Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Safe Space for Survivors

In spite of nature’s best efforts to derail my plans, in the form of Hurricane Matthew, they are proceeding apace, including the plan to design QUIDNON—the houseboat that sails. The hurricane provided a teachable moment on surviving hurricanes aboard boats, confirming many of my intuitions about what makes QUIDNON a safe design for any situation, hurricanes included.

We were in a mandatory evacuation zone, and although we could have sheltered in place, I decided to avoid subjecting my family to such an ordeal. And so we jumped in a rental car, drove away from the coast and sat out the hurricane in a motel room. When we got back, picking our way between piles of debris that were littering the roads, we found that the boat had suffered zero damage, but that the entire marina came within a foot or so of being annihilated: another foot of storm surge, and only some concrete pilings would have been left, with the rest of the marina, boats included, washed up on shore, with the boats crushed underneath the floating docks. In fact, this is what happened to many of the other marinas in the area. Since the height of the pilings was set a long time ago, when ocean levels weren’t rising as quickly and catastrophic storms were less frequent, this is going to be happening more and more frequently. Everyone here considers the fact that the marina survived something of a miracle.


Boats at anchor did not fare too well either; most of them have ended up on shore when their anchors dragged or failed. Of these, the sailboats did the worst: the combination of a lead keel mounted to an eggshell-like fiberglass hull is a bad one when it comes to tackling land. Once the keel hits and the boat flops over, total damage becomes almost inevitable. The boats that did the best were mored to stationary anchors with chain: large concrete blocks embedded in the bottom. Well-designed boats don’t care too much about wind and water; it’s solid objects that kill them.

These observations validate some of the design decisions that went into designing QUIDNON:

1. The ability to get out of the marina in a hurry is very important. Most people who live aboard boats don’t put too much effort into making sure that the engine is in good running order. For an inboard diesel this is quite a lot of effort and expense. And so when the time comes to move the boat out of the marina and put it on a mooring, the engine may not even start, or start and then stall because the fuel is old and the fuel filter becomes clogged with sediment. But since QUIDNON is going to be powered by an outboard motor mounted in an inboard well, this will be less of a problem. First, the motor can be used to power a dinghy when QUIDNON is at rest; secondly, outboard motors are much easier to lay up, and usually fire up afterword with just a bit of effort. Gasoline does not grow bacteria like diesel fuel, and can be stabilized and stored over long periods of time.

2. No matter how hard you try, your boat may end up on dry land. Therefore, it is very important that QUIDNON goes aground well. Having a wide, flat bottom covered in roofing copper over tarred felt will make QUIDNON relatively shore-friendly: roofing copper is tough material, and will work-harden rather than rip. Once the extreme weather passes, it should be possible to drag QUIDNON back into the water over round sticks using the anchor winch.

3. A hurricane is not a convenient time to go sailing. Sailboats have masts, which generate windage during a hurricane, and are not useful unless you plan to go sailing. After a hurricane some number of masts can be seen poking out of the water at low tide: not only were these masts of no use during the sinking, but they now pose a hazard to navigation. QUIDNON’s masts can be taken down and lashed to the deck by a single person in an hour or so, reducing windage and weight up top.

4. Once the hurricane is over, weeks may pass before the local economy gets back to normal. Food, electricity and gasoline are likely to remain scarce for some time. In order to make it, is important to have lots of storage space stocked with food and water. QUIDNON’s ample lockers and massive water tanks (which double as ballast) can provide for months of autonomous survival.

5. The safest place for a boat during a hurricane is on shore. This is true even for keelboats, which are stored on jacks and can get pushed over in a hurricane. QUIDNON needs no special arrangements of this sort, and can simply sit on a patch of dirt, next to your house, stocked and ready to serve as hurricane shelter or, if the waters reach high enough, a floating escape capsule. Moored between two pilings in a flood zone, it will simply float up in case of a flood, then settle again.

6. Even if the motor runs, it may turn out to be impossible to move the boat out of harm’s way because its bottom and prop are fouled with marine growth. People who live aboard boats don’t usually find it necessary to haul them out and repaint the bottom with anti-fouling paint every where. And so they find that their boat won’t move when it has to, even with the engine at full throttle. QUIDNON’s bottom is surfaced with roofing copper designed to provide anti-fouling for the expected lifetime of the boat (around 30 years), will never need to be hauled out and repainted, and will always be ready to move.

