Newbie needs cost estimate: woodgas people transporter

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Bioboat, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. StianM
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    StianM Senior Member

    I think your going the right way by steel hull.

    What kind of engines is there in congo?
    I would try to get my hand on some truck engines and just keep them the way they are. Keep the radiator and you won't nead to suck all that dirty river water into a heat exchanger, but make shure the ventilation into the engine compartment is good enough.

    To use woodgass on diesels works well, but you nead a smal injection of diesel to get the combustion going, but they will be more efficient than gasoline.
     
  2. blackdaisies
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    He's in the middle of the jungle, so if he can get spare parts to make a metal boat, it would be great. For any boat, what about canvasing for waterproofing? They have canvas buckets and sail cloths are water proof when they get a little damp, the threads swell, pushing the cloth so tight it is water proofed.

    I know the spin their own thread there and wild flax and ramie, maybe hemp if hemp can be water rettetd to make it spin finer. I would prefer a concrete boat for all the reasons said, but if you had to use wood, which I think he is going to, there are ways to beef up a hollowed log.

    You can hollow two and top them on each other using dowels made from the same methods to make the hull, making a pontoon, treat it with kerosene, and cover the edges of the joint around the sides of the pontoon with sail cloth. Kind of create a tongue and groove method around the edges where they join, putting the sail cloth and then using a thin piece of wood to slip over it to secure it. It would be water proofed by that, but if you used cedar it will last longer, treat it with kerosene or epoxy, it would be an efficient boat pontoon, make two and a deck, and it's a fast boat too.

    What about canvas on concrete? How much water will seep in? Not much, so that might be effective too.

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24078597-23109,00.html

    The safety is in the hands of the boat, so I hope he builds one that is guaranteed to last, plus have safety floats even if they are just inflatable cheap dollar store floats.
     
  3. StianM
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    StianM Senior Member

    Are we talking boats here?:confused:
     
  4. blackdaisies
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    Were talking about sail cloth to water proof the boat. Bla bla bal. It's a fiber that can be made easily in the jungle, but of course I hope not, someone might prefer to smoke it. That's why I said ramie and wild flax.

    What about wax? It can be found in even acorns if you boil them down, but I'm sure there are better resources.

    http://www.npradc.org/news/facts/waxesqa.cfm

     
  5. NordicFolkboat
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    NordicFolkboat Junior Member

    What's your point?

    There is also the possibility of using hemp fibre for reinforcing the concrete instead of rust-prone chicken wire. I'm hesitant, though, given that it hasn't been proven to be reliable for marine use yet. It does raise some ethical concerns to test new methods on a boat meant for passengers.
     
  6. blackdaisies
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    blackdaisies Senior Member

    didn't they used to reinforce bricks with them? Another possible building material made by fire, but it is not water proof unless you add a glaze. Brick is very pourous as much as concrete.
     
  7. Bioboat
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    Bioboat Junior Member


    Well, Kengrome, you have hit the nail on the head. You are precisely describing the needs and circumstances I'm working in.

    Other readers, if my own description was a bit confusing, please refer to Kengrome's.
     
  8. NordicFolkboat
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    NordicFolkboat Junior Member

    But where do you get a 5000 kg payload log canoe?

    If you can't find any welders in Congo, or volunteers from abroad, what about a flat bottom hard chine carvel hull? Bolt the frames together, rivet the strakes to the frames, and caulk with local hemp rope and pitch. Same pitch can be used to paint the hull.
     
  9. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    Wood doesn't seem so far off - as long as decent carpenter skill is around.

    Philippino pangas (narrow hulls with slim outriggers) are an example of boats that are locally built and maintained. Obviously there is wealth of carpenter skill in philippines and access to modern tech is probably another level from Congo. Obviously the layout of the philippino boat is not suitable for rivers - that is not what I am suggesting.

    Wooden boat is not forever but if the people learn the trade they can keep the fleet up to date and replace it when time comes. Often it is not a bad idea to have equipment that need a little upkeep all the time vs. one that needs special skills once every 5 years. In the latter case when you hit the 5 year mark there is nobody around who knows how to deal with it. If equipment give a job of maintaining them it will be much more likely to be self sufficient system. I hope my explanation made sense.
    I would also look a fleet of more but smaller boats. Much easier to beach and maintain - more reliable - if one boat of 5 is out of service you still have 80% capacity while one is being fixed. And suits more the idea that a trade of boatkeepers evolves. Also a few ton boat doesn't need huge HP to move.
     
  10. NordicFolkboat
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    NordicFolkboat Junior Member

    Hannu Vartiala has an interesting article on primitive flat-bottomed swamp boats:
    http://koti.kapsi.fi/hvartial/ruuhi/ruuhi.htm

    As for having a larger fleet of smaller boats, you do get greater reliability, but at the same time you need more crew to operate these boats and thus greater overhead. Remember that you need a properly trained skipper on each one of these boats, and at the risk of sounding colonial, you should try to get volunteers from Europe for this task, as well as training the locals.

    I'd probably go with a large 5000 kg payload boat, you'll be able to adapt it for large freight items like cars, should the need arise. Once the first boat is successful, you can start building another one, improving capacity and reliability of service.

    Also, have you considered using shipyards in Gabon? Of course, the trip from Gabon to the Congo river for maintenance would cause a large overhead, but it should be easier to find skilled labour there. Alternatively, you could get a harbour tug in Gabon and use it to tow barges up and down the river? I'm no expert on either Africa or shipping, so I'm just venting ideas here.
     
  11. brigham602
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    brigham602 New Member

    I am trying to do the same thing along Lake Tanganyika. I have a boat motor I am going to convert to run on wood Gas and use for a transport boat along the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Zambia and Congo. Please give me a call and we can see if we can make this thing work.
    Alan 435-720-0564
     
  12. NordicFolkboat
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    NordicFolkboat Junior Member

    I'm curious to hear if any progress has been made.

    If wood is in fact viable, why not contact a designer with experience of the method? George Buehler has a lot of hard chine carvel designs, should be the easiest and cheapest method in a country like Congo. I'd picture something like a small shoal draft low freeboard ro-ro ferry. You can always adapt the deck to either vehicles, freight, or you can add seats for passengers.
     
  13. CO2
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    CO2 New Member

    Great idea!
    Just one question: is buying a used or a new boat, as suggested, even an option?
    I mean: one of the reasons why there are so few boats on the Kongo is that there's no way to get one up there! The Congo downstream from Kinshasa being unnavigable, all boats that used to run on the Congo where built locally, or brought in pieces over land to Kinshasa, and then assembled there.
    So getting the right boat on the river for an acceptable price might be the biggest problem.

    Anyway, good luck with this great initiative.
     
  14. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    You´re a bit late here do´nt you think?
     

  15. CO2
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    CO2 New Member

    I guess you're right...
     
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