submarine memoirs...the unfinished manual...

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by tugboat, Dec 12, 2013.

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  1. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    These are the remnants and memoirs from a few years ago on my submarine build for anyone interested.

    the project is defunct now but I had notes on the build...math etc. how I proposed to do it - which until now was kept a fully disclosed for your entertainment...and probably for a good laugh for most...but has some deeper less literal and more figurative meaning...

    The Submarine and the art of gonzo-engineering

    "you must build it in your mind before you build it in life..."



    "Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you're still breathing, it isn't."

    Richard Bach

    "Think of it. On the surface there is hunger and fear. Men still exercise unjust laws. They fight, tear one another to pieces. A mere few feet beneath the waves their reign ceases, their evil drowns. Here on the ocean floor is the only independence. Here I am free! Imagine what would happen if they controlled machines such as this submarine boat. Far better that they think there's a monster and hunt me with harpoons"

    quote by Capt. Nemo
    20 000 Leagues under the sea by Jules Verne
    Nemo = Omen!

    the purpose of this manuscript is twofold-

    1. to create a manual for the sub for future owners/users,

    2. To document the journey of this build, which is in many ways not a means to an end but a symbolic journey, of one mans life and dreams...and so to pass down to anyone interested.

    And so I have decided to build a submarine!

    Against all odds, I've chosen the hardest, and scariest nautical endeavor one could ever undertake. and so far, many times I wish I had not chosen this but cannot refuse...

    I've designed and built all types of boats: houseboats, barges, steel pontoons, but nothing on the scale nor magnitude of a submarine.

    In building and operating a submarine, I knew that this next phase of my life would be one of fulfillment mixed with slow, tedious, frightening, frustrating, crazy, up and down astonishing ride, through practical, functional and simplistic design and innovation.

    It will involve major critical decisions and all of my time, my intelligence and resources, financially, practically and creatively.

    but as never before-this project will function as employment, and leisure, and a great journey...

    To begin with

    I have always thought of my self as a first, sailor, maverick engineer second and boat builder third.

    It has always been for me that nature has been the driving force in my life. My connection to it, is deep and profound, and always paradoxical and controversial.

    My connections to nature has always been present but as the years went by from my youth, the more I became aware of that profound connection.

    So as a result when I discovered sailing in my early 30's I thought I had finally come to the singleness of my purpose on earth which was to sail, swim and be close to the water. But time would challenge this.

    To find this, however sets up a contradiction: I could never imagine myself using diesel or gas propulsion, or in fact any modernized way of propulsion since it goes against the very core of what I believe concerning nature and the environment. I am a conservationist at heart So this poses a problem. The problem of how to reconcile technology with my ideas of purity in travel.

    After all here I am designing and building one of the most modern, yet technically devious weapons ever devised by mankind.

    So some explanation might be in order here;

    As a child I had read and re-read at least 7 times,
    the Jules Verne classic 20 000 leagues under the sea.

    I found myself engrossed not just by the technical details, but by the vision of an autonomous underwater vehicle that the establishment could not touch.

    I always had a hard time with the idea of using any combustion power for motive purposes. I did not want to put the earth and water at risk. Even if the critics were right and there wasn't any problems in our environment, I wanted to keep it that way and not be part of the problem. Later I will explain how, although sailing is the only means to a pollution free travel, a Submarine can do it ALMOST as efficient and certainly by far more efficient than any other type of marine travel, save for rowing. Even Nuclear power has wastes!

    As a result of the realities of diesel or gas, or even steam propulsion system, I felt completely at odds with any kind of propulsion that was not a water friendly one. Sailing was the only way to realize natures method of true journeying. But there were practical considerations. Things like calm days, storms, mooring etc. Things like seasickness, costs, materials etc., and the design. But Wind was my friend, and natures engines. So what was I to do? I had no other alternative for my need to connect to water in a profound way. Frankly prior to seeing things as I see them now, I didn't care. I was happy to build a sailboat to sail the majesty of the great lakes waters, learning to study waves, and the life on the surface.
    I was starting to realize that I wanted to be profoundly connected to water.