7. There are cases where there is simply nowhere for a boat to shelter near land, and the safest survival strategy is to head for open water and away from any dirt or rocks. Remember, sticks and stones will kill a boat, but wind and water are its natural element. Here, it is very important that the boat have certain characteristics that allow it to survive any conditions, no matter how wild. Stability and the ability to self-right is very important, and QUIDNON's impressive 130º of primary stability will help it stay right-side-up no matter.

9. Although staying well away from dirt and rocks buys a large amount of safety, there is still the small chance of encountering floating debris that can hole a hull. Here, QUIDNON's self-rescuing characteristics are very helpful: blowing out the water tanks with compressed air, making them buoyant and blocking off the aft cabins to allow additional flotation, allows it to remain afloat with the cabin knee-deep in water until the hole is plugged and the water pumped out.

10. When disaster strikes and you happen to be possessed of a secure, well-stocked, self-sufficient survival capsule such as QUIDNON, you may find that you have more company than you expected. Most 36-foot sailboats usually can’t accommodate more than four or five people with any degree of comfort. In contrast, QUIDNON’s interior space is rather carefully carved up to provide the maximum of accommodation with a maximum of flexibility. There are two aft cabins that can sleep two adults each, four settees (two in the main salon, two in the bow cabin), two pilot berths in the main salon that provide beds for two adults each, or a larger number of children, and two generous shelves in the bow cabin that can provide cribs for babies. There is a full galley to cook for all of them, and a heads with a full-size shower stall and a mini-bathtub for the kids to wash them all.

* * *

This last point is the one that I would like to discuss here at some length, because we are nearing the end of the design process to maximize the interior space. The interior structure—the bulkheads, the sides and the top of the water tanks and the board trunks, the settees, the cabin soles and the various partitions—are all made of plywood pieces that are joined together in a variety of ways: jigsaw joints, box joints, and mortise and tenon joints. Each element serves two purposes: it maximizes the use of space, and it also maximizes structural rigidity: everything is structural.

It's a split-level
Next project on the list is to analyze the structure using software, to identify stress concentrations and weak points, to select appropriate thicknesses of plywood for all the elements, and to add gussets and other reinforcements where necessary.

Top view of interior structure

At the center of the boat is the companionway. It is trapezoidal in shape, and has openings in six directions: up the companionway ladder to the cockpit, two openings leading to the aft cabins (equipped with sliding doors for full privacy), an opening to port going to the heads (also set up with a door), an opening to starboard to the galley (always open) and, finally, an opening to the main salon, equipped with a curtain. There is a similar opening, with a curtain, between the main salon and the bow cabin.

Lots of room between the deck and the cabin soles

Because of the curve of the bottom the cabin soles are at five different levels. The lowest are in the galley and the heads, where people (including very tall people) are most likely to be standing for extended periods of time, with a full 6’10” (2 m) of headroom. The cabin sole in the companionway is a bit higher, because there is 3 tons of solid ballast under it.

Bottom view of the interior structure

The aft cabins are not designed for standing room, and are just 4’7” (140 cm) in height, but provide plenty of locker space below the cabin soles. They can be used as storage, as sleeping accommodations, and, with the bed rolled up and stowed and a drop-leaf table and a fold-out seat, serve as a workshop, a study or even a miniature classroom.

The main salon has 6’3” (190 cm) of headroom, which is enough for some 90% of the people to avoid having to stoop. The settees and the pilot berths, at 10’ (3 m) long, provide room for up to eight people to stretch out with their heads pointed in opposite directions (with some overlap between their legs).

Cabin measurements. Beam is around 15 feet except at the bow

The bow cabin, with 5’9” (175 cm) of headroom and the settees 6’9” (205 cm) long, is still adequate for all but the tallest people.

Because every element is both functional and structural, we have made every effort to keep the layout as generic and multipurpose as possible while maximizing both living space and locker space. Completely missing are shelves, cabinets, hanging lockers, slide-out drawers and other typical cabinetry. There will be some built-in cabinetry in the galley and the heads, to be sure, but the overall approach is to provide a minimum of structure, which will be unalterable, and allow people to customize the rest as they see fit.

34 comments:

  1. Hi D,

    I've waited for discussion of the interior because i hope to contribute and this is the area i might have the best chance of adding value...

    Elsewhere you mentioned a stove in the shower/sauna, and when i saw it on a drawing i think it was mounted on the hull?
    I wonder/ed if it would be better on a bulkhead of the sauna that was shared with the interior, forward, so heat could be more easily/efficiently shared with the interior salon sans complicated baffles or fans.

