Unmanned Circumnavigation

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Albert.L, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. Albert.L
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Albert.L Junior Member

    Hello all,

    This is my first post on this website, and I must say that there is a wealth of information to be had. May I present my first (the first one y'all see) hair-brained idea. I decided on a whim (about how the rest of my projects start:)) that I was going to design and possibly build the worlds first unmanned naval circumnavigation vehicle.

    The priorities for the design are as follows (with the logic, however faulty, to go with):

    - Stability; the vessel needs to stay upright, or return to upright in any weather. (as it is to be unmanned this is obvious as to why) It needs to maintain stability at and above cruising speeds.

    - Speed; the vessel needs to make at least 35 knots and possibly up to 70 knots. (Pirates, I say; I don't want people boarding the craft.)

    - Low profile radar signature; as most modern craft at sea are equipped with radar, this is important. The safety of this vessel is paramount. (You have to find it to steal it.)

    And thats about it. I am not concerned with fuel or running out, refueling at sea can be arranged; or some other alternative. I have done the minimal amount of searching to know that a trimaran a la Nigel Irens is in order. They are stable and fast (not to mention fule efficient).

    I am looking for comments, opinions, insults and pretty much anything else y'all feel like throwing at me.


    [edit]Right now I am primarily concerned with the design of the hull. I will consider structure, propulsion, powerplant, etc. after the hull design is in place. Unless... I'm doing this wrong?[\edit]
    [edit2]I forgot: Prop placement is a must to consider while designing the hull. The possible locations might include the standard aft location, but I was thinking it would suit a craft of this type to place the prop at the nose. Hows that for rabble-rousing?[/edit2]
  2. alpamis34
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    alpamis34 Senior Member

    I do appreciate your effort man,but my professor at University of Southampton,UK was involved in a project and they have completed it,have a look at the link below;

  3. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    70 knots unmanned, this implies a fairly large vessel. How are you going to guarantee that this avoids collisions with everything from liferafts up? It will need some very sophisticated image recognition equipment perhaps in the IR as well as the microwave (radar) band.

    From an engineering point of view it's a nightmare, from an insurance point of view ditto.

    Wouldn't a 5 or 10 foot wind/solar vessel at 4 knots would be more of a challenge and more sensible and more likely to be supported. Just label it "Danger radioactive waste" no one will touch it.:)
  4. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Why in God's name would you want to? other than add another hazard to an already crowded world - what a waste of time money and effort - I've already wasted tooooooo much time on this!
  5. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member


    I was circumnavigated when I was a baby, the Jews all have it done. I think it is unnecessary.
    1 person likes this.
  6. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

  7. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

  8. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner


    Yes your right probably the only good reason!!!!!

    Hey Poida don't that make your eyes water? it would mine? but there again you can't cir-cum-navigate without it can you?
  9. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Is this the same Chris Burden who shot himself in the arm with a pistol as part of his performance art titled, Shot, back in the seventies?
  10. Albert.L
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    Albert.L Junior Member

    As I said, I appreciate any and all input.

    @alpamis34 - That is very neat looking! But mine'll be better!:D I'm kidding, thanks for the link man.

    @MikeJohns - Yes, I was thinking around 60 to 80 feet long, perhaps longer. Collision avoidance comes later. Right now I am concerned with hull design.

    @safewalrus - If you think the world is crowded move to Montana. If you think the ocean is crowded sail to the middle of the Pacific.

    @kach22i - That is short range recon. My goal is complete circumnavigation. (Poida, now I smile whenever I type the word...:p)

    Thanks all. I appreciate the humor and input. I have come up with a design that I'll throw into 3d so I can show you all. Look for it a little later today!

  11. Retired Geek
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Retired Geek Junior Member

    Probably the safest option and something you could build (that might get finished) is a sea glider.....google it to see more if required.
    for starters, while it may be slow ( 1.5 to 2.0 knots), its beneath the surface and stable as hell, so weather isn't a consideration.
    second, you can forget about the pirates....last I heard they don't have an ASW capability.
    third, if its beneath the surface, its bloody hard to find then steal it.
    fourth, you need not worry about refuelling if you use a slocum engine (google slocum glider) and its very fuel efficient as it needs none....dispenses with mid ocean refuelling as well :)
    Fifth, no need to worry about prop placement as there is none

    enjoy the search for more info while you further your education :)
  12. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Add to the above

    sixth, nobody will know so nobody will care:)

    seventh, as nobody knows, when it all goes wrong you don't have to tell them, thus avoiding a red face

    eighth, when you lose it you won't know where it is so will save lots of money not having to look for it ;)

    ninth, as nobody either knows or cares you won't have to move to Montana - where ever that is?

    and finally ten, even I get fed up in the end! But go play and enjoy........
  13. SolomonGrundy
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    SolomonGrundy I'm not crazy...

    unmanned circumnavigator

    A few points you may already know...and some advice. First off, such a craft would, I think, be electricly powered by necessity. The design of such a hull would be of little consequence as many decked over and properly ballasted hull forms would satisfy the design criteria of being self-righting.
    I think some of the practical ($$) considerations will be your more limiting factors. How will you ensure enough power and efficiency to make the project practical? Colision avoidance is a real consideration, in an unmanned vessel that means use of certain technologies ($$). Having GPS, radar, SOLAS and other positioning/colision avoidance equipment and technologies is not inexpensive. Having said that, what's to stop a poor fisherman who comes up with this curious contraption in his net from selling it for scrap somewhere in BFE.
    I wouldn't be suprised if a project of this magnatude cost over 1/2 million U$D. You got that kind of cash laying around, then by all means, drop a few dollars on it. It would ensure your place as the first to do it for as long as people care of such achievements. But go forth knowing that there are no gurantees of success (if it was easy, it wouldn't still be left undone) and although some would recognize the attempt as an achievement, that and $3 will only get you a latte at Starbucks.

    My favorite quote ( I've memorized it ):

    "It's not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who knows great enthusiasm, great devotion and the triumph of achievement and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while doing greatly- so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt
  14. maddyfish
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    maddyfish small boater

    Free boat for anybody that can catch it? Right?

  15. Albert.L
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    Albert.L Junior Member

    @RetiredGeek - I'm sorry I took so long to reply, its been a hectic week. Thank you for mentioning those two items to me! It is sending my brain-shild in new and interesting directions.

    @SolomonGrundy - You raise valid points. But what is a record setting event without sponsors?;) I'll deal with the need for money when I get there... If I get there. (I suppose trying to get there is half the fun.)

    As this information changes my approach to the problem of sending a waterbound vehicle around the planet, expect some interesting developments in the near future. (Granted, you've seen none since the conception of this thread, but they are coming.)

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