Small, stable, modular boat for photography

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by CallMeGeorge, May 28, 2022.

  1. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    By "on a leg" think trolling motor or outboard. To mount all this stuff I am thinking of a box or platform that straps to the top of the board with extensions off the side or ends to mount things off of. If you don't have a box, everything you drop will bounce off the board and into the water. I suspected your camera might be large, heavy, and (I presume) expensive so there should be a fair budget dedicated to getting that camera home safe. Maybe the box could be a sort of wheelbarrow that you use to move the stuff to the waters edge. One of the best attributes of PVC is it's acceptance of glue.

    That 7lb camera, does it take both hands to operate? If so, that is the next big challenge. FWIW I was thinking rasberry pi, my old iPhone 6+, or my action cams adapted to my film camera lenses or even my reflector telescope.

    You need to give up thinking about stiffness and completely focus on stability and control. For example, I suggest you stage the SUV and float down to it while you shoot -at least for this season. If you were laying down on the board you could operate a pole anchor with you feet and even use a fin at the bow to point the board in the current (or the reverse face up). You could do the same thing along a lakeshore going downwind.

    I have admired Waxwings from afar (in my kayak) but last night I got up close to see the exquisite detail. Viewsonic used a bird for their logo demonstrating high fidelity. Waxwings are my nominee -the subtle gradients and sharp edged colors will be a challenge.
     
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  2. portacruise
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    portacruise Senior Member

    George wrote: "The purpose of the motor is to get me upstream so I can drift back to the car.

    PC: going Upstream is pretty much the way I have approached my River fishing trips for many years, using a trailing shaft e-motor to power Upstream and riding with the counter currents and eddys where possible. On the way Upstream I take note of hazards (strainers, sweepers, undercuts, rapids, and weirs), as well as fish lays, for the controlled power drift back or legs down stops in thigh deep water or less, going Downstream.

    I've never been able to use a traditional Troll Motor setup because it's way too heavy and cumbersome and doesn't come close to meeting my 4- 6" prop draft requirement for shallow sections. My whole inflatable fisherman chair setup weighs around 28 lb including the power system and fishing, drinking water and backup equipment, and the light weight allows me to use back straps to Portage Upstream around obstacles and Rapids- gets me to places where other boats can't go. Solitude means I don't have to constantly keep track of other moving objects or other crowd issues that might affect my goals.

    I don't use skegs or (hard to weed clean) glue on skeg Motors because of the shallow draft requirement, and the prop can hug the bottom or run in surface piercing mode as needed to accommodate shallow draft. I carry a mouth blow hose with a one-way check valve that reaches all bladder nipples so that pressure may be adjusted on the fly at any time, should adjustment be required for ergonomic, structural, heat, cold, altitude, or leak reasons. The bladder's recommended pressure is 1.5 PSI which means I don't have to carry a pump or go ashore to adjust, and it also gives me a limp home mode should I get a leak, and don't want to bother with or can't use a quick patch. I go out an average of 100 half days every year and in the last decade I've had maybe five punctures from thorns and fish fin spikes and probably 30 tiny seam bladder leaks. None of them ran or exploded causing a trip to be curtailed, though I had to top off with the mouth hose on perhaps a dozen or so. I don't know if that would work the same with a drop stitch SUP leak, which generally needs more than mouth air pressure in order to keep from folding, when leaking.

    I'm not following mounting a motor "through a leg." I don't see a through hole in the photos.

    I'm not seeing how to mount the tripod (or stabilizer boom) without piercing the bladder.

    PC: there are special glues and Patch materials which are used to mount oar locks on inflatable boats, and that is probably a much higher stress situation than a tripod. Once something is glued or stitched to a fabric on bladder tube or raft, it will hold position so long as the approximate proper air pressure and the acceptable patch shear stress level is maintained.

    Thanks for the info re the center of rotation being at the center of buoyancy. I did not know that, and likely would never have thought of it.

