riverbus hull rebuild

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by captainstick, Aug 26, 2021.

  1. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Were your hulls built by these folk?
    Plastic Pontoon https://plasticpontoon.com/
    It looks like you have a 'bow section' at the stern as well as at the bow - if you want to go faster, you will need to have more lift (and probably buoyancy) at the aft end.
    If they are Wilson pontoons, you could perhaps install a stern section instead of the bow section at the stern?
    How large are the engines that are currently fitted?
    You mentioned in the thread from a few years ago that the boat had 2 x 115 hp then - are these still fitted?
    And how rough does it typically get on Lake Powell, or any of the other lakes that you use the boat on?
    If it is pretty calm generally, then flat bottomed hulls (perhaps in fibreglass - or aluminium even?) as suggested by Mr E could work?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2021
  2. captainstick
    Joined: Nov 2013
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    Location: Colorado

    captainstick Greg

    Yes those are my pontoons. Because of the way I built the boat the first time, I had an extra bow section I could use, so I decided to try it this way to save a little money. I had enough extra plastic to reshape the stern, but I needed even more than what I had. In any case, I think my main issue though is that the plastic/foam isn’t strong enough to support the vw on top when I’m trailering it. That’s not the fault of the pontoons, just the boat designer haha.
     
  3. captainstick
    Joined: Nov 2013
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    captainstick Greg

    To answer about the engines, yes I still have the 2 x 115’s. They do need a little more support, but it’s not terrible. I added at least 500lbs of buoyancy with the extra plastic and some foam.
     
  4. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    The VW must be quite heavy, relatively - is it still roadworthy, in the sense that you can offload it at your different ports of call and go driving about in it?
    If yes, then it serves double duty as home and transport - but if not, then it is a very heavy shed on your boat.

    Would your budget allow for building a pair of new hulls that would be much better suited for what you want to do?
     
  5. captainstick
    Joined: Nov 2013
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    captainstick Greg

    My budget will allow for building new hulls. My idea was to reuse the existing foam as a guide, but I could start from scratch. I like how they are filled with foam so a leak is not catastrophic. But the foam certainly does add a lot of extra weight to the whole operation. My tentative plan is to insert some plywood into the foam where the beams are located that support the vw. That will hopefully solve the structural issue. But I’m open to rethinking the plan and maybe even discarding the foam altogether to save the weight.
     
  6. captainstick
    Joined: Nov 2013
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    captainstick Greg

    As for the vw, it is no longer road worthy. The engine, transmission, suspension and wheels are all long gone. I know it’s ridiculous, but the only thing that’s non negotiable for me about this boat is the vw. Anything else is fair game.
     
  7. kapnD
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    kapnD Senior Member

    Maybe you could further lighten the VW by cutting off everything below the floor, and any remaining suspension components etc.
     
  8. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I think that I would be inclined to build a pair of new hulls, if the budget does allow this to be done.
    This way you can ensure that the hulls are designed to cope with the maximum load that your barge will be expected to carry.
    And if you are almost always in fairly flat water on the lake (?), then the hull shape could be very simple - perhaps flat bottomed, a bit like a jon boat.
    And if you divide the hull into compartments with watertight bulkheads, then you might be able to do away with filling them up with foam?
     
  9. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    BlueBell "Whatever..."

    Hi Greg!

    So, what's cooking?

    From 10 to 20 knots, impressive!

    BB
     
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  10. kapnD
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member


  11. captainstick
    Joined: Nov 2013
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    Location: Colorado

    captainstick Greg


    Thanks! Your help a few years ago helped a lot. I’m still experimenting with the fiberglass. I am trying to figure out how many layers of cloth, epoxy vs poly, etc. I made some foam bricks with 4 layers that I drove my car on top of and they were totally unharmed. I just tried 2 layers and it crushed a bit. Maybe 3 is the magic number. I’m just hoping to keep the weight the same or less than the plastic was.
     
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