Pontoon Boat Conversion to Sailboat

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by lowe210, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. marked77
    Joined: May 2010
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    Location: hudson, fl

    marked77 Junior Member

    Ok...have totally stripped pontoon boat. I have installed a rudder from a 25 beachcomber, have installed 2 kick-up daggerboards simply attached to the sides of the boat where the beams attach to the hulls, have my mast tube ( the mast is inserted into this tube allowing for mast rotation to furl the main) ready which once secured will allow me to put my free standing mast and wishbone boom from my 25 beachcomber up. Rather than make an extravagant support system I will use the freestanding rig which will not need as much force for trials. I am using the smaller of the 2 sails from the beachcomber but if it works to satisfaction I will use the larger mast and sail. I am currently looking for a 30 foot pontoon or larger as I feel this will be a success. But then again, the sailboat I built when I was seven sailed great 1 time then burned in a bon-fire.....not sure why, but at 7 the bonfire was cool. Will let you know more soon. Mark ps This rig does not have to sail well.Just needs to be fun!!!! Also,it will eventually have a 35-50 hp on it to be a motor sailer......and yes, it will outrun the McGregor.....taking bets now. Wavewacker...the boat is being kept as light as possible....(I picked up the rear end of it today to scoot it forward on the trailer.
     
  2. d lester
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: minnesota

    d lester New Member

    How about a sailboard sail on each side, a kick up lee board on both sail midnsection, so boat turns to wind when you let go of sail tension) and the with the two rudders. I think it would move you and possibly leave more room on deck. The sail have a boom that you can connect ropes and pullies for control. The mast and also be laid down when not needed or for a lower clearance. If you designed the mast step with a hinge they could be layed down on the move and brought back up. Via the integrated rope and pully.
     
  3. Silverbullet
    Joined: Jun 2013
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    Silverbullet Junior Member

    There is no practical reason why the conversion would not work. Daggerboard determination would have to be decided after the maiden test, unfortunately. Twin rudders should be a plus. Take some design ideas from the world of multihulls. The best thing about the construction process is being able to use a $25.00 tarp for your sail!
    The utmost ideal situation is a savious S rotor. Gets wind in any direction, powers an electric motor. Cousteau built one or two of these. You can get say, a 5hp 24vdc motor for about $500.00, much cheaper than an outboard kicker. I am converting one of my pontoons to electric with a rotor. Ive removed all the wood flooring and am putting down diamond plate aluminum, bolted to the struts and the seams welded. Not a problem to secure a turbine or mast to that kind of structure. Batteries are cheap if you go for deep cycle marine. They work fine on my solar home. Good equipment available now to keep them healthy. Id love to do the sail thing myself. Im just wired that way. Should be a whole lot of fun and not much expense. What is the worst thing that could happen, eh? Slow boat? Just remember its the journey not the destination......
     
  4. redreuben
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: South Lake Western Australia

    redreuben redreuben

    Savonius rotors are horribly inefficient and would create huge drag once you are moving.
     
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  5. Leo Lazauskas
    Joined: Jan 2002
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    That is a very bad, almost ridiculous, idea.
    You shouldn't recommend it to others without doing a lot more research yourself.
     
  6. Silverbullet
    Joined: Jun 2013
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    Silverbullet Junior Member

    "Cousteau's experience was turned to good use in designing a new vessel. Working with naval engineers, he designed an innovative hull of aluminum, both lightweight and strong. The catamaran-like stern gave it stability. The monohull forward was designed to split swells and improve ride in heavy seas. Two Turbosails rose from her deck and two diesel engines provided the necessary suction forces. The ship was named Alcyone, the daughter of the wind.

    When the Alcyone was launched in 1985, it benefited from the development of the original turbosail Moulin a Vent. With two turbosails of reduced aspect ratio, the stresses placed on the metal of the sail surfaces was much reduced. Both sails also contained axial turbines for power generation, and with decreases in the cost of computers, also featured sensor driven controls to actuate the sails for optimal thrust.

    Practical experience with the ship saw the Cousteau group adopting the vessel as flagship and primary research platform in the 1980s. Computers optimized the functioning of Turbosails and engines. To maintain a constant speed, the engines take over automatically when the wind dies down, and they stop completely when the wind is of sufficient strength when blowing in the right direction. A crew of five is required to maintain the ship.

    The Alcyone thus traveled around the world, gaining data about the turbosail's performance in varying wind and weather conditions - in all cases proving the concept and finding the propulsive potential to be very good"
     
  7. Silverbullet
    Joined: Jun 2013
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    Silverbullet Junior Member

    Yeah? It only sailed around the world once with a rotor so maybe we dont have enough experience. What further testing would you propose? Ive been building S rotors for 50 years.
     
