Pontoons and Connectors

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by nikezz, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. nikezz
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    nikezz Junior Member

    Hi All,
    Does anyone here have any experience with pontoons and their connectors? Are there any bad designs or experiences that you would like to share?

    Personally, I would like to ask if anyone here has come across this pontoon called Linkflote from VolkerBrooks. If there are any engineers here, can you comment on the design of their connection system? The link to their webpage is given below.

    http://www.volkerbrooks.co.uk/bin/i...pZone=S7_LinkfloteInformatio&ibpDisplay=view&

    Edit:
    This is in regard to pontoon barges btw (15/11/10).
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  2. PAR
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Maybe it would be easier if you asked what you wanted in a more specific way. As speculation of engineering solutions seems spurious to say the least.
     
  3. nikezz
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    nikezz Junior Member

    I am looking for any potential problems in the connector. For example, if the waters were not calm, would the hook connectors slip? Do you feel the gap between 2 pontoons are going to pose a problem? Are there any dangerous threats to safety in the process? and etc...
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    We can debate the merits of the connectors if you like, but to what end? The connectors are well "dogged" in use, so no they don't "slip". I'm not sure what you mean by problems with the pontoons, but there are several different connector types, all are robust. As far as safety issues, just working in the marine environment has safety concerns, but again your questions are very subjective and generalized. So, much so that they can't be answered.

    What are your specific concerns about the connectors? What don't you like about these connectors? What are your specific concerns about working on or around these floats? Have you contacted the manufacture for assistance or possibly one of their clients, for a third party review, of the products in question?
     
  5. Bijit Sarkar
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    Bijit Sarkar Naval Architect

    Agree with Par.
    I have recently done an array of catamaran pontoons as part of deflection system for radar guided missiles. They are rigidly connected. They have survived sea state 5.
    If your connections are rigid, you have to guard against all the six motions a floating body can experience and derive the forces on the connectors.
    But that might be an overkill and too elaborate for you.
    If flexible connectors, distance and fenders will play an important role for prevention of damage by ramming each other in rough seas.
    Bijit Sarkar
     
  6. nikezz
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    nikezz Junior Member

    Thanks for the information Par & Bijit. I apologize for not being clear. The purpose of my post was to ask for experiences from people who have used pontoon connectors and the difficulties they faced in using them. This is what I meant by "problems". Howver, I do appreciate the answers you have given. An example of a "problem", some pontoons have to lifted up before connection. This is a hassle and increases the time required for assembly.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If you have a good crew, with experienced "hands" they'll quickly come to terms with the unique issues and handling quirks of these pontoons. If you place a bunch of novices on the job site, then you'll have a host of difficulties and likely injuries as they learn.
     
  8. Bijit Sarkar
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    Bijit Sarkar Naval Architect

    connection afloat

    I had connected them on shore and launched the whole catamaran. The first was launched by a crane, which was quite dangerous - the crane operator took the crane too near to the water and we had some nail biting moments. The rest 17 we launched rolling them down the slope with pipes and it went like a breeze.

    I have also connected pontoons afloat. Ideally , both pontoons should have same draft. In case they don't, instead of lifting one, sink the other. I did it with a small pump and flooding gradually till they were absolutely level.
     

  9. Bijit Sarkar
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    Location: Calcutta,India

    Bijit Sarkar Naval Architect

    connectors

    Connection details are important. Slip on types will always have a play and will get damaged eventually. I would always prefer rigid welded connectors with thick insert plates where they connect to the hull.

    don't forget cross bracings - in all three axes.

    If you post an arrangement drawing, maybe we can come up with a connection arrangement.
     
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