Help With House Boat Design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Samdaman, Mar 23, 2023.

  1. Samdaman
    Joined: Dec 2015
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    Location: NZ

    Samdaman Junior Member

    Hello,

    I'd like to look into the design of a house boat. I have no formal boat design education other than a couple text books I've read on boat design, and I'm a civil engineer so know the basics of vessels, hydrodynamics, structural engineering etc.

    Does anyone have any resources for looking into this? I'd like to be able to drive it around New Zealand so wouldn't be in open ocean but wouldn't be in lakes or rivers.

    I know how naive this sounds, but would appreciate a steer in the right direction. So I can atleast start making plans etc.

    All help welcomed :) Cheers
     
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    What would be the typical sea conditions that you are likely to experience in your travels?
    And how good are your local weather forecasts?
    If it is often blowing say Force 5, with perhaps 2 metre seas, would you be happy going out in these conditions?
    A typical box shaped houseboat would not be happy in these conditions, but a more typical powerboat hull would cope fairly well.

    How large does your houseboat have to be? Will you be cruising singlehandedly, or with others?
    How much room will you need to have on board?
    Have you sketched out a rough general arrangement plan of what you initially think might work for you?
    Start off with your 'Statement of Requirements', where you list everything that your boat needs to be capable of doing, including cruising speed, range, water and stores capacity, number of berths, hull type (re seaworthiness - and don't discount catamarans here), construction material....... - oh, and your realistic budget for building this boat.
     
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  3. DogCavalry
    Joined: Sep 2019
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    DogCavalry Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum @Samdaman . It's a huge adventure you've laid out for yourself, but far from impossible. Check out my thread - Sea Sled Madness for a three year example.

    Advice from the old new guy to the new new guy: answer every question anyone asks you to the best of your ability. There are world class experts on here who will give you a tremendous amount of help, if you let them. You'll figure out who they are quickly enough.
     
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  4. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Here is a link to DC's epic building thread - 178 pages so far.
    Do some googling re 'sea sleds' to get acquainted with them - if you like their design concept for your house boat then DC can offer you loads of useful advice regarding their design and construction, also @baeckmo of this Forum.
    Sea Sled madness. It’s in my brain. https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/sea-sled-madness-it%E2%80%99s-in-my-brain.63079/

    We shouldn't really start to offer suggestions re type of vessel until we see your detailed Statement of Requirements, and I know that I am a bit biased re suggestions, in that I have a soft spot for catamarans - but have a look at the Skoota range of power cats designed by @Richard Woods and see what you think.
    Sailing Catamarans - Click here for Power Catamarans (8 designs) http://sailingcatamarans.com/index.php/designs-2/6-powercats
     
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  5. Samdaman
    Joined: Dec 2015
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    Samdaman Junior Member

    Thanks Both for the replies @bajansailor @DogCavalry . I've taken some time to put some requirements together.

    How good are local weather forecasts: Relatively good, there are a few weather providers here in NZ we can utilize.

    Weather conditions: I would like this to be a sturdy vessel so I'm not worried about moving it or where it is moored/anchored. Force 5 seems to be about the minimum I'd like this designed for

    How large does your houseboat have to be: I'd like an offgrid tiny home setup on the boat. so capacity for solar/water/waste etc, so between 20m2-30m2

    Will you be cruising singlehandedly: I want to be able to operate the vessel singlehandedly

    How much room will you have to have on board: Not sure! I'm hoping I can develop this as the project develops. Are there any recommendations in this regard?

    Have I sketched out a general arrangement: Not yet. I'm very new to this, and have sketched similar living arrangements in the past for house design, but don't want to get too far down the track without knowing some constraints around the hull/weight/COM etc.

    Range: I may need advice on this but between fueling stations seems to be between 50-100 nautical miles. Is 100 nautical miles for a range silly?

    Berths: 2-4 (to be workshopped)

    Cruising Speed: Doesn't need to be too fast. 20 knots?

    Construction/Hull type/Material: Hoping to develop this idea a touch. I'm not wed to anything just yet

    Hopefully this helps with where I can look further! Cheers again!
     
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  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Unlike a house, you can't build additions for more space. This is probably the most important item to get set in stone before the design goes ahead.
     
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  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    That is pretty fast. It will pound enough that the furniture, dishes, etc. need to be secured. That means that you need to consider either built it furniture or have a place for storage. House boats usually operate at much lower speeds.
     
