You probably don't have time to wade thru the rest of this nonsense, so here's the skinny:

I intend to scratch build an ultra-light epoxyed plywood pontoon boat with a deck area of about 7 ' by 14' on 16 ' pontoons.
The craft will be powered by two 24V DC motors. The power will come from eight 12V Deep cycle marine (lead/acid) batteries that will be charged by solar panels and small vertical axis wind turbines.
The system will be split into two separate, isolated units
with one motor, two pairs of batteries, 2 wind turbines and solar array for each side.

The craft itself is still on the drawing board, there's some details left to work out but they're minor.
The current design displaces over 2200 pounds with only a 12" draught.

The plan is to take this boat from as far up the Mississippi as she can navigate down to New Orleans,
relying only on the solar and wind generated electricity she can create on board.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

About the boat .2 (Structural considerations)

At this point I'm thinking the boat should be modular.
I don't have a space big enough to assemble this boat as a complete
unit. (Actually, I don't have any space at all as yet)
I want to make the components small enough to fit thru a standard
6'5" X 30" door opening and be able to assemble them into the
completed craft with just some basic hand tools.
This way I can ship the disassembled boat from point A to point B if I
decide not to (or can't) trailer it.
The pontoons will be no problem, they're 16' long but only around 2' X
2.5' and since they're 1/4" ply, they won't weigh much.
The deck will have to split in half, or maybe quarters. The canopy can
be as many pieces as I need it to be if I cover it with fabric.

I kept the pontoons very narrow because I'm concerned about the
motors not being powerful enough. I don't plan on setting any speed
records but the craft has to be able to maneuver in a "following sea".
I also skeletonized the bulkheads to keep the weight down.
I know I should break the pontoons into several cells cells for flotation
in an emergency situation, but any sort of a hull breech is going to
spell the end of the trip anyway so I'd rather have the extra payload.
I can't possibly pack enough tools to rebuild a section of hull.

I did some quick math and I believe I'll have close to 1400 lb. of
displacement. Once I get the design firmed up and a closer estimate
of my loaded weight I can lengthen the pontoons if I it turns out I need more displacement.

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