Scaling down

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by oldsalt1942, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. oldsalt1942
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 9
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    Location: Florida

    oldsalt1942 Junior Member

    Several years ago I bought plans for a 25' scow-hulled houseboat with a 10' beam (no trailering without special permit). For many reasons that aren't necessary to get into here, I never built it. Now, though, I'm ready to build a boat like this, a bit bigger than the Atkins "Retreat," but smaller than the boat I have plans for. I'm thinking somewhere around 18' and an 8' beam.

    The plans are quite detailed showing how everything should go together. My question is: since everything is right angles as in house construction, how much trouble could a person get in using the plans as a 'guide' and sizing things down from 25' to 18'? The 'house part would also be scaled down except for the headroom though working on the Atkins 'Retreat' scheme it might not be so bad.

    I'm also thinking that it might be just as easy to set a common, ready-made garden/back yard shed on the barge and finishing that out instead of building the house from scratch.

    P.S. I live in Panama so there's no hurricane threats, EVER, and certain sanitation requirements that must be maintained in the States don't apply here, either. (Did any environmentalist ever consider just how huge a blue whale's turd is, and how many years it would take the ordinary person to poop enough in their lifetime to equal one blue whale turd?)
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Old Salt; you can scale the barge like boat down as you suggest. Unfortunately the displacement capacity of the boat does not scale down in a linear fashion. You are scaling down to about 72%. Your load capacity will be diminished disproportionately down to something like 57% of the larger boat. If you take all that into account you will probably be OK.

    The original 10 foot wide bottom would have had some seriously robust reinforcement in the form of frames and stringers. You will need disproportionately less of that with the 8 foot bottom, but still plenty of it.
    It would be well to consult some knowledgeable engineering type to do your framing calculations.
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