Plastic Barrel Houseboat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by WDKinley, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Thinking laterally (or vertically rather) - in view of how there are concerns about the amount of reserve buoyancy you will have (and these concerns are justified), how about positioning your barrels vertically instead of horizontally?
    Your lbs / inch immersion will then stay constant, whereas with horizontal barrels it decreases rapidly once you pass the 50% immersion.

    Here is a diagram I saved some time ago - I think I got it from the Rolling Barge site. I had mentioned two hulls, each being 3 barrels wide - you could do the same with vertical barrels, with a 2' gap between the hulls.
     

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    BlueBell likes this.
  2. rafter33
    Joined: Dec 2018
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    Location: Canada

    rafter33 New Member

    Something like this? Searching for Huck in Balkans https://www.facebook.com/SearchingForHuckInBalkans/photos/a.361862021239815/362815867811097/?type=3&permPage=1
     
  3. WDKinley
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: MB, Canada

    WDKinley Junior Member

  4. rafter33
    Joined: Dec 2018
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    Location: Canada

    rafter33 New Member

  5. WDKinley
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: MB, Canada

    WDKinley Junior Member

    Well everyone,

    I'm within a week or two of launching this thing. I've found a VERY sheltered cove for it to stay in 99% of the time. Will be used more as a shantyboat than an actual boat. Sleeping for 8 on board.... fingers crossed she performs well!
     

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  6. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Delta BC

    JSL Senior Member

    when you launch it, keep people well clear until you can evaluate/assess the 'thing' for draft, freeboard, stability, etc)
     
  7. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Congratulations!!

    If I may add, allow only 50% of the people on board "up-stairs" on the upper decks at any time, otherwise, you may be at risk of a roll-over!
    Post this restriction at the base of both ladders and make it part of your safety briefing when guests come on board.

    Have fun!
     
  8. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Delta BC

    JSL Senior Member

    I agree
    What you should also check is the draft of the 'barrels' when there is a full load. If it is more than 1/2 diameter* you may have a problem. (*example: a 24" dia. would have 12" max draft)
     
  9. WDKinley
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: MB, Canada

    WDKinley Junior Member

    Great idea! The launch I'm using is relatively remote so I should be able to keep up with the crowd control.

    Thanks for the tip! We will have to assess the attitude of the boat to ensure safety.

    When calculating on paper... I'm looking at roughly 6200 lb loaded weight of the boat with a 12800 lb total lifting capacity of the barrels. My family total weighs around 350 lb so we would be real close to half.

    Thanks for the kind words :)
     
  10. WDKinley
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: MB, Canada

    WDKinley Junior Member

    Hello everyone,

    SHE FLOATS!

    It came off the trailer without a problem at all. We couldn't believe how easy it was.

    We had 1300 lb of people on the upper decks at one time. It was still incredibly stable. Also... with that extra weight... we were still over an inch between the water and the bottom of the wood base. I'm more than impressed with the performance of the unit as a whole!

    The project that I thought was going to take 5 weekends.... ended up taking a whole year between the design and build process. I still have some more interior work to do. But as it sits it currently has a queen bed in the loft and two twin bunks as well. I've get to build a kitchen and seating area.

    Have a great weekend everyone... I know I am going to have one!

    67161524_10157684264358938_5839059445375565824_o.jpg IMG_0492.jpg
     
  11. Deering
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Juneau, Alaska

    Deering Senior Member

    How are you going to connect all of those barrels together to make a rigid platform? The houseboats I see that are made of modular floats (barrels, foam blocks, etc.) invariably end up sagging where the weight is heaviest and undulating in any waves. If you put a building on it plan for it to flex. A lot.
     
  12. WDKinley
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: MB, Canada

    WDKinley Junior Member

    The rigidity in the platform comes from the 2x6x12 deck boards running horizontal across the base. Yesterday was a calm day on the water but we had some wake boats throw waves our way and it handled appropriately. The lake this is on has such small so waves are only 2 feet max (in huge wind.) I will keep an eye on the flex thx.
     

  13. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Delta BC

    JSL Senior Member

    congratulations.
    You could use the 'perimeter base' as a guide or reference for absolute minimum freeboard threshold: It must be clear of water surface in all conditions. Over the next few months you will accumulate weight so monitoring your 'house' (float-home) is a good idea.
     
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