Surface Drive For a fast Amphibious Vehicle

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Bert Amphibious, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    Dear Boat Design Net I am going to build an 8’ wide x about 27’ long amphibious chassis/hull about 7200 pounds. This is NOT my first amphibious project please watch my video. I got up close to 40 knots in the water on my first amphibious prototype design and it was fast on land too.

    My first amphibious design used a Berkeley 12JCA water jet pump. I would have thought the Wildlife & Fisheries agents around here would really like the jet drive system for a Flood Rescue type vehicle. Turns out our local agents are strongly opposed to jet drives for flood rescue service. They said no way because of the floating debris that we had after Katrina. They also said that they liked the first prototype design and were impressed BUT it was TOO small.

    So back to the drawing board to create something that the Agents would really want based on some of their input. Building an amphibious mini RV sized FAST amphibious vehicle has lots of design challenges and you have to make some compromises with both the marine hull design and the vehicle design. The wheels will be fully retractable same as the previous design in order to get on plane. I have worked out most of the land running suspension problems. In fact I can make it 4 wheel drive and four wheel steer with fully retractable wheels. (DONE IT)

    Now when we are talking about marine surface drive systems I need a little guidance. Based on the various transfer-case type gearboxes that I have already built I can just about run any marine drive system desired (Jet drive, Mercruiser in/outboard, or surface Drive (similar to Arneson)). In order to be able to trim up the marine prop drive system better for land use I am looking at running a raised ventilated prop. I could run a raised Bravo with a ventilated type prop design or an Arneson like surface drive with a ventilated type prop.

    I am interested in using a large single screw Surface Drive similar to an Arneson Surface drive except it would be powered through an automotive type automatic transmission feeding one of my custom Transfer-case gearboxes. I also have a neat cheap robust surface drive design using a “Single Joint drive” it again is my own design. Already tried a small one on a tiny 5.5 foot long boat with a 7.5 Hp motor. It got on plane with a 220 pound guy so the design concept works well. Thrust is carried through the shaft through the joint and to a bearing box at the transom. As far as operation it is similar to an Arneson.

    The hull chassis is sort of a ventilated step hull. The hull has a small step just behind the rear differential that allows air as well as some trapped water at the start to be sucked out from the closed in section of the wheel wells. I am running a 3 speed transmission I am leaning towards running an oversized ventilated Prop about 16” OD x 14” pitch. Target speed about 35 knots with a 600 plus HP motor. I am even thinking about trying a bigger more aggressive pitches and lower rpms to make it a little easier to get it started. Would love to see examples of boat set ups that would make me a little more comfortable about getting way too far out there. If you guys make me too nervous about heavy weird hulls with surface drives I may just punt and go to a fully submerged prop on a Bravo drive with about a 36” long 3” rear step in the hull behind the rear differential.

    I can see this discussion topic going off in many directions if it gets off the ground. I live in the New Orleans Area. Right now looking for resources and suggestions. I have seen a couple heavy workboat type hulls about 35 foot that ran surface drives any of you guys out there? (maybe an oyster boat with a surface drive)
     
  2. IronPrice
    Joined: Jul 2017
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    Location: NZ

    IronPrice Senior Member

    Look up a drive system called metal shark
     
  3. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
    Posts: 23
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    See next post comment
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  4. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
    Posts: 23
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    Already have looked at Metal Shark. I have a surface drive assembly of my own design sort of similar to it just a few little less parts. I call it a (single joint drive) it turns and trims up. Built a real small one for a tiny boat and it worked way beyond expectations. It is sort of like a Carolina Drive but it has a Bellows seal around the joint. But as far as performance it should work like a shark drive or an Arneson drive. Really looking for something with a surface drive that is a lot heavier as a reference. About 8' wide 30' long and 8000 pound as reference. Also comments on getting a surface drive to take off the line.
     

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  5. jorgepease
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Location: Florida

    jorgepease Senior Member

    I don't understand all the connection stuff but if you can connect to an outboard type drive then why not use outboard type jackplate, Bobs or Portabracket. The Bobs will get you about 6 inches of travel and the Porta 17-21 inches. A heavy cupped prop by Baumann marine will let you tuck the prop up under the bottom of the boat in a tunnel or just channel the water back so you get a hump back there where you need it.

    I have run through 1.75 inch deep water with no problem on my flats boat, prop does slip a bit when it's way jacked up but I don't think you are talking to that extreme.
     
