looking for houseboat plans - catamaran hull or pontoon

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by magjulmar, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. magjulmar
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: australia

    magjulmar Junior Member

    Hi this is my first post so i hope i am in the right place, I am looking for plans to build my own house boat using fiberglass pontoons or a cat style hull and are looking for plans i can buy i am new to boat building so any advice is welcome. I have just bought a glass craft chopper gun and a plural system gel coat gun and intend on spending about 1 year learning and experimenting with these before i attempt to build my house boat.i have been told you should not use fiberglass on a house boat due to osmosis is this true and can it be avoided.
     
  2. daedong
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    daedong Junior Member

    How big, where abouts do you intend to moor this boat. Tell us a little more.
     
  3. magjulmar
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    magjulmar Junior Member

    House boat size as follows 50-60ft length 20-30ft width two /three bedroom i live at Curlwaa between Mildura / Wentworth Australia i intend to moor the boat in the calm waters of the Murry river at Mildura
    Regards
    Mark
     
  4. SeaSpark
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Holland

    SeaSpark -

    Houseboat hull material

    In holland, where we have a lot of experiece building house boats, almost all new houseboats are build on a prefabricated concrete pontoon without a deck.

    Building a fibreglass hull this size is expencive in materials, as it is going to be a house is suspect you do not want your hull to be to thin. A river houseboat needs to be able to take the ground when water level is low. A floating tree trunk could also give problems. As you live in Australia i suspect you don't have to worry about ice like in Holland.

    Concrete needs no maintenance and is cheap so adding some extra material to make it very strong is no problem. You could build a fibreglass superstructure.

    If you plan to put an engine in your houseboat and move it occasionally this may not be the best way to go.
     
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  5. magjulmar
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    magjulmar Junior Member

    Hi how do they make the concrete pontoons can you give me an idea how this is done any will it hold together at 5-10 knotts as i thought it mightstart to wear away the frount of the pontoons.
    thanks
     
  6. SeaSpark
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    Location: Holland

    SeaSpark -

    Concrete (ferrocement) construction

    From your last post and the 5-10 knotts you mention there i conclude you do not want a static houseboat.

    Just in case you do want one i include a picture of a typical dutch houseboat pontoon. I have some suggestions if you want to build one with limited resources.


    Concrete will not erode at 10 knots or more.

    From now on i will presume you want a moving houseboat with an engine. The construction of a concrete hull for this is completely different. The method is most commonly known as ferrocement construction (see first picture).

    Here are some links on the subject:

    http://www.cruisingresources.com/index.php?pt=2&ts=Ferrocement_Construction
    http://www.ferrocement.org/

    Of course it is perfectly possible to buid a 50ft fibreglass houseboat. A catamaran design sounds reasonable to me.

    If you have limited funds i would concider finding some large diameter steel tubes and use these as catamaran hulls.

    I would also concider moring a static houseboat on a nice spot and have a nice cabin cruiser to explore the surroundings. When you want to move your house you can wait for a calm day and use the cabin cruiser as a tug, it won't make 10 knots but but patience will bring you a long way.

    If you tell something more about what you want i will be happy to continue thinking with you.
    Have some suggestions for more conventional boat types and available plans useable for a houseboat but will have to dig them out.

    Sorry if my english is a bit odd sometimes, i'm from holland.
     

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  7. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    In the US almost all houseboats are built within a 100 mile radius of Lake Cumberland in Tennessee. At last count there were 19 or 20. They are almost all aluminum hull boats except Gibson and maybe one or two others. There are several manufacturers who build on pontoons, such as MYacht and Catamaran Cruisers. The pontoons are aluminum. Here's a link to houseboat magazine. http://www.houseboatmagazine.com/ This will give you a lot of links to follow up plus links to many of the manufacturers so you can get an idea of how these things are built. They range from 25 feet to over 130 feet.
     
  8. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

  9. User_U
    Joined: Jan 2002
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    Location: Hamburg, Berlin, Germany

    User_U Junior Member

    hm, maybe something like this - has been built with epoxy-fiberglass-plates with honeycomb-core-material....
     

