New and determined

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by pcausey, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. pcausey
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    pcausey Junior Member

    hello all, I'm very new to the idea of designing a boat however I am experienced in engineering and design of many other mechanical items and so far I've successfully built everything I ever set my mind to. So I don't see any reason to prevent me from learning a new thing or two and expanding my knowledge into new areas. I am something of a survivalist and keeping with that I already own a very capable 4x4 van which will run under many very extreme conditions where other vehicles would fail however once I hit water over 5 ft deep I have to come to a halt. In light of the general state of affairs around the world it only makes sense to be capable of going anywhere including over any water for any distance therefore I'm exploring the possibility of building a craft which could carry myself, my family, supplies to last awhile, and of course my 4x4 we drive on land. I suspect such a design has been done many times before and with many variations so I'm here to learn. I'm seeking guidance towards reliable resources and verifiable advice, realizing all the time this is new ground and respectfully deferring to others with experience. My first quest is of course to gain general knowledge and so may I ask what would be some easily self teachable material which will cover the physics and math behind design? I plan to do quiet a bit of heavy reading and then come back again with further questions.
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    "over any water for any distance" is a very tough specification to satisfy. You might need to scale that back to something more modest.
  3. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    good 1st book to introduce to the concepts of boat related rules set by physics is "nature of boats" its also very easy and quick read. I strongly recommend it. It will not cover complex calculations but will explain things like planing, "hull speed", rough ideas for power needs etc.

    If you use the search you will find book lists for more "heavy" books that will go in more detail of how to calculate different things etc.

    You will see that boats have certain factors which are hard to overcome because of physics. I think the thread about escort boats for private security to fend of pirates was a good read. Premise didn't seem outlandish, a 40-50ft boat that could run all day at 30-40 knots to escort container ships/tanker with crew of 4-6 and armament of .50 cal and basic small arms.
    In the end the conclusion was that you cannot do such a boat. Determination will not fix that neither will high billing price for escort service. You need a planing hull to run at those speeds and significant amount of power. The boat couldn't carry enough fuel to keep up with the much larger cargo ships for any significant length of time.

    Boats are also very expensive to build so most likely buying a used one and re-configuring it would make more sense. But if you truly mean "any distance" which pretty much equals "any weather" the size of the is not likely going to be realistic. With such amount of money if pure survival is the goal it probably makes more sense to buy a few other homes around the world, learn new skills and languages. Are you thinking that your van should also be able to tow said boat?

    I live on a farm and we can sustain no electricity for long periods of time, will not run out of food etc. But I have learned that the exotic mad max like survivalist scenarios are not likely outcomes even if things go to shits. Neither will such crisis happen overnight. I started buying gold and silver in 2004 because my friend convinced me to realize how crazy the bubbles and other anomalies in economy were. We were staring at the craziness waiting for it to crash ANY TIME NOW for 4 years+. Of course when it came things shifted rather rapidly but there were plenty of warning signs.

    Ability to adjust for changing society is far more important than ability to survive with NO society - in my opinion. And often less stressful though potentially not as exciting.

    I know this is starting to be outside the boating element but have you lived abroad?
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  4. Manie B
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    Manie B Senior Member

    Principles of Yacht Design
    by Larsson and Eliasson
  5. yipster
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    yipster designer

    a raft to put a 4x4 on and there are boat physics but if you wanna be fast..

  6. pcausey
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    pcausey Junior Member

    Thanks for the info, I'll read through the books mentioned and the threads mentioned. And very valid points all especially about speed, range, size, and weather worthiness. I have my own reasons for the goals I have set considering my geographic location and worst case scenarios.
  7. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    As a kindness to the forum members who may not be aware of our own vulnerability, please explain the premise for needing a boat. The boat is obviously a survival tool, large, mobile and capable of traveling long distances.

    # invasion of a military force more capable than our own?

    # invasion by some form of Extra Terrestials?

    # Sudden takeover of an incredibly evil government who might kill or enslave us all?

    # A sudden and destructive take over by the One World conspiritors who are commanded by those five evil men ?

    # The arrival of a devastating magnetic disturbance caused by a stupendous solar flare.?

    # Other????

    I am not being facetious here. You obviously have your reasons. Can you share them with us?
  8. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    You do not need such exotic reasons, just a few weeks ago there were many families that waited too long to evacuate in the path of the hurricane and ended up on their roof tops for several days, at the mercy of both weather and the competence of the local authorities to relocated them to safer ground.

