Houseboat question

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by TheWizzaardd, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. TheWizzaardd
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    TheWizzaardd Junior Member

    I have no experience building boats and am definitely not planning on starting with a houseboat, probably a flat bottom fishing boat, but I had a question for future planning. What would you say the smallest length/width would be to be able to have a second level half length cabin mounted on top of the regular full length cabin? I am just curious and like the idea/look of the state cabin sitting on top with the sundeck. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I don't mean this giant elegant thing sitting on top, probably enough room for a chest, double or queen bed, and maybe a head if I am feeling generous, maybe even a chair.

    I have experience some with carpentry and construction so I know what I am doing as far as building goes, or I can at least figure it out reading basic plans, physics at the moment is what has me stumped. Last thing I want to do is spend years building a boat then have it topple over and sink.

    Ideally I would like to build a trailerable houseboat, I don't want to be chained to a single lake, and that is probably what I will do first weather or not the second story cabin is a possibility. I just enjoy building stuff that I can actually use so either way a houseboat with a top cabin is something I would like to build some day.


    Also anyone have any tips for making alterations to blueprints? I don't have to but I am 6'7", 2.01 meters, and Ideally if I am building myself a boat, it would be something I could stand up straight in.
     
  2. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    PAR, on of the NAs hereabouts, has this large version of his houseboat series to consider: http://www.boatdesign.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/23280/ppuser/36616/sl/p

    Just for an example.

    That said, based on my own questioning, I would say that once you've dealt with stability motion comfort will be a great concern. By this I mean that motions that's are quick but small or slow /large can be comfortable but quick and large is bad.

    For example: a catamaran or trimaran (being wide) can achieve the stability to go tall but the higher you go the larger the motions tend to be. Cats and tris are said to be quick in their motions. So the combination may not be good.

    To slow down the motions a "stabalized monohull" may prove more comfortable. Basically these are trimarans with small amas sometimes barely in the water when on an even keel. Because the amas are not large compared to the main hull they will submerge more deeply before fully resisting rolling motion which is claimed to slow the rolling as well. It seems like it must be a balancing act: they need to be large enought to provide for static stability but small enough to not have a quick roll period.

    On the plus side I imagine that Cylinder Mold construction ( http://www.multihulldesigns.com/pdf/cm/CYLINDER MOLD MULTIHULL CONSTRUCTION.htm ) could be employed with such amas so getting it right may not have to be done on a first time.

    One thing I've pondered, given that a boat in motion is said to gain stability, is using small amas on fold down wings for stability when at anchor and moving slow. It'd be mechanically more complex but it would let you do things that require narrower boats, like trailering.
     
  3. TheWizzaardd
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    TheWizzaardd Junior Member

    Thanks for the input. I would love to build a 50 foot houseboat but I doubt I have the time, money, building space, or dock space to store it.

    I had thought about using extendable/collapsible outrigger armas for stability on water but slimness on land. I just need to figure out the best way to do that. at the moment I am just trying to get a grasp on how it all fits together.

    I definitely understand what you mean with the rolling higher up, been there done that, the motions put me personally to sleep but made most everyone around me sicker than all hell.
     
  4. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    One of my more out there ideas for a trailerable house boat might also interest you.

    Imagine a catamaran with a folding X bridgedeck, something that's actually been fairly well thought out by others, where the super structure, attached to the hulls, has fold down floors and a three part roof that expands.

    Cabinets that swing out and lock down into the floor and Murphy Bed type constructions make up the features of the interior, so just throw in some ordinary chairs for as needed seating and it may be quite livable.

    Since most places allow you to tow up to 8' to 8.5' it wouldn't be unreasonable that expanded such a boat could be 13' to 14', maybe a bit more, wide on hulls roughly 4' in beam each.

    There is one additional bugaboo: trailering height. A catamaran with a house is going to be tall ... so in addition to being folding it may be necessary to be pop up as well (to go under predictable old bridges). This would have an added benefit of reducing windage when towing.

    It wouldn't be a double decker but it could be relatively roomy. As long as the pop up worked right you'd have some bragging rights too. ;)

    A less out there idea may be to adopt a trailer concept like Wild Goose ( http://tnttt.com/VintagePlans/pln_wildgoose.pdf ) onto a trailerable hull as way to reduce frontal area and drag when towing. You could even have fore/aft cuddly cabins with a standing room center.
     
