Starting from scratch. Houseboat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by vuoladodo, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Westfield 11
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    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    I have just that type of pontoon houseboat on Lake Powell and you would be amazed at how rough some "quiet inland waters" can be. The problem is not wind driven wave, but the wakes from passing boat and barge traffic. It is not unusual to see wakes of 1M or more when two fast moving barges pass simultaneously. You will need a lot stronger structure that you are planning for.
     
  2. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Yes, that is correct.

    Plans are quite cheap, and save more than you would waste in wood and time.

    Dont forget, you will want to get insurance for your valuable asset, as well as all the things onboard.

    If you dont go with a recognised plan, you will not get insurance.

    There is nothing worse than realising that a huge effort of time and/or money is regarded as worthless because you failed to follow recognized building standards and design.

    You should never build a boat from off the top of your head unless you have had considerable experience, and you can afford to lose the whole thing because its not insured.

    Also, in my country, you cannot even moor your boat near others unless you have millions of dollars of third party insurance in case something your boat does ( like catch on fire etc ) damages other boats. The insurance is not all that expensive, but unless you have a recognised and well designed boat, they will not give it to you.
     
  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    That is probably one of the worst designed and built 'boats' I have ever seen.

    he now has a worthless object that is not only ugly, it isnt even structurally sound

    "We were hit by a pretty good not-quite-hurricane (TS Ernesto) which showed up a previously suspected weak spot and there has been some minor separation between the sections."


    I stress my comments on insurance in the previous quote. For saving 92 euro's on plans, and using substandard materials, he has a boat will join the ranks of amateur eyesores in the very near future.
     

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  4. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    There is probably a sound case for a pontoon boat Vs a barge if the thing is relatively small, and movements of people will cause more heel than is desirable, which would hold if there was six people aboard a relatively small craft. But, by the same token, six people move to one end of a pontoon-supported boat, and the trim of it will be more affected than in the barge-type hull.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I assume you are talking about marina moorings ? Is it really "impossible" to get third-party insurance for one-off original designs ?
     
  6. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Probably not, if the design has a naval architect or certified engineer's stamp of approval.

    Otherwise, perhaps one might have issues....

    PDW
     
  7. CBD Boat Design
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    CBD Boat Design Junior Member

    No you can make an insurance without problems, In this case, as any customized boat type, you need make an a project for homologate the pontom acording to local rules. With this you can legalize the house boat.
     
  8. vuoladodo
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    vuoladodo Junior Member

    OK, point taken.
     
  9. vuoladodo
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    vuoladodo Junior Member

  10. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Have a look here:
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/retirement-houseboat-floating-home-23987-11.html
    I'll be posting more photos soon, and some close-ups of the 'pontoons'. I thinking good old steel pipe is one of the least expensive ways to go...available worldwide, can be partitioned-off very easy, and just add another pontoon as your 'unexpected loads' increase.

    In the case of Thailand I think the steel tubed, pontoon configuration could be transferred to launch site via wheeled dollies rather than a transport trailer, then off-loaded without need of a crane.
     

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  11. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Steel drums for pontoons are verboten in most places in the US. They rust and sink, letting loose whatever leftover contents were lining and puddled up in the drum.

    The plastic ones, formally filled with a food product or something harmless, are easy enough to obtain.
     
  12. vuoladodo
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    vuoladodo Junior Member

    There just seem to be a lot of resistance to the use of pontoons. Originally I thought that the Vietnamese and the Thais must have more ingenious solutions than building with expensive materials and procedures but hard to know what those would be.
     
  13. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    They do have a number of ingenious solutions,...born of inexpensive, less technocratic means.

    I believe a number of these Thai vessels are utilizing gas pipeline tubing that is being installed all over that country. Perhaps they can get 'second grade' pipe that doesn't meet high standards. I just don't know of all their s
    'sources' at the moment.

    Remember the steel tubes offer a rigidity factor that would not have to additionally supplied by the superstructure. And I'm sure this gas pipeline is coated with anti corrosive material. it would not be that difficult to add addition/alternate coatings to this fairly large dia tubing prior to building on it. And pretty simple 'end caps' with faired shape. You likely could add internal bulkheads without even welding,...with some of the new adhesives available.
     

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  14. brian eiland
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    In general both of these type of 'drums' (steel or plastic) that you speak of are too thin in thickness to be serious contenders for long term support of a floating house or cottage. Sure they could supply floatation, but only for short term use.
     

  15. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Thats not really what I was saying. One off "calculated" designs are of course fine.

    Its the building method of "this looks about right" like the site referred to, that will be the problem.

    You have to have a 'plan' - whether its one off, or for multiple hulls.

    Unless you can specify the building materials, the building method, and as mentioned a few times, professional certification, you aint gunna get insurance.
     
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