Shanty boat.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by WetPlateShanty, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. WetPlateShanty
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Location: Indiana

    WetPlateShanty Junior Member

    I am going to be building a shanty boat in the spring when it starts warming up. I am going to be making the boat to measurements I came up with, and designed from my feeling on how it should be made. Mostly going to be a fairly simple build. A lot of straight lines and 45 degree angles. A large open cabin, hammocks for sleeping, two stoves, A loft with a big bed raised from the level of the roof, a roof garden that is run off of hydroponics which will filter our shower/sink water, small chicken coop, and a small darkroom to develop tintypes in. There are going to be a lot of additions and small innovations. We plan to run some things off a few solar panels like the hydroponic garden. The boat will be 20x11, the cabin 12x10 maybe a little bit longer not sure yet. It is going to have two power options that we have to decide on. One an outboard motor. the second a paddle wheel. but to use the paddle wheel I need to find a good motor/way to run it fuel efficiently. If anyone has any thoughts of ideas for out boat let me know.
     
  2. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    That's a lot of stuff for a small craft. At 11ft wide it won't go over the road cheaply -build by the water? The roof stuff makes me question stability -how much weight and how high? Hydroponics filtering -this should be interesting. Chicken coop? Now you are getting silly. Two stoves seems like way too much heat for a tiny space.

    My first question is where will this craft go when it is complete?

    Efficiency? Does this craft move much? My thought is that you should not mess with paddle wheel -inefficient wast of time and space. Consider electric with diesel generator -waste heat water and cabin, plenty of power to live by, no volatile gasoline, higher energy density.
     
  3. WetPlateShanty
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    Location: Indiana

    WetPlateShanty Junior Member

    it is going to be a fairly small garden. And no more than about 10 gallons of water running threw the system. What kind of diesel system do you recommend? I am wanting to make it was fuel efficient as possible. I am taking from Madison Indiana to New Orleans. The chicken coop is a great idea. The old timers had chickens on there boats all the time for a constant food source. It is all going to be a lot more compact than you think possibly.
     
  4. WetPlateShanty
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    Location: Indiana

    WetPlateShanty Junior Member

    Oh also the stoves are relatively small. One is an old cast Iron laundry stove to make small meals, and the other I have yet to find. I was thinking on making one a little bigger for heat.
     
  5. WetPlateShanty
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    Location: Indiana

    WetPlateShanty Junior Member

    I am building it at a small marina next to the river in Madison.
     
  6. WetPlateShanty
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    Location: Indiana

    WetPlateShanty Junior Member

    Honestly haven't determined the height just yet.
     
  7. WetPlateShanty
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    Location: Indiana

    WetPlateShanty Junior Member

    I really came on here to get suggestions on building it how I envisioned it but being able to be functional/affordable.
     
  8. Westfield 11
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Location: Los Angeles

    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    I have been growing hydroponic vegetables for a few years now and I question if you have actually calculated the purification volume of your hydro system. Also, our small kitchen herb garden will consume about 8 gallons of nutrient mix a day in mid summer and in direct sun. I don't really understand what you mean by filtering anyway. Do you mean that you plan to drink your grey water or just use it for the garden? Either way you will need a good sized tank to replace that which is used by the garden. Call it a grey water tank or a nutrient tank you still need a reservoir and you still need to add nutrients since the grow medium is chemically inert and plants will die if you just feed them H2O. When dry the grow medium weighs about 20lbs per 5gal bucket if you use ceramic beads and a lot more when wet. Have you calculated how much you will need?
    I am assuming that you will be fresh water only since any salt spray that enters the system will kill your plants unless you find a way to remove it. As far as the pump goes if you use a gravity drain, you only need a large aquarium or garden fountain pump, but I am unaware of any that are 12v, so you will need an inverter, ditto for the timer: not so sure there are 12v timer/controllers either.

    11 foot beam is doable as long as you do not plan on towing the boat to a new location. If you do, then you will need oversize load permits and a safety car to lead the tow. 10 foot beam only needs the permits and signage, but no pilot vehicle, also no movement before dawn or after sunset IIRC and restrictions on passage through some urban areas. You can do it yourself if yout truck is big enough and you are willing to jump through all the hoops. Or you could contract with a hotshot hauler for the job.
     
  9. Westfield 11
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    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    Kind of like a floating factory farm with those torture cages you read about where the birds cannot stand up or turn around? Now that's creepy......

    The trip south can take anywhere from a few months to a lifetime, what will happen to the boat upon arrival? If you are just going to scrap it, while very wasteful of labor and materials, that means you don't have to worry about quality construction in techniques and materials. If you plan on having it last more than a couple of years, then you will need to pony up for better materials and use better construction methods which will add cost and time to the build.
     
  10. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I still think chickens are a bad idea on a boat -terrible space waste, disease concern/hygiene problem, PETA cruelty problem likely limit docking which is already a problem. You have all the fish in the water. Eggs keep well.

    I am not sure how close you will be able to dock to NO city. There are lots of shanty barges in the swamps -cheap and sturdy for hurricanes. My thoughts are that the travel from Indiana will require your craft be seaworthy. If N.O. is the destination you would be way ahead to buy a shanty barge there that is big enough to fit all the stuff you want.

    You don't know enough to select a genset yet but this is an example
    http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Generac-Protector-RD01523ADSE-Standby-Generator/p11631.html
    First you need your loads and batteries.
     
