Shipping Container "Shantyboat"?

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by KenH, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    What are they called? What are they used for? Do they have engines? Sam
  2. ted655
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    ted655 Senior Member

    :( Boy, howdy!! Wish I lived in the Neatherlands.
    5K? Sounds very reasonable. Thanks:D
  3. jerize80
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: michigan

    jerize80 jerize80

    Miedema Metal Buildings Systems

    Hi, I like metal buildings, it is very nice and comfortable. If you want metal buildings for your projects, MMBS has done projects of all sizes of metal buildings like insulation of pre-engineered metal buildings, workshops metal buildings, erected metal buildings, monarch pre-engineered metal buildings, tin or metal buildings, steel frame metal buildings, commercial metal buildings, church metal buildings, gymnasium construction, storage or warehouse metal buildings, cold storage facilities, manufacturing and office metal buildings, auto body repair shops and grocery stores metal buildings, and a multitude of other uses.


  4. winters
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    winters Junior Member


    Most of the time they are reffered to as 'dekschuit'. In English that's something like 'Ponton' or 'Barge'. Way back similar vessels were used here for transporting sheer and wood through shallow waters. Some are powered, some are not. Today they are used for all kinds of purposes; transportation, terraces, workboats, partyboats, to live on etc. etc.
    The pictures are from this website and they are actually for sale (click for sale->english->pontoon/barges->small pic of photocamera).


    Well prices may sound very reasonable but harbours here are all full and/or expensive. Living on a boat is allmost impossible (legally), unless you're a miljonair. The places that are pointed out as legal spots for living aboard, are all taken and none are created anymore :(
  5. greggspen
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: new zealand

    greggspen New Member

    Container Holiday's

    Call me part of the lunatic fringe but I'm with you on this one Ken. I'm working on a similar project at the moment. The issues to be conquered lie mainly in the underside drag and stability but are not insurmountable. These things are virtually indestructible and personally I'm not going to waste my life worrying if I'm one of the beautiful people or not.
  6. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SamSam Senior Member

    There's a few containers around here I have access to. I drilled through the plywood floor and poked a metal rod in and there is no actual bottom to them. Just a bunch of metal beams that the ply is screwed to, but between the beams is nothing but the ply floor. Are they all like that? Sam
  7. greggspen
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: new zealand

    greggspen New Member

    Shipping Containers

    They are all pretty standard in construction. The dimensions are standardised so they will fit on any ship. They are waterproof if you turn them upside down. As you say Sam the floors are metal girders and plywood. They can be stabilised with ballast or pontoons. Down here in New Zealand they are available for around $1500 or 500 of your english pounds . I don't know anything about canal boats coz we don't got no canals but I guess there is an issue of maximum width. My concept is to weld the ends shut, turn the container upside down, cut it in half length ways to reduce the height to width ratio and build a light structure of timber and ply on top. A competent welder could knock out a basic hull in a weekend for two grand. Put an long pole drive unit on it and your good to go. Ugly as hell but who cares when your sitting on your deck chair watching the wage slaves float by.
  8. Rusty Bucket
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Rusty Bucket Junior Member

    outside the box...containerman

    Hey kenh, I thought I caught hell for suggesting that someone repair the transom on their bleach bottle with pt plywood. I'm not a NA [notice I used caps] but i do know that a 800' lng carrier is just a long skinny square box with a pointy thing on the front and and a spinner thing right under the sign that says "Liberia". I don't know what it would take to make it water tight but tomorrow I'm going to look at the one on my job site. If you have stability issues you could always put a couple of em' side by side and fill the outboard ones with empty beer bottles, I'd be glad to help with that! I think it'l work. Grey water in the bilges might creat some safty issues with open flames and all. I suggest you cut a series of ports down the sides, put some of those fancy rowing seats and oars for to get underway sorta... I say go for it! Rusty
  9. jrl5678
    Joined: May 2007
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    jrl5678 Junior Member

    greggspen donot worry we know you are not one of the pretty people.
    I have read a lot about turning the containers in to houses. Sounds like a good welder and some sticks would give you a flat floating barge.
    I am trying to design a plywood Shanty but I think Basic Hull material will be way more then 1500$ (US).
    I think (unless you are going a long long way) leave it unpowered and get a small work boat/harbor tug to shove it around.
  10. SkipperSki
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    SkipperSki Junior Member

