River Roller! Pontoon Boat that Rolls Across the Water!

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Matthew Lee Towne, May 10, 2017.

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Do you think the River Roller will work?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
  2. No

    34 vote(s)
    82.9%
  3. Maybe

    6 vote(s)
    14.6%
  1. portacruise
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Hope my comments flagged by PC are helpful below.

    PC: Concept of hull speed: Hull speed - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hull_speed You might not have enough speed to power upstream in 2 knot current, because of diminishing returns as you try to redesign with more powerful drive systems.

    PC: Just about every boat in my links would be an efficiency success (many best in class), but a financial failure. The opposite is also true sometimes, as the Sun Dolphin paddle boats are extremely successful financially over many years, but an efficiency failure! Outstanding efficiency does not mean financial success, sometimes even nonsense, trends, hype, can outrank breakthroughs in financial success (as in the pet rock, Dutch tulip craze, various seasonal toys, etc.). SUN DOLPHIN 5 SEATER http://www.sundolphin.com/sun-dolphin-5-seater/

    PC
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
    SamSam likes this.
  2. Matthew Lee Towne
    Joined: May 2017
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    Matthew Lee Towne Senior Member

    Thanx for your input. I really appreciate it. Clearly there is allot of expertise here. I am a layman when it comes to hydrodynamics and boat design. But that doesn't mean this wont work well.

    Let me start off with this. It's going to be really fun to prove most of you wrong.

    Everyone seems to be comparing a paddlewheel and a hull VS a propeller and a hull. This is a comparison between 10 paddlewheels WITHOUT A HULL VS a prop with a hull. This hasn't been done. So how can you say with certainty how well it will work. Noone, including myself, can say how well it will work. I believe it will be more efficient than a prop and hull. You can have your opinions, but they are not fact. I intend to make my opinions fact. How about you? Care to actually prove me wrong in the real world?

    Ok, let's suppose that this wont be efficient. What about the potential for quickness and speed. Lets say it's as inefficient as a dragster. The potential to apply an enormous amount of power and control that power, is easily attainable with this system. Imagine a boat that's as quick as a Corvette and as efficient as a Prius. If you think that's unattainable visit your local Tesla center.

    So about markets. First, as you've stated, most boat designs like pointy noses with big motors hanging off the butt. There's a huge vacuum in the market here. I've reviewed current pleasure boat designs and they are sad. There is huge potential for any manufacturer that presents some novel designs here. I know plenty of people that would love their boat to stand out on the water. It's time for someone to show the consumers what they want. Lead. Don't follow.


     
  3. Matthew Lee Towne
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    Matthew Lee Towne Senior Member

    This is one of the most intelligent and honest responses so far. Once again I appreciate it. Alas it still needs some clarification and discussion.

    You stated that I must have less than 20% immersion. My calculations figure 25% maximum immersion for a 5000lb buoyant force. Lighter loads will result in better efficiency. Just like any other boat. I don't understand what you mean by feathering or articulating floats. Please expand. Again I see the word complex. Isn't any equation simple once it is solved? There is much to be done.

    You are comparing a propeller VS a paddlewheel and discussing efficiency. What about discussing a propeller AND hull VS 10 paddlewheels WITHOUT a hull. None of us can say which is more efficient because my concept hasn't been done. I believe that the whole system will be more efficient and I intend to prove it. Care to try to prove me wrong in the real world?

    The one thing that people tend to see is that this would be good for vegetation and wildlife. Good to know its not a total loss! Thats a joke in case anybody didn't get it.

    I have imagined away many ideas for a a variety of reasons. I'm not delusional. I have an engineering background. This concept is based it reality. So far it doesn't seem to be doing so well in virtual reality.


     
  4. Matthew Lee Towne
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    Matthew Lee Towne Senior Member

    Once again a very intelligent response. Yes the force is negated at very low speeds where the water gets a chance to get behind the trantoon. At low speed this system is probably no more efficient that a prop and hull system. BTW is there a name for a standard prop and hull system? As speed increases there will be less chance for the water to fill in behind the trantoon. This will result in a net upward force. I believe this upward force will allow the vessel to rise up and skim across the water.