    Another interior note: I've lived on boats for 15 years, including the last ten, and i keep thinking it would be nice to have a "day tank" for water, mounted overhead, that you could fill each day (perhaps with a good stairmaster-type footpump) and which would provide gravity fed water pressure all day. Just ten(?) gallons, of course we don't want that mass high while underway, but no need to run pumps on and off all day while at anchor/dock, etc. Not sure where i first got this idea - maybe it was a day tank for heating fuel?

    I'm interested to hear your considered perspective on these ideas. More thoughts to come when i get them organized.

    Thanks for it all!

    David in San Diego
    (planning to lead the West Coast operations up north in 2018? or so)

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    1. On the bilge pump, there should be a manual back-up. The typical arrangement is to mount a sanitation-type diaphragm pump in the cockpit, where it has to lift water just to dump it overboard, generating 6 feet of head instead of 1. It is actuated using a stick that moves up and down. This is, of course, completely stupid.

      A much better arrangement is a two-cylinder pump (that pumps on both strokes) located right in the bilge. It should be actuated using a jerk line attached to a lever in the cockpit that moves left-right, with the motion of the boat.

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  2. Also, might a good treadle (stairmaster-type) emergency bilge pump come in handy? Like in a hull puncture situation? I understand blowing out the water tanks, but then you've still got water in the cabin, and what runs the planned bilge pumps? 12v? I dunno, maybe it's just me, but that stuff can be so unreliable when it gets wet...

    The following pump was designed for irrigation; i Like the low tech aspects like reliability, repairability, durability. Instead of running an electric bilge pump however long (longer in winter because condensation of aspiration), one could just hit (or assign to crew) the stairstepper for a short bit.

    http://archive.cooperhewitt.org/other90/other90.cooperhewitt.org/Design/super-moneymaker-pump.html

    Again, your perspective it's solicited.

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    1. The water pump arrangements have been worked out in some detail in a previous post. I can see how a day tank driven by a foot pump would please a live-aboard bachelor, but not a family that goes through tens of gallons a day. After many iterations on our current and previous boats, we use a foot pump just for filtered water. It is a safety feature, to avoid dehydration if the electrical system dies while at sea.

      We haven't worked out all the arrangements for the heating, but from my years of overwintering on board in snowy New England I have discovered that what matters most is how warm the cabin sole and the settee backrests are. And the only way to warm them up is to circulate warm air down through the bilge. Most boat heating systems heat your head while freezing your feet, and that's very uncomfortable. We intend to engineer some ductwork into QUIDNON's bilge, to uniformly distribute the heat throughout the bottom of the cabin.

      As for the choice of fuel, the important thing is to keep things flexible. Since QUIDNON won't have a diesel engine, diesel won't be used for heating either. This leaves propane, which is a perfectly reasonable heating fuel provided there is a flue. Another option is solid fuel—wood or charcoal. I happily heated for a couple of seasons using a little charcoal stove, and the radiant heat from it kept the cabin happy. There will be two places to mount a heater/furnace of some sort: in the galley and in the heads. Both will be equipped with a flue, for combustion gases and for piping out the moisture and the fumes. But all of these details remain to be worked out.

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  3. So great to see a new Quidnon post. This made my day! Your post about hurricane Irene was great and I was hoping you would revisit this subject. I don't know much about kilowatt hours and off grid systems. I know it depends on weather conditions, but do the solar and wind systems generally provide enough power to run the refrigerator, lights, pumps, etc. without recourse to running the engine? I assume the refrigerator requires a decent amount of power if not running on propane. This seems relevant to living in Quidnon in an area with disrupted power and water, or living at a mooring.

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    1. I was just talking about solar panels with a marina neighbor. He wants to run his fridge off solar panels. The requirements are 10A at 13.5V, or 135W. He'll need 3 or 4 100W solar panels to make that work, and the panels have to be mounted so that they can be pivoted to be close to perpendicular to the sunbeams. A wind generator rated at 400W generally puts out 100W, and that's in steady winds. There also have to be electronics to shut the refrigerator off when battery voltage falls below 12V, which it will on overcast, windless days. In all, some other form of power generation is needed. Probably the best choice is a generator set with an automatic start function.

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    2. An RV type fridge that runs off of propane or AC can be super-insulated and run off of a dedicated PV panel with a micro-inverter. Since the refrigeration system is resistive rather than mechanical, it can utilise whatever output the panel can produce. Super-insulation can be supplemented with "cold plates" that add thermal mass to the interior (perforated steel plates replace shelving). Venting the propane option may be problematic but solvable. Maybe something to play with.