    It was around this time that I started to investigate alternatives to sailing.

    although I had loved sailing and had been around boats all my life, the boats were power boats. I knew that I could learn to sail, but It would take me three years to build and design a vessel that would meet my needs. yet aside from the practicalities of journey by sail, somehow to me sailing lacked something I could not put into words. I was very motivated to have my own boat. But something was to plant a seed which was to change my whole philosophy of water living. And his name was Wilfred Ellmer.

    Mr Ellmer did what no one else thought possible in 1996- he built a prototype submarine out of concrete proving, at least to me, once and for all that concrete was THE choice for boat building; Cheap, fast, strong and inexpensive, it is the material of choice for anyone on a budget and who wants durability and strength.

    Even though many boats had been built in concrete, as far as I know, there had never been a civilian submarine built in concrete. Of course steel is very popular and a few free-thinking individuals did design and build small subs out of steel.
    But this was costly and complicated.

    Finally concrete had found its own. This put it in the range of someone who did not have a lot of money. Concrete wont leak, rot, burn, decay, is resistant to borers, has incredible strength and is easily constructed. It would, once poured properly into shape, start to harden and harden forever! The opponents of concrete seem to deny its viability.

    They accuse concrete of being able to crack, and that low impact resistance makes the material not viable, yet this is not true. Ask any Ferro boat owner how strong his vessel is(if done right).
    It has been done in military and commercial craft for over a century.
    Its one drawback is that it is heavy. However in Submarine design, this is an asset not a drawback. The one true drawback for cement is that due to its weight- it does not make for a fast hull when sailing.

    And so, one day while surfing the internet I came across Wilfred Ellmers site on concrete submarines. Mr. Ellmer had found a way to build a concrete hull for submarine yachting. This idea at first did not sink in. But slowly I realized the elegance and the functionality of such a vessel. Ellmers 20 ton prototype had inspired feelings from my youth when i dreamed of The Nautilus and Captain Nemo. Most certainly i related to Nemo and his rejection of the mainstream and conventional. His world ultimately shaping my worldview. When i visited the concrete submarines website I learned some truths about nature of submersed travel...

    for example, in a submarine you have less motion and therefore less movement to make you seasick. Mr. Ellmers treatise and philosophy on whales and their natural travel capabilities, justified for me, the use of power for the very first time, due to the extensive ranges and small output of energy needed to cruise the whaling grounds.

    It is more efficient for a creature to be submerged rather than surfaced for swimming. This being especially true for long distances. The inherent drawbacks of a surface vessel was becoming so great for me, that I simply could no longer justify the use of a surface vessel other than for pure build practicality since plans are readily available.

    But even with the problematic nature of the technicalities of a subs design. Simply stated- a submarine was wholly, far more superior and practical in many areas, than a surface boat.

    So much So, that now, at least to me, the concept of a boat seemed like a thing out of place in nature.

    And after having recently watched a documentary of how a ship so easily foundered off the coast of Newfoundland in rough weather, it was reaffirmed in my mind, just how practical and evolved a submarine is. Since in conditions that would destroy ocean going surface vessels, the sub could slip beneath the waves and ride out any storm in comfort.

    Finally, here is a way to travel that is more elegant, safer in some regards, even more practical than surface travel.

    Yet the awakening to the idea of building my own, and the realization that it might even be possible, was a slow realization.

    So it came to pass, that after studying Ellmers site, I found this example which influenced my thinking- MR Ellmer states:

    "there are no long distance surface swimming creatures that exists in nature"

    Why?...simply because nature understands that it is more efficient to swim through water than on it.

    Having a neutrally buoyant object is almost like a frictionless and weightless vehicle. without any wind to act on it, it is virtually almost perfect in its ability to use little power and extend the range of the object! And this is why, today, I choose a submersible design for my adventures. True it is harder to design, more risk, more demanding and more fear associated with a sub, but I found to my amazement that it could be, using simplicity in design, parallel in build costs or perhaps even less expensive to build than a comparable surface yacht. especially, given the complexity of a yacht! When I looked with magnification into the two types, to my astonishment, the sub was more simple to design and build, more economical to run, and probably comparable in price for hull and systems, for a one-off amateur vessel, than for any production yacht of similar displacement.