     
  5. Matthew Lee Towne
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    Matthew Lee Towne Senior Member

    Wow. This is, or you are, a complete failure? I have 4 children and dread the fact that they will have to deal with the likes of you on the internet.

    I'm nothing if not a survivor. This will survive in some way, shape, or form. I'm looking forward to proving you wrong the most.

     
  6. Matthew Lee Towne
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    Matthew Lee Towne Senior Member

    Thanx for this. At low speeds I would expect this to apply. To what degree and effect you can probably answer better than me. At increasing speeds I would expect this to matter less. As trantoon speed increases I would expect wave effects to have less effect. The upward force of the fore paddles, with out the counteracting downward force of the aft paddes should result in the vessel skimming across the top of the water. I think that at increasing speeds this concept will enter into an unkown area of hydrodynamics.

    I guess I should move away from defending the efficiency of this concept. While I think it can be as efficient as a Prius, I also think it can be as quick as a Tesla. Either way, or neither way, it will have some useful application.

    I don't know where this concept will land. I can say this. I've never been involved in an unprofitable business. This is no different. It will make money. How much remains to be seen.

     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Matthew, the basic problem you are experiencing is the severe lack of hydrodynamic understanding, which most have been polite enough to just hint at. Simply put, the concept has so many obvious flaws, it's just not worth continuing with, given an understanding of these basics in physics and hydrodynamics, with the engineering issues left aside. At this point compare apples to apples, so a couple of simple models, one a convention hull of similar displacement and the other with your arrangement. A small single shaft mounted prop, off an electric motor, the other maybe rubber banded to your wheels. Hookup a fish scale and see which pulls harder. Examine the wakes and turbulence with some video of the tests and some of the more obvious stuff will present itself. You could save some modeling time with study and the book store here, has all of the usual suspects to explore in yacht design, theory, etc. Intelligent discussion about efficiency, propulsion assumptions or conclusions and theory is only possible, if you have a significant grasp of these principles. I can cite plenty of things, but you'd spend several hours Googling stuff, just to figure out the essence of what I said, let alone understand the actual meaning or intent of the comments. Yacht design is just like any other engineering discipline and requires serious comprehension, across several arenas.
     
  8. Matthew Lee Towne
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    Matthew Lee Towne Senior Member

    Yep. I'm definitely out of my league here. I really do appreciate your time to help me work through this. You read my mind on the test. I completely agree that the first step here is to compare apples with apples. I plan on two tests. The first will test which produces less resistance in a current. A V hull or my design with equal weights. This should establish the additional capacity, or lack therof, of my design to regenerate kinetic energy. The motive behind this design. The second will be a powered test to see which "Pulls" better. Though I think an acceleration and top speed test will be more telling. A pull test where the vessels aren't freely moving through the water doesn't seem like it would represent a real world scenario.

    I hope to have the results of the resistance test in the next few weeks. The powered test will be next. I will keep you all posted. Despite my lack of experience in this arena, I fully expect my design to roll through the water easier than a V hull will be dragged through it. Doesn't it make sense that dragging a cart on land is going to require more energy than dragging a cart with wheels across the land? Why can't this translate, to some degree at least, to the water? Seems like common sense to me. I guess we will see.

     
  9. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    I agree with one thing.

    Lead. Show us.

    Vague statements with non-technical language means nothing and is leading you astray.

    No more comments from me.
    +1 for what PAR said.
     