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    3. Regarding control, many solar charge controllers have programmable relays to control loads or lighting at whatever voltage setpoints you choose. I use Outback charge controllers, and utilise the relays to control all sorts of things in our off-grid home; turn things off at lower battery voltages, and especially to dump surplus PV output when voltage rises (batteries fully charged). Surplus PV output goes to heat water, run an AC/dehumidifier, pump water; all automated with voltage setpoints.

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    4. These charge controllers also have a separate programmable generator auto-start relay.

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    5. "Since the refrigeration system is resistive rather than mechanical, it can utilise whatever output the panel can produce."
      This is only true within the design range of the absorption cooling unit. A modern DC compressor actually has more useful operative range than an absorption fridge, being able to push the compressor at a variable speed between 11 and 28 volts input. We will begin seeing these units in normal retail fridges soon, I'm guessing in about 3 years. I have it on *very* good authority that GE Appliances is currently working on a "world voltage" refrigerator that can be powered on any AC voltage or hertz used anywhere, because it actually uses a power converter to drive just such a variable speed DC compressor. The additional power electronics required to drive one of these directly off of a PV panel is trivial, and might even be an official option.

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    6. I'm very leery of adding the additional layers of complexity, to gain how much efficiency? Indeed, a PV-direct fridge like a Sun Frost is very simple compared to the converter scheme you mention, which is mechanically more complex than an absorption unit. Complexity is usually our enemy when it comes to self-sufficiency.

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    7. I'm not recommending a DC compressor based refrigerator on a boat, just pointing out that using small scale solar photovoltics to run an absorption cycle fridge is, usually, a bad idea. The operative range aside, the modern freon compressor is more than twice as energy efficient as the absorption cycle is capable of, which permits a much smaller photovoltic array as well. The tracking problem on a boat is also no small issue. I like the idea of a *small* 3-way RV style fridge on Quidnon, myself, but most 3-way fridges are designed to run on 12 volt DC resistive heat for limited periods of time, and at a reduced heat pumping capacity. Said another way, they don't work as well on DC as they do on 120 volts AC or propane, and that is by design. DC operation is only intended as a temporary operative state between stops, at which point either propane or 120 AC is used for the majority of the vacation. The only potential problem that I can see with using a 3-way fridge is that such products are not designed to operate at more than 30 degrees from plumb for any extended period of time. In most any single-hulled boat, this could not work without a self-leveling mounting; but in Quidnon, it would be quite the blow to get her to heel to 30 degrees and keep her there for more than a few minutes, so long as the skipper wasn't in a coma (or overboard). I might still choose a 2-way electric compressor fridge for my own Quidnon, simply because I know how to work on compressor units; or add a self-leveling mounting for the 3-way, because the closer to level, the more energy efficient an aborbtion unit tends to be.

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  4. Wait, did you say that there was 5 tons of *solid* ballast under the companionway sole? Is that in addition to the 5 tons of water ballast in the freshwater tanks? I knew that you had mentioned before that Quidnon's static displacement would be 10 tons or so, but I was assuming that included the ship itself, and that all that wood, fiberglass, copper, engine & resin would be roughly 5 tons. So what is the ballast under the companionway sole made of? Is this the concrete thermal mass of early last year's version re-animated?

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    1. The actual number is 3 tons. Sorry. It is there to balance the water tanks.

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    2. Will this ballast be a solid slab of concrete, or could it be something removable? Say, for example, I used bags of sand with a floor access; so that, should I have the opprotunity, I could remove the sandbags and place another dense cargo in it's place. Such as bricks. Not something I expect that would happen on any regular basis, but if the opportunity arose to transport something heavy and with a trade value, I'd rather carry that around. Or would this cause other problems?

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    3. This part of the design still needs to be defined, but I would prefer the solid ballast to be poured in sections, each under 1 ton, so that it can be slid sideways and lifted out through the companionway using a hoist if needed. This is necessary to provide access to the bottom for repairs. It wouldn't be an easy operation, and I doubt that anybody would do it just to provide a bit of cargo space. Since this would affect stability, it would be a bad idea in any case.

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    4. This makes me think of using some of those large plastic storage containers (the kind that everyone stores winter clothes in) as a mold, with a rebar lifting eye embedded into the concrete. Add a set of those 'magic slider' furniture moving pads on the bottom of each storage container before pouring in the concrete, just to make it easier to slide the individual ballasts across flat surfaces. Removing these certainly doesn't sound like fun, but at least I know that the option would exist.