    So I put it to myself to see what I could design and if it was feasible.
    And so it began...

    I sat with my thoughts and a pencil and some graph paper and truly dreamed the impossible.

    My ideas evolved. At first, the ideas were clumsy and awkward. But slowly they opened themselves up to the evolution of a more streamlined design and approach. Ever evolving with each new design and shape, coming to the understandings and realizations of the complexities of the design and how to simplify them for cost and safety. For every solution there seemed to come a problem to match.

    The first of the things that I wanted to address was cost. I had to keep the sub cost effective.

    This is done by using cheap, readily available materials-concrete or a used propane pressure vessel is one way.

    The next problem was to simplify things. There was no room for extravagant systems and ultra complex designs. Even designing a snorkel took for me great ingenuity to keep the system as simple as possible.

    I was beginning to realize that there was no problem that could not be worked out, That is, at least on paper.

    But as I progressed, I found that i would run into walls. I had many questions that could not be answered in the theoretical stages. for example working out the precise surface area and the precise volume is very difficult even with complex math. And even then, it becomes uncertain.

    However there are now cad programs that can do this for us...and thus, this problem can be cancelled out.

    Even people who were trained engineers and who had built homemade subs, before me, had issues with the area and volume figures.

    but now with programs such as cad or rhino- this is no longer an issue.

    The first thing that needs consideration is one of displacement.

    displacement is the vessels density in proportion to water pushed aside or displaced.

    In other words to "push aside" the same weight of water, as the vessel itself weighs.

    This is why things float even steel or concrete things. If the weight of the shell of the object and its contents weighs less than the water it pushes aside, it will float, thus the flotation depends on the density of the object.

    a nail is dense in its ratio of steel to the water it pushes aside to its mass, and so it sinks.

    A battleship is relatively light compared to the weight of the water it pushes aside, hence it is not as dense or heavy as the surrounding water and it floats.

    My first designs started as tube shaped. But, as my intuitive understanding became higher, the designs started to become more sophisticated. yet there was nothing really sophisticated about them.

    My design philosophy was for simplicity sake, using things designers left to Verne's period. my design philosophy was starting to evolve into the "simplistic method" or "intuitively" designed.

    Now what I have called "the gonzo method of design" is what I practice.

    Using the same idea that Hunter S. Thompson used* (citation needed)this is a purely intuitive method utilizing basic math skills, and creative practical problem solving. I knew deep inside me, that this was the way to do things. So, my design improved, the systems evolved- until one day I had the beginnings of the basic systems down in my mind as safe and reliable. I had designed using gonzo techniques and I am now going to put them to the test.

    Sadly, utilizing an internal combustion engine was my only choice since I do not yet have the skills to engineer the first "underwater sailing vessel"!.

    But the guilt aside, This "grassroots" approach had worked for the Polynesians who had made their way across vast stretches of oceans in simplified sailing vessels and had somehow without CAD or physics, using only intuitive methods learned to design and navigate vessels which safely navigated thousand of miles of water in the worst of conditions!!

    so, some explanation here is needed:

    To me, what we have or maybe should have learned from the Polynesians in pertinence to a yacht, is again intuitive methods and design simplicity.

    So much so, that today, to avoid obsolescence, modern designers have done away with Luddite values, in exchange for performance oriented designs.

    In fact designs are so fast being made and built that a boat built today will be obsolete within as little as six months, to newer and faster more complex designs.

    Modern designers are always becoming more complex and less practical, always looking to tweak their designs for speed or elegance or ease for the owner--which in essence becomes its own downward spiral of complexity--to become more user friendly-the designer must use more and more complex systems--to make the boat do things it heretofore could not.

    In this modern day, we seem to crave speed.

    Its some kind of ego thing for sailors to be able to say- mine is faster than yours! and it helps the pockets of good designers too as speed will always be in style.

    Speed is the modern day sailings version of the holy grail and speed seems to be the drug of choice for most sailors.

    our modern era has created a need for it. And as such, a suitable hull, not considered obsolete, will then have to be a well designed performance hull.

    What used to be acceptable at 15 knots of speed is now considered slow.