  10. Dave T
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Dave T Senior Member

    This is an interesting thread with replies from people with experience and a lot of knowledge in boat building, hydrodynamics, and years of practical experience with boat propulsion systems. I do not claim to be one of these but I have built my own boat and I considered various ways to drive it from paddle wheels, inboard, electric and a hydraulic drive system but soon realized that an outboard was the most practical and simplest for a small boat. My first outboard was homemade with a Briggs & Stratten 11 HP lawn mower motor on a Chrysler 12.9 HP outboard leg then a 30 HP Suzuki out board and now a 70 HP Mercury. This will be the sixth Summer for my boat on the Mississippi. I have many years experience as a mechanic, machinist, welder and fabricator and running a small manufacturing business. I could build a boat like you propose but I would not because of the expense and impracticality of it. Have you done any calculations of how much power it would take to turn 10 paddle wheels with the width that you propose against the resistance of the water with a 5000# boat. To do this would take a massive electric motor with very low gearing which would mean low speed and short range with a lot of batteries. Paddle wheels were practical with steam engines because of there low RPM and massive amounts of torque at 0 and low RPM and the fact at the time the main supply of fuel available was coal and wood but were outdone by propellers. I would have to ask you how do you plan to proceed from here? Do you think you have the abilities to build something like this yourself? What experience do you have with building and fabricating etc? What facilities do you have available? Even if you could build it yourself you would still need thousands of dollars that you can afford to lose and many man hours to invest. I hope you can prove me wrong but I doubt this project will go any further than it is now but even if it doesn't you have provided us with some good entertainment
     
  11. Matthew Lee Towne
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    Matthew Lee Towne Senior Member

    Yes its interesting and entertaining. Not to mention very negative. I would take it all more seriously if the experts here would even acknowledge some of my points as being valid. There is little focus on what this design CAN do, only what it CAN'T do. I don't profess to know what I don't know. But I do have vision and I see potential here. I think many of you can't see the forest through the trees. Or even better the ocean from the water!

    As said previously I will be starting with two tests on scale models. The first will be to test my design against a V hull in a current to see which produces the most drag. This should establish the regeneration capability of this design. The second will be a powered test for acceleration and top speed. This should hopefully answer questions about power.

    Regardless of how it works out I will keep you informed of the results.

     
  12. Waterwitch
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    Waterwitch Junior Member

    Found this video clearly, snowmobiles make the best skimmers compared to wheels Getting 5000 lbs up on plane, good luck with that, along with the battery bank you envision..
     
  13. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    You will need a huge amount of power to get any speed at all, and that's only if you can overcome the initial drag of the design.

    A snowmobile belt is better suited to this type propulsion, not individual rollers, and even then you need to get it up to speed before it enters the water.

    I don't see a problem with it traveling at very low speeds similar to most other craft propelled by a paddle wheel, but there are plenty of those out there already.
     
  14. Matthew Lee Towne
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    Matthew Lee Towne Senior Member

    Thanx! There's a bit of a proof of concept here! The buggies actually managed to skim to some degree or another. I think that this design could go in many directions. Maybe a belted application would work better. We shall see.

     

  15. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    These types of things (buggies) are taking advantage of some basic physics, making you think they're a variable, possible effective propulsion system. The same is true of snowmobiles, though their propulsion arrangement (belt) offers less disturbance to the flow, so they scoot more readily. What the video above doesn't show is what happens, as soon as one of these drivers backs the throttle down, just a touch. This means the mass of the boat needs to be supported by the wheels, which in these two cases aren't sufficient to support it, so they sink. I've driven buggies and they're very wet fun, but you literally feel each of the sand bog paddles hit and pull, as you travel across the water. It's a very rough ride, given the RPM the wheels are rotating and the number of paddles exposed.

    Again and simply put, this is a discussion that has raged for many decades, with all sorts of "improvements", like articulated vanes, vane fences, closing off the low pressure areas around the vanes, etc., but in the end it was the variables that screw all NA's and designers, the water and it's unpredictable undulations that do them in. Paddles need to be shallow and run in smooth water to approuch prop efficiency. Introduce more depth and/or a slight chop and efficiency drops off a cliff. Lastly the loads imposed are a magnitude higher than typical prop setups. Ask anyone that runs any type of paddle about their greasing schedule and how often they need to deal with bucket/vane and pin breaks. The short of it is, you can make a paddle go fast, but a belt is better and both require a lot more power for the same performance envelop in the same hull with the same weight, compaired to conventional setups.
     
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