trailerable unfolding houseboat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by humanscale, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
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    Location: toronto, ontario

    humanscale Junior Member

    Hello, this is my first post! I've read a few other threads here that mention expandable trailerable houseboats. I want to build a trailerable houseboat that unfolds to double in size, and can be set up on land to be a cabin alternative. I want to anchor in calm waters and live on my boat in Ontario cottage country (e.g. Georgian Bay) for some time in the summer, and then be able to trailer it down somewhere in the U.S. during colder months. This would actually be as much for my retired father, who divides his time north and south, as for me. Budget: $100k.

    I'm wondering what forum members think of my concept (SEE ATTACHED DRAWINGS).

    Description: It resembles a 8 ft wide 30 ft long camper cabin (no wheels or axles) that sits on a flat bottom hull that has a sizable air or foam filled chamber (pseudo-pontoon?). A deck and smaller u-shaped wide pontoon hinges down from where it is stored over the top of the reinforced cabin. Folded up, it is approx 8.5 ft wide, 13 ft tall, and 35 ft long. Unfolded, it becomes 21.5 ft wide. One unique feature is that a lightweight hot tub can be inserted into the deck of the fold out pontoon. A bedroom tent or light weight solid structure is assembled over part of the fold down deck. Two people could synchronously winch the folding deck and pontoon down and up, with perhaps the need for counterweights during the process. Once down, bracing triangles and cables could be put into place for overall rigidity.

    My concerns --
    1. Folded up, is this too top heavy for the road due to the pontoon on top?
    2. Would synthetic be better (lighter, cheaper, less corrosion) than aluminum for pontoons
    3. How much would this weigh?
    4. Are the pontoons large enough for buoyancy and clearance from the waterline (errant waves)?
    5. what else?

    I have a second (smaller) concept that has two large pontoons that spread apart horizontally to widen the boat rather than hinging the second pontoon over the top. I can post that too if anyone is interested.
     

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  2. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    myark Senior Member

    This is one of my older Myark proto types that may suit with a lot less complications, much lighter and easy to tow also amphibious as the folding barge is the trailer and towing camper van is loaded on deck, you can walk around the deck and is very stable with a shallow draft to camp on beach fronts.
    Your way is wide on road and heavy to tow, hard to assemble and launch, and needs a large braked trailer stuck on the shore line with the towing vehicle and most of all when in not in use it takes a more room to stow on land.
    The Myark folding barge pictured can be hired out for commercial use like I have done with film companies, harbour, lakes and river use.
     

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  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    Considering the complexity and uniqueness of your project, you'd be best advised to seek professional help with the design. There are several rounds of requirements, across different regulatory agencies that you'll have to satisfy, so self designing is simply not possible, without a considerable education. Contact local designers and NA's and see who might be intrested in this project.
     
  4. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    myark Senior Member

    Your design is not complex and is easy to manufacture with a few changes such as flat bottom with removable plug in torsions suspension.
    You get more buoyancy and the hull becomes more ridge and the trailer is part of the boat, cutting towing weight down also this bring the height down.
    I have attached Myark trailer barges that one shows in the back ground wheels attached and the front pictured barge shows where the torsions suspension and wheels plug in.
    Notice there are holes in the front of Myark trailer bare which one of the centre wheels come of and go in the front so it can be hauled out of the water with rope as the wheels becomes a trolley for the hull.
     

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  5. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    myark Senior Member

    A problem in your design is all the extras placed on the expanded pontoon so you would need another trailer to carry all that gear, another option is the Myark 10.m Folding trailer barge that is 2000 kg in trailer form, 1.m wide and 4.8 unfolded.
    I placed a new Jayco luxury caravan on top, you can walk around the caravan, also it floats in ankle deep water with caravan on top.
    It even has suspension in rough waves and when not use caravan on water it can be used on land such as a paradise island or back of lake or on a remote river side using the barge as a jetty.
     

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  6. Kailani
    Joined: Apr 2013
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    Kailani Senior Member

    Looking at the sketch, I'd start by calculating the weight of the second fold down hull. A 4x5 hot tub shell with seats and pump, and heating unit is going to weight 300-400 lbs. A 33' x 6' hull and deck is going to weigh 500-600 lbs minimum. The 7' deck section will weight another 300 lbs. I didn't add walls thinking they could be fabric with poles set in slots and removed before folding. Winching up over 1200 lbs 10' out will produce a lot of roll over force. A counterweight might be necessary to keep it stable. It's going to be an event folding that big a piece up. I'd rather have two side decks that fold out one from each side to keep it more manageable. Or a section that slides out from under front to back maybe. Or maybe a side to side expander where all the furniture stays in place and what you crank out creates space inbetween. That way seating stays in place and doesn't have to be setup and broken down all the time.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Are you kidding? A 30' trailer/boat, with flip, fold or expanding hull sides - what could be complex about that?

    Maybe in countries where there's no regulation on motor vehicles or boating or even manufacturing processes, but in the first world, you can expect a fair bit more concern, about others on the water and the roads, you might be traveling around.

