trailerable unfolding houseboat

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

  1. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    You are on to it
     
  2. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 25
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: toronto, ontario

    humanscale Junior Member

    Concept 1, 2, and 3

    Hey, I appreciate all the suggestions...I wanted to check in to say that I will respond in full in the morning and post new scanned drawings. I have two alternative concepts to the original drawing (Concept 1).

    Concept 2 slides a port side pontoon over horizontally along telescoping tracks (4 tracks along the 33' length). Moving a 33' pontoon over laterally at the same rate along the whole length might be tricky, but this concept wouldn't require lifting such a heavy load (a second hull) over the top of the main cabin. Like before, the deck is hinged at the base and would still be winched down from its storage position along the side of the cabin. Bracing would then be applied.

    Concept 3, which I think may be best, starts with a two pontoon boat (e.g. 8.5'x30' Suntracker or Cat Cruiser with the cabin modified to my needs), and adds a third wider U-shaped pontoon in the middle underneath (it floats on its own in the correct orientation). However, the concept is when launching the boat, this middle pontoon is first released by itself (along an extendable guideway with rollers) and floated out of the way while the two-pontoon boat is launched. Then like in other concepts, the deck that is hinged up against the side of the cabin, is winched down and lowered onto the positioned third pontoon. This can be done precisely because starter guides can be lowered and attached first before the full deck is lowered. Once the deck is lowered, it can be clamped/fastened onto the pontoon, and bracing positioned to give the overall structure rigidity. Overall, this seems a lot simpler to me. The floorplans for Concept 2 and 3 are the same, and I'll post drawings tomorrow (expanded size is 17'x33'). I also have done some 3-D models in SketchUp that I will try to share.

    Some comments have been made about trouble moving furniture and its weight. I would use lightweight furniture when possible (e.g. wicker or fold-up), inflatable beds. The wall panels for the erected bedroom would be 4x8 size and could be stowed in the main cabin. I'm thinking of scratch-resistant plexiglass for windows.

    Although I can see the value of driving an RV onto a barge, I'm interested in a purpose built cabin integrated with the hull. Also, I like having a vehicle (e.g. F-150 truck) that I can use independent of the abode, whether I am rowing from the houseboat to the shore to use it for store trips, or if camping in the woods, I can detach it from the trailer for day-use awaying from the camp.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  3. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
    Posts: 1,189
    Likes: 51, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 497
    Location: Australia

    Poida Senior Member

    Humanscale

    I go camping in a camper trailer where everything folds out from the trailer and I see caravans where parts extend outetc.

    But that is for weekend or a weeks camping where the fold out concept is for speed so you spend more time relaxing, rather than worrying about the structural properties because if the weather gets bad, you fold it up and go home.

    What you seem to want is something that is more structural for long periods of accommodation, where I consider fold out, slide out components lose structural integrity.

    For your application I am imagining a flat closed in trailer where your stove sink etc are stored. On top of that are all the components to assemble your building.

    So, you slide your pontoons off the top of your trailer and lay them out in the approximate position. Next are the cross/ floor joists sections that bolt on to the pontoon.

    Flooring is secured to the joists and modular walls fit into the outside frame.

    Roofing panels fit onto the walls, and finally you open trailer doors and remove the stove sink or whatever and fit them into your floating home.

    There would have to be a time weight wise when you would slip the structure into shallow water to continue assembly while afloat.

    Poida
     
  4. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/house-boat-/201223262696

    This is and example of something low cost already to go that can have the folding structures added,
    The pontoon for the folding part that sits on roof can be made from 2mm alloy "very light to lift up with one person, then deck folded down with a 5x1 manual boat winch. and the deck structure does not need to be heavy duty as its just floating jetty attached to side of house boat.
     