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    5. I worked it out. It's going to be a fixed locker under the cabin sole accessed through a small hatch and filled to capacity with scrap anchor chain, which can be fed in and pulled out again hand-over-hand, no hoist needed.

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    6. Excellent. Reusing decommissioned anchor chain as ballast should be relatively inexpensive. Thanks, Dmitry.

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  5. BoatUS has a guide for hurricane prep

    http://www.boatus.com/hurricanes/HurricaneWarning.pdf

    Better yet, move out to the west coast. It's fairly easy to commute between Baja California and Puget Sound. Puget Sound is well protected from tsunamis and typhoons. Lots of sailing can be done around here.

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  6. I'm curious about what other do for heating and mechanical ventilation. It seems the "best" setup is a combination of diesel heating, forced air diesel stove, and a small AC dehumidifier (e.g. frigidaire 30 pint). I have a forced air webasto and the frigidaire 30 pint, along w/ an alcohol stove. Boat stays comfortable around 50% RH, mostly due to the dehumidifier. I try to keep cooking and showering down to limit dumping massive amounts of moisture inside the boat.

    It's good to measure RH and temperature, you generally want to be between about 25% and 60%, depending on your location and personal comfort.

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    1. In QUIDNON's case, there won't be any diesel heat because there's no diesel on board. The choices are propane, electric and solid fuel (wood, charcoal). Electric is expensive and many marinas don't allow solid fuel, so propane it has to be. Propane can also be used for refrigeration when shore power is not available. There is an active propane locker with room for two 22 lb. cylinders, and cockpit lazarettes can be fitted with propane drains.

      For getting rid of fumes from cooking and steam from showering, and also to provide flues for propane exhaust, there will be two flues, port and starboard, plugged when underway.

      The heating system will be forced air, with the air distributed through ducts in the bilge and heating the cabin soles throughout the boat. QUIDNON's wide, flat bilge that rises gradually toward the bow and the stern will provide a perfect heat distribution system.

      To get rid of excess moisture in the salon and the cabins, there is the continuous row of deadlights all around the sheer strip. These are single-glazed, and the condensation they form will trickle down to the bilge and get pumped out. The big main hatch in the salon will be double-glazed to avoid condensation and dripping.

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  7. Buildings have moved onto 24/7/365 mechanical ventilation in bathrooms long ago. Seems like a good idea for a boat too. I really wish I had a range hood, tho I'm not sure how I'd mount something like that. A flue alone seems inadequate, I want a massive fan for both cooking and showering, it's something I'm still planning.

    I dunno about that idea of letting condensation run into the bilge, why not direct some heat on those windows? You could possibly direct some of th heat from the forced air system onto those windows and eliminate the condensation altogether.

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    1. Because active heating costs money, but using the natural temperature differences between the inside airspace & the hull to dehumidify the air is a well established trick that works well enough 80%+ of the time, or rather all of the time that the water is 70 degrees or less. Quidnon has a double hull, specifically to permit this process to occur in a controlled fashion, while also keeping the interior bulkheads contact dry and insulated from the hull. Since there is an air gap between the inner side of the hull and the inner bulkheads, that air gap limits the conduction of cold from the water into the living space. This might not work well in the tropics, where most pricey boats spend most of their inhabited hours, but Quidnon is designed more for the *rest* of the world. I.E. overwintering while north of latitude 30, or a summer north of 40. Of course, you could still add climate control, continuously powered ventilation or even an electric dehumidifier; but anyone who intends to live aboard this vessel will appreciate the design features that mean that these things are not required to remain comfortable most of the time.

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  8. Many commercial (and many now converted to live-aboard) barges in Europe have used the condensation to the bilge technique for over 100 years.

    Quite effective.

    And weird to consider most of the bilge water being pumped overboard in winter went through your lungs at one point in the recent previous few days...

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  9. Forming the copper to the curved bottom will be difficult. I considered it for my own boat and opted for powdered copper mixed into epoxy. It is usually activated by sanding, but an anecdote I ran across indicated the commercial version works better if it is followed with steel wool (stainless).. I plan to do mine with bronze wool to totally avoid stains. It increases the copper exposure from 30% to 50%. The separate pieces of copper do not suffer from electrolysis and the coating can be 'renewed' by sanding after 10 years or so. Put on 4 coats and you will be good for life. I did. I got the powder from a place in NH. Much cheaper and the same stuff as the expensive commercial coating. Once and done.

