Replacing Floating Home Hulls without removing from water

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Jakob, Apr 8, 2023.

  1. Jakob
    Joined: Apr 2023
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Florida

    Jakob New Member

    Hi Everyone. I am having trouble finding any good information about my issue on the web so I thought I would try there. I own a static floating home in Florida. It is over 50 years old now and has been in the same location for 30 years and the hulls need to be replaced or at the very least, repaired in some way. Moving it to dry dock would be an expensive option and I have been told the hulls might not survive the move anyway. I am hoping someone here might have gone through something like this before. I see all kinds of potential options but I am not finding anything specific to replacing them while still in the water. Would filling them with foam work? Could we somehow slide new hulls (plastic, aluminum, whatever) underneath next to the existing hulls..? They would have to be weighed down (with water?) in order to get them underneath and then the water sucked out to the raise to the bottom of the house...As they say, if we can get a man on the moon, I would think there has to be a way to get new hulls under it without removing it from the water. The structure is 50'x20' and the existing hulls run the full 50' on each side and they are about 4' wide and 4' high. This is the best picture I could find at the moment.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 1,456
    Likes: 418, Points: 83
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    STOP ALL CONSTRUCTION WORK NOW.

    Land based construction techniques DON'T do well on boats or floating homes.

    Have a certified surveyer look at the floating home.

    Replacement in the water is usually MORE expensive than hauling out.

    We have to see it from 90 degrees from the provided picture to see if floats could be slid underneath.
     
    DogCavalry, BlueBell and bajansailor like this.
  3. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 3,618
    Likes: 1,574, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    If I understand you correctly, the boat has not been out of the water for at least 30, or even possibly more than 50 years?
    What is the construction material of the hulls? I am guessing plywood, if they are 4' x 4'?
    Please provide some more photos, including an end view (as per Blueknarr's request above).
    Is there access inside the hulls from inside the cabin or from the deck, or are they sealed compartments?
    If there is access, can you post any photos showing the condition of the hull interior?
     
    BlueBell likes this.
  4. Jakob
    Joined: Apr 2023
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Florida

    Jakob New Member

    I’M NOT DOING ANY CONSTRUCTION WORK so not sure where that came from or why all caps were necessary.

    It’s been in the water for 30 years in the same location (since my father bought it for 25k in 1994). Prior to that it was in the water for about 15ish years in its original location. I know, we got our moneys worth, salvage it and move on I am just doing due diligence to make sure I understand all the options.

    They are made from out of 3/4 inch marine plywood covered with fiberglass. They are reinforced every 8 ft. They are accessible from inside for the entire length (via different entry points in the floor). I’ll post more photos as soon as I can find more (I am not there to take any new ones at the moment).

    Thanks.
     
    BlueBell likes this.
  5. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 2,708
    Likes: 980, Points: 113
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell . . . _ _ _ . . . _ _ _

    Hi Jakob,

    Welcome to the overly helpful Forum. We try.

    The floatation might be replaceable, in place.
    Key word might.

    If it is physically possible, you'd need someone to supply, remove, replace and dispose of the old floatation.
    That's who you need to talk to.
    Get a quote.

    It may prove cheaper to move it to a dry dock and do the work there.
    Either way it ain't gonna be cheap, you're paying for 50 years of overdue maintenance.

    To sell it you'd need a survey, may as well do it now, then you'll know where you're at.
    A local surveyor may provide you with a lot of useful, additional information.

    Buyer beware: get a good surveyor.
     
  6. Jakob
    Joined: Apr 2023
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Florida

    Jakob New Member

    Thanks. Appreciate it. Really that’s all I was trying to determine…if it was even possible to do something where it sits.

    The whole reason I ended up on this forum was because I actually did have a marine survey person look at it last week and he basically said “it’s crap and not worth fixing. I can have some salvage guys come and tear it apart for 15k”. When I asked about getting it to dry storage to fix it he said the hull probably won’t survive, no one will risk it. Keep in mind we’ve been living in it with no major issues except the hulls and some leaks from the deck on 2nd level which are at least temporarily fixed. It all seemed out of left field and honestly I felt like he had other motives. He was “kind enough” to not write up the formal survey or charge me because it would have rated below average which could potentially get it evicted from the marina.
     
  7. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 2,708
    Likes: 980, Points: 113
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell . . . _ _ _ . . . _ _ _

    Anything is possible.
    Who would do the work?
    Talk to them.
     
  8. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 3,618
    Likes: 1,574, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    How far away from you is the nearest yard that would be capable of lifting a vessel this size out of the water?

    It does sound like he has ulterior motives if he wants to charge you $15k to break up your boat.
    It should be possible to tow the boat to a haul out yard if the route to the yard is all calm water, and if there is a yard capable of lifting the boat.

