Hot Tub In A Boat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by rhubley, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. rhubley
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Seattle

    rhubley Junior Member

    Ok...here is a challenge for everyone. I have a 22ft fiberglass ( 8 ft beam ) cabin
    cruiser hull. It has been gutted leaving only the hull and a bit of the front deck. In
    this empty hull we hope to place a 6,000+ lb hot tub ( wet weight minus people ).
    Under the assumption that the boat will remain stable displacing this much weight
    in water ( assumption backed up by some back-of-the-napkin-calculations at this
    point ) what would be the best way to distribute the weight of this tub? Obviously
    it should be kept low in the boat and near the center of gravity ( stern to bow ).

    Should it be supported by a set of stringers ( full length ) angled to fit against
    the inside of the fiberglass hull? Should we build plywood bulkheads every
    x inches and divide the weight evenly along the keel-to-sheer only under
    the tub footprint? Oh..and in case anyone is curious we plan to keep this
    boat moored for 99% of the time -- rarely bringing it out on a calm lake
    for short little jaunts.

    Any jokes, disparaging remarks, wild theories, practical tips, or brilliant
    ideas welcome.

    -R
     
  2. MattZ
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: British Columbia, Canada

    MattZ Junior Member

    Depending on the quality of the lake water, you may want to consider not keeping the water in the tub between uses. I'm assuming you're planning on using the engine to heat the water. It wouldn't be too much trouble to just heat a fresh batch of lake water every use, no unpleasant chlorine that way.

    As far as weight distribution goes I think you may need more than plywood stringers. Are you going to put a ready made hottub in the boat, or lay one up out of fibreglass yourself?
     
  3. Skippy
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: cornfields

    Skippy Senior Member

    Just buy a Mac 26, it's already installed! :D

    Between the weight concentrated amidships and flotation at the ends, yes stringers should help distribute the load over the hull bottom. Also, the topsides and deck will be under fore-aft compression due to the buckling stress, and the topsides may develop a tendency to separate from the deck, which will be stretched athwartship.
     
  4. Tim B
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    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    There is, of course the small matter of Free Surface effect reducing the stability as well as the change in CG. Free surface effect is calculable (in basic terms) but it tends to be a big problem, that will give you an unstable boat with a lot less than a hot-tub in it. I suggest that you either find a naval architect who can tell you if it will be stable, but personally, I don't think it will be if you take into account the effect of the free surface. 6000lbs of ballast (which is what it is) would come fairly close to doubling the displacement.

    I would seriously advise against doing this, at the best you'll end up with a very tender boat, at the worst you'll do yourself and everyone else serious injury,

    Tim B.
     
  5. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Find a nice 85-125 ft boat with a combination Hot tub , boat storage well , with a sliding cover.

    Install your boat in the well when not using the hot tub!

    Will SAVE lots on not needing bottom paint for existing dink.

    FAST FRED
     
  6. SailDesign
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Jamestown, RI, USA

    SailDesign Old Phart! Stay upwind..

    I'll second Tim B's comments on Free Surfaces. Nasty things. Think of it as a dinghy with lots of water in the cockpit, and you'll get the picture :)
    Steve
     
  7. Vega
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Portugal

    Vega Senior Member

    Just put the hot tub over the CG of the boat and then make an open living space around it.
    After all one of the most famous American architects when he planned the perfect house for himself designed the saloon around a big central jacuzzi and that room even had a huge piano. :rolleyes:
     
  8. rhubley
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Seattle

    rhubley Junior Member

    Good point about the Free Surface Effect. Nothing can be done about
    that except maybe extending the hull out amidships to be more boxy like
    a barge. Basically this will be a barge. It's purpose is to tie up to a house
    boat and serve as a hot tub float ( on fresh water ). Unfortunately we already
    have the hull so I have to find some way of working with it.
     
  9. Skippy
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: cornfields

    Skippy Senior Member

    Outriggers sound like an excellent idea if you have room. With the tub below the surface, the boat will be a dog as far as being a boat is concerned, but will be very stable as a barge. One way to deal with the loose water might be to seal off the deck and everything else around the tub, and leave the tub open with no deck above it, just a roof or awning. That way if it does go over, the water will spill out of the boat, which will then come back up quickly. Of course, if there are people in the tub at the time, ..... :eek: I concur with the warnings.
     
  10. steveh
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: FL

    steveh New Member

    I looked at a 37' Connie that had had a hot tub installed in the foreward cabin. Fair bit of rot up there, I figured from sloshing.

    I would suggest moving to the FL keys where hot tubs on boats are redundant.
     
  11. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    forgive my ignorance late seeing this tubboat thread and not having even read it all...
    first thought i had was to dig a hull in as pool at a sunny backyard...
     
  12. cyclops
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: usa

    cyclops Senior Member

    Leave the boat alone. Go with a floating swim platform that completly surrounds the tub and has a 6' wide deck all around. Stabile and a place for the drinks and snacks and those who sit on the edges. Put Blue Styrofoam under the decking. We can give you deck area and foam requirements for up to 50 people if needed. Hey! Out of the tub and a dive into the lake. A Sweedish Sauna.
     
  13. marshmat
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    I second that, Cyclops.
    If the boat has a (semi)functional motor I might build its hull into the decking somehow- use it as a cooler/sunpad/power unit. If you want the tub in the hull, you'd probably be looking at adding some hefty amas/outriggers to keep it upright, thus getting you a trimaran barge.
     
  14. Tim B
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    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    why not keep the boat as a boat and build a hot tub into the pontoon?

    Tim B.
     

  15. rhubley
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Seattle

    rhubley Junior Member

    Floating dock concept is out. So are wide outriggers. Keeping the boat
    as a boat is of course an option but of no use to me. This is a gutted
    hull with no engine.

    In any case I looked at MaxSurf and it has the ability to calculate Free Surface
    Effects. Unfortunately it is very very expensive and I only want something
    to assist in this one project. Does anyone know of a free package that
    can perform these calculations? Would anyone be willing to enter in
    the boat design and run the calculations for a small fee -- assuming
    you already own a copy of this software?
     
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