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    1. Hello Everybody!!!
      I love this blog! For some reason my Gmail name isn't showing up, but my name is Fred Rowe, I am a 58 yo single retired Chemical Engineer and I live aboard a 1977 Morgan 49 (an el-cheapo version of the Morgan 51) in Fort Myers Beach in Florida. The boat needed (needs) a good bit of work. I am attempting to loosely follow the lifestyle of Ken Neumeyer and his great book, Sailing the Farm: A Survival Guide to Homesteading on the Ocean published back in 12/1/81. I really think he would have formed a sea steading "movement," but soon after he published the book, he hit some boat jacks in a boatyard and had major head trauma when the boat fell on his car. After being taking care of by his loving family, he recently passed away. I have some "Living Foodist" tendencies, so I really like his ideas! Genius!!! I love your stuff Dmitry Orlof and hope one day to build (or buy) one of these “Houseboats with sails”! My friends already call me a “sailing heretic” but I seem to have get along with everyone anyway as a crew member, maybe its because of my other nickname “MacGyver.”
      Anyway, I will be soon putting the old girl on the hard and I also am looking at the epoxy and copper powder system. I first learned about it from the Sailing Uma YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfoKBL37BuA
      Do you have any comments on this video? Or comments on the comments (1,575 at the time of this post)? My biggest question is: How will this stand up on the bottom of my keel after a few groundings?

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    2. Forming sheet copper onto a simple, single dimensional, curved surface will not be any more difficult than doing the same thing for the layers of plywood. I would guess that it would be a great deal easier, since real copper is very malleable, much more so than plywood; and we would be attaching the copper to an existing solid form, that hull created with numerous simple curves of plywood sheeting. I've worked with many types of sheet metal in the past, and I can say with confidence that curving it across a single dimension is actually quite easy to do, but a compound curvature requires an enormous amount of controlled force.

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    3. I hear you Moon. I also have some experience with sheet copper and the powdered copper coating. I used a version of the powdered copper coating that was mixed with clear latex and used to make fake copper awnings and gutters for houses. These had to be sanded to allow for the formation of the "patina." It worked great but it didn't have near the insults that my boat's bottom receives. I have used the preformed copper (or copper plated steel) roofing panels and covered a small tool shed's roof with copper sheeting. Both required significant overlaps, and weren't getting the insults, or water pressurized by depth. How do you plan to deal with the seams? If you overlap the sheets, what will be the added drag? How thick are the sheets and how much will they cost? How about repairs? I like the design criteria of being able to go into shallow waters and to be able to easily ground the boat out of the water. How will the copper sheets fair in such usage? I have seen old wooden boats with copper sheeting on the waterline, but I have no experience with a bottom coating. On land, going around rapids or distance traveling (like a wagon), I sure would like some wheels (like a wagon). Maybe actual wagons could be made to carry the boats... I just had a vision of the boat with the full Junk rigging up, bouncing down a country lane. LOL!!!

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    4. To find out about copper sheets on boat bottoms, see http://www.triloboats.com/

      That's where I get information on it validated by plentiful experience. I've improved the process somewhat in terms of mounting technique, but haven't tested it out yet.

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  10. I live in Adelaide, South Australia. Historically, we've had a warm to hot Mediterranean climate on the coastal plains. Our coast has two large and shallow gulfs which makes for mostly pleasant sailing. Last Friday, we had a thunderstorm event come charging in and drop 40mm diameter hailstones for around 40 minutes. Skylights, solar panels, car bodywork suffered terribly. Adelaide just isn't prepared for large hailstones. This has traditionally been an East cost phenomenon, unheard of down here. But it got me thinking, how might you hailproof Quidnon? We found a plastic bucket that had a golfball sized hole through both sides. What might such a storm do to your sails, solar panels etc?

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    1. QUIDNON's deck is hailstone-proof because it's surfaced with aluminum diamond plate backed with fiberglass backed with 1.5" (40mm) of plywood. Solar panels would need to be turned so that they are at a right angle and take the hailstones on the hard aluminum frame rather than the glass. The rest of what's on the deck is relatively hailstone-proof. That's about as far in this direction as one can reasonably go. What do you do to protect against 100mm hailstones flying at you at 150 km/h? Nothing much!

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  11. Can you make available dimensions and drawings sufficient to make a scale model?

    I would like to make a scale model and try it out for myself.

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  12. The way to build a scale model is to start with a kit milled out on an NC mill. It costs a few hundred dollars in materials, machine time and labor.

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