Plastic Drums and Eco Boats

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Wardong, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 3,900
    Likes: 199, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 971
    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    I don't think there would be much demand for this idea. In the scheme of things, not very many people want to build their own pontoon boats, especially if they end up looking all homemade and tacky. Back in the '50s or so, maybe yes, nowadays, not so much.
     
  2. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 1,261
    Likes: 187, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 358
    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    I didn't read the whole thread so I might be repeating what has been said.

    I question the perceived ecology.
    1. ANY extra weight on the barrels would mean huge volumes of extra cargo traveling around the world. Seriously how many barrels would you expect to end in pontoon use (compared to total number). Efficiency in the primary use is imperative.

    2. Pontoon is such a bad shape for hydrodynamics that its practically never ecological. We have seen this kind of things many times over. Very similar to "hybrid" boats that get green prizes for calling themselves clean despite the complex powertrain, added weight and bad hull design resulting in a boat that uses more fuel than simpler diesel boat of similar payload, performance and features.
     
  3. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 3,900
    Likes: 199, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 971
    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Then again, of all the drums made and used by industry, most are probably not good for secondary uses as they were used for toxic material. A person wouldn't want to come into direct contact with the stuff to begin with, if the barrel fails as a float, as a lot of them do, then whatever dregs are left in the barrel are released directly into the ecosystem in about the worst possible way, directly into the water.

    Food grade barrels that have only been filled with harmless stuff are alright for floats. A lot eventually leak somehow, I think they heat up and pressurize, squeezing air past leaky threaded caps, then cool down and get full of suction, and over many cycles get a bunch of water in them. I've seen a lot of barrels with compression type tire valves in the barrel caps so you can pump air into them to re-inflate if they start collapsing.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Wardong
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Australia

    Wardong Junior Member

    When using plastic drums they should be washed to ensure the contain no potential harmful residue, I have used food grade drums in constructing my boat.
    I have also allowed a space between the drums to enable me to access the bungs so that I can drain them should they should leak, so far no leaks. An added advantage with using many drums is the chances of all of them leaking at the same time are remote.
    My boat is no performance beast, it weighs around 400 kg (900 lbs) without gear or passengers and has a max load capacity of 600kg (1320 lbs).
    Total max loaded weight = 1000kg (2200 lbs) with a total buoyancy of 2000 kg (4400 lbs).
    It moves through the water at 10kph (6.2 mph) with a moderate load (Yamaha 9.9 hp low geared deep thrust motor). It uses very little fuel and is a very stable platform.
    My boat was designed for my needs being low cost, low tech, low running costs with the ability to carry a fair load. It is not an open water boat and was designed for estuary fishing/camping and general cruising in protected waters.
    It does all of this exactly as I wanted.
    Not everybody's boat but very satisfying to build and use.
     

    Attached Files:

    • 007.jpg
      007.jpg
      File size:
      586.9 KB
      Views:
      2,783
    • 003.jpg
      003.jpg
      File size:
      487.5 KB
      Views:
      731
  5. unkledoe
    Joined: Jan 2016
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Detroit michigan

    unkledoe Tiny

    pics

    Hey Wardog..I like your ideas..How about some pics of the assembly...specifically attaching the drum to the frame...I see you doubled it up around the bolts...nice touch..where did you cut the drum so you could get inside?..Thanks
     
  6. unkledoe
    Joined: Jan 2016
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Detroit michigan

    unkledoe Tiny

  7. Wardong
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Australia

    Wardong Junior Member

    All I did to attach the drums to the frame was drill holes (10mm) at the fixing points. I then poked a piece of string through the hole grabbed it with a wire hook via the 50mm bung holes and pulled it through. I then placed a 45 mm stainless washer and a 45 mm rubber washer to a 10 mm stainless bolt and secured the string using a string bridle to the thread of the bolt with plastic insulation tape. I added a rubberised sealant to the washers and pulled them through the bung holes and and then through the 10mm fixing holes. Once through I secured the drums to the frame using similar rubber and stainless washers. After hand tightening the nut I placed an additional two nuts to the end of the securing bolt and tightened them against each other, this allowed me to fully tighten the retaining nut by placing a spanner onto the locking nuts to stop the bolt turning, (head of bolt is unreachable inside drum). Once tight the two locking nuts can be removed.
    It is over twelve moths since I have constructed the boat and no sign of any leaks despite experiencing some rough conditions with the rear drums occasionally being completely submerged.
    I love the stability of the boat when fishing and cruising, it has met all of my expectations and is so cheap to run using around 1.5 litres of fuel per hour at around 10 kph. Not a speed machine, just a reliable relaxing boat that I could afford to build and run.
     
  8. unkledoe
    Joined: Jan 2016
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Detroit michigan

    unkledoe Tiny

    Clever

    Very Clever...A lot of work I am sure but well worth it..Nice job on the build.

    I would like to throw a rock at a few of the negative comments in the thread. I believe you are right Wardog as far as a small redesign in the barrels would make them more useful for lots of construction projects. Not just boats. People have been using barrels to float docks for years with no apparent ill effects so the poison the world with chemicals is a moot point. There would be a market for them if they were built for it...It would even open up a market for NEW barrels. Have you ever priced a new dock float...The price of those is stupid expensive. Thanks for sharing. You built a great boat and have some great ideas..Don't stop thinking of new thing brother!!!
     
  9. bco16
    Joined: Sep 2016
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Lake Hopatcong, NJ

    bco16 New Member

    More information about the engine and steering

    I really like your design and would love to attempt it myself. I am wondering about the steering wheel system you installed (I can see it in the picture) and how you control the engine. Please be as detailed as you can, and possibly share links to things I could purchase to turn a 55 gallon barrel dock into a functional power boat. Did you install a speedometer? Also, what HP of engine was required to move the weight of the boat?

    Thank you!

    Brian
     
  10. portacruise
    Joined: Jun 2009
    Posts: 1,317
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 218
    Location: USA

    portacruise Senior Member

    Good job making use of a cheap floatation resource material!
    Some possible considerations
    -at what point will the plastic material become brittle?
    -is the plastic material stabilized to UV and constant flexing?
    -how much will the price rise if this and other uses for the barrels increases?
    -if the air seal is compromised, will the barrels structure retain integrity? ie. is pressurization necessary?
    It might be nice to have a *capture* frame design so that barrels can be quickly switched out while on the water should it be necessary.

    Hope this helps.

    PC
     
  11. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 2,813
    Likes: 489, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 506
    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    He answered most of these questions already, the controls can just be standard off the shelf items for a boat.
     

  12. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,833
    Likes: 1,097, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Attached Files:

Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.