trailerable unfolding houseboat

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

  1. Timothy
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: canada

    Timothy Senior Member

    I like it. You are certainly getting there. I wonder about the weight. What type of vehicle will you need to tow it. I have been working on a design for a folding cruising boat for some time(www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT6aqNXsBTY) and it seems to me that if you are going to the trouble of designing it to fold, you might want to consider working on a way it might be made to fit into a container or a garage. You have lots of volume down low in the third hull for batteries and plenty of surface area for solar panels, and as I don`t suppose you are planing on going great distances on the water, why not go with an electric outboard for propulsion. I see that you have a fireplace that is presumably propane so you could use a propane fridge and stove to keep down your house electrical loads and keep a small gasoline generator on the trailer for topping up your batteries. Airstream had their best year ever last year. They sold about fifty units a week at premium prices. You might want to look at those as well as the various internet sights on tiny houses for some ideas. Good luck with your project.
     
  2. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    I like.

    And at the rate I'm going the patents will have expired by the time I can build.... :(
     
  3. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    Hi Timothy
    Is that your youtube video ?
    That's innovation at its best, great stuff
     
  4. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
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    Location: toronto, ontario

    humanscale Junior Member

    Love your elegant folding boat concept, Timothy. A lot of folding and sliding! I'll have to study the video closely for design inspiration. I'm betting your budget is quite a bit more than mine.

    My simple and affordable approach -- I'm hoping that I can cut costs by starting with an existing pontoon boat and make additions and modifications. Behind it all, looks like we share an attraction to a life of portability, versatility, and flexibility with regards to land/water habitat.

    Did you create your video with SketchUp? I'm just getting up to speed, and hope to add some animation soon.

    I will look into the propane stove/fridge/fireplace and electric motors for my boat -- I hadn't gone to that detail yet. I know that solar cells are much better and cheaper today, so that is a possibility for the roof. I wonder if there is an simple way to use the temperature difference between the lake bottom and surface to produce electricity for my anchored boat. Up here in Ontario, solar is not as viable as wind or water-gradient generation (as you know, I'm sure). I like the idea of storing the entire folded-up boat in a container or garage (like you) rather than using a tarp.
     
  5. Timothy
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Timothy Senior Member

    Its odd but I live on my boat at Toronto Island Marina in the summer and Thailand with my Thai wife and son for most of the year, Myark, it would be great if we could get together sometime while I am here in Thailand ( I have been following your posts on this, and the our
    thread and it seems we share some of the same concerns). I am in Bangsaray. Where are you. I would love to pick your brain concerning the trailer design and sourcing China for materials and components,for my land and sea yacht proposal. Yes that is my video. I am thinking about crowd funding as an option for raising the money to build a prototype so I made the video to promote the design but have as yet not proceeded with a campaign, as I am doubtful I would succeed in raising the funds required. I have had offers of private finance but they want the earth and the moon thrown in for free. So far I have built a one quarter scale model and am testing it right now.

    Humanscale I will be back in Toronto in May. Come over to the Island and visit. My boat is a Freedom 40. Just ask for Tim on the Sting. I use 3ds max for most of my concept stuff. It allows me to animate and check for conflicts.
     
  6. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    Hi Timothy
    I live in the Nong Bua Lamphu province in the country side and soon are traveling back to China after the holiday rush and the Chinese New Year is over.
    I have spent over the last 17 years, 8 years developing ideas in China but marketing is my down fall as always advancing the ideas with change but now I am ready to produce product.
    I would understand you know about www.kickstarter.com which I will be placing a small multi tool idea on this site as a test run, if that is successful I have ideas to place one after another for the next few years and expect this to be my income to further water craft and other ideas on the side as I have only discovered Kickstarter recently and feel very confident.
    As you see we live miles apart, however later on when more organised $ in China with aim at owning a private factory for prototyping ideas, some similar to yourself, you are welcome to visit as my quest of honour.
    I have two sons aged 5 and 10 with my Thai wife of 17 years with my oldest son called Myark who is coming to China with me to do a father and son developing and manufacturing while we film this event of a Kickstarter project.
    My wife speaks fluent Chinese but has to stay with her mother who has had a stroke and needs 24/ 7 care so we use skype to translate during important business meetings in China translating correctly is the key to doing good QC.
    I live about one and half hour bus drive from the Hong Kong border in a small fishing village.