    I will be using a camera and lens combo that weighs 7 lbs. It's hard to imagine a boom that will be stiff enough without weighing a ton (hyperbolically speaking). I was planning to use a ground tripod to minimize the rotational moment of inertia.

    Cedar waxwings are the epitome of elegance."

    PC : yep, and I like hummingbirds too!

    Ps. Here's a way to hack a trailing prop shaft power system so only one hand is required to operate. Seems a lot less fatiguing, and there would be one hand free to help with other things. But it requires figuring out a way to add a pivot to the Float Tube crossbar, for each particular situation. Obviously a much quieter motor is required for photography purposes, but it gives some ideas of how it can be approached.

     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
  3. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    That straight "longtail" style motor setup could work well with SUP. The shaft would not need to be long because the transom is only 3 inches high. It would be worthy of a higher quality motor than a noisy drill.
     
  4. CallMeGeorge
    Joined: May 2022
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    CallMeGeorge Junior Member

    I read your long and detailed post through twice. It's almost enough to persuade me to try an inflatable chair. The bottom line is that the camera and lens that I would like to take out on the water (if I dare) are worth more than an entry level new car—and Mr. Murphy has taken a special interest in me over the years. [I sold my convertible to help pay for that beast.]

    Your comments on the motor were also helpful.

    After reading your post, I saw on another forum considerable discussion about getting close to birds in a kayak or canoe. That is consistent with what I have heard from a friend. As a result, I have decided to drop the requirement to lay prone. I will always have the option of draping camo cloth over my upper body, the camera, and perhaps even the boat.

    I still want a wide boat for stability. Judging from the comments I've seen, 30 inches of beam is pretty good, and 34 is ample. (I've seen 44 inches, which is more than enough, but the boat is shaped like a brick and very heavy.)

    I could build a modular catamaran/pontoon boat, and transport the pieces in the hatchback. That is still an option, if I want to invest the time and labor to acquire the skills, and build what may turn out to be two boats: one to practice on and one to use.

    Or I can look for a wide canoe (or kayak) that is light enough to load on a roof rack by myself, without stressing that wanna-be hernia. I looked at Wenonah and some similar shops last night. Expensive, but high quality. At the other end of the spectrum is the M98 Creek Boat, which seems too fragile for the roof rack.
     
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  5. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I think I understand what you need now. A workstation that straps to the top of a robust inflatable SUP will do it. It's too nice a day to waste typing so I will sketch it this week on a rainy day.
     
  6. Tiny Turnip
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    For propulsion, how about mounting a small submergable 12v bilge pump on the end of a stick, and hold it over the side? Hand held, very cheap, easily directed (one in each hand, kindof motorised paddles?) should be no problems with weed, and no bother to clear if there was. battery on board, a switch on the stick, and if you want to get fancy, add buoyancy to give it neutral weight in the water, and perhaps a way of strapping it to the board/boat/platform if you are going a longer way and want hands free. If you are carrying paddles anyway, maybe mount to the paddle...
     

  7. CallMeGeorge
    Joined: May 2022
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    Location: Ohio

    CallMeGeorge Junior Member

    I decided not to attempt building a boat. The biggest reason is that there would be a big investment in time, and probably money, to learn how to build a structurally sound, lightweight boat.

    I went the conventional route, and bought a roof rack and a small canoe. The rack adds some noise when the sunroof is open, but not enough to be annoying. The canoe (Northstar ADK, WG layup) weighs 25 pounds and is easily lifted onto the rack.

    I've had the boat out twice; the second session was three hours long. Stability while sitting still is good for photography. I have to shift a lot of weight to tip the gunwale to within four or five inches of the water. I expect the boat will be okay if I bump a log at slow speed, or the wake of a power boat catches the boat sideways.

    I have the option of adding outriggers for more stability. With outriggers, I can add a deck if I decide I do want to lay flat after all.

    A mounting bracket for a motor can be easily added, probably without drilling any new holes.

    So I can have everything I wanted except fitting the boat inside the hatch. In exchange, I have a boat that passes through narrow channels in the creek and is easily portaged.

    Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions.
     
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