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  8. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    +1 re Gonzo's comment above. 20 knots is a planing speedboat!
    A typical 'houseboat', say between 30' - 40' in length, might have a cruising speed of about 7 - 8 knots typically, and that would be with a tapered bow and rocker on the stern to reduce the resistance. A rectangular box type of houseboat would be cruising much more slowly.

    There is a wide variety of houseboat plans available from Duckworks, all designed for different purposes and speeds, as per the link below, hence it is important to determine exactly what type of houseboat will best fit your intended usage.
    Plans & Kits - Plans by type - Powerboats - Houseboats/Livaboards - Duckworks Boat Builders Supply https://duckworks.com/houseboats-livaboards/

    A motley collection of houseboat plans available from Glen-L as well
    Shop - Plans and Kits - Houseboats - Glen-L Marine https://www.glen-l.com/Houseboats/departments/7/

    Here is a 28' powercat for sale in New Zealand with an asking price of NZ$ 198,000 - it should meet most of your requirements (so far) -
    1996 Custom Ron Given Tamara Class Catamaran for sale - YachtWorld https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/1996-custom-ron-given-tamara-class-8675836/

    Or a 42' trawler yacht with an asking price of NZ$ 150,000 -
    1982 Californian 38 LRC Trawler for sale - YachtWorld https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/1982-californian-38-lrc-8573197/

    Here is a 36' steel houseboat that was built in Holland, and shipped to NZ a few years ago. They mention though that her cruising speed is a sedate 6.5 knots, as she only has a single 60 hp diesel engine. Her asking price is NZ$ 230,000.

    Or a 32' sedan cruiser with a flying bridge for NZ$ 67,000 - she has a single 180 hp diesel engine.
    1975 Vindex 32 Sloop for sale - YachtWorld https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/1975-vindex-32-8574948/

    And a 34' flybridge cruiser from Riviera for NZ$ 338,000 - although she has a pair of 270 hp inboard diesel engines, her economical cruising speed is still only 14 knots.
    2000 Riviera 34 Platinum Sloop for sale - YachtWorld https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/2000-riviera-34-platinum-8675884/

    The five very different boats mentioned above would probably all be capable of the sort of cruising you have in mind, yet they are all VERY different.

    You have not mentioned what your budget is for building your houseboat - but be aware that the cost of building a new boat, even if you supply all the labour, will probably still be more than buying an existing second hand boat in reasonable condition that is good to go.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2023
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  9. Samdaman
    Joined: Dec 2015
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    Samdaman Junior Member

    Thanks bajan and gonzo.

    I had a look through your links and found the below which looks kind of what I'm looking for

    Jubilee https://www.glen-l.com/jubilee/

    I'm going to sketch out a setup to start mapping out the use of space. Would the above design be suitable for force 5 seas? Or are these typically more stationary vessels?
     
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  10. DogCavalry
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    DogCavalry Senior Member

    Nice boat! If that was plunked down onto a sea sled bottom you'd really have something...
     
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  11. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Here is a photo of the bow from the link above -

    Glen L Jubilee.jpg

    If the wind is blowing Force 5, the sea will probably be quite rough if there is any fetch (it will only be calm if you are in the lee of the land).
    If you have to motor into a Force 5 head sea, the wave height could easily be 2 metres, and you would have to be very careful with that large forward cockpit, re taking a wave over the bow.
     
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  12. DogCavalry
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    DogCavalry Senior Member

    It looks like a great space, but that fore-deck needs some massive freeing ports.
     
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  13. DogCavalry
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    DogCavalry Senior Member

    @Samdaman , have a look at Dave Gerr's On the Nature of Boats for some excellent stuff on ergonomics, realistic space requirements for X number of people, and a lot of other good info.
     
  14. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Based on this, and your other details,
    these Youtube Channels might be of interest

    For layout and innovation in a compact package


    and for 20 plus Knots, the GT27 is the only houseboat that claims decent speed, AND trailer ability tha you can build, that I have come across. A big boat to trailer though.


    https://www.boatbuildercentral.com/product/gt-cruiser-27-boat-plans-gt27/
     
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  15. DogCavalry
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    DogCavalry Senior Member

    Serenity is in that size range, and might be fast. The leg extension happens this week.
     
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