Need advice on building a houseboat in Lagos, Nigeria

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Missionary Dave, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Missionary Dave
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    Missionary Dave New Member

    I am new to this forum. I am a missionary in Lagos, Nigeria. I have begun a church and school in a fishing village with stilt houses in the Makoko slum lagoon. There are 40,000 Egun speaking people there. The chief of the village has invited me back to build an orphanage with 33 children in the village. The government is planning in the future to move the village to another location. If the orphanage could be built on a large house boat we would not invest thousands of dollars only to have it all left behind. The house boat could be towed to a new location when that times comes. Where would I find bluprint plans for such a large project. I have six construction workers coming from the USA to help build the home. Materials are available in Lagos. I have never done something like this before but have experience in building. Planning to begin when all the funds are donated from Churches and Christian businesses in the states. All suggestions and advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Please see our blog with photos of our ministry and videos of the village at
    www.missionarydavedouglass.blogspot.com

    MissionaryDaveDouglass@gmail.com

    Thank you.

    Dr. Dave Douglass
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I think that you are exporting American setups to Africa. With thousands of dollars, you can build several local dwellings. What you suggest seems expensive and complicated. Also, you will have a floating structure that will need maintenace and experienced handling. Go native and use local resources. Let them teach you how things are done there.
     
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  3. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    I can relate to your desire to have the 'orphanage structure' mobile in the future. And in that part of the world its needs to be 'floatable' as a heg against the torential rains that occur in that part of the world.

    I don't think you should look it as one large house barge, but rather a community of smaller units that might be rafted together.

    I'm currently looking into the floating cottage idea for a shore place in Thailand. Concurrently I thought about all of that rain and flooding they had there this year, and thought, what if these 'floating structures' could be used inland as well?

    BTW, bamboo is quite a structural material...and it floats.

    Have a look here:
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/retirement-houseboat-floating-home-23987.html#post382079
     
  4. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    If you made little barges that you could raft together, each with 6 bunks, you could house all with room to spare. Bamboo split for walls, bunks and roofs, not for hulls.
     
  5. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    Of course, screening and screen doors are a must.
     
  6. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    I might not recommend it for the hulls either, but it can be done. Notice what floats these small lunch/dinner barges
     

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  7. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    You would be constantly replacing the hull. Bamboo rots too quickly.
     
  8. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

  9. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Is a house boat or collection of barges actually good for children? I'm inclined to agree with Gonzo on this one, better to have a local, cheaper solution on land - maybe a number of prefabs that you could move around with you but kids need a garden, they need to run, play football and feel part of a community and I suspect a house boat doesnt fit into that scenario.
     
  10. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    Bridge clearance and draft requirements? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagos_Lagoon.
    Doesn't sound like a great place to garden. Access to food, clean water, laundry, a dispensary, and a safe place to sleep are nontrivial problems here. Old casino boat can provide this. Big galley, commercial laundry, lots of tankage, secure area for dispensary, etc. Plenty of room for school and microindustry.
     
  11. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    Screened tents protect from malaria and are quickly portable in the event of needing to bug out. Just make sure to put them on the high points of land to avoid flash floods or mudslides.

    Nylon or other synthetic outlasts natural material in the humid environment. Otherwise native materials with mosquito netting around bedding will do the trick.
     
  12. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Floating 'Communitee'

    Did you look at some of the videos where they are working? A number of them are already waterborne communities with huts built on stilts. A floating series of barge huts would not be that uncommon for them.

    Also note his opening requirement;
     
  13. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Fair enough Brian.
     
  14. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    What !!! No swearing :eek:

    Dr Dave, you should stay on the forum. This bunch of hooligans all swear like sailors and this is the first 'good' thread I've seen in ages ;)

    Firstly, is resin and glass available to you ? If it is, there may be other ways to construct a vessel for your purpose.
     

  15. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    You can also pitch tents on barges. Save weight, but make sure about predators.
     
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