instead of lifeboat, how about Helium balloon?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    What's wrong with an inflatable version of the emergency escape pods that oil rig workers use? Once the strong winds pass, you could use a balloon to get a long antenna up to make contact with rescue and make the pod easier to see.

    Porta
     
  2. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    In the 60's I was stationed on the CG Cutter "Matagorda" out of Honolulu. We stood OS Victor patrols, 30 days on station in the N Pacific in the middle of winter. A daily ritual was the release of helium weather balloons to track winds aloft by radar. Now this was on a 311' cutter, and we had an enclosed "balloon shack" with a roller door on the 02 deck to inflate these things. You inflated the 8' diameter balloon, the ship turned into the wind, the roller door was opened and out you go with the balloon and release it. If all goes well, nothing goes wrong. As Yogi Berra said, "In theory there's no difference between theory and practice, in practice there always is." Somehow those balloons could get into the most incredible tangled messes even when we did things right. If this is how it is with some control, in reasonable weather, on a 2000 ton ship, how the heck do you deal with a much larger balloon in a terminal survival situation when absolutely everything has gone bonkers?
     
  3. Wavewacker
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    Wavewacker Senior Member

    Bataan, very good point. I was an air traffic controller in the Army and released balloons to take weather observations. One would not do at all.

    The best way is to get a box of smaller balloons and tie them together and tie them off to a lawn chair. Remember to strap a sharp tool to the chair so that it is not lost so that you can pop the balloons as needed to maintain your flight level at differing tempatures and ultimately descind!


    I'd go for the stronger boat first, then a life raft, then maybe that submarine!
     
  4. ddrdan
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    ddrdan Junior Member

  5. srimes
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    srimes Senior Member

    While we're at it, why not just have an inflatable helium chamber big enough to lift the whole boat? A hybrid boat/airship. With solar panels and electric powered propellers/turbine wind generators. Then when the storm is coming you can fly above the clouds into the clear sunshine to keep the naked hippies warm in the organic garden.
     
  6. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    :idea:Actually may be idea has some merit. But you need something really heavy to acts as a keel. Saw on TV one time what look like a personal raft, but your feet extend below to act as keel. So something where your legs go into the tail and you float around might actually be better than raft. If it could be made water tight and insulated....
     
  7. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Been there, done that...
    [​IMG]
     

  8. Milan
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    Milan Senior Member

    I’m with Mike on this one.

    If you are worried about sinking, invest money in the boat structure and maybe build in some watertight compartments and flotation. Boat is MUCH safer and more comfortable place to be in the storm, even when damaged and partly flooded, then life raft and similar.

    Fortunately, I don’t have a real life experience of escaping sinking yacht, but I got a merchant marine survival training, life-raft handling and such.

    Even simulated situations are hard enough …
     
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