  5. Kailani
    Joined: Apr 2013
    Posts: 113
    Likes: 8, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 59
    Location: Hawaii

    Kailani Senior Member

    The float out pontoon on concept 3 may want to get hung up. On the very steep ramp in your drawing I don't think it would work easily. The buoyancy would press it against the bridge deck and up into the cavity. Or you will have to do it at the edge of the water relying on the extended rollers to keep the bow from dragging. The temp weight in the drawing would be difficult to manage in my opinion. A lower floodable compartment with a drain plug could let it sink down more and then be pumped out once secured. On second thought, scratch that. No reason to go to all that trouble. The center would have to have enough space, could be flattened into more of a box or wide canoe shape instead of more round to make it more stable and give it more of a gap. In a worst case a small dolly to move it about.
     
  6. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    The float out pontoon can have boat rollers on top and sides to help sliding out when in the actual water, also I have done a super lazy drawing of how the ends can be hinged as well as the roof and the floor so it takes minutes to assemble each side which strengthens the whole structure when added together.
    The end sides can also fold inwards to the out side if in they get in the way of the outboards, also the roof can do the same so you are lifting upwards I did many designs of this version 20 years ago.
    The torsion suspension can be removed to save weight by not having the heavy trailer also the floor or roof if wanted can double fold to have the side fully enclosed with windows.
    This design allows the full floor area to be one also furniture can be attached to the floor so when folded it stays in place when lifted.
    By not having the heavy trailer and plug torsions into hull it allows for the extra weight of furniture also its easily launched, torsion suspensions come in up to 2500 kg each set so that’s 5000kg this system allows.
     

    Attached Files:

    • fold.jpg
      fold.jpg
      File size:
      176.4 KB
      Views:
      334
  7. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    An example of torsions suspension on a Myark trailer barge.
    This trailer tows extremely well and can be launched and retrieved in beaches that have surf as I take one set of the middle wheels out and plug into the front then a rope is attached and towed out of the water meaning the car does not get stuck in sand or wet from sea water.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 25
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: toronto, ontario

    humanscale Junior Member

    thanks for the feedback. Here is a clearer illustration of the launching and setup of my "concept #3". I do think that launching the middle pontoon on extendable rollers could be tricky, but feel the design and set-up challenges of this approach may be easier (and also the symmetry of the load and simplicity).
     

    Attached Files:

  9. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    You do not need a trolly as you can plug the trolly wheels into the pontoon at either end and leave on if you are going that way.
    I would place boat rollers and slide while floating as looks like you are gong to get your feet wet anyway.
    Here is a picture of an old design that floats a caravan for some food for thought
     

    Attached Files:

  10. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 25
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: toronto, ontario

    humanscale Junior Member

    Hi Poida, Kailani, Myark -- thanks for your comments

    Poida -- yes, I am thinking of this boat being set up only once or twice a season, so it could be on the water for a couple of months at a time (or more). Do you think features like the pop-out bed in front would not be durable over a long-term?

    Kailani -- the roll out of the middle pontoon from incline ramp -- As you make clear, if not done properly, it could be a pickle. My thought was that the extended guide-rails (with rollers) would allow the pontoon to slide out safely. Also, the trailer would not be much in the water when releasing it, so my thought was that would provide the clearance so the buoyancy of the pontoon does not interfere with the bridge deck. But you are right, this is a long pontoon (34'), and keeping it from pushing up when going in is a problem in need of a solution. Myarks suggestion of rollers on the top might help it slide out better, and may allow for slide-out from the boat once it is in the water. There might be a way to allow for the front of the pontoon to angle down as it goes in, closer to level. Also, I may have drawn the ramp angle too severely -- what angle are ramps typically?

    Myark -- thank you for those are intriguing suggestions. Rollers on top -- My original thought would be to release the middle pontoon once the entire boat was launched, but then realized that the upward float force would make it difficult to slide out. Perhaps the rollers on top would allow for slide out once the boat is launched? As Kailani pointed out, launching it from a ramp is more challenging if it is steep, and doing it right may require more thought. Perhaps your rollers on top would help with that, along with something that would allow the front of the pontoon to swing down for launch closer to level.