    But please post some photos showing the interior of the hulls first!
    Recently a lady posted on this forum about her liveaboard Grand Banks wooden boat where the hull planking was totally rotten - I am hoping that your plywood is in better condition.
     
    BlueBell likes this.
  9. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
    Posts: 1,402
    Likes: 439, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 124
    Location: East Anglia,England

    wet feet Senior Member

    It would be helpful to see pictures of the inside of the hulls. If everything in there is dry, it might be within the bounds of possibility to laminate a new hull in place-from the inside and without going anywhere.It might not be anybody's ideal solution and it wouldn't be a fun job-but it might just be possible if the interior is dry.
     
    bajansailor likes this.
  10. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 7,643
    Likes: 1,688, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    You gotta pull it.

    The boat needs to be supported to remove the box. You can't disconnect hulls that lack integrity in the slip, and then slide one out and slide a new one in without a crane, so you'll be into a crane anyway! And cranes are low end $250 an hour, so imagine a 24 hour job to swap out each box and reconnect it; my math say $20,000 for crane fees.

    If you hire a crane service or travel lift; perhaps they are worried about the strapping collapsing the hull under load. This is a fair concern, but could be mitigated with some heavy side planking and proper crane setup. That part is not easy, but easier than the impossible. You can also mitigate by removing the contents of the boat.

    I cannot imagine a crane operator on planet earth who would support anything other than picking it out and setting it down on the hard, so my hunch is you are asking the impossible; more than a man on the moon.

    As @wet feet has suggested; the only other option is repair, but it sounds like things are too far gone for that and safety is probably poor, so getting someone to crawl inside a rotted plywood box under tons of floating home is totally irresponsible to save a few pennies.

    Just work on the plan to get it pulled out safely.
     
    bajansailor likes this.
  11. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 1,456
    Likes: 418, Points: 83
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    If the guys on the deck surrounded by construction materials are not working on the vessel---- then I'm sorry about the caps.

    Florida may have different surveyer ethic codes. In California it is illegal for a surveyer to perform work on any vessel they personally surveyed. Or survey a vessel they previously worked on.

    If the floats are internally dry --- why replace them. Why the worry over moving to hauling facility?

    IF a third float could be inserted between the two originals. The vessel will probably capsize when one of the original is removed.

    To guarantee success it MUST NOT be supported by buoyancy. Either directly from the ground or by a crane.
     
    fallguy likes this.
  12. Jakob
    Joined: Apr 2023
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Florida

    Jakob New Member

    Oh yes, sorry, we were replacing the steps but that was back in 2013 before we had issues with the hulls. I just didn’t have any current photos on my phone or computer. I’ve asked my dad and brother if they do. If not I’ll take them when I’m back there in a couple weeks.

    One float is dry- it’s wrapped in a “diaper”. It was wet prior to that. The other isn’t wrapped yet and it is wet inside.

    I’ll post pics when I get them but it sounds like the overwhelming consensus is it has to be dry docked. There just aren’t any good solutions leaving it in place. And if moving is not possible because the hulls won’t survive the move (and/or because the overall cost would be prohibitive) I’ll just have to salvage it. My brain is staring to accept that. I just needed to be sure.

    Thanks.
     
  13. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 1,456
    Likes: 418, Points: 83
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    All is well.

    I was mostly concerned that you were doing cosmetic or interior repairs before dealing with the structural and flotation issues.

    It is common with new posters.

    There may be ways to replace the floats in the water. But not likely in a two finger slip. You will need much more room.

    How is the underside of the house connected to the floats?

    The top drawing shows qhat is likely to happen with a central temporary float. If a beam could be extended to allow for an additional outboard float, then. A wet replacement might be possible.

    20230409_115551.jpg
     
    fallguy likes this.
  14. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 7,643
    Likes: 1,688, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    @Blueknarr 's napkin sketch explains things very well, but even he is making assumptions 1)the beam of the new float could be added and 2)it would be strong enough at the same vertical dimension over a larger span and 3)any crane operator would sign onto such a plan and 4) the marina would allow it.

    Good crane guys say no to all projects they don't like and this one is that.

    But BKs sketch is not useless because if you get the boat on the hard; the job is still difficult to support and his sketch shows a potential way, but would need to add ground supports under the outriggers and size them to support the structure.

    None of this is in the realm of forum advice. The loads; the attachments, all require some engineering to support the structure during repairs.
     

  15. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 1,302
    Likes: 414, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    Just watching a crew robotically installing epoxy pipe liners on some 60” sewer pipes, then read this thread. There’s probably a few bulkheads in the way of such an effort, and I’m sure the price is astronomical, but food for thought nonetheless.
     
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.