Trailerable houseboat designs

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by silentneko, May 2, 2021.

  1. Dejay
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    Thanks, interesting thread. So you plan to build out of carbon or basalt? It seems carbon would be overkill for the benefits in a camper. You'd maybe save a bit of fuel and gain a bit of speed for a lot of money.
    But I'd be curious how basalt compares in cost / benefit.
     
  2. silentneko
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    silentneko Junior Member

    No, I'll likely just use fiberglass. I might do a center layer of basalt or 2 for added strength, maybe more in higher stress areas. Basalt is about 1/3 the cost of carbon, and can be hand laminated with much of the same benefits.
     
  3. mitchgrunes
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    mitchgrunes Junior Member

    That makes a lot of sense! I've had fiberglass kayaks that lasted decades (uncovered at that) and thousands of hours of use with zero maintenance. The people I see at marinas doing hundreds or thousands of hours of maintenance every year (admittedly on larger more complex boats) leave their boats in the water. Your way, there are no dock fees, and you can drive or ferry it to distant destinations.

    Figuring out whether a reasonably large boat of your own design is structurally sound and works well in the water might be a sophisticated engineering problem. Scale models don't give you that, because many structural and hydrodynamic issues don't scale with size. If you don't have an engineering background, a proven design might remove some of the guesswork. So, does it make sense to take someone else's boat as your mold - maybe even one that is in poor condition, as long as the failure wasn't due to a design flaw, that you could get almost for free?

    Alternately, an Internet search for "fiberglass" and "houseboat plans" finds several books that have detailed plans, as well as many plans for sale.
     
  4. silentneko
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    silentneko Junior Member

    I don't really consider a 22ft boat to be a big boat. I know I can build it strong enough, and I know I can design it well enough myself. I've designed 3 of the 4 boats I built. Really I'm looking at a fairly simple shape. Once the hull is sorted, and the materials are weighed its not to hard to work out thr rest. I was just hoping to find a somewhat modern set of plans already to go. I guess since I have a few years I can start and work it out in modeling.
     
  5. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Add a few temporary framed if needed. Glass the outside side. Then remove the extra frames to glass the inside.
    You can partially glass the inside between the frames if the hull needs some support, then remove and glass one frame at a time.
     
  6. silentneko
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    silentneko Junior Member

    After trying that with another project I can tell you it's just not that easy. The additional frames need to be plotted as precisely as the originals or you'll end up with a very unfair hull. Some of the plans I wouldn't need to do anything more with because the frame spacing is already within 1.5 to 2ft. But most any plans designed for stitch and glue plywood will have wider spacing.
     
  7. SolGato
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    SolGato Junior Member

     
    Dejay likes this.
  8. silentneko
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    silentneko Junior Member

    I've seen this video before, I think it's where I learned about the Sea Camper. It's really the only design on it I'm interested in, even then I'd choose to modify it s bit. Thanks.
     
  9. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    I like the amphibian trailers ("MiniBig camper boats", "Boat Van" AL-KO waterproof axis, "Sealander").
     
  10. silentneko
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    silentneko Junior Member

    I think they are cool, but no way would they last unless you are in clear fresh waters.
     
  11. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    Well I like them as proof of concept :) Definitely would need to be longer and have a fine bow.
     
  12. mitchgrunes
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    mitchgrunes Junior Member

    While there are lots of plans available out there, and some of them are even free over the Internet, it really sounds like you prefer to design your own, and that doing so is part of the fun for you?

    Since you love designing and building things, you don't need to build something that looks like every other trailerable houseboat. How about a unique design with class and style that attracts a lot of attention? It could resemble a Viking long ship, Polynesian voyaging canoe, paddle wheel steamer, submarine, space ship, abstract sculpture, etc. Or something truly yours.
     

  13. silentneko
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    silentneko Junior Member

    It just seems like it's an old school idea, with the exception of the really large houseboats. The smaller trailerable ones seem to be gone in the USA market. There's the Lil Hobo, but it's not what I'm looking for. Still haven't found many modern plans, so I'll likely design it myself.
    As far as design ideas, well I've got a few years to figure out how I want to build the cabin. The hull is fairly simple.

    I saw this customer push craft a while back and thought it was cool. It's 8ft x 28ft. I wouldn't use the same style hull, and would raise the bow deck, but the cabin I thought was pretty cool.

    Resized_Screenshot_20210319-100611_Samsung_Internet.jpeg
     
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