  6. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    I have an Alpha unit I was looking at trying to make it jack up and down sort of like what you said. The issue is sealing the sliding marine Alpha or Bravo Drive to the hull and/or sealing the marine power shaft back to the Gearbox. I can set it up with a fixed elevation and try it then easily unbolt it slide the marine inboard/outboard up or down then reseal it and try it again.

    I thought about extending the vertical shaft in the Bravo drive the one that slides through the water pump so that I could bring the marine drive shaft from my gearbox at a decent distance above the water line. That also got a little funny looking since when it trimmed up it would kick it out past the bumper/swim-platform. Also I am not looking at just building a one off design so I am trying a lot of different stuff.

    I checked Bauman Marine (Houston company) If I do go with the Bravo Drive I would consider using one of their "Lifter" model props or something similar. Note the exhaust doesn't go through the hub but I can make it so air gets sucked down through the hub. Would like to consider an over the hub type prop like their lifter design.

    I should have probably done a mission statement post first. I my still do one later. I went through the middle of Hurricane Katrina I stayed and was one of the *First Responders* and worked with the Parish with the flood recovery. Our little group did some amassing things fixing things like ferry landings in record time long before any National Guard help showed up. BUT I saw a lot of things that should have and could have been done better. The biggest thing that I saw was and still is that we are inadequately equipped to handle flood situations. A few amphibious vehicles would have made a huge difference.
    There is more to my goal than building cool recreational toys. I know there is an overwhelming need for cost effective amphibious vehicles. I looked through countless hurricane flood pictures of police and other government agents in 4' wide x 14' long flat bottom boats getting rain soaked. The situation is like we were still using horse drawn fire trucks. Our police and first responders are ill equipped to handle flood situations.

    Part of my mission is to get Utility Service Companies, Government Agencies and anybody to get amphibious specialty vehicles. If Power, Gas, and Water companies had a few Amphibious Workboat Trucks it would have made huge difference in flood responses. If gas or water piping loses pressure, ground water can contaminate the piping and then the piping needs to be purged or flushed out. If the leaks can be isolated right away it can save weeks even months in the recovery process. An amphibious workboat tool truck could be used to help in the initial rescue and evacuation process while scouting out and handling the easy leak repairs and debris clearing.

    After the initial rescue and evacuation process they would have a real head start on getting the utilities up and running and getting everybody back in their houses. In addition the amphibious tool trucks could be used on a daily regular basis even when there isn’t any flooding. A small group of amphibious tool trucks would be a real money saving service for the Utility Companies. The Utility companies cannot send customers a gas, water, or an electric bill if they do not have any utility services. Amphibious Workboat Tool Trucks can make and/or save the Utility Company’s lots of money, is great PR, makes the customers much happier, and shortens the flood recovery process BIG TIME!

    It would be helpful if the police, FEMA and/or anybody had a few fast amphibious vehicles to help in the medical evacuation and response effort. Again cost effective amphibious vehicles are possible please watch my videos
    and YouTube https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=XR002A-Sg24 don't be afraid to pause the video and take the time to read the inserted messages. Again please visit my website AmphibianMotors.com my e-mail is bert@amphibian-motors.com please contact me and I’ll fill you in with more details. Can you help promote the concept to the Utility Companies and the Government Agencies?

    There are a few other people that make amphibious vehicles so it is not just promoting me. It is getting government and people to acquire better resources to serve the public better. FYI an old used rescue helicopter cost about $9,000,000 and cost about $1,000 per hour to run (if you just rent it it’s about $5,000 per hour). A fast amphibious 4 seat car from WaterCar (google WaterCar Panther) cost $172,000 which sounds like a lot. However, for the cost of one old used rescue helicopter you can buy 52 brand new amphibious cars that can run 40 mph in the water. Note I feel I can design and make larger easier to service flood rescue specific design 4X4 amphibious tool truck chassis/hull for less than $172,000. Also please google Gibbs and CAMI as well. CAMI sort of has a version designed for flood rescue which could be adapted for a workboat utility truck. So where are all the amphibious vehicles????

    The amphibious vehicles need to designed to be used on a regular basis. There are few old LARCs out there given to local government agencies (Police/Fire) with flat tires, dead batteries, and bad gas that are not ready because they cannot use them on a regular basis. The police cannot use an old WWII DUWK to patrol the streets and Wildlife & Fisheries cannot use one to petrol the waterways. A utility company could possibly use something like a fast street version of a slow water DUWK (equipped with hydraulic arm with a hydraulic chainsaw and push knees) . I was and am going for something that was fast on land and fast on the water. Something that somebody like a park ranger around here could patrol both the camp grounds and the associated waterways. Yes a daily driver!