    Now 25 -30 knots is verging on being too slow for racing designs.

    --engines are the biggest culprits with never ending complexities...

    and so-

    To Achieve the new type of hulls that can produce faster and faster speeds, means computer assisted design, the use of exotic fabrics, and new construction methods, as well as new types of masts and sails.

    There is now a new radical approach to hull form design in order to eek out more speed and compete in the sailing world.

    so back to my problem- I could not ever be a simple sailor going long distances at a turtles pace. I don't have the patience at least not while sailing.

    Admittedly, It was speed on water, when i sailed my first hoby catamaran which first caused my addiction to sailing in the first place. I had a need for speed! And I would never have been satisfied, due to my competitive nature.

    Building anything less than something with the ability to keep up with the fastest in the class was never an option.

    Now, It is possible to "gonzo" your way through a surface yacht hull when designing, but you can never compete with the America's cup racers or the Volvo class...hence to be certain you need CAD or computer assisted design.

    Why?, well it turns out that even the slightest changes in hull form for a planing or displacement hull on a yacht changes the sailing and speed characteristics of that hull.

    So it is almost necessary to need computers to design them. Having said that I am proud of my designs for a very good cat using stepped flat bottomed planing hulls which would perform well at around 20-25 knots of wind and would easily plane off even in modest wind conditions.

    Given too, the complexity even in the simplest rigs, building and designing a good sailing catamaran using rotating carbon fiber masts is about as difficult as a submarine...with the only difference being the risks involved should you fail.

    There are also the drawbacks of a sailing vessel.

    First, the space.

    In boat building, there are ever present and inescapable trade offs.

    There is an old idiom;
    "you can have a fast boat sir, or an inexpensive boat sir, but not a comfortable boat sir, you can have a comfortable boat and an inexpensive boat sir, but not a fast can have a fast boat and an economical boat but not an inexpensive boat sir..." anyway you get my point.

    Sadly, there cannot be a boat that has everything. I wanted to incorporate speed, elegance, economy, comfort and on the cheap and that wasn't going to happen.

    so, there you have it. With any boat or sub there are trade offs.

    The submarine however has some distinct advantages for comfort economy, speed and functionality, if designed right.

    so Back to Mr. Ellmers thoughts: In a submarine you need less hp. This has to do with the shape of the hull mainly a blimp or whale shape and the characteristics of buoyancy as previously discussed buoyancy is a ratio of the density of the fluid to the density of the material attempted to be floated..

    Since the sub when sitting at its lines will be known to be "neutrally" buoyant; that is, the forces acting upwards by the water and the weight of the vessel acting in a vector downwards will be equalized. Or another way to see it is when the sub is in its best state of flotation, neither sinking nor really floating, this is termed "neutral" or "waves awash" the top of the sub.

    The "dynamic" result is an almost weightless object and nearly frictionless! Hence the sub is so more efficient than a boat that when you look at this single simple fact- it makes boating seem like some error in mans evolution.

    This sets up a function of almost unbelievable beauty!

    The less an object has friction, the less hp it needs to be moved, and, when less hp is used to push it, the less fuel will be consumed, furthermore the more speed it will retain through momentum and the better it will perform. this allows for minimal fuel and outstanding range, and finally utter economy and mobility.

    The next thing to consider, is that of motion. in a monohulled yacht you will get seasick.
    Although multi-hulls will be better suited for movement on a seaway, the mono-hulled sailor will experience seasickness. even multi hulls will still have so much movement that it may cause sleep problems, eating, and other lesser catastrophes and well, problems of all sorts in regards to motion.
    In a sub, those problems are negated by the ability to dive beneath the free surface effect of the waves, where sea sickness is minimalized.

    A sub can be as luxurious as you have money to spend! It can be easily as exotic as any yacht on the surface. Only the imagination and pocket book limits it!
    It has so many advantages that they simply could not be ignored-
    I have not listed all of them since to me they are self evident, but to me, a surface vessel now seems foreign in my mind.

