cut from natural timber shapes, Mulga wood here in Australia has nice 45 to 90 degree bends, so can readily be used for such parts.

    There is nothing new about selecting natural shapes in timber to form the curves of a wooden boat........it has been going on since wooden boats were first made, even the dugout has a natural rocker too it.
     
  12. tspeer
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    tspeer Senior Member

    Not just for bows. They used to have whole forests that were dedicated to raising ship timbers. It took 100 years for the trees to grow into the desired shape and size.

    Which is one reason naval architecture changed so slowly. If you wanted to change the design, you had to plant a new forest and wait a century.

    Ever notice those nice shade trees on English estates, where the branches grow out horizontally from well up on the tree? To get that effect, one first plants a hedge. Then the tree is planted in the hedge, forcing it to grow up and then out to get to the light. Finally, the hedge is cut down, and you have a nice shade tree. The process takes 50 years.

    Sometimes one just has to have a little patience.
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    You may also be interested in the use of Flax as part of biocomposite boat construction

    eg

    http://www.lineo.eu/Articles/Article_JCM37.pdf

    and including an article in the latest Professional Boatbuilding Magazine

    I think the future boat construction methods will incoporate many more biological sources other than timber and oil - just because of scarcity and resulting high prices.

    In fact, since i have no reputation to lose, I will predict that in 20 years, boats will grow themselves under the control of computers.
    check out
    http://www.nano.org.uk/news/497/
    where bacteria build tiny pyramid.

    I reckon you will be able to fill a 40 x 10 x 5 ft tank full of bacteria in a solution, and in 6 months a complete hull will have been constructed from an extremely strong carbon molecule.

    If you see my name in an obituary, you will know that a malevolent industrial power has tried to stop me revealing their top secret project ... but its too late!!!!, to late I tell you (evil demonic laugh fade left, sound of sirens arriving at an empty factory, car doors slamming, music rises to a crescendo)
     
  14. WickedGood

    WickedGood Guest

    Use Hemp!

    Hemp would be best used for your Chia-Boat. It grows fast and can be used as Rope and has a built in Geo-Navigation System. Just call out to the Coast Guard that you have a boat of Mary Jane and you need to find the Harbor. They will turn the lights on for you.


    ALOHA. Its the Same Comming or Going!


    http://horticulturebyheart.wordpress.com/files/2009/07/img_0404.jpg
     

  15. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Did they ever SHAPE trees for ship building? I've heard the Brits would reserve certain forests for masts for large warships, in both the British Isles and America, but I've never heard of the changing the shapes of growing trees and all the construction of old wooden ships I've seen all seem to be regular straight lumber joined than shaped.
     
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