Just for Fun, Design Yor Apocalypse Vessel

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by CloudDiver, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. CloudDiver
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    CloudDiver Senior Member

    I'm certainly no "Doomsday Prepper", but sometimes my mind wanders off to the question of what type of vessel I would build for long term survival at sea after an Apocalypse scenario. One of my favorite TV shows is "The Walking Dead" and I am also a fan of the Zombie Apocalypse movie genre so I'm often thinking about the various situations that 'survivors' in fiction encounter. Believe it or not, TV and film writers are getting more realistic about how things play out, what resources are available, and what techniques survivors use in doomsday scenarios (zombies not withstanding).

    So if you were and eccentric millionaire what type of Vessel would you build?

    I think many people will first think of a blue water sailing cruiser, mostly because once the global infrastucture collapses fossile fuel supplies will dry up and remaining supplies will be a commodity of conflict and piracy as in "Mad Max". Logical thinking, but I wouldn't go that way. I would actually build a steel warship (remember, I get to be an eccentric millionaire) that is Steam/Electric Hybrid, somewhere between 200-300 ft. Electric driven Pods provide cruising power and great manuverability without the aide of tugs. My electric plant would be wet steam generated, not dry steam. I wouldn't need the massive power a steam turbine generates for a vessel that size, and wet steam systems ar far easier to maintain than high temp dry steam turbine. I'd have the room adjacent to Engineering spaces to carry multiple sets of spare parts, pretty much be able to rebuild everything 10 times over, as well as moderate tooling like full welding equipment and a mill/lathe to actually make parts. I would avoid complex electronics with inegrated circuits and keep systems as simple and mechanical in nature as possible to ensure durability and long life.
    I'm biased to Arliegh Burke Destroyers because I served on two of them in the US Navy. I'd take the same hull concept and scale it down just a bit. I'd want something like that for defensive reasons (piracy), although I wouldn't have the vertical launch missile system or torpedoes I would be able to have the crew-served weapons mounted in the same fashion. Also, once she starts to stretch her legs she would be hard to catch in the open sea.
    Oh, and my fav part is the fuel for steam plant. My boilers would be set up to burn just about anything that can salvaged from land... Wood, coal, even fossile fuels... but primarily I would burn pellets. I can have my own pellet makers on the ship to bring ashore on RHIBS. You can make pellets from just about any cellulose type fiber including abudant natural fast growth species like tall-grass breeds and bamboo. Quite a bit of logistics and manpower involved but it can be done.

    What would you do?
     
  2. CloudDiver
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    CloudDiver Senior Member

    How is it that I spell check the whole post but miss "YOUR" in the dang title? Sheesh...

    Yor = Pirate Speak... Ha!
     
  3. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    I think Noah has already done this....;)
     
  4. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    "Millionaire" has lost some of its Thurston Howell III mojo since 1967, what with inflation having claimed 86+% or the Dollar's value (it always bothers me that these antique roadshow type shows never try to account for inflation so that people understand just how well their bobbles have held their value).

    Still, were swag no issue I thing a larger version of the Phoenix 1000 to let you house your family (and the crew's too), http://www.ussubmarines.com/submarines/phoenix_1000.php3 , might be fun. Wouldn't have to dive as deep to still be cool.

    It would be neat to have some sort of device on a cable or deep diving satellite sub to mine methane hydrate from the ocean floor: endless fuel reserves.
     
  5. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Yes. But he got a great deal on the plans from his heavenly NA and had lots of time ... for his neighbors to gripe about the massive thing in his yard. ;)
     
  6. CloudDiver
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    CloudDiver Senior Member

    I'd have to have some way of building it in secret, or at least disguising its true purpose... let's call it a 'research' vessel.

    Rule #1 for post-apoc survival, don't advertise what resources/equipment you have lest you suddenly find yourself a prime target. That's why you'd never catch me featured on one of those 'prepper' TV shows broadcasting what my plans are and what resources I have stockpiled.
     
  7. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    "James! You're back before we expected! What of Concretefinger?"

    "He was a prepper, M."

    "Wonderful drink!" holds up a bottle, "Did you kill him?"

    "No, but ... what?!? 'Prepper', not 'Pepper' ... did I just hear a cash register?"

    "No bother, Bond, just an endorsement deal we worked out...."
     
  8. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Been done, I'll take the trimaran from waterworld :rolleyes:
     
  9. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    What I see are a number of discrete issues that need to be solved...

    1) fuel - any power boat is drastically limited by available fuel supplies. And while wood pellets may be nice, they require regular trips to shore to drag trees onboard.
    2) supplies - even assuming everything works day 1, long term it must be expected that things will break, and will need repairing. This requires some capability to machine new parts at will.
    3) Food - got to have it.
    4) Weapons - to defend what you have
    5) Defenses - to make it difficult to keep what you have
    6) Risk mitigation - making it safer for exclusions
    7) offensive capability

    In order of problem solving my answers would be...

    Generally a very large ambient pressure submarine, capable of deep water excursions. Say 5,000' operating depth.

    1) nuclear power. Has to be. Wood pellets are difficult to acquire, and even acquiring enough wood to convert to pellets requires long duration station keeping. Since the goal is to eliminate outside logistical requirements anything that can't be produced aboard is eliminated where ever possible.

    2) a complete machine shop, including a 3d metal printer with printable files for every part onboard. Thus anything that is needed can be replaced while underway. Huge stockpiles of base materials will also be needed and stored. In addition a micro smelter and foundry to recycle broken parts and found metal into new metal would also be installed. All powered by the effectively limitless power of the nuclear generators.