    Trust me, you'll need to pass quite specific requirements, if you're making this a "combo" type of vehicle. You might get a work around with the DMV, if it's considered trailered, but then you still have to deal with the boat part of the equation. You have the budget, do you really want to skimp on the design aspect of the project?
     
  8. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    Its only 30' boat, no big deal at all, and like I said make it a fat bottom and incorporate the trailer into the hull structure to cut weight and height.
    It’s just a box with a door hinge system on the side,
    The furniture is the problem as Kailanis states and the time to assemble is another minus is furniture overcrowded and adds to unaccepted weight and internal space
    My suggestion is to have a mobile home with all the living goodies that is placed onto a folding structure similar to Myark folding trailer barge which my latest designs are skeleton in the centre which to make a wide pontoon that can float 10 Ton is about 1600kg in total weight that is the trailer combined and then drive a mobile home on top.
    Attached is a smaller proto type 3.6 X 7.2 myark folding trailer barge with a Jayco camper van on a remote lake which folded was .800 wide and weighed under 800kg.
    It could have done with an extra 100mm on the side’s height making it 1.m wide when folded.
    My new model version is a lot lighter and the height less and the cost very low that has plug in torsion suspension and unfolds in seconds like a garage door, it has built in loading ramps.
    You can also buy pontoon DIY base structures at low cost and if going to use a trailer simply do that and add the top part, but the furniture weight is your problem and the trailer it self weight does not help.




    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDfSuAtiVkQ
     

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  9. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    myark Senior Member

    Buy a second hand hull like this link http://elkmont.americanlisted.com/b...suntracker-30pontoon-boat-13750_26424953.html
    2000 model Suntracker 30'Pontoon boat. 3.0 Mercruiser inboard engine. Kitchen with sink and alcohol stove, stereo, new depth finder, porta potty, hard top sun deck, new back canvas Aft and new 2013 trailer. Can hold up to fourteen people. Lots of fun and cheap on gas. Easy to pull, NO TRADES. $13,750. If interested text or call


    There are many on the internet as this one took a minute to find and you have the major part done and 86 K left
     

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  10. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    For the folding out side all you need is a 5X1 boat manual winch that will do the job and when it is up pull the pin so the outside pontoon breaks and folds on to the roof.
    Your idea about air beds is good and if you make the seats the same you are
    almost there.
    Here is a picture of a pontoon simular to what you are making minus the pop out side and pontoon so your height should be OK




    Epic 30′ Tiny House on Pontoons with Upstairs Deck
     

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  11. myark
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    myark Senior Member

  12. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Check the regulations before accepting anyone's word about what you need. They will drive the design and limit your options.
     
  13. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
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    Location: toronto, ontario

    humanscale Junior Member

    Thanks everyone. I will chew on this advice today and follow up in detail. This is just my concept -- I would have someone build the boat for me, and would be sure to educate myself of all the regulatory and engineering challenges. The depth of knowledge on this forum is a great place to start.
     
  14. Nick_Sinev
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    Location: Sydney

    Nick_Sinev Junior Member

    Personal opinion (I'm not a naval architect)

    1) Re: " Would synthetic be better (lighter, cheaper, less corrosion) than aluminum for pontoons"

    The best material for pontoons would be UV stabilized polyethilene.
    It doesn't corrode as aluminium, it is not subject to osmosis (as fiberglass), it can work at low tempratures (PVC is limited > -10C and PVC is time-degradable).
    The only thing that can affect polyethylene is UV radiation.

    Googled examples of polyethilene pontoons:
    - http://www.plasticpontoon.com/web/24.html
    - In Russian (you can watch the video / the pictures) http://жилкомснаб.рф/продукция/плавучие-сооружения/плавучие-конструкции/

    2) Re: "How much would this weigh?"
    The weight / carrying capacity is mentioned in the specifications of the pontoons.

    3) Re: "Folded up, is this too top heavy for the road due to the pontoon on top?"
    According to (2) this is too heavy

    4) I think the best variant is Myark's scheme. Standard motorhome + pontoon trailer.
    You can either buy Myark's pontoon trailer or built your own trailer from the factory built pontoons.

    5) If you decide to bulid your own trailer.
    It is reasonable to keep all metal parts well above the water level in the "operational" position.
    It can be done in many ways. For example, you can attach the wheels directly to the frame of the pontoons. And make pontoons rotate along their longer axis when unfolding the trailer, so the wheels will move from bottom to top.

    6) Re: "I have a second (smaller) concept that has two large pontoons that spread apart horizontally to widen the boat rather than hinging the second pontoon over the top."
    Yes, it is definetely more easy to build.
     

  15. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    myark Senior Member

    For a 100K I would go the Mercedes camper van and sell the towing car then purchase when available a Myark folding trailer pontoon.

    Because the Myark folding pontoon is 4.8 wide the camper van can have awning to one side or both sides or better still a sliding out wall camper van.

    The new style 1600kg Myark folding trailer pontoon folds into three sections, also have titanium torsions suspension, axles and hubs that can stay on or come of as when unfolded the wheels naturally rise above the water and become bumpers that have a torsion suspension.


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