    This is a couple of links to an idea on Kickstarter to show it takes about from 30 to 60 days to gather $ if the public like it. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2054052511/tool-pen-makes-everything-beautiful?ref=nav_search

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2065501355/smartkey-free-your-pocket?ref=nav_search
     
  7. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
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    Location: toronto, ontario

    humanscale Junior Member

    I've added some render people from SketchUp's 3D warehouse to provide a sense of the boat's proportions to human scale. I also added 2ft to the boat to accommodate a proper shower (It's about 25ft overall). Future renders -- I plan to add solar panels on tip, an electric outboard in the back, and a closer look of how to distribute the weight for best balance (e.g. location of batteries, generator, grey and fresh water tanks).
     

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  8. Kevin Morin
    Joined: May 2013
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    Location: Kenai, AK

    Kevin Morin Junior Member

    What's his Name is in the Details?

    Humanscale, I find your concept sketches a wonderful exercise in spacial use and collapsible concepts for intellectual entertainment.

    I have on the other hand built a few welded aluminum boats, although most for the commercial fishing industry. I wonder if you're aware of the level of engineering of the fasteners, slides, guides and mechanisms implied by these concepts? I think some of the Devil in realizing these 'transformer' inspired aspects will be challenging to build. Sure looking forward to the details.

    I'm very enthusiastic about your "fair weather floating camper", not just because I'd like to live in latitudes where it could exist, but very idea of all its phases of existence and transport are just great to contemplate.

    Do you have any concept sketches of the various modules' movement mechanisms that allow these wonderful transitions from stowed to deployed?

    Great ideas, wonderful imagination, surely looking forward to the 'nuts and bolts' parts of the discussion.

    thanks for posting.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK
     
  9. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
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    humanscale Junior Member

    thanks for the comment, Kevin. I agree, and could probably learn a lot from your experience! I'm not sure if the bulk of your "devil in the details" comment are directed at my simpler design or Timothy's imaginative transformer sailboat depicted in his youtube video. Timothy's elaborate transformer boat discussed above is complex, and I also wonder about difficulties with so much folding and sliding that is required in a marine environment. To keep costs down and ensure reliability, my design seeks to keep it simple, but it is nice to fantasize about more elaborate well-greased machines that don't get stuck. Now I need to push the design further to consider some of the boring but important stuff like hinges, fasteners, sliders, etc. Do you have any specific concerns about how to do the hinged deck on my boat? What are the major structural issues and loads that could be a problem? What kind of bracing is needed? This will be a protected waters vehicle (cottage country Ontario). I hope to learn more about this stuff soon, and also add some animation to my SketchUp renders.
     
  10. Timothy
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Timothy Senior Member

    These things should take care of your bracing and lifting problems, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-7b1b2R_Kg ,They are made in Montreal so easy for you to access and some are as small as coke cans but expand to 2 meters . They are stainless. This far along in your design you should do a weight study. You have to know what the total weight of everything and I mean everything is before you can determine ,the loads you will encounter, the hull volumes, The bridge deck clearance, even the road hight on the trailer. It looks like you intend to use it in cold weather so consider insulation. If you want to keep the walls thin go with areogell. You will only need an inch. Its is available to the public now in solid sheets or blankets. You will need substantial corner posts anchored to the bottom of the hulls and cross braced to support the braces for the third hull. Keeping this hull stable while under way will be your biggest challenge. I would go with carbon or aluminium. Everything else you are doing has already been done on RVs. I think you have a great concept and that it can be done. Mind you this is coming from a guy whose design nobody thinks can be done at the weight or price I propose. Hope to see you on the island when I return to my boat in May
     
  11. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Might I suggest that a catamaran with (what might be called) X-hinges for cross beams supporting the equivalent of sliding boxes used for luxury RVs would be mechanically simpler and more robust? The roof would could be tiered with the lower part the roof for the boxes and you could employ simple drop-in deck panels down the middle rather than some complex automatic mechanism. With this arrangement there would only be one motor needed to drive the expansion/contraction of the whole thing.

    Each amas could have its own inboard, hold fuel and water, and some storage space.

