Stability of Strange Canadian Boat (pictures inside)

Discussion in 'Stability' started by CatBuilder, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Tug
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Muskoka,Ontario,Canada

    Tug Junior Member

    I travelled this summer from southern georgian bay to the north channel of lake huron in my canoe fitted with a small outboard..
    It was a 300 km journey in total...i was winded in for a few days at a time...small craft warnings...3 meter waves...ect..
    I only ran into trouble once...i was entering the inlet to the village of killarny when 2 large apartment sized yaghts came racing up behind me at about 20 km an hour...
    They were only about 50 feet apart and both throwing up 4 foot high wakes....i new i was in the very least i would have got worst rolled....
    Then out from behind the nearest island one of the boats pictured above saw the plight i was in and raced to get between the boat wash and me...
    The boat stopped about 10 feet of my bow as i had turned towards the wakes coming....a guy leaned out the side door and told me "stay where yur at...we got yeah covered"..
    He made a few comments about the fact they shouldnt be driving boats that big without respecting others...he actually used much stronger words then that...
    Once the wake had passed he complemented me on my canoe and drove off with me thanking him as he left....
    When i got into the village i found the boat tied up to a fish and chip place on shore....was a great fish dinner...some of these boats are still being used...
    I dont know much about the fishing boats, but i have a great respect for the people that captain them....
  2. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    That's a cool story. Nice to have someone looking out for you when you're about to get clobbered by the wake of some ******. :)

    Do any designers have anything to say about the similarity between the "accepted coastal cruising vessel" I put alongside the "2nd Canadian fishing vessel?" They sure look exactly the same to me, except the accepted vessel has a lot of ports down low.

    Did you all mean that 2nd Canadian vessel is unsuited for 100 miles offshore, or did you mean it was downright scary just to leave the harbor in?
  3. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer


    Main thing I'll say is that coastal voyaging can be undertaken (by the prudent plus lucky mariner) in almost anything......Folks paddle kayaks to Alaska all the time....with nothing but a compass or understanding of how to read one.....Probably you will be fine in normal summer cruising weather......but if you are someone with little boating experience you don't know when not to go out....that's when the hairy stuff occurs.....

    I have been slightly critical of the Great Harbour designs in the past on these forums....but at least a Naval Architect (Lou Codega) was involved....essentially they are the same...a big box floating on top of the water......If the box stays watertight and nothing inside moves, you may be okay.....if a bit "shook up".

    srimes....Google "barge capsize", it happens a lot. Barges typically have very low freeboard for their beam. Often they are deck loaded very heavily, sometimes to great height....this can result in a negative GM...where G is above M....the barge heels just a little and over she goes.......This usually happens with uneducated skippers......

    And as always whenever one makes a statement about the poor safety of a vessel, several folks pop up and say "oh they're just great".....please understand I'm making statements regarding the stability of particular types of vessels....from a naval architectural point of view....if you want to address those statements great......But saying "I never heard" meaningless...go and research Transport Canada or USCG accident reports....find out how many people have drowned in these things....then lets talk.......
    1 person likes this.
  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Thank you, Tad.

    As I have said all throughout this thread, I'm learning. Your input is greatly valued.

    To sum up my experience, I have owned boats continuously for about 20 years (all sailboats), carry at 100T USCG Ticket, taught offshore sailing courses, ran charters on my own boats, was first mate aboard a megayacht, etc... I'm quite experienced with sailboats and also owned a catamaran prior to the one I am (or possibly was!:mad: ) building.

    So, I'm asking these questions from many thousands of hours at sea from Maine to Venezuela.

    I am suspicious of these Great Lakes Fishing vessels, but at the same time, looking at the other coastal cruiser I posted side by side with it, they are about the same thing (provided you plug up any areas of water ingress on the Great Lakes vessel). If fact, with those ports down low, I think the more accepted coastal cruiser seems a little less seaworthy.

    I was thinking about cramming a cruising yacht's worth of stuff into one of these great lakes vessels, but what I can't really understand is if this will move VCG up to a point of danger. Looking at the accepted coastal cruiser I put in next to the Canadian vessel, it would appear to be the same, but I don't have numbers on either of these boats for comparison.

    So... I was kind of checking on here to see what some designers thought about the general idea, given that I would probably not use the boat more than 10 miles offshore. Accommodation is a bit higher priority than normal, otherwise I would have stuck with a sailboat. :D

    I agree completely with your analysis and your empirical approach to answering this question. Though I appreciate all input to the thread, I also discount anecdotal evidence. A great number of absolutely huge steel vessels of seagoing quality lie on the floor of the Great Lakes. There is no question this boat is sinkable. The question for me is if this boat would be an overall hazard if loaded up with a cruising interior.

    How do I figure that out if I have no numbers, no plans and no designer?:confused:

  5. peter radclyffe
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    Location: europe

    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    2 plus 2 equals
  6. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    2 plus 2 = no plans + no designer = no f'n clue? :D

    Maybe I need to stick to a vessel that's rated for carrying a large payload?
  7. apex1

    apex1 Guest

  8. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Those are two very short posts, but I think I understood both fully! ha ha ha

    Peter Radclyffe says: I can't know how the Canadian boat will react without plans or a designer.

    Apex 1 says: Keep looking.

    These are very funny/humorous posts, but very helpful. Thanks.
  9. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    I tried to point you towards fishing boats instead of those weak barges.
  10. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I agree. The fishing boats seem more appropriate and easier to put into charter in the States because I don't have to get an exemption to one of our laws, the Jones Act.

    However, I have to find one that will allow me a high tonnage for many accommodations.

    I saw a very nice boat that reminded me of you in the scrap heap today. Well, it was once a nice boat. It is the same 60's style design many members chose in your poll recently.

