The purpose of this project is to design and mass-produce kits for a floating tiny house that can sail. It combines high-tech modeling and fabrication and low-tech assembly that can be carried out DIY-style on a riverbank or a beach. This boat is a 3-bedroom with a kitchen, a sauna and a dining room. The deck is big enough to throw dance parties. It can be used as a river boat, a canal boat or even a beach house. Oh, and it's rugged and stable enough to take out on the ocean. Kits will start at around $50k (USD). The design has been tested in simulation and prototype; full-scale production will begin next year.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

LOA = LOD

This decodes to “Length overall is same as length on deck.” You see, boats spend a lot of time at marinas, and marinas charge by the foot, based on LOA. If your boat has a bowsprit sticking forward from the bow or dinghy davits hanging off the transom, then you are paying lots of money to rent space for a few sticks which don't do you any good at all while your boat is sitting there at the marina. I know some boats with huge, glorious bowsprits, complete with so-called “dolphin strikers,” protruding majestically (homoerotically?) from their bows. These boats have sat at the same marina for years, perhaps venturing out into the harbor for a day or so once or twice a season. I shudder to think what those silly sticks have cost their owners in slip fees.

There is no reason for a bowsprit on a Junk-rigged boat, making that decision easy. As far as the dinghy davits, a better solution is dinghy forks. These are sticks that hide in deep sockets built into the hull and slide out when they are needed. To store a dinghy, the dink is lifted out of the water on a halyard, plopped down onto the forks, and flipped over, so that it sits on two sticks bottom-up. A single line can then be used to secure it to the sticks.

This approach works very well with hard dinks, and less well with so-called “deflatables.” Some people optimistically call them “inflatables”; however, they are never guaranteed to inflate and always guaranteed to deflate, so the term “deflatable” fits better. Deflatables cost lots of money, don't last very long and row like pigs. On the other hand, it takes just a couple of days and a few tools to fashion a good hard dink out of a couple of sheets of plywood, some fiberglass and epoxy and some paint, and the result is surprisingly durable and effective.

There is room for three sets of dinghy forks: off the transom, and one each to port and starboard, for a total of three dinks that can be stored while at anchor. When underway, only the transom forks can be used because the others would hit the water when the boat is heeled over. When the sea is rough, dinks should be secured on deck, and having a large and level flush deck makes this easy. If they are nesting dinks, than this saves even more space. Dinghy forks can also be used to fashion swimming or fishing platforms. Canvas can be stretched over them to collect rainwater.

That is a lot of functionality for the cost of a few sticks!

2 comments:

  1. Nice. Now you are taking design cues from Serenity (shuttles on both sides of the ship). The sticks retract nicely into the hull. Any thought to having ones that swing? The only reason I was thinking about this was that it might be able to build ones that are triangular in cross section, that are structurally better than sticks.

    Didn't know what sort of load and length you were designing for (that's an easy table lookup). The sticks, if parallel, might bear a good deal of load, and so those "sticks" would have to be pretty hefty. Are you thinking along the lines of a wooden 2x4s, or something in metal?

    Hmmm... sticks could be a bit wider, and become planks. You aren't thinking of making people "walk the plank" on a regular basis, are you? Or for boarding other vessels? :-)

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  2. I've used fir 2x4's for this purpose on Hogfish, and they held up fine. On QUIDNON I am thinking of using 3x6's or 2x4's fiberglassed over.

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