Need plastic/foam advice for rescue boat

Discussion in 'Materials' started by john zimmerlee, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. john zimmerlee
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Atlanta GA

    john zimmerlee Junior Member

    The project is a car-toppable rescue boat that can be unloaded & launched by one person . . . hopefully under 85 pounds.

    Since it must be stable and carry a large load, we started with 4.0 ft wide and 12 ft long. It also needs to be foam-filled for coast guard approval and/or unsinkability.

    Preliminary designs indicated that weight was getting out of hand, so we're reducing length to 10 ft. and width to 40 inches.

    The boat will be mishandled, dropped, pulled over logs, and otherwise abused.

    We assume it will be rotomolded, but are open to any construction method.

    We need advice on materials, molding, foam-filling, manufaturing partners, etc.

    Meeting tomorrow with design team and swift-water rescue instructors.

    John Zimmerlee
    Marietta GA
  2. jonr
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    jonr Senior Member

    I'd look at boats like a Thundercat (or smaller versions of similar inflatable catamarans) as a reference - ie, something to beat in terms of weight, stability, capacity, ride, etc. Does anyone have a breakdown of the weights in something like a Thundercat? I suppose you can use rotomoulded hulls and still use air inflation to make them stiffer.
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Do you mean completely filled with foam or only enough for USCG floatation regulations?
  4. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Brisbane

    Landlubber Senior Member

    any of our tinnies here will do the trick..try Stacer, Quintrex etc...the seats are filled with foam and they float to the gun'les

  5. jonr
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Great Lakes

    jonr Senior Member

    I'd also consider the ability to take a wave over the bow and keep on going (without retaining 500kg of water). May or may not apply to your circumstances.

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