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  10. magjulmar
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    magjulmar Junior Member

    Hi could you send my the web site that this came from so as i can study it and even contact them.
    Regards
    Mark
     
  11. bret
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    bret New Member

    building fibreglass

    dont be put off by osmosis.

    this was a problem in the fibreglass industry relating to orthothalic low grade gelcoats and poor apllication techniques fom 20 years ago. i=modern technique is to use isothalic gelcoat sprayed between .6 -1.0mm thick, most ppl disreagard this advise thinking more is betterthis is not true if you put any more on then your protective gelocoat layer will be subseptable to porosity during the curing process due to high exothermic reaction.

    catylization percentage rate should NEVER be over 2% or under 1% if you need quicker curing times due to tempeture an accelerator can be used eg, cobalt

    adding above 2% does not allow polyesters to create adequate free radical crosslinking

    following gelcoat a tie layer of Vinyl ester and S grade (structural grade) 225 or 300g chopped strand matting. the vinyester resin has a higher resistance to water, this will eliminate moisture penitration. procedding this will be your standard E glass (electical grade) and orthothalic or isothalic polyester resins.

    when starting out with a chopper gun resin is your enemy, a comon problem in the industry is high resin content. Above 2:1 ratio of resin to glass will lead to fracturing of the structural layers which wil lend itself to mosture absobsion and finally osmosis.

    this method is inustry standard

    fibreglass methods are underutilised currently. if used correctly it is a very cost effective method of consrution most ppl overlook the basic principles of modern composite construction.

    *the strength is in the fibre NOT the resin. increasing the resin content will inhibit the abilty of the fibres to distribute loadevenly.
    *polyurethane,pvc,polypropelene honeycomb,balsa are at your disposal as core materials. these create extremmly stiff and impact absorbant cored products dont be afraid to use them.

    glasscraft make good quality chopper guns they do require maintaining, i assume you have the external mix, these are an earlier model but are excellent for the amature due to there catylst slave pump and ratio control

    well good luck

    regards

    bret
     
  12. SeaSpark
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    SeaSpark -

    Plan development

    Mark,

    I would be happy to to develop your houseboat plans.

    About my experience, i worked as a mechanical engineer for 15 years with 7 years experience as industrial design engineer to make products look better. Currently i am working on a 50ft wood epoxy sailing yacht you can have a look at it in my gallery: http://www.boatdesign.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/5173/cat/500/ppuser/13300

    I did not design a houseboat before but have two naval architects living nearby who can assist me if neccecary.

    We can discuss design and materials here on the forum or by email: zeevonk at gmail-com (adress obscured to avoid spam)
     
  13. SeaSpark
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    SeaSpark -

    Catamaran hulls idea.

    If you want a houseboat with catamaran floats (seems sensible to me) build from grp this may be a way to reduce mold building cost and efford.

    The front and back end could be similar in shape, so they can be build from the same mold. There rest of the hulls can be formed from similar shaped segments from lets say 10 feet long. When the hull segments are attached to each other they form independent flotation devices, the walls of the sections form bulkheads.

    So you only have to build two small moulds to create two 60ft catamaran hulls.

    Since you are not very experieced yet building grp structures this could also be a good way to avoid the potential problem of having to schred a complete hull when something goes wrong with the laminate.

    For the superstructure a modular building method could also work very well.


    Basic illustration of the idea:
     

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  14. User_U
    Joined: Jan 2002
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    User_U Junior Member

    The builder is situated in Germany at the baltic sea. The epoxy.construction is light and strong, you'll have no osmosis plus it is easy to build yourself. Guess the manufacturer would also ship the material an a container (they are doing it with their houeses ...)

    For any design or engineering questions you can contact me anyway, we did parts of engineering for this house boat.
    check www.aquahouse.net and go to the houses where you will find the house boats at 'Schiffe / Sonderbauten'
    However - at the trojahouse-section you will find some information about the possible shipment.....
     
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  15. User_U
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    Location: Hamburg, Berlin, Germany

    User_U Junior Member

    on pic of troiahouse...
     

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