houseboat/static barge help

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Trevor Herron, May 15, 2017.

  1. Trevor Herron
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Trevor Herron Junior Member

    Hi I am totally new here and joined to hopefully get some help with my brainchild.
    The plan is to build a 36ft or so by 12-14ft barge which can be kept on reasonably sheltered inland waters in Northern Ireland. propulsion is to be from my 5l petrol inboard speed boat, towing at around 5 knots, however i love my idea of shaping the stern of the barge to suit my bayliner and linking the two vessels together, possibly rigid using the wakeboard tower anchor points which are very strong or just pushing some sort of fender which sounds a bit more chaotic. i do realise towing makes more sense but love the idea of the boat park/propultion/everyone together that comes from pushing.
    superstructure is to be a bunkhouse with small galley and head, these parts i am confident with.
    what I'm thinking is;
    1.build a flat bottom ply and timber frame (i have a lot of experience of structural ply gusset on batton structural work from years building timber commercial poultry units)
    2. waterproof this.
    3.float it in local lake with large weights positioned and approximated to represent load/layout.
    4.test run pushing pulling with speedboat to check trim etc
    then go ahead and build superstructure according to test.

    I have come across all the usual plans available on net but I'm sure there will be problems I'm not aware of as I'm new to building anything of this type.
    first up is there a size limit to this type of construction?
    will the idea of clamping the speedboat to the barge for propulsion be a total disaster?
    id really appreciate the opinion of anyone with experience
     
  2. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 2,340
    Likes: 263, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 506
    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    These types of structures are done all the time and generally you'll make it like a dock, with a longitudinal support structure holding up decking, which in turn is supported by buoyancy chambers, usually foam filled polyethylene. You can go the barge or pontoon route, but this is usually more costly and requires more materials and maintenance.

    I wouldn't recommend the "hunt and peck" method for solving displacement, trim and stability issues. Most local authorities tend to frown on this as well. The calculations for figuring out how much you need to support aren't all that difficult and you'd be well advised to take this approuch.

    A "push" boat is a common solution, though rafting up or towing will do if just moving the boat around. If the party barge is to be motored around regularly, a push boat isn't the best way, isn't particularly efficient and will have some control issues.
     
  4. Trevor Herron
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Trevor Herron Junior Member

    replies!!... I've never been in a forum before, it seems i picked a good one.
    Ondarvr, yes thats the idea and i didn't even know these existed, they look to be fairly basic in attachment, just a few straps and shaped fenders? i was thinking something more solid using the wake boat fixings which stand up to a lot. the reason in my head was that the 2 crafts may bob about differently and whilst my 205 is a fair age id rather not be to sore on the finish.
    Par, to elaborate a little heres the plan/dream... the bunkhouse/tinyhouse will be docked in a private mooring in lough Erne (we call our lakes loughs here lol) which is very beautiful. its more a holiday home than cruiser, so for a long weekend; trailer my boat up, push the barge to somewhere nice and sheltered, enjoy a weekend of watersports and general r and r away from everything, return it to its mooring. These will be short slow journeys and frequently we may just keep it at the marina and operate from there. so I'm not actually to bothered about manoeuvrability. towing sounds more sensible but i'd like both options.

    my local water, lough neagh doesn't actually really have authorities!! there is a lough warden but I'm friendly with him and his job is more about illegal eel fishing. But if it can be worked out on paper yes that would definitely be easier... i just had concerns about the cabin weight distribution or something disastrous like pushing the barge bow down when moving etc.

    since posting I've discovered (from road haulier) i can go to just under 14ft beam and 13ft from lowest point on hull to highest point on cabin, the extra 2 ft width will make a massive difference to my layout/room, still sticking with 33-36ft length including the deck with the v out boat mooring/attachment at the back.

    The big question is.... can i build this hull by enlarging one of the available plans for ply and glass fibre?? this is easy for me.
    pontoons sounded like a more complex set up and are expensive to buy and ship here.
    i found a factory made rectangular 28x12 steel barge made up of separate sections and wrapped in marine aluminium but its in England and is costing close to £10k!! by the time i get in hauled over here... had considered getting someone local to make something similar (my welding skills are minimal)
    so really id love to build the hull from timer frames and ply/glass but is 34x14 to big for this type of construction??