    But like any thing else, it comes with duality.

    and So Ferro-cement, or simple cement seems to be the best way to accomplish what I need to achieve my hull. I have planned for 1.5 to 1.75 inch thick walls If built in Ferro-cement but very heavily meshed and reinforced with steel.

    Then to simply add another layer to make the hull around 3-4 inches thick- this area cannot be over done. I want rigidity.

    so my design will lose about 20% of hull space to fixed ballast and movable ballast as well as water ballast.

    but a rough guess is this:

    hull weight-
    volume 1321 x 62.4 lbs for fresh water.
    = 82430.4 lbs.

    using pump need to pump 2000 gallons. my pump can pump 54000 gallons an hour or 900 gallons per minute- therefore i can pump 2000 gallons in 133 seconds or about 2 mins- using 15% error realistically then about 3 minutes to pump 2000 gallons.

    ballast needed for my 51 ft design- 2000 gallons x 8.3 pounds per gallon for fresh water.

    hence 2000 x 8.3 = 16600 lbs. - hull - 16600 = 82430lbs- 16640(ballast water)= 65 830.4lbs

    therefore 65 830.4 lbs. left to bring to neutral

    hull shell weight.

    hull shell is 900 square ft x 2'' thick concrete. if Ferro cement.

    therefore 900 sq ft.(shell) x 1/6(of height of the hull dia.)

    that is 2/12ths of cubic foot.

    900 x 1/6 = 22 500 lbs.

    then subtract that from total ballast water + shell weight;

    (16640+ 22 500)- 82 400lbs = 45 290 lbs. of ballast/weight needed to achieve neutral buoyancy.

    option 1.
    double the outer hull with secondary layer of 2'' thick Ferro-cement. which adds another 22 500 lbs. therefore total hull weight
    is 45 000 lbs. + ballast water
    = 16640 + 45000 = 61640 lbs.!

    leaves 20 790.4 lbs to neutral buoyancy.

    add on engine 3000lbs.(cat d318)
    crew 250-500lbs
    diesel oil 250 gallons @ 7.7 pounds per gal. = 1925 approx.
    add misc. 2000 lbs.-
    fittings shaft pump misc. hardware approx.
    batteries etc., hatch, adding 3000 lbs.
    potable water- 100 gallons = 830 lbs.

    9785.4 lbs. to go to achieve neutral buoyancy.

    immovable ballast-

    add a concrete floor:

    therefore 9785.4/150 lbs. per cubic foot of concrete
    therefore 150 x Y= 9785.4 y = 65 cubic ft of concrete.
    or 40 ft floor by average of .5 inches deep and 40 ft long = 60 cubic ft of concrete or
    9000 lbs. ballast.

    total to neutral buoyancy
    785.5 lbs.!
    thus positive at 785.4 lbs.

    option 2. necessary for neutral buoyancy

    -hull volume-1321 cubic ft = 82 400lbs
    -hull weight-22 500 lbs
    -ballast water- 16 640.4
    -engine 3000
    -crew 250
    -diesel oil 250 gallons @ 7.7 pounds per gal. = 1925 approx.
    -add misc. 2000
    -fittings shaft pump misc. hardware approx.
    batteries etc. hatch 3000 lbs.
    -potable water- 100 gallons = 830 lbs.


    35254.6 lbs.! needed to neutral buoyancy

    concrete floors
    1 ft deep x average of 3 ft wide x 45 ft long
    = 135 cubic ft x 150 lbs. per cubic ft of concrete
    = 20 250
    needed to ballast

    using fore and aft placement of concrete
    fill the cone and aft section at the shaft equally divided weight of 10 500 lbs. leaves 9750 lbs.

    using concrete for berths pads @ two berths midships at 2ft x 2ft x 7 ft(x2) = 8400 lbs.

    therefore 9750-8400= 1350 lbs.!

    if necessary can increase aft floors or add movable ballast half ton!

