New projet in Africa

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Issa, Jan 22, 2023.

  1. Issa
    Joined: Jan 2023
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    Location: Berlin

    Issa New Member

    My name is Issa.

    I am new to this forum.

    I am from West Africa and have been living in Germany for about thirty years.

    I am the promoter of a river transport project in West Africa.

    To this end, I am looking for a technician specialized in the manufacture of boats for the transport of people by river, available to live in Africa for a fixed or indefinite period.

    Its task will be, on the one hand:

    Find a wholesale supplier for the equipment required for the manufacture of the Boats.

    And on the other hand,

    The manufacture of boats on site in Africa.

    The salary conditions are very interesting.

    It will be housed decently.
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Issa.

    I think that your elusive technician is probably going to be the least of your worries re setting up your river transport project - there are probably many other hurdles to overcome first before you get to the stage of selecting a boat manufacture technician.
    However there is a lot of talent and expertise on this forum that could possibly help you to establish the Statement of Requirements for your project, if this has not already been done.

    Are you at liberty to disclose which river(s) your boats will be operating on?
    How big do they have to be in terms of passenger capacity, and what distance do they have to travel? And how many boats are you hoping to build?
    Is there a minimum speed requirement?
    Do you know what the preferred construction material would be if you are building the boats locally?
    Boats can be monohulls or multihulls, and they can be built from timber, fibreglass, steel, aluminium and even ferrocement - and there are many different ways of using these materials to suit the boat's requirements.

    Please do tell us a bit more about this project, and maybe we can all help you to fine tune the requirements as to what is needed.
    Are you also at liberty to disclose what the budget is for building these boats?
    rwatson likes this.
  3. Issa
    Joined: Jan 2023
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    Location: Berlin

    Issa New Member

    Hello Bajansailor

    Thank you for the prompt reaction.

    My apologies for the delay in my response due to the fact that I am currently traveling inside Germany.

    I am so happy, not only for the quick reaction, but for the professionalism you show.

    I must immediately confess that I am not a boat specialist, but rather a businessman.

    I want to correct an important point in my presentation. It is rather a Lagoon and not a river.

    Regarding the points you have listed:

    The distance to travel between our two destinations is about 80 km (Lagunes).

    I must specify that a small portion (approximately 10 km) of this route passes through the sea.

    I have a precise idea of the Boats model (Fiberglass) we want to build. For copyright reasons, I can send the images inbox.

    We hope to launch the project with four boats with a capacity of 40 passengers each.

    According to our forecasts, we should reach about thirty boats by the end of this year.

    The minimum speed required is 38 knots or more.

    Hoping to have responded to your suggestions, I remain suspended from your feathers.
  4. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Hello Issa,

    This does sound like a very ambitious project, re how you are hoping to have 30 small fast ferries (each capable of carrying 40 passengers) in operation by the end of 2023.
    So, your route is about 80 km (approx 48 miles), and 10 km (6 miles) of this 'passes through the sea' - will the sea passage be more rough than the passage in the lagoon itself?
    I am thinking that the wind could possibly create quite choppy conditions over an 80 km distance in the lagoon, but would the sea passage at times be rougher than this?

    Have you analysed the typical weather and wave conditions for this region?
    If yes, how often would your vessels not be able to travel at their intended cruising speed because the conditions are too rough, and they have to reduce speed?
    Re your precise idea of the boats that you want to build, I do not think you would be infringing any copyrights as such if you posted a photo of a boat and simply mentioned that you would like your boats to look like this boat (?)
    How big is the boat that you have in mind? Is it a monohull or a catamaran?

    The minimum speed requirement of 38 knots also sounds very ambitious - is this so that the total transit time, including manoeuvering at each end, can be less than say 90 mins for each passage, assuming no stops along the way?
    Or will you be stopping at various ports along the way to pick up / discharge passengers?
    You will be burning a lot of fuel (relatively) in order to travel at this speed, when compared to a more typical speed of perhaps 25 knots.
    Have you done a rough estimate yet of the fare that you would have to charge for each passenger, to take account of the fuel costs?
    Not to mention the significant costs of paying back the cost of the ferries, the wages of the crews, along with the depreciation and maintenance costs?
    Is there a real demand (not just at 'rush hour' in the morning and the evening) for having the capacity for transporting up to 1,200 people at any given time along this 80 km route with these 30 ferries?
  5. Issa
    Joined: Jan 2023
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    Location: Berlin

    Issa New Member

    Hello Bajansailor,

    Thank you for your message and the special interest you give to this project.

    The vast majority of your concerns refer to market research.

    I can assure you that this one was beautiful and well done.

    We have been working on this project for more than three years. The market study is already completely complete.

    We were practically in the order phase when we found that the transport costs of the boats are blowing up our budget. Outdoor manufacturing would cost us more than creating an on-site production line.

    Hence the birth of the project to build a production line on site.

    We have an exact idea of what we want to build.

    All we need are technicians specialized in the construction of Fiberglass transport boats.

    Attached are the illustration images so that you have an approximate idea of what we need is about this one but a little longer (15 meters)

    I would be very grateful, if we could find through this channel, a technician specialized in the manufacture of this kind of boats wishing to live and work in Africa.

    The working conditions will be very favorable to him.

    Attached Files:

  6. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Can you elaborate some more please, as to how your market study concluded that you need to have 30 boats operating at a minimum speed of 38 knots while carrying 40 passengers on each boat?
    Did you also consider other possible permutations such as 15 boats each carrying up to 80 passengers, and the effect on fuel saving if you travel at say 25 knots rather than 38 knots?
    And even the advantages / disadvantages of a power catamaran vs a monohull?

    I presume that the 'order phase' would have been referring to boats like what you posted in the photos above?
    Can you give a rough ballpark idea as to what the approximate cost of one of these boats might be (I presume that they are built in China?), vs the cost of shipping a boat from China to West Africa?
    I guess that these Chinese builders were not interested in setting up a factory in West Africa to build these boats under their control?

    Re the two boats in your photos, are they about 12 metres long? What propulsion machinery do they have? Maybe inboard engines with outdrive legs, or shaft drives, or outboard motors even?
    It sounds like you still have to work up detailed design drawings first before finalising the design, assuming that you are going to go for a monohull similar to the photos posted?

    I am thinking though that for such a high service speed (38 knots) you probably want to have a catamaran rather than a monohull design.

    I am reminded of this neat little assymetric 9 metre catamaran design (as per the attached PDF) by Nigel Gee back in 1996 - if you scaled this up to 15 metres, then it would be very much like a cat version of the boats shown in your photos (?).
    But her service speed is still 'only' 27 knots - far short of that magical 38 knots.
    The designers are now part of the BMT Group in England, but they might still be happy to modify this design for you to make it a bit larger?
    Advanced marine and naval engineering (

    Have a look also at this design - a 14 metre cat that can carry 43 passengers, but she has a service speed of 'only' 30 knots (rather than your 38 knots) with 2 x 350 hp O/B motors :
    15052 - 14m Whitsunday Bullet | One2three

    Here is a slightly larger (18 metre) cat that can carry 100 passengers - her service speed is 'only' 25 knots, but she requires 2 x 1,300 hp propulsion motors to achieve this speed.
    18m Catamaran Passenger Ferry | Incat Crowther

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023 at 9:43 PM
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