    Thanks very much for taking the time to help me out with this, hopefully someday i can return the favour
    Cheers
    T.
     
  5. Trevor Herron
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Trevor Herron Junior Member

    P.S. I've been sketching and dreaming and will get something drawn properly when work slacks of in June that ill post here.
     
  6. Trevor Herron
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Trevor Herron Junior Member

    Oh and PAR, I've just realised when closing tabs to focus on real work lol that I'm on your site a lot, perhaps hull plans are something you could sell me for this type of thing?
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It does sound like you need a riverboat, not a barge. You can still use a push boat, but incorporating propulsion into the riverboat would make it much more convenient and efficient. Lastly, don't discount handling with this type of craft, as they typically have a lot of windage, which is hard to control, particularly in crowded anchorages, where lots of pointy stuff can threaten the boat or possibly the your lack of solid, positive control (push boat) can risk damaging other boats. Drop me an email if you'd like to discuss further options about my designs.
     
  8. Trevor Herron
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Trevor Herron Junior Member

    yea thats why I'm thinking of clamping both together solidly for manoeuvring around boats and jetties. still not keen on introducing propulsion as its so much extra work, time and cost and not something I'm overly good at.

    I'm guessing windage is why most designs are quite low.

    I'm going to post a link to a guy that made a smaller version of what i have in mind i just need to know if this will work at 36x14? possibly buy plans
     
  9. Trevor Herron
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Trevor Herron Junior Member

  10. Trevor Herron
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Trevor Herron Junior Member

    this is exactly what i have in mind but bigger and with a cut out v shape at the stern deck plus i could bang that out of my workshop in no time and really cheap with the exception of glass finer, paint and some nice internal fittings... everything else looks simple enough
     
  11. Trevor Herron
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Trevor Herron Junior Member

    glass fibre**
     
  12. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,074
    Likes: 246, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    I suggest that outboard power would be easy enough to attach to the barge, Also easy enough to remove if desired. Some of the major manufacturers produce small outboards that are specifically designed to push large slow moving boats.
     
  13. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 2,340
    Likes: 263, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 506
    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    I tend to agree, mounting a small outboard for occasional use would be far easier than trying to secure the two boats together in a reliable way.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  14. Trevor Herron
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Trevor Herron Junior Member

    ok, I understand my reasons for joining here.... i have not idea about boat building!
    so..
    ill go with propulsion and the double advantage is that the rear deck will be more straightforward and useable.
    the big one i can't find info on is hull..... scow type or pontoon, please bear in mind that I'm well set up for timber and plywood construction and have plenty of experience making strong lightweight structures.

    Thanks again everyone I'm very aware this won't all go smoothly and its great to hear the potential problems from those with more experience
     

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Given your current understanding of hydrodynamics, engineering, boat construction and related disciplines, you're best advised to simply get a set of plans. For example the video you've shown above is a seemingly easy way to do things, but in reality, it's heavy (ridiculously so), which costs more and takes more time to build and though looks to be fairly stable (not nearly as much as you'd think), it's directional tracking would be challenging, propulsion requirements will be higher, because of it's mass and wave making properties. That houseboat is really intended to sit on a berth and occasionally get moved, maybe to another berth or on the 4th of July to get a better view of the fireworks, but that's about it.

    A push boat can be made to work and is simple enough, if it's reason for being is to occasionally move the boat, fairly short distances, such as from its berth to the travel lift and the ends of a season. This leaves the push boat free to use as what it is, while having the option of towing or pushing the party barge around every so often.

    In the end (or beginning in this case) you need to make a list of the things you want from the boat, prioritizing them as you go. Next you'd look at various designs to see how many of these things you can get within you budget and other constraints. Skip the aesthetic considerations, as these can be changed to suit easily. Focus on the primary roles and dimensions she needs to fit, such as draft, length, beam, tankage, target speeds, accommodations, etc. For example, if you've decided you want to travel around quite a bit, even if it's just for short distances, you'll want a boat, not a floating Winnebago. If on the other hand, you expect to sit in a lawn chair on the aft deck, sucking on a beer with Fedel the wonder dog at your side most of the time, a floating Winnebago will do fine.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.