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    IT'S A GO ! CON-POD Ltd.
  11. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Had a quick look through the notes - it didnt look like anyone mentioned cutting the containers apart, turning the smooth side out, and welding it all back together with the beams inside.
    That way you could make a more seaworthy shape by using the sides as the hull bottom, and the narrow tops and bottoms as the sides, perhaps.
    There must be some containers that have just plywood floors from the previous posts, but all the ones i have seen have had metal floors - i dont think you would get a waterproof container otherwise.
    Who is going to be first to build the steel shanty containerboat ??
  12. riverliver2b
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    riverliver2b Junior Member

    Ken, they say great minds think alike.....I have been gestating a similar, if not precisely the same idea for a while now. While trying to figure out a way to capitalize on the currently depressed prices of waterfront property in my native Alabamastan, I came to the conclusion that building something that would float in the event of unseemly high tides would be preferable to attempting to elevate a conventional structure on spindly legs (not to mention being a clever means of fending off the building permit/taxation hoards). I then began casting about for a hull material/design which would withstand (hopefully) years of service on dry land, punctuated by the occasional week or so of floating in brackish water. As a diehard re-purposer, I too hit upon the idea of using the second-hand shipping container as my basic building block. Two, actually, in a catamaran arrangement, with a superstructure built on top. I was thinking something on the order of 12' between them, resulting in a potential deck of 40'x28' which I would expect to provide considerable form stability. Given their claimed watertightness, I was also thinking that they could be used for storage during the good times and when high water threatened, applying a liberal coating of axle grease to the seals (as we used to do to swim armored personnel carriers in the army)and, possibly buying a little added insurance in the form of bilge pumps in the event of seepage. What say you all?
  13. pengreg
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: South Africa

    pengreg Junior Member


    I started writing a post to try to convince you lot that you are wasting your time.. That shipping containers are designed for one thing only.. that by the time you have cut the ends off and the top off you really negate the economic advantage you gain from a surplus product..

    And now I have little sketches of boxes all over my desk.

    I am for the pontoon idea, the box has no place in the water. Two steel pipe pontoons say 600mm diameter, splay cut and slightly "toe in" to create bows. Outboard brackets aft. The box/pontoon interface can be based on the existing container lock system. Pontoons set just outside of the box for walkway, fender placement. Boxes can be kitted by the "container conversions" guys and even exchanged..
  14. Gravquian
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Gravquian Junior Member

    Why not... with some heavy thought.

    I'm still not sure if you are serious, or just yanking some chains :) .
    You got some good conversation, and contemplation, going though. And I don't see why such a craft is not do-able. But, I am not very savy at all with nautical tech. But, hey, they make personal submersibles out of cylindrical propane tanks! And man would I love one of those. Or, possibly one of Riley's AquaSub's.
    My only experience at boat-building, has been cheap(?) home made row boats. And that was many years ago. Don't ask how many years :) . My carpentry skills don't go much beyond that. But, I do have a desire to build a low-skill-level (if there is such a thing), shanty/ or cabin/ style boat. Or possibly a mini-tug style.
    If you procedded with your desire with the shipping container, I hope you had good fortune. Or that you have so in the future. I have also sketched a couple questionable designs.
    Have a safe one!!!

  15. Alve
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Alve New Member

    Hi everyone!
    When I read this forum I just had to register...
    It took me 8 years to design a boat that can become a container. Now I am building a 40” prototype in full scale and the patent is done. Check out my web site
    Alve from Sweden
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