    Since that type of X-hinge has been used on sailboats of at least up to 36' that I've seen they would probably work fine for a similarly sized powerboat intended for moderate speeds.
     
  12. Kevin Morin
    Joined: May 2013
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    Location: Kenai, AK

    Kevin Morin Junior Member

    Details Design

    humanscale,
    my remarks were directed toward your next phase of work in the design helix, that you note

    "Now I need to push the design further to consider some of the boring but important stuff like hinges, fasteners, sliders, etc."

    I was addressing this next phase and like the many other posts showing devices for different solutions in different parts of the design I was noting there are lots of choices to make.

    The deck panels, as shown, represent the concept of a rigid plane that will hold the loads shown and that hinge down from another structure. Now, the design and construction of one of those panels, is a fairly complex bit of engineering. They're shown very thin, but may have to become much, MUCH deeper in section to do the job shown? That up's the wt, which up's the hinge load and then the moment of that panels' mass as it contributes to the stability or 'flexibility' of the overall floating hull; those details are pretty complex in my experience.

    The mechanisms that allow the substructures to fold, stow, hinge and collapse the spaces they define need not be powered, but depending on their individual load bearing capacity- their implied/required mass may imply powered actuation to handle their change from stowed to deployed positions?

    I was just noting that my experience in fabricating moveable mechanical equipment for welded aluminum commercial fishing indicates the design you propose, while you may term it "simple", seems to me to require some extensive and complex "hinge, fastener and slider" design decisions. I've built rigging to move quite a list of items around and on or off fishing boats and it wasn't always simple to figure out!

    I don't think spending time in animation furthers the project as well as beginning to do the panel deflection calcs, so you actually know what each tilt/fold/stowed space implies? I'd say then you can begin to examine the hinge lines, their capacity and begin to estimate the all up displacement resulting from a realized component list of wt.s from their section designs?

    Quite a project! Looking forward to further images and ideas.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK
     
  13. humanscale
    Joined: Nov 2014
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    Location: toronto, ontario

    humanscale Junior Member

    thanks to all of you. My education continues. I didn't mean to imply these problems are simple, just that my concept is simple (simplistic?), but may in fact require some complex engineering.

    A big issue seems how to engineer these parts for when the boat is moving because the forces are substantial and multidirectional. The deck and hinge will have to be rigid and durable, perhaps with rigging and bracing applied when setting-up. I will need to learn what kind of internal structure and bracing yields the least deflection for the thin deck panel. I was thinking the whole thing could be 2-3 inches thick, but I'm sure wider/thicker beams could be incorporated in the front, middle, and rear of the deck panel (which is 25ft x 8 ft).

    I will think about your suggestions carefully and see if I can find any real machines that try to resolve similar issues. For example -- I know there are aircraft with hinged wings for efficient parking on aircraft carriers (Flying Osprey, and some older aircraft). These wings must experience some substantial stresses not unlike what my boat would (?), and I'm sure the engineering is more sophisticated than a big piano hinge. I will also look into the folding catamarans I've seen on another thread. Maybe Myark has ideas on how to do a durable hinge based on his folding barge designs.

    The forces on the fold down deck and hinge are complex when the boat is moving. Rather than utmost rigidity, maybe flexibility needs to be designed into the hinge to dampen the forces, such as a heavy spring fore and aft along the axis of the hinge, as well as a loaded spring that dampens but does not eliminate flex along the hinge when the boat is moving. Don't know if this is a good idea -- just a thought experiment that would need a lot more clarity. I will also try to learn more about cable rigging and other bracing approaches for sea applications. Much to do.
     
  14. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    myark Senior Member

    There is no big deal about simple hinge systems, how many doors are in the world that are hinged and how many years do they last, some over 100 years old.
    The early prototype Myark folding trailer barge has 20mm tube with nylon sleeves and stainless pins.
    A hand full off hinges welded into structure and its shows 13 ton load on top and never has problem.
     

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  15. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    myark Senior Member

    This is this expanding boat I saw many years ago and talked to the guy trying to promote it.
    This design pontoon suits plug in torsions suspension system, also to make wider the middle folding part is made bigger.
    Add walls and roof.
     

    Attached Files:

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