    3) large fridge and freezers onboard to preserve fresh food, a flash freezer also needs installation. A hydroponics garden to produce some fresh produce, and perhaps rabbits for fresh meat (I would identify what animal has the best lb/food production). Fishing equipment of course, as well as long lines/trawl nets deployable from underwater wells to supply fresh seafood.

    a) ambient pressure suits capable of diving to 200' to allow external repair of the sub, excursions, and the harvesting of food. Particularly things like seaweed, lobster, crab. As well as allowing the exploration of shipwrecks.

    4) electronic rail guns instead of traditional firearms. The metal stored onboard provides a limitless amount of ammo and the power plants provide limitless electricity.

    5) most of the defenses are passive. In that no one can get aboard, and any attack can be repelled by diving deep. However deck mounted rail guns would also be installed.

    6) since we could hole up for moths at a time if necessary there shouldn't be much need to leave the ship except at whim. So it is necessary to make those exclusions as safe as possible. To do this there are a couple of things I would do...

    a) initial scouting of potential landings done by helicopter. Ideally by an up armored bird capable of reasonable range, launched from the sub far enough from shore to preclude armed responses. This would be carried in a hanger capable of containing the bird while underwater... The bay may also be used for additional hydroponic space.

    b) fuel for the bird would be from an electricity-hydrocarbon capable machine as was announced by the USN this year, and discussed on the board a lot.

    c) primary dinghy would be via a mini sub capable of being housed inside the main ship. Powered by a fuel cell capable of running from the same fuel as the helicopter instead of batteries.

    d) additional dinghy capability would be a low speed high capacity supply dinghy. Capable of ferrying large numbers of people or supplies around. Again powered by the same liquid fuel supply.

    7) while I don't consider offense a real need (or desirable, the risks are too high) it may be required on a limited basis. So again rail guns, offensive high powered lasers, and drones would be my weapons of choice. However the primary response to armed aggression would be to dive deep, and leave the area.


    Crew
    At least one each of the following (MD-general surgeon, MD-general practice, Nuclear engineer, civil engineer, chemist, machinist (with foundry experience), gourmet chef, marine biologist, and helicopter pilot). With all personnel actively cross training in the other fields.

    I doubt all of this could be contained in the Phoenix 1000, so I would probably upsize to 350' range. But size is subject to change. Because of the long duration expectations, each crew would need sizable quarters, plenty of recreation space, and an office to work from.

    There would also need to be a sizable cargo space, and provisions for a brig/ holding cell. Since my plan would be to find an island to colonize there needs to be enough space to allow for transportation of new people back to the island in relative comfort.
     
  10. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    As for the particulars, submersible to a depth to be able to avoid ordinary pirates is adequate. Only the ability to submerge fast would be required for this. Not needing to go deep reduces cost and permits a larger boat.

    Now, for time on the surface (not underwater) off of batteries an external combustion engine (say a combined Sterling/ORC bottoming cycle) running off of gas or producer gas depending on what was available would work, especially assuming the mother ship can be equipped to remotely mine methane hydrate as already mentioned. Also, if MH mining is feasible it is also the case that this gas makes for dandy fuel cells ... it's all a matter of up front cost and long term stability if you would want to use those exclusively or some 21st century take on external combustion engine with batteries (fuel cells can offer better potential efficiency than the Carnot cycle).

    I would also like to suggest that with any ultra secure nuclear sub the worthless government would probably try to take it for whatever sorry excuse for a POTUS was in charge at the time and leave you literally high and dry. Good enough for you and yet not good enough to be an "asset" in their sight then becomes a design concern to my mind.
     
  11. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Methane hydrates are only found in a few spots in the world, and at substantial depth (200-500meter). I just don't see it being practical to attempt to mine these in my completely unrealistic vessel. I would rather rely on nuclear power.

    Of course no government would let you build this right now, civilian use of nuclear power is pretty much frowned on by every nation state there is. But I thought the exercise was ideal, not realistic...
     
  12. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Known MH reserves are widely distributed and would be within reach of ROV type submersibles being my thought.

    Trust me: what I'm describing would be nearly as over the top as nuclear is.

    Now, for real jaw dropping excess how about a big ... I mean really REALLY big ... ekronoplan? For true Bond villain flair she could be nuclear powered using the non-polluting (unless you crash) heat exchange system. Underlying patents have all expired too....
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Thus topic is Great mental ************. Its been done several times before

    eg.
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/al...rld-near-what-yacht-will-you-build-12218.html

    For onboard power, I would love to try generating it using temperature gradients.

    Its been done successfully before over the years (1881 by a French scientist, Jacques Arsene D'Arsonval.)

    "Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a marine renewable energy technology that harnesses the solar energy absorbed by the oceans to generate electric power."

    For some explanation, http://pesn.com/2006/01/04/9600218_Sea_Solar_Power/

    Basically, you stick a pipe down into the cooler water, and as the cold water expands in the warmer environment, you drive a generator from a piston.
    eg. http://www.gitam.edu/eresource/Engg_Phys/semester_1/THERMODYNAMICS/carnot.htm


    Or you could develop a vapour generator, like the article above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  14. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Unfortunately people on this forum are at a disadvantage.
    As soon as you hear the word apocalypse being boating people, you immediately think of water.

    Should we find that the apocalypse is going to happen by a massive dose of radiation by a passing terrestrial body and you should have built a lead lined room, it will be too late to stand on your apocalypse boat waving your fist towards the heavens and screaming, "IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A FLOOD!"

    Poida
     

  15. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    You are assuming the apocalypse will be nuclear.

    If civilization breaks down due to economic causes, or super plagues etc, having a boat ,may be the very best option.

    It worked for the Polynesians
     
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