    You need to define a range, because if you are just talking about a quick retreat to higher ground, the fuel consumption is not as critical nor the long term prospects of fuel supply. If you are trying to plan for one of the above scenarios for when the "Stuff hits the fan" (SHTF) than long term fuel supply becomes and issue. In that case large amounts of stored fuel becomes very valuable and subject to looters, or worse, government seizure. A sailboat will take you a long way without fuel given the right conditions AND YOUR SKILL. Not very practical to bring your 4x4 van along on a sailboat, large boats become targets for looters too, as would your van.

    A more practical (and affordable) approach I think is to have several 2 person kayaks on the roof of the van, and have "emergency kits" ready to stow in them. The kayaks will not use fuel and can carry you and gear a long way with out drawing attention.

    You should consider when you have too much "survival" gear you will not want to leave it behind and that will endanger you more than what you have not brought. Those that best survived real "SHTF" situations were able to pick up and leave early and could move quickly with just what they needed.

    Read the story of one such person that had his family trapped in Serbia when civil war broke out, and how he survived. He thought people in the small towns in remote areas were better off. Most important "resource" was your skills. ... ccount.htm
  9. Red Dwarf
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    Red Dwarf Senior Member

    Gerr's books are definately a wealth of info.
  10. pcausey
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    pcausey Junior Member

    Thank you Petros for that respectful reply. Let me say that I was eye witness to the FEMA run catastrophe known as Katrina 7 years ago and I suddenly had full realization I should never count on anyone, especially FEMA, to save me and my family in the event of either natural or man made disaster. I've also been witness to the changing political climate in Mexico and I'm aware that's a quick place to get killed for being white and speaking English these days. And my children are young, my wife is super model material, and my 4x4 van is worth a lot of $, all reasons to stay clear of the locals in Northern Mexico. Associate's of mine who do business there never travel there anymore without heavily armed security and even then it's dangerous. Thus I must conclude that South across land is not an option of escape in the event of any said disaster. Traveling East on land would be useless under some circumstances where the prevailing wind would carry contaminates from the west. Traveling North could be the worst choice of all depending on the circumstance and events in the US which motivate such a radical run for cover. Therefore I find myself backed up against the Gulf of Mexico as perhaps the best route of escape. The reason I want to be able to drive my van on-board is simply because that's where everything is already loaded and there's no point in moving things twice. Not to mention it's value and usefulness once we arrive at a destination. Range question now, I'd like to make it across the gulf at least to the Bermuda or Costa Rica shoreline.
    If that does not satisfy your question then with all due respect that's the best answer I'll ever give.
  11. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    fair enough and I think in this forum it makes much more sense to discuss the feasibility and design of said boat instead of getting into a political, or other, unrelated debates.

    pcausey, I think besides reading the material suggested getting this discussion going would be beneficial. For that to happen the more precise you can be about the use, scale, speed accommodation etc. you can be (even if wish list and potentially unrealistic for now) the easier it is for people to contribute. For example the idea to do Caribbean travel is already much more informative than "any distance".
    Would you want the boat to be something you can use already pre-disaster recreationally or would more of a "one go" escape pod like service life be enough? You can have a pretty big displacement boat that can go pretty far with small diesel.
  12. pcausey
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    pcausey Junior Member

    kerosene, I live in northern TX and rarely make it to the coast. This vessel would be spartan from luxury and not intended as recreational. I'm sure it would make several test voyages just to be certain I'm an adequate operator and have full knowledge of what to expect in an emergency situation and then every year or so it would be operated and inspected for maintenance purposes. Other than that it will be stored in a sparsely populated area somewhere on the TX coast.
  13. pcausey
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    pcausey Junior Member

    As for scale, speed accommodation etc., I prefer to do some homework first and not post a perhaps unrealistic "wishlist". To do so could be to invite unnecessary sarcasm which is never desirable. I also want to understand the basic physics involved tested true with time and experience and then approach anything beyond that with no "pre-conceived" notions. In my engineering experiences I have come up with new ideas and won patents because of this approach. Perhaps it will pay off again.
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    An ocean going vessel capable of carrying a large 4X4 on deck, would have to be at least 120' long. A barge could be somewhat shorter. However, it makes more sense to have the vessel loaded than a 4X4. I doubt you can carry enough supplies to last a family more than a few days. The vessel should be loaded and ready to depart. You may find that there are no roads available and you will have to walk or swim to your vessel.

  15. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    docking / storage by itself would introduce its own challenges. You want it for an easy launch but not so that 1st hurricane washes it away.
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