    Re: hinged roof and walls -- that sounds like a nice idea. It would provide a lot of rigidity to the structure, and would make set-up easier. Would these be big piano hinges? Do they weigh a lot? Would you need to cover the corners with some material so water (and wind) would not get through the hinges? For light weight, I was thinking of 4'x8' wall panels that click into pre-set guides on the deck, and further rigidity to the structure could be provided with cables and a few diagonal braces. The panels, which contain the plexiglass windows, would be light enough to be carried by 1-2 people, and stored on the floor in the main cabin, lowering the centre of gravity
     
  11. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 25
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: toronto, ontario

    humanscale Junior Member

    Myark -- re: putting the wheels in a recessed part of the pontoon. I am intrigued about how to incorporate the trailer into the frame of the boat, making the wheels removable (retractable?) once in the water. This would save weight when towing, and possibly encourage a very rigid boat design so it could do double duty. I read up on the "float trailers" when thinking about this project.

    Issues i wonder about --

    1. Since the boat would be lower to the street when towing, would flying debris from the road cause problems for the hull?

    2. How difficult is it to remove or retract the wheels once in the water? Would the bearings and working of the axle be compromised by water exposure (I would use in a fresh water lake).

    3. With all the extras to trailer now onboard the boat (wheels, hubs, heavy duty retracting arms, suspension, etc), how much would carrying capacity be affected? My application would already require a sizable cabin on board.

    4. Would regulatory bodies be a PITA for getting this road-legal. I'm in Ontario, and they love their regulations here.
     
  12. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    I will answer one thing at a time as I am busy to day but will try cover most things you have asked by the end of the day or some time to night.
    With the centre pontoon there are several ways, for example build the roller into the pontoon itself including small rollers on the sides for smoothness when taking out pontoon, a recommendations is if you still have problems with too much buoyancy is to have a bung like all boats do and take this out and fill with water till the pontoon will naturally float out of the hull with the assistance of the rollers.
    When out it’s a simple matter of having a small bilge pump to take water out, you will need a bilge pump anyway and does not take long.
     
  13. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    Yes the hinged walls, roof and floor give more ridged especially to the outside pontoon so the floor can be built extra light.
    The hinges are bits of ¾” aluminium tube 3” long X 3 set apart about 40” then welded into the structure with Teflon or plastic sleeve with stainless pins.
    When the sides closed into position they will press against the corner ends which have rubber that seals this against the man structure, it’s really easy to figure out.
    Just like a house door.
    The hinged floor can be sealed open or shut if you have no wall in the centre so water cannot come in while on road mode.
     
  14. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,249
    Likes: 949, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    How does that comply with Transport Canada?
     

  15. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    Humansacle

    Pictured shows a proto type torsions suspension I made that has DIY rubber cord replacements in the aluminium box casing, the torsions bar, arm and axles including the hub are made from gr5 titanium, also I place at the back of axle a nipple to grease bearing that’s far superior than Bearing Buddies.
    This keep’s the grease compact around bearings so water cannot enter.
    The bearings are made from 440C stainless steel, a high strength, moderate corrosion resistance, and good hardness and wear resistance that is capable of attaining the highest strength, hardness and wear resistance of all the stainless alloys that is up to 60 HRC.
    The aluminium casings when plugged into the trailer has Teflon liners also the titanium torsions bar is insulated by the rubber cord from the aluminium box so no electrolyses.
    This is a proto type suspension that is suited for 600 KG load and was a first test run that worked very well.
    I have placed some pictures that show gusset welded from the floor side down leaving the bottom untouched.
    With a structure to suit yours the box insert is welded to a bulk head which can pass all the way through to the other side of your hull and the insides are gusted to the stringers top and bottom.
    Normally torsions are bolted to chassis that have not much structure and twist let alone the rust that chassis endure.
    The problems with torsions is the rubbers ware over time if used a lot and is why I researched this problem by making them DIY replaceable which cost about $2 a rubber cord.
    Later on I will make Chrome Molly torsions that have a load weight of 2500 KG a set that have the same DIY system that are also suited to bolt on chassis.
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.