    It has been sometime since my last entry. Maybe two months. I had thought this project dead due to the limiting size of a hull at 6 ft dia. But it seems I cannot let go of my idea to build a sub. so I re-sized the hull adding 6 more inches of room. this increase the beam to inner dia of 6 ft 9 inches. allowing the outer hull to be 7ft 3 inches- this increases the volume for displacement but should add more room and not have the feeling of being confined on a dive. I don't plan to ever dive too deeply. perhaps 30-40 ft and max 100 ft.
    so hopefully most times I will run on the surface unless stormy weather forces me to descend. I also think i will use dynamic diving rather than static diving to decrease complexity and add a safety factor. this means there will always be positive lift. even slightly. but I would feel more comfortable knowing I will be returning to the surface unless snagged.

    I still wish I had a smaller more economical diesel to run for surface running as the d4600 cat is somewhat expensive to run but I think I can run the engine at displacement speed most times at around three to four knots quite economically. and recharge the batteries for greater run times on a four hp golf cart motor geared to about 10:1 ratio. should push the sub easily at 1-2 knots surface and faster submerged at perhaps 3 knots.

    the mock up.

    the next logical stage which must be done before continuing is a mock up of the hull and a model build.

    the mock up will consist of three sheets of flexible plywood or wallboard. glued together to form the widest part of the hull with ribbing to give rigidity to the mocked up shell- the reason for a mock up is to figure out just how small my living space will be and if there might be a chance at panic while enclosed. It need not be the full size of the vessel but should be enclosed enough to give one a feeling of confinement in a small space.

    Note- at this point I have realized that I must build the sub with less conical bow sections. The reason for this is that I will be running on or near the surface more than submerged just as the U-boats of the 2nd world war did. So it will be necessary to redesign the hull a little before the pour.
    I figured that I could simply add a stem type section to the hull but would need to flood the nose section in order to maintain the pressure resisting characteristics that would be lost by not using a conical bow.
    so some redesign might be in order at this stage.

    Today is may 10th 2010. I plan to start my build in august.

    I still have not decided on a hull building method. the following seem to be equally effective. although perhaps the Ferro-cement hull in layers may be more pressure resistant due to the amount of steel woven into the hull matrix.
    however it also will cost more to build. the cheapest and perhaps equally strong is the split mold method, a term I have coined to show the second way to build a concrete sub hull.

    method #1
    the split mold method-
    submarine is made in two separate pieces by molding process, then the two halves joined together on a horizontal axis just as the way a model submarine is made. steel flanges running the circumference of the face surfaces, about 3-4 inches wide and about 1/2 -3/4 inch thick are welded onto the steel re-bar protruding from each half mold subs horizontal sides to form flat mating surfaces. these are then bolted down with a gasket of rubberized compound layered between the two steel flanges. upper and lower. huge bolts are used to secure the two halves. and a watertight gasket is then placed between these steel face surfaces. so the two halves become one unit. this allows the two halves to be cheaply moved and reassembled or if the sub ever needed to be re-fitted, the bolts can be removed and the sub halved open.
    the groove line that is formed at the mating surfaces perimeter outside the hull- which was not covered in cement is then filled with an epoxy/filler. sealing up the whole sub into a pressure vessel.

    method 2.

    a complete submarine hull is built in Ferro-cement - then layered. i.e.. the shell becomes a mold for itself and three or more layers are built up using the same process of welded mesh and stringers.

    advantages of the split mold is cost- since you are not building up layers i.e. you would have 6 inch walls after the pour,- the cost is less. however you then require two truck loads to move both halves to a marina. or other finishing off area near water. but potentially no crane or a small crane could be used. with a hydraulic trailer being the best option and cheapest.

    the advantages of the layer Ferro-cement method is ease of construction. you have the finished product and it is monocoque. the layers are easy to do yourself. and this is very strong 19 000 -21 000 psi impact resistance.

    (ref. hartley and brookes).

    This also allows for ease of transport(assuming both sub methods built to 52 ft loa)since the costs for transport are very large sums dealing with big cranes --rental trucks etc.

    since the time of writing im engaged in a project using a pressure vessel- a used steel tank. this would be ideal for the purposes of a submarine -all things can be welded in.
    updated to come...

    the manual was never completed. Perhaps someday...
  2. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Hey Tugger have you started on your boat yet?

    This sub stuff..just curious if is this a manifesto from that German guy in Colombia,or yours?
  3. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    hahahahaha -

    Tuggie sounds like the guys who expect to find bliss in outer space.