    Please help pass on the message; there is a problem and the solutions are being ignored. It seems that neither the Boating community or the Automotive community wants to build amphibious vehicles both act like it no big deal and that it has been done. Really???? NO NOT REALLY. Ask yourself where are all the amphibious flood rescue and recovery vehicles???????? Hell where are all the amphibious tender boats on all the nice big Yachts???
     
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  7. jorgepease
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Location: Florida

    jorgepease Senior Member

    It looks like you're close to a solution. Maybe spend some time analyzing the possible markets and figure out what would motivate them to have one. I wish you good luck !!!!!
     
    Bert Amphibious likes this.
  8. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
    Posts: 23
    Likes: 3, Points: 3
    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    This may be hard to believe but I am just a one man show and amphibian Motors is more of a Hobby Job than a real business (no income. just expenses so far). But I am passionate about trying to get a few more amphibious vehicles out there to help out with the flood response situations we have around here.
    Please pass the message on.
    FYI I will be trying to sell off my older 50 foot Whitcraft Coastal Cruiser in a month or so to pay for next big amphibious workboat hull chassis.

    Personally I think buying a few Amphibious Workboat Tool Trucks for a (Power, Gas & Water Utility Service company is a NO Brain-er). If Power, Gas and Water repair service companies had a few Amphibious Workboat Tool Trucks it would have made huge difference in Houston and New Orleans. The amphibious tool trucks could be used to help in the initial rescue and evacuation process while scouting out and handling the easy repairs. After the initial rescue and evacuation process they would have a real head start on getting the utilities up and running and getting everybody back in their houses.

    A fast early response during and after flooding is critical to utility companies. The power, water and gas companies should all combine efforts to get a few amphibious Workboat Tool Trucks. Power service companies need to clear streets and assess damages right away to determine allocation of resources. Water and Gas Company’s initial main concern is maintaining water pressure and gas pressure in the piping. If gas pressure is maintained then the high cost of purging residential area gas lines and meters or flushing out water lines is eliminated. If a gas line or a water line breaks and loses pressure ground water gets in to piping then the company has to spend lots of money and time flushing and/or purging the lines. If the Utility company can clear the trees and downed power lines quickly the faster law and order can be restored and power restored.

    In addition the amphibious tool trucks could be used on a regular daily basis even when there isn’t any flooding. A small group of amphibious tool trucks would be a real money saving service for the Utility Companies. It would also be a great public relations tool to show good will and to gain more customer appreciation. Bring out the trucks for the parade and use them on a daily basis at high profile locations.

    Remember the Utility companies cannot send anybody a gas bill or a water bill or an electric bill if they do not have any utility services. This makes and/or saves the Utility Company’s lots of money and makes the customers much happier and shortens the flood recovery process BIG TIME!
     
  9. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Michigan

    kach22i Architect

    It's just awesome that you got something to work, congratulations.

    Quote:
    Part of my mission is to get Utility Service Companies, Government Agencies and anybody to get amphibious specialty vehicles.

    Your design does look large enough to be a stable floating platform, but I don't think the speed will help much in flood rescue due to floating debris.

    This is the reason why such specialty craft I've seen proposed have been the slow large floating/rotating tire type with no water jet sucking up floating turds or worse.

    Before David Carambat of Industrial Object passed away he built a prototype of what I described above, and I've seen some things in Russia come out of similar thinking.

    Industrial Object LLC https://www.facebook.com/IndustrialObjectLlc/
    [​IMG]


    Good luck finding a market for your design, it looks fun.
     
  10. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    Yes I knew David Carambat. I visited him about 9 months before he died; he never really got over the death of his wife. I wish I had met him much sooner. I spent a whole long day at his place climbing on his stuff. He was going to help me with some drafting (excellent drafting skills with a good eye for design) but his health was an issue Do you know what happened to his stuff?

    I like building fast stuff they can also run it slow in the water with the tires down in a 4 wheel drive mode with 4 wheel steering (upgraded version will have prop). The speed would have helped in the rainwater flood areas like Houston where the debris was not such an issues. Fast medical evacuation or police response if needed is a nice. David's design used a modified Alpha drive and a 4 cylinder car engine. I am using an old marine V8 with jet drive in the old version but I am trying a newer upgrade with a prop on my test hull/chassis.