    Pity this one is so far gone. I was considering her, but she is about 15' too large for us. Also, it is only a hull (rusty hull). Everything inside is rotting out and destroyed.

  11. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    I know the boat, she´s gone. Sad, but fact. A newbuild would be far cheaper.

    And that is the next point to address!

    Take care, more often than not, a restoration is as expensive as a newbuild. You will have to choose your basic vessel with care and experience.

    Ask Murielle (M&M Ovenden) about the cost for blasting, and maybe for their equipment.

    Patching a m² or two is just pennies and a hr of work, but removing and reinstalling what is behind the replaced plate can become a nightmare. A costly one.

    To make it short,

    find a running shell in absolutely perfect condition with a superstructure as ugly or even rotten as it can get, then you might have a chance to make a bargain and can start with a technically sound platform. It might sound strange, but replacing the entire plumbing, piping and wiring can come out as expensive as a brand new wheelhouse and saloon.

    Been there, done that (13 times), got no T shirt....

  12. gilberj
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    gilberj Junior Member

    I find it interesting that a lot of you really knowledgeable guys, are falling into the trap of dissing something you obviously don't know anything about.
    These Great Lakes fish tugs evolved in the early part of the last century. The Great Lakes are big water and can get very rough. These boat traditionally worked year round. I remember as a boy watching one, breaking ice during the winter. The fishery has nearly collapsed, so there are not many left now but, they were used because they were best tool available. I have looked through TSB and NTSB reports and so far have not found a record of a single boat foundering or turning over. A small one which had been converted to a passenger / tour boat sank with loss of life (the True North II) for two main reasons...the freeing ports had been welded shut and the engine room hatch was a sheet of plywood and not secured in place. When water got on deck, the boat filled....
    The boats are almost all steel, with no subdivision. If the deck hatches are not watertight, you have a real problem.
    The enclosure over the working deck was originally to provide shelter for the crew, particularly early and late in the season. They were wood at first, later they were lightly built of metal. The working deck is very close to the water line, causing concern to almost all trained naval architects. There are large scooped freeing ports in the steel bulwark. The boats were not loaded as are some fishing boats in other areas, fish load was small in comparison, as Tad I think it was said 500 odd pounds. The shelter is effective at keeping nearly all the water off the deck, what water does get on the deck can quickly flow out the pretty ample freeing ports, actually most of the water that does make itself onto the deck comes in those same freeing ports.
    lets stop briefly at fundamental elements of seaworthiness
    1....adequate strength for the intended use ( these boats are steel and very strong)
    2....adequate stability for the intended use (you can use numbers here if you want to but I'd suggest that if there is no record of these things rolling over in 80 odd years of 3.5 seasons of use in big water, perhaps they are OK).
    3.....adequate water tight integrity for the intended use. (this is the secret....any openings into the hull must be watertight, period. This is the most critical factor......
    I have a little experience with these boats including rough weather in November. I also have some experience in nearly every corner of the world, including the three southern Capes, Horn, Good Hope, and Leeuwin and extensive small vessel experience in BC water near Tad. The boat I spent the most time on was the most comfortable boat in that size range say 45 to 60 feet long, I have been on, in rough weather. While actually under way almost no water made its way on deck. The fairly fine bow and long run meant it did not fight the relatively steep (fairly shallow water) waves.
    Despite the fairly ungainly look these boats are good seaworthy boats and nearly ideally suited to the intended use.
    Some have been turned into yachts. Most I have seen,have a relatively simple work boat sort of finish rather than a lot of gingerbread. they have been successful to a reasonable degree, but I'd suggest you understand what makes these boats successful at the original job poses some constraints on how they might be developed the amount of weight and where you put it is probably fairly critical.
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  13. Blue Salt
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: USA

    Blue Salt New Member

    Your points are well taken, though I would be quite surprised if perusal of local records, such as those in Door County, Wisconsin at the Sturgeon Bay Maritime Museum, Library or elsewhere didn't reveal the occasional loss of a boat. I don't have this kind of information at my fingertips, but recall reading a locally-roduced history of Sturgeon Bay/Door County fishing that addressed losees in the late 40's. Additionally, these boats were probably not used year-round, and were close enough to shore to run for safety when conditions demanded. I'm not srguing with your basic thesis; a stability study would be quite interesting.
  14. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer


    I'll assume you are addressing me as "knowledgeable guys, are falling into the trap of dissing something you obviously don't know anything about."

    Please look at the second and third picture in the first post of this thread.......

    Would you call those two (each side) little scuppers "large scooped freeing ports" or even "pretty ample freeing ports"? Are they, in your view, adequate in light of the two aft doors with no sill, the low freeboard, and the questionable watertightness of the engine box in the foreground?

    If you are claiming the boat in the first posting of this thread is perfectly safe for inexperienced operators (typical of pleasure boat users) to take cruising......please you have an example of one of these things meeting any current stability requirements? Or deck drainage requirements? Or watertightness requirements?

    You seem to claim these boats (great lakes gillnet tugs) are perfectly safe but then you go on to explain why the way they were actually built makes them unsafe......this can be said for fishing boats the world over.....yes they are perfect for the intended use (make money), at the cost of fishermans lives(low priority)......and to go back to the original ocean conditions? You must be joking......

    I have no idea how to find USCG accident reports, but the on-line Canadian ones only go back to 1991.....and I found this rather quickly The sinking of Miss Stephaine II in 1994, though not a "tug" as such, she bears similarity in many features. As the majority of these closed in "tugs" were actively working in the 1950's, 60's, 70's, and into the 80' are going to have to do more research of paper reports.....and of course in the early years another fishboat sinking wouldn't raise an eyebrow in Ottawa....

  15. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

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