  11. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    that actually sounds like an intersting project, if not unusaual. likely the cheapest way to go would be fiberglass over plywood. I highly suggest you find some plans for a barge type hull about the size you want it and build it accordingly, you can customize the house and floor plan to your needs. this way you would have a proven safe and managable hull design. There are lots of hull plans available for low cost and even free, it will give you all the details for the hull struture to make sure it will be safe and durable.

    I would forget about the paddle wheel, they are not very efficient, heavy and take up space (that is why they have disappeared off all modern boats for the last 150 years). A small fixed deisel would be most cost effective. You also might consider a small gasoline engine converted to run on propane (lower cost, and propane is useful for cooking and heating if necessary). Otherwise an outboard would be the most simple installation, and you can remove it and lock it up when leaving the boat to prevent theft.

    As for chickens, not sure I want to be in that close proximity to them for any length of time (they are not very clean animals), sure before refrigeration they boat chickens and goats on board, but there are much better ways to do that now. It is not like you will not find places to get provisions along the way. It would be better to find day labor for a few days at a time and than buy food along your trip than to carry unsanitary animals in such a small boat. If you are creative and responsible, you can always find short term employment almost anywhere. After building a boat you would have some construction skills that would come in handy on a trip like that, both for repairs, and for barter.

    search the internet for shanty boat plans, you will find them (many free, just do a search for "free shanty boat plans"). here is a site with free boat plans of older but proven designs, many houseboats that might be similar to what you want: http://svensons.com/boat/

    also here is a website that gives plans for boat building details (mostly for yachts, but you might find something useful for your project). http://www.sparkmanstephens.com/yachtdesign/design_typeplans/

    a good site you might want to visit: http://shantyboatliving.com/category/designs/plans/

    sounds like fun. keep us posted on your progress.
     
  12. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    I think your concept is very noble, and I have a great interest in projects of this sort. Even the very rich are wanting to create environments on the water.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/02/tech/orsos-island-luxury-travel/
    right down to Richard Sowas floating bottle island, held together by trees.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnLhWpy_nqI


    Getting advice before you build is also great strategy.

    The big 'gotchas' will be things like those mentioned , need to be carefully thought about eg
    The concerns about where you moor.

    A famous example is http://www.yachtingmonthly.com/blogs/dick-durham/410277/homeless-afloat , where a family lost their 'ad hoc' built barge when no-one wanted their 'controversial' home, and it got washed out to sea.

    This guy has an abandoned marina to build on
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7kQa4K2E9M


    The limited movability of the design, hard to move by road, and limited movement by water due to speed restrictions and possibly seaworthiness. 'Boxy' designs make wind and water progress difficult.

    To be honest, the amount of work required for a 'simple' design, is not that much less than a properly designed craft - but you end up with a 'home' that is more functional and will last much longer.

    For engines, buy a new diesel engine, for an older design vehicle and 'marinize' it. Toyota were selling old model Landcruiser diesel engines for a few thousand dollars, that used to retail for $15,000. Having auxilliary power ( that you dont get with an outboard ) to drive generators etc is a great bonus.
     
  13. Westfield 11
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    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    Are you sure that an inboard diesel is appropriate for a 20' barge? IMHO, a pair of used outboards would be a lot cheaper and would have the additional benefit of allowing differential thrust to aid in steering. A tierod between the two would allow single tiller steering and avoid the hassle of a rudder as well as eliminating the stuffing box, cooling system, fuel tanks and through-hulls. Cheap gensets are available used on CL as well as new from Home Depot in the $300 to $400 range. Gasoline is about a dollar a gallon cheaper than diesel as well as being available in more locations, especially when one is away from traditional marinas. A pair of 5 gal tanks filled at the local Kwiki-mart will get you a fair ways down the river if you run it through a couple of 9.9's.
     
  14. rwatson
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    A small diesel will take up room - true, Although diesel is slightly dearer than petrol per litre , its a bout twice as efficient. My deisel ute has half the consumption as my petrol ute.

    Its safer too. This is why 80% of commercial vessels use diesel power. As far a maneuverability , small electric motors run from the generator may be less costly than a second outboard that really is not required.

    With a diesel, you also have the option of creating your own bio-fuel, for even more independence. Its a lot more flexible solution.

    The length of 20ft would be better to go to 26 ft. This seems to be the legislative length that is less regulated in the US, and less costly to register and insure.

    The extra room would give more livability - and if the beam was reduced to say 10ft, as has been suggested, the road movability, and the performance on water would be dramtically improved.
     

  15. Westfield 11
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    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    The problem with diesel in America is the acquisition cost, Toyota never imported any diesel Land Cruisers AFAIK, ditto for pickups (Hilux to you I think). Nissan brought over a very few diesel pickups, but nobody bought them. VW Rabbits (Golf 1) sold a lot of diesels, but they were a transverse engine with an integral gearbox like Issigonis's Mini. Not so easy or cheap to convert. These were all in the 1970's & 1980's so they are getting hard to find. Only in the last 10 years at most have small Hinos or Isuzus been imported as commercial vehicles and they are not cheap on the used market either.

    Small electric motors for manouvering? A bit complicated to build and what about energy storage: a battery bank will not be cheap. You would probably end up using a pair of outboards with the power heads replaced with electric motors as opposed to designing and building gearboxes and props, thrust bearings etc. in that case just put the gas outboards on it and be done. A couple of portable gas tanks in the open air are no less safe than an internal fuel tank with supply, vent, return and filler hoses designed and built by an amateur on a tight budget. An outboard with an approved 5 gallon portable tank is not a dangerous thing, if it was the population in our southern states would have been halved due to explosion or fire by now.
     
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