    One of my goals is to make it a versatile as possible with multiple design options to meet whoever's performance goals. If it runs fast in water and fast on land chances it will get used on a regular basis. If it gets used on a regular basis it will be ready and available when something happens and it is really needed.

    As for the larger amphibious Utility Workboat Service Trucks I agree that retractable wheels is probably not needed. It would need to be designed so that it could at least be run on land on a regular basis making service calls. CAMI has something that could meet this goal with a few modifications.

    I do not understand why the big yacht owners haven't been buying up the WaterCar Panther for tender boats.
     
  11. dinoa
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    dinoa Senior Member

  12. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    how about using one or more snowmobile drive belts?

    I hear a snowmobile will outperform a jetski on the water mostly due to greater area to grab more water.

    Maybe the drive belt could be used in mud or to push the boat over objects.

    I'd think for emergency responder use in debris filled water you'd want to go into battle with at least two completely independent drive systems with diff points of vulnerability. Like a snowmobile type drive underneath, and an outboard hanging off the transome.

    What about an airboat with big prop? Wont have any issues with water borne debris.

    What about a hovercraft with land wheels under the skirt? Wheels might not even need to retract, they'd just sit in the water about 6" when the craft was up and in motion, and act as skis at speed and give some extra lift.
     
  13. Yellowjacket
    Joined: May 2009
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    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    You really don't want a prop or an outdrive or anything that is deep in the water that can get damaged if you run over something.

    I was talking to the head of Military programs at Evinrude not long ago and he mentioned that that the first responders in the flooding in Texas trashed a boat load of outboard motor lower units during that flooding. The reason is that there were tons of submerged vehicles that they ran over and smashed lower units against, as well as small sheds, fences, and all other kinds of things. In that environment you're going to hit all kinds of things. If you want to go faster than a waking speed you're going to knock off anything that is hanging below the hull when you hit something. Note I didn't say if, because it's not if, it's when. While outboards can kick up if they hit something, today's heavy outboards will smash a lower unit to pieces before it kicks up. Big heavy outboards are even worse as are typical outdrives. Too much mass to kick up so you're just going to smash things.

    The Swamp Shark might be a good way to go... Swamp Shark | Metal Shark http://www.metalsharkboats.com/swamp-shark/ since it is relatively light and can kick up if you hit something and is doesn't get clogged with weeds it's something to think about.

    The problem with this is that any exposed prop is a dangerous thing to people in the water. With the kind of work being done here you have a possibility of having people in the water near it and a big prop is a dangerous thing. Also the fin on the bottom is only shielding the centerline of the prop and, and if you miss the edge of things with the center fin you can still whack the prop.

    A waterjet with properly designed grate is what you want and some kind of grate cleaning (like a stomp grate) is admittedly clumsy, but that would work.
     
  14. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Maybe a system not too different operationally from well proven units, but able to be very quickly repaired when damaged by floating debris or underwater obstructions.

    Something with a BreakAway lower unit that can be changed out in less than 2 minutes in the darkness, wind and rain without tools and without getting out of the boat.

    Maybe an impact absorbing attachment for an outboard. Just something to spread the impact force over whatever time it takes to travel 12" at 40 mph instead of time to travel 1/2" at 40mph. Something like a leaf-spring held out a couple inches on big rubber cushions and bolted vertically on the front of the outboard's lower unit. Yeah, it would tend to defect a lot of water away from prop. Maybe heat it up and bend the part that sits in the water 90'.
     

  15. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    I am Working/Helping a buddy of mine with that exact effort for a couple of years. Company name is Track Boats website needs work http://www.trackboats.com/ He had some issue with somebody with the Navy jumping ahead of him with a patent which stalled his efforts. We were running his prototype on public waterways here which is also near a Navy Base (Navy Base even has a fuel dock on the same waterway). He was also towing it uncovered on public streets and people were stopping him and asking about it. That was several months before the Navy base guy got a patent which looks just like Jake's running prototype. The Navy guy has free government attorneys at his disposal and they can fast track patents. If nothing else the Navy patent should be considered worthless since he patented something that was already out in the public domain, It ran faster across the grass than it did in the water but it also seemed like if we did a little more belt position tweaking it was on the verge of really getting up and moving. The main target market was the duck hunters. It would just about guarantee that they could make it to a duck pond and still get home without getting stuck. For Police, Fema, medical evac, and Wildlife and Fisheries I think they need something that can run on the streets on a daily basis to be worthwhile. Tracks.JPG TrackBoat.gif
     
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