Inflatable Yacht?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by venomousbird, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. venomousbird
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    venomousbird Junior Member

    I'm just curious about the limitations of inflatables. Has anyone ever designed a large sailing cat or tri with inflatable pontoons? How would the weight compare to an all rigid multi-hull?
     
  2. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    fill the pontoons with helium.
     
  3. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    The shapes possible would be limited, but I don't see why floats couldn't be engineered that complimented a specific design class. A medium/small boat would be a good size, say from 20-30 ft. A certain amount of stiffness is needed, but not too much as the material remembers how to return to its former shape.
    I like the idea. Maybe a free-standing mast would allow the whole strfucture to be inflatable. I should think the one big problem with multis, collision with floating objects, might be somewhat mitigated.
    As far as weight goes, that's a good question. i think maybe the inflatable would be heavier.
     
  4. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

  5. venomousbird
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    venomousbird Junior Member

    The Proteus is an awesome design, I was actually looking at pictures of it yesterday. If I could only afford carbon fiber, I would seriously consider it as an option. All that room in those tubes could be exploited for storage of a lightweight fuel like hydrogen.

    It seems that small-scale commercial/personal availability of a usable inflatable cloth such as hypalon beyond something in the scale of a patch-kit is extremely limited, and I was surprised at how little information I could find on home built inflatables.
     
  6. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    kach22i Architect

    Just an FYI: perhaps because of the lighter loading there are many hovercraft which have had inflatable parts.

    Body and Hull

    Side Sponsons

    Fold out deck

    Let me know if you want to know more, many are posted at the Hovercraft Museum website.

    HM:
    http://www.hovercraft-museum.org/man-index.html

    Or try here:
    http://www.bartiesworld.co.uk/

    Ron Fishlock of Canada did a lot of work on this side topic.
    http://www.howardboyle.com/canhover_history.htm
    http://www.howardboyle.com/fishlockhcraft.jpg

    http://www.decastris.com/hcc/builders/airidetech/airide.htm
     
  7. venomousbird
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    venomousbird Junior Member

    I suppose it makes sense, if you have a constant supply of high pressure air while running a vehicle, why not use it to maintain the structural shape? It's certainly an interesting idea.
     
  8. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    Some hovercraft designs used rubber rafts as the hull, this would be sealed and not connected to the lift fan.

    Other designs I think did use the lift fans, however the folding decks and sponsons I'm thinking of were filled with an on board compressor and then sealed up.

    Again the low loading might be more comparable to the tarp or netting on a catamaran or in many cases the floatation in an RIB.
     
  9. PortTacker
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    PortTacker Junior Member

  10. venomousbird
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    venomousbird Junior Member

    I've seen listings for smaller inflatables of course, I was wondering more about the size potential of such craft, and often people on this forum have good knowledge of unique examples that I might not be able to find otherwise.
     
  11. PortTacker
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    PortTacker Junior Member

    Personally, I'd be afraid the idea conceptually for anything bigger than you'd sail off a beach. Images of a cut or tear or the seams splitting 200 miles from land...
     
  12. Loveofsea
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    Loveofsea New Member

  13. venomousbird
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    venomousbird Junior Member

    Looks awesome, and only sits a foot deep in the water. It looks like the pontoons are made up of multiple segments as well. I'm going to have to search for some more detailed technical info on this project.
     

  14. limeyus
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    limeyus Junior Member

    There was an inflatable cat called a 'catapult' in the UK back in the 80's
    Worked well but it was only about 15' long
     
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