need more experienced advice

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by jbehr, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    I'm sorry. 300sq.ft is much. I thought you were talking of growing a few vegetables and had no idea you were planning to grow ALL of them.
    "nothing will grow, it will all die!!!." - I haven't experienced this. Are most boats full of salt spray? Does the motion hurt them? Never having grown a plant asea, I will try some varieties of small tomatoes next spring and report back. Wait a minute - I once worked on a piece of crap named the Marjory Morningstar that had a large terrerium with a jungle, repleat with a monkey!
    "customs will have a very dim view of you showing up with plants, dirt..." - I didn't think of this but the Marjory traveled all over.
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The whole point of hiring a professional is so you can discuss the requirements and goals for the boat. Of course these will evolve and change as you progress through the design process, but at least you'll have progress toward a set of goals. Here, you are just flopping around, like a fish out of water. My last custom design had dozens of hours of consultation with the client about the goals and details of the yacht. Then I had nearly as much time talking with the builder and sorting out vendor and equipment instructions and specifications.
  3. kroberts
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    kroberts Senior Member

    Not to argue with any of the experts here at all.

    I think what you have in mind is what a lot of the Mother Earth News guys were dreaming about in the 60's and 70's. Pull the plug and just live off the land, only you're picking the water instead.

    You reminded me of some work Disney did with crops. Search on "Disney agricultural research". They did some experiments to make crops grow without dirt. They use a nutrient spray to keep the roots wet, and the crops grow much more densely than in nature. I think they started the whole idea of growing plants without dirt. They have some other neat ideas too. If you're fixated on the crops thing, you should probably at least read through that. There is probably a word for growing plants without dirt, but it escapes me right now.

    That said, I think the separate greenhouse idea is too difficult, and that the idea of having enough there to completely feed you and 3 others seems to be way out there.

    On the other hand, you could have a sailboat and add enough room for a few plants to help keep fresh fruit (not trees!) to give you a taste while you're under way. A spice garden can be kept on a windowsill, and tomatoes and similar can be grown from a hanging pot and without dirt.

    Another thing you might want to search on sustainable living. There are ways of making a living wall and using it to grow food. Keep in mind that this is not enough to live off of, but it may help somewhat.

    I think you have a lot of ideas competing for the same resources though. Your plants are after solar energy. Your solar panels are after solar energy. Your sails are all over the place and you won't have consistent sun for anything at all. Slamming through waves will jostle your plants and have the fruit fall off and bruise.

    About the only thing that's really working for you is that your other requirements (according to the experts above) need so much deck space that you'll probably have capacity for the million dollars worth of batteries you'll need for the backup supply. Sorry about the negativity on that.
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I don't think the greenhouse is the biggest problem. You can grow the plants hydroponically, the plants could be protected inside a plastic enclosure instead of glass. I just don't see this as big an issue as the alkaline PH levels of life at sea. I suppose you could compensate for this with a fresh water wash down (maybe on the acidic side) each day, but that's a lot of labor, physically wiping down each and every leaf with a wet rag. The plants could be isolated, but this requires space for not only the plants, but the water and other chemicals you'll need to keep them alive and treat them in the salt environment. A difficult set of variables to say the least, but an interesting one for the right designer.

    Solar power, wind power, maybe towed generators, possibly wave action generators are all possibilities, naturally some need a fair bit of deck space or a free foot print, but again an interesting set of variables, for the right client/designer combination.

    Propulsion could also be varied. Sail is an obvious choice, so are multiple fuel engines, like wood gas, wood, certain organic oils. Solar powered steam is an option. There's much to consider in your clearly custom vessel Jbehr, but this venue is not well suited to narrowing your focus, which appears to be your present need.
  5. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    And install an exercise bike with an alternator :)
  6. rxcomposite
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    Solar Boat

    Contact Jonathan Cole, a member of this forum. He has done a lot of research on solar powered boat and is considered an authorithy on going "green"

  7. Vulkyn
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    Is this your first boat? Are you trying to design it, see if its practical, or are you seeking a design or solution?

    Your needs Just looks too scattered, i suggest you go through the thread again, write down what is it your trying to achieve practically after reading the feedback given.

    And good luck seems like a pretty demanding project ...
  8. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    FORGET IT !!!

    How do you redirect sunlight? Through steel or Aluminium?

    The entire idea (in fact all of them) are premature and will not become reality.

    I had some herbs in my galley though. See attachement.

    Basilicum, Oregano and chive works, Parsley not.

    Of course it is. At least when we go below the 170ft I mentioned. How do we cope with all the glass area required for a 100m² green house? All the massive frames to hold the tonnes of glass in place?
    Plastic? At sea?
    Assumed we have solved all the stability issues and the ruggedness of such nonsense is given. How big is our boat then? A 70ft sailboat does not even provide 1/3 of those 100m² in useable deckspace!

    Soil is not required thats true, expanded clay balls are proven since ages to be better. (must not be hydroponic)
    The permanently changing angle of insulation will kill most of the plants even when the environment is salt free!
    Artificial lighting? At 100Wh/m² thats 10kW at 24/7 ! PV panels? Come on guys, we had a good laugh, now forget about it.


    hah, got the imperial **** wrong again... 300 sq ft are 28m² only. Still too much to be on a boat below 120ft and too small to feed a sparrow.

    Attached Files:

  9. Anytec1210
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Anytec1210 Junior Member

    daiquari said it first - think you go about this the wrong way. Start with the greenhouse and go from there. Master the art of crop growing in extreme environments. NASA has plenty of stuff on that subject and spend som years to read and try it. Read about skyframing and urban farming and develope something that works and that you can feed on first.

  10. jbehr
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    jbehr Junior Member

    ok lets try and get specific i think the question is too open ended now

    lets say something like:
    greenhouse area=
    Length of this portion of the boat 30ft.
    maximum width in this section is roughly 12.5ft.
    i can have 3 layers of 4-5ft "shelves" of growing area on each side assuming that the height is atleast 6 ft or so
    which converts to roughly a min of 2x3x4x30=720 sq ft. and a maximum of around 2x3x5x30=900 sq ft.

    not to mentioan that i could have roughly an added lets say 120 sq ft from hanginf plants above

    and all of this is only with space optimization and average plant width and height there are millions of ways to grow plants in specific patterns or sizes with nearly any percentage of yield

    lets say that this section of the boat is air tight with only one vent that has a system for controlling moisture, humidity, and salinity
    lets leave out the lighting system for now as i my idea is a preliminary one
    there will be no glass(at most a plastic alloy or other type) but for the sake of arguement lets just say that i have no glass and no electric lighting system

    as for the rest of the boat its all standard
    as for the constant change of incline that will hurt the plants its easily solvable as i could just make them(all the shelves) rocking and add smal weights to the bottom that will equalize them according to the earths center of gravity...which im sure is good for all plants :)

    whats that called again....gyroscopic or something right?
  11. jbehr
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    jbehr Junior Member

  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    You misunderstood.

    Not heeling is the problem, a "gimballed" rack could solve that.
    The fact that North is North for the plant, but on a moving vessel the sun comes from "West" in the morning and from "North" 20 minutes later, that kills many plants.
  13. jbehr
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    jbehr Junior Member

    many plants love rotation in fact if possible you should rotate them so that they can catch light evenly as not to grow in one direction(take bamboo for example)
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Agreed, most plants will get stronger stems if rotated. This is still a silly exercise without client/designer focus and development of a design brief.

  15. kroberts
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    kroberts Senior Member


    You had me laughing so hard and I can't really say why.

    I have an uncontrollable desire to argue with you, not because I think your facts are wrong so much as because you're the one delivering them.
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