Human powered cargo boat - what's possible?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Humanpower, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. erik818
    Joined: Feb 2007
    Posts: 237
    Likes: 20, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 310
    Location: Sweden

    erik818 Senior Member

    Fascinating thread.

    The output power from a human can be something like 100 W during continuous work. 18 rowers would output 1.8 kW, less than 3 hp. The weight of 18 rowers (able to output 100 W) is approximately 1.4 tonnes. You will gain cargo capacity if you exchange most of the rowers for an engine + fuel.

    If we assume a lower propeller efficiency from a diesel engine than the oar efficiency for the rowers, 3 kW should still be more than sufficient as engine output power. Assume 250 g/kWh and you get a fuel consumption of approximately 0.8 liters/h. At an average diesel price of (USD) $2/liter the cost is $1.6/h.

    18 rowers working 160 hours per month will cost $900. 160 engine hours will cost $256. You can get a lot of maintenance for that balance, so there is no way rowers will be cheaper than a small diesel. You still will need some crew, but a few persons should suffice.

    The presumption is of course that the engine-powered hull is as efficient as the rowing hull. You have to overcome the temptation to trade efficiency when designing the boat just because you have an engine and also overcome the temptation to run on full throttle instead of finding an economical speed.

    Erik
     
  2. Humanpower
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 29
    Location: Brussels

    Humanpower Junior Member

    Lol, the trouble is that if you let anything float in a river, it will get stuck after a few minutes. It won't take the route you want. That's why, around 30,000BC, these people invented paddles.

    Fuel is too expensive. And it only gets more expensive as time passes by. I'm looking at a post-liquid fuel alternative![/QUOTE]

    That would be competitive, but you'd need a steady supply of some good oil. On the environmental side, it's a bit of a worry.

    Making ethanol is a bit more complicated than biodiesel, I've read, and you need to adapt your engines. There's no ethanol industry of any kind here.
     
  3. Humanpower
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 29
    Location: Brussels

    Humanpower Junior Member

    Unfortunately, there's no wind on the river. Else, most would indeed be using sails.
     
  4. Humanpower
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 29
    Location: Brussels

    Humanpower Junior Member

    Unfortunately, there are no paths on the banks of the river. There's only huge jungles.
     
  5. Humanpower
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 29
    Location: Brussels

    Humanpower Junior Member

    Great photos.

    But unfortunately, these Chinese slaves are lucky. They have some rocks to walk on.

    In our case, they'd first have to cut down trees with machetes.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,402
    Likes: 194, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    But then you could sell the timbers or use them to make structures alongside the river to support your endeavor.[​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 7,680
    Likes: 265, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Hahaha....obviously the naked boat tow-men don't have the easiest of jobs. If they put an attractive naked girl at the head of the tow-rope, the task might be easier.
     
  8. Angélique
    Joined: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,005
    Likes: 317, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1632
    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Here some info . . . .


    Mr Efficiency, pics of the naked boat tow women as well as some serious wear on the rocks by the ropes arround the corners were in this post. But the pics are lost as I was too lazy to store and attach them to that post and the hotlinking died when the web source went down. They might be available somewhere else on the web though. If it can't be found, don't worry, you don't miss much female beauty then as they worn down pretty fast by the burden.

    Human, your solution must be sought by using brain power* rather than muscle power as the output of the latter is pretty low and very inefficient in humans.

    * OK, that's what this thread is about, so carry on [​IMG]

    About the river, I was there with some colleagues, here we have some of your rowers on tow . . ;)

    [​IMG]

    Best of luck . . ! !

    Angel
     
  9. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 2,976
    Likes: 187, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    The trekker pix are thoroughly fascinating in the philosphic realm. What these people are doing illustrates the indomitable spirit and determination of man.

    On a lighter note: Post #15 has a link to Youtube about the trekkers. The Youtube video has side links to some steamier vids. Only dirty old men will be interested. Not me of course.
     
  10. Angélique
    Joined: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,005
    Likes: 317, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1632
    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Not on my screen, do you have it with the first or second YouTube link in post #14 ? Maybe this can be helped by some YouTube safety settings for those who "suffer" from this. Of course this is caused by word 'naked' in the text that goes with the vid which generate the side links to vids with the same word. If it's a problem I will remove the link and will ask the quoters to do the same. So put up your votes please.

    Cheers,
    Angel

    P.S. - Someone removed a post before #15, so the former #15 is now #14.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  11. Angélique
    Joined: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,005
    Likes: 317, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1632
    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Must be the second vid link, that one uses the Chinese sign for 'naked' in the text while talking about the tow men, the first vid link doesn't use the word neither in English or Chinese.

    Cheers,
    Angel
     
  12. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 1,374
    Likes: 56, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 746
    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Well have at it then,even though erik showed diesel to be cheaper than rowers,and without drama/mutiny,dysentary,etc.

    IIRC this is not the first time Angel has posted the naked dudes...are these on your screen saver as well? ;)
     
  13. HakimKlunker
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 274
    Likes: 9, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 146
    Location: Thailand

    HakimKlunker Andreas der Juengere

    History shows:

    Talking numbers.
    What is going to happen:
    Arriving in town half of the goods will be stolen by half of the crew which then will disappear.
    Half of the remaining half crew will die from HIV (caught in town) on the way upstream.
    Half of the petrol for a non-existing engine will be drunk by all of the crew.
    This will erase half of the quarter crew.
    In a drunk state the eighth will first **** you as the skipper and next each other.
    Arriving upstream terminal, there will be a mutiny; the inevitable close encounter will leave half of one eigth crew behind.
    The not drinkable goods will be sold in exchange for weapons.
    A revolution will be raised by one sixteenth of the original crew. The people's army will then be sent downstream on the now people's rowing boat, to free the city peoples from their oppressors. This will cost half the lives.
    The remaining thirtyseventh will return upstream to bring the news of victory, only to find out that meanwhile a counter revolution has taken place.
    They will all be massacred (after drinking their alcohol supplies, after raping them, after seizing their rowing boat) and their livers will be eaten while their right hands will be sent to Bruxelles.

    You then will recruit a new crew and start over again...

    We can save many lives by NOT making this boat :p
     
  14. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
    Posts: 2,959
    Likes: 102, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 509
    Location: auckland nz

    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Fascinating stuff. Required reading is John Hersey's book, "A Single Pebble."
    From the Jim Young book; he was in Japan just after the end of WW2:
    "Most yachties in the old days, the less wealthy ones anyway, could all scull their dinghies using one oar over the stern. The moneyed classes, I have often found, can’t even tie a reef knot and so wouldn’t know how to scull. When I went to Japan, the people were amazed to see a gaijin (strange white man) who could scull because although they used to scull everywhere in many types of boats, they knew that Westerners did not. It was their whole method of propulsion before they brought in power. And they had special oars made for it. Instead of ones that fitted in a socket, on a big boat they’d have a number of bars that stuck out over the side with knobs on them, each like a car tow ball, and the oars had sockets which fitted over these knobs. And they had a line which held the inboard end down so you didn’t have to pull on it; you twisted the oar with a handle like a scythe. You could see them at a distance coming towards you sculling a large barge, all these figures moving in and out as they sculled that heavy load along at about 2 knots."
     

  15. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 2,976
    Likes: 187, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    My bad! I wrote that the side links were from post 15. I made a mistake, they are from post 21. Click on the reference that has the You Tube logo.

    I am not the slightest bit offended by the side links. They were not all that steamy. They were in Chinese or some other text that I certinly could not read. The pix were of attractive asian women and were merely suggestive, nothing more. The pictures of the human mules are far more impressive as well as personally humbling.
     
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.