trimaran from three shipping containers

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by CaptainWannabe, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. CaptainWannabe
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    CaptainWannabe New Member

    Idea/dream is to use 3/40' shipping containers,8' apart with bowheads/V-hulls built around each "box" & a single drive mounted in the center of the 3 container hulls.
    Am i crazy?,thinking this way to achieve a trimaran houseboat? With a forward cabin on top connecting all 3?
    Wouldn't the shear weight of the 3containers/deck&cabin/motor provide enough ballast?
    Closed cell foam between the inside of the hulls & the outside of the "boxes"?
     
  2. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    It wont work. I believe I can say that with some certainty. Connecting three metal containers together a boat does not make. They are very heavy, wrong steel and the wrong shape. Honestly I could have said a couple of not so nice comments but I am being nice. I hope to prevent others from saying worse.
     
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    That would make it of 40' length with a beam of 41'. That is not a trimaran but a floating platform at best. It makes no sense at all. By the time you build a structure to tie everything together and bows, sterns, and weld all the holes in a container, it will take you more time and money than building a proper boat.
     
  4. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    +1..........;)
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Form rules prevent publication of what I really think.

    So I will say not a very good idea.
     
  6. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    The purpose of ballast is to have weight down low to increase stability. Excessive weight uniformly distributed does not equate.
     
  7. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Errrr I am tempted to be honest, but so far everyone has constrained their responses...

    Has any of the questioners ever thought to look inside an empty container?
    - or price one in fairly good condition? - - the floors are often wood (cheap ply) and relatively easy to remove and replace. It will sink as the bottom. the floor will lift and allow water in, to sink the mess... ( - keeps the shipping lanes open unless loaded with a cargo of foam billets :eek: :p :p and then those containers drift ashore)...
     
  8. CaptainWannabe
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    CaptainWannabe New Member

    Thanx4all the polite advice,there was a similar thread by a guy in the marshall islands & the responses were similar but some were encouraging,a live aboard is my main objective not motoring about so much.
    So fabricating V bottom hull & bow heads would be more$ than scratch built!?!
    of course im talking of fairing the side,not leaving exposed ribs.
    Of all the plans for boats this size @$400+,do they give an aprox. build cost/before buying plans you may change your mind about?
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Study plans usually include a list of materials so you can shop for prices.
     
  10. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Isnt there a junk yard nearby you could get some old 3 or 4 foot dia pipe, steel or even PVC. Even that would give massive buoyancy.
     
  11. CaptainWannabe
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    CaptainWannabe New Member

    I'vwe seen pipe that big in michigan scrapyards,but in n.y. no yards seem to be interested in resale....this pipe/pontoon idea is the more direct route to put a houseboat on top of,i guess my thinking if you can call it that,was to create a single cargo hold per container in the form of a hull per each?
     
  12. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    You might be surprised how much easier it would be to just get some steel sheet, bend it and reinforce it with welded frames.

    It would certainly be a lot better product, for a lot less work, and just a little bit more planning.
     
  13. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Consider buying a used large boat hull with no power. You could buy a hell of a boat hull for almost free since no one will want to repower. I know a place in Miami that cuts hauls them out and cuts them up. In other words buy a couple 40 foot sail boat hulls, use them as pontoons and add a structure above.
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I agree. We crushed fourteen boats last Fall.
     

  15. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    I agree with all of the above. Containers are so heavy and strong that we (the USCG) used one as a test tank for testing small boats for flotation. We flipped the container, added some reinforcement to the outside, added some plumbing and filled it with water. After about three years when we were through with it, we drained it and gave it to the National Guard who flipped it over and used it as a chamber for tear gas training. Heavy duty stuff, but not good as a boat.
     
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