  5. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    There are some beautiful and big pop up tents for sale that only need 4 eye bolts to put up. Use a king 9" air mattress, pass up a couple of chairs and you are good to go. folds flat to 6". Be sure the roof will carry human weight plus libations.
     
  6. TheWizzaardd
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    TheWizzaardd Junior Member

    I sort of get what you are talking about with the catamaram. Are you saying that the lounge area or bridge deck would be convertible into a second cabin popout? kinda fold out of the floor or am I imagining your thought correctly ish or no? any resources? that sounds pretty cool.

    This may be a stupid question, what do you mean by trailerable hull for the camper idea? Do you mean make a hull to mount the camper on that can be put on a trailer? or some kind of hull that is a trailer?
     
  7. TheWizzaardd
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    TheWizzaardd Junior Member

    The plans I would use, or modify, would have the roof of the cabin be a sun deck to begin with, so If my sundeck cant hold human weight I would have a relatively huge problem. I do like the pup tent Idea as well. I will probably incorporate a pilot house up there, I'm a sucker for the flying bridge, and the visibility is nice, I hate driving cooped up in the main cabin.
     
  8. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Actually, on a pontoon boat that would work.

    Though the green porta potty won't fold down. :p

    But seriously, yes, I've found it an intellectual challenge to cope with the idea that whatever someone may do to abuse and misuse anything I finally build: that they will do it. A sign that says "you may NOT do anything that begins with "Hey, watch me do this!"" will only solve some potential problems. There are just too many ways for folks to summon facepalms at my expense.

    As for your question, it would just be a boat with a permanent Wild Goose like superstructure. One where the forward bit has a reasonably low profile (windage on a trailer, more power to tow) and the aft bit is where the standing room is found.

    Wizard's love of flying bridges makes me now wonder if there couldn't be two sections to the swing up bit where one was some sort of pop up to give the flybridge on top of the roof of the cuddy? That would likely put the flybridge pretty far forward (into cab over semitruck territory) so I don't know if that would work.
     
  9. TheWizzaardd
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    TheWizzaardd Junior Member


    I sort of get what you are talking about with the catamaram. Are you saying that the lounge area or bridge deck would be convertible into a second cabin popout? kinda fold out of the floor or am I imagining your thought correctly ish or no? any resources? that sounds pretty cool.

    This may be a stupid question, what do you mean by trailerable hull for the camper idea? Do you mean make a hull to mount the camper on that can be put on a trailer? or some kind of hull that is a trailer?
     
  10. TheWizzaardd
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    TheWizzaardd Junior Member

    st

    I get more of what you mean with the wild goose. So place the goose toward the bow with the curved bit facing the bow to reduce wind drag, have the flat bit open toward aft with a open rectangular lounge space/swim deck? or did I reverse

    still a bit hazy on the cat but I'll keep pondering it
     
  11. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    As I just posted, just a hull with a permanent super structure kinda like a wild goose trailer. Garvey, barge or pontoon hull would work since all have relatively blunt bows.

    As for the folding cat: maybe think of it as a folding plus pop up shanty? A single level houseboat like the old Float-A-Home type designs. The sides of the superstructure are pretty much flush with the sides of the hulls.

    A pop up roof so everywhere under it has standing headroom (you're even taller than I'm) would require some real strengthening to the structure, which means weight and complexity and there's already enough to go wrong in the hands of relatives or friends.

    That doesn't mean you couldn't have an elevated steering position not under the roof that had to be complex to get.
     
  12. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Spot on. And a lot shorter than my explanation (I sometimes spit out more words than a dictionary caught in a chipper shredder).

    Though with a second cubby, on a long narrower boat, would be reversed and aft.
     
  13. TheWizzaardd
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    TheWizzaardd Junior Member

    I actually looked at some float a home designs and was actually thinking of using them as a base to go on. The original idea had been to use something like this http://www.boatdesigns.com/20-24-Water-Lodge-flat-bottomed-houseboats/products/899/ as a base design and modify from there. I feel the outrigger system would be a plus here if I tried building up at all.
     
  14. TheWizzaardd
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    TheWizzaardd Junior Member

    But I do like where you are going with this wild goose thing. I'm thinking the two camper design using the aft cabin as the main sleeping cabin with the front as the galley with a convertible bunk. I think that middle section between the campers could possible have two platforms with pontoons that fold out from center to double center deck space once at location.
     

  15. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    If you want full controls topside you are going to spend some BIG BUCKS. You
    could have a tilt up lay down control center with no problem. I'm tiring to keep you low.
    Where are you located?
     
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