  8. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    Your point being what ?
    A computer controlled turbosail is not a savonius rotor !

    Not even close.
     
  9. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    As was suggested earlier in the thread, sell the pontoon boat to someone who wants a pontoon boat and build yourself a catamaran with an outboard and a sail.
    You are going to end up with a white elephant that will do nothing well but empty your pockets.
     
  10. Leo Lazauskas
    Joined: Jan 2002
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    I agree that some experience was gained by Cousteau over several years,
    especially after the first one failed catastrophically in high winds.
    But you seem to be confusing computer-controlled turbo sails (or maybe even
    Flettner rotors?) with Savonius rotors.
     
  11. Silverbullet
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    Silverbullet Junior Member

    No, I dont think Im confusing them. They are both axial turbines, not sails. There are numerous other designs which are also axial turbines, as you probably know. I suppose we can make a reasonable determination when I launch. The largest 'axial turbine' I have built was 30' tall and 48" in diameter, much larger than the unit I need for my pontoon. Im not actually trying to set any speed records here, just building something I can enjoy, an axial turbine, ahem, on a pontoon boat.
     
  12. gregdog
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Location: Clearwater, Florida

    gregdog Junior Member

    My first post, just joined. I googled up "pontoon sailboat" and found you guys (and Gals).

    Why? well I just rigged up my 24' aluminum pontoon boat with a square rig sail and wanted to share my first sea trial results. the were very good.

    But it looks like this is a pretty old thread and maybe no one is really interested in the subject matter. If anyone is let me know.
     
  13. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    post pictures!

    do you have a keel or lee board set up? Or do you just use it for going down wind?
     
  14. Silverbullet
    Joined: Jun 2013
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    Location: Somewhere in a swamp in Georgia

    Silverbullet Junior Member

    Pontoon Experiments could be fruitful

    SURE...we are always interested in a maiden launch as well as other documented factoids.
    Thanks,
    Silverbullet
     

  15. gregdog
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Location: Clearwater, Florida

    gregdog Junior Member

    Pontoon sailer

    Good to hear back that this thread retains interest!

    I took some video from my cell phone and one still and will try to figure out how to make post it ot make it available for those who want to see it. But first some specifics of what I had to work with.

    The African Queen is a pure aluminum home made pontoon boat that an Aluminum contractor/welder built for himself back in the 1980's for gator hunting in the Everglades. She draws about 12 inches, engine up.

    It passed from hand to hand after the fellow died and I found it on the side of the road headed for the scrap yard for recycling, contacted the owner and gave him $800 for the title. Ugly as she was she was completely competent physically as she had no wood, plastic, fiberglass or other ready to degrade material Just Aluminum and stainless steel fasteners. I spent another $8,000.00 for a new 40hp Mercury 4-stroke and helm, which pushes her almost to 20mph. Nice for plying the shallow bootlegger waters of Homosassa Bay on the "Nature Coast" of Florida's west central gulf coast. Here the gulf waters deepens only 1' for every mile you go out.

    The short story on sail rigging is that I bought a 16' of 1 1/2" poplar wood dowel, sleeved it with PVC pipe, topped it with a pulley and used that for a mast - center mounted on the very front edge of the bow. I then constructed a square sail rig with a 10 foot yardarm of same wood and attached an 8 x 10 foot white tarp as sail using zipties and stainless rings (like shower curtain rings). We hoisted this up the mast (yardarm fore of the mast) and with four lines attached to the four corners of the sail engaged what was only a weak 3 mph east wind to go due west. We had a 2mph incoming tide directly against us yet still we made headway; my gps said we were doing almost 1 mph. My brother and I were simply amazed at the efficiency factor - and for a total cost of materials purchased at home depot of about $80.

    We then tested it to see how far we could sail cross the wind. We gave slack to the starboard lines and tightened the port lines causing the sail to move out and billow to port (it was almost like a kite) catching the east wind. it continued to make headway, this time due north, without any noticeble side ways slippage. I was stunned. No dagger or center boards used. just the aluminum angle metal keels that the builder had originally welded on the bottom of each pontoon to guard against stumps, rocks and reefs. I used the outboard as the rudder. We are now thinking of putting two more masts, one opposite each other on the sides of the Queen just fore of the helm and rigging jib sails 8' jib sails with 6' booms to catch the wind outside of the fore mainsail.

    Since we mainly have westerly onshore winds here, coming back in after boating 5-7 miles offshore, under sail power, should be a breeze.

    I'm going to try and up load the video to you tube. I'm not sure about the rules here of posting links and the sort, my email is gregorio_dog at yahoo dot com for anyone who would like to contact me direct to get it: I want to avoid breaching any posting rules here on this forum.
     
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