    People who have actually lived in subs or spaceships, know that the realities are a long way from Captain Nemo and Flash Gordon.

    Humans have a very low environmental survival ranges, be it from drowning or radiation sickness.
  4. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    no Its all my journaling on it. I was going to put it into a book. but never got that far. The German guy W. Ellmer...I got a lot of great feedback from him he really did inspire me.

    ...what really made me see the value in it, was the natural idea of how whales are so efficient. but the rest is just my meanderings on what I was proposing as how to do it. I had another maybe 50 pages I could have written on the systems designs , powering etc. that just never got written about- maybe I I can put on paper how easy it really is...of course there are always the dangers. Ill always have a part of me that will miss the idea of doing this.

    as for the boat- yes sir!!...I have some frames done now, but its winter here as you know so I didn't manage to get my (huge) shed erected before winter snow. we also are moving to a larger lot in the spring (50 ft by 100) so that's where Ill be finishing it off... thanks for your support...
  5. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    Wattie- having a sub sounds like bliss to me...but maybe in the next life ill have more brass balls. keep in mind civil subs are in the owners control...

    Hey! have you seen the proposed sub on youtube for the elite and rich? its about 300 ft and has a swimming pool...apparently it is getting built...

    it was featured on yahoo a couple weeks ago. Incredible interior. But I cant even begin to imagine the costs. The viewports which are the size of walls formed part of the pressure vessel...all I can say is WOW!!
  6. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I thought that having a decent sailboat would be bliss too.

    Skating along with the breeze, on the blue ocean ....

    Then, reality strikes. Constant lookout for hazards, navigation, other boats, navigable waters, sudden gusts, crew safety, fuel levels, rough weather, sudden fogs - it just goes on and on.

    Then back on shore - there's the wash-down, repairs, storage bills, motor maintenance, fuel costs, .....

    Like all 'dreams' - the COST is the problem.

    Speaking of costs - I bet you haven't been able to contact Wellmer since the concrete sub fiasco. I bet he is laying very low. So much for 'dreams'
  7. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Viewports in a sub would largely disappoint imo, 99% of the time you'd see bugger-all. So what is the attraction ?
  8. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Probably escaping Canada
  9. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    yea- seems he is never going to launch...I was sooo curious just to see it is massive! still I have talked to him and he seems sincere-so I don't think it was a scam. But --never know... he still has YouTube vids. now is trying to do honeycomb floating structures in concrete...
  10. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    yea- your previous comment on that some time ago made me reconsider that dream.

    however in clear water like the Caribbean or Great lakes, it actually would be a beautiful view...

    not on most ocean areas though your quite correct...

    but the attraction is pissing off non believers- shutting them up....and like Nemo says, once below - your king of the water!
    too bad Ellmer didn't launch..i don't believe it was drug related...not one Iota.
  11. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    Gonzo- noticing you are in Wisconsin now...escaped the U.k.
    why escape Canada?

    not sure of your comment "Probably escaping Canada"...please clarify your meaning. :?:
  12. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 1,374
    Likes: 56, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 746
    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    I think what applies to him is along the lines of rocks and glass houses.

    At any rate,I'm sure I said at the time that I was sure the DEA and CIA were keeping an eye on Welmer even though he was legit and trying something new.
    I mean really-a submarine builder in the home of the world's cocaine suppliers.

    Anyways with your type of construction, the downside I can see is lots of filler due to sagging between the forms.

    If there was a way to insert a 2-3 mm plastic that the resin wouldn't stick to,in able to eliminate or reduce the sagging.

  13. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 10,390
    Likes: 1,039, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The only cure for submarine mania is to watch replays of that Curt Jurgens war movie, imo.
  14. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 16,646
    Likes: 1,614, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    That's the location you post

  15. NavalSArtichoke
    Joined: Oct 2013
    Posts: 431
    Likes: 9, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 83
    Location: GulfCoast

    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    Have you thought about combining the concrete submarine with the capability of carrying a train? There was a poster here recently who wanted to build a sub-carrying train to break a hypothetical blockade of Australia. It made for a very entertaining thread while it lasted.
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