|Notes on the Road Ahead|
We plan on beginning the new construction in early spring, hopefully with a splash before or in early summer, and to spend most of the summer exploring the Erie canal system and the Great Lakes.
This leaves us with a number of decisions to make, vis a vis The Floating Empire. We'd love you guys to give us your ideas on this. What shall we do? Do we disassemble the Empire and use the components to build the new boat? Do we gift The Floating Empire to someone who wants her, someone who will continue her story of life on the water? Do we do something else entirely? Would you like to live here on the water?
What do you think? We'd really love to know.
The weather is lovely here right now, surprisingly warm this week, and without the stiff winds that have been plaguing us. We're planning on cooking out tomorrow, doing a roast and Yorkshire pudding in the fire pit above, and then visiting good friends on Christmas day. We wish all of you a great Yuletide season, and a happy and safe new year.
>The new boat, currently dubbed "Tesla's Revenge," will be an electrically driven barge houseboat, somewhat smaller than "Empire" but more seaworthy, and designed specifically so that anyone can build it out of common materials and with just a simple set of hand tools.<ReplyDelete
Sounds like JUST what I want.
Consider paddle wheels...sidewheels in particular.
Please post about it extensively. I've been wanting to do the very same thing...(Texas lakes, the gulf and rivers...NOT the east coast.)
Everitt as we do this, we'll be posting every phase of the build. Stay tundedDelete
Not to be a downer, but paddlewheels really only excel in extremely shallow or rapidly changing depths of water. They aren't all that efficient. With current (get it? double pun, for the win) technologies with electric storage, you want the biggest bang for your buck.Delete
Acutally, Jarm, they're quite efficient, but only at speeds below the hullspeed of the vessel. I do, however, know the guy who owns the world's fastest sternwheeler (70+ MPH if you can imagine THAT roostertail). The shallow draft, though, is great for gunkholing, which is what we're planning.Delete
They aren't as efficient as a prop for propulsion. If they were, they would exist outside of a niche tourism market.Delete
Regardless of what you choose to do, I can't wait to see what you come up with to make it move.
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Jarm, I think the problem isn't one of efficiency, but rather speed. At low (below hull speed) rates, the paddlewheels do fine, but it falls WAAAAY off if you try to plane. The drive for more and more speed killed the paddles. Fortunately, I'm not in a hurry :)Delete
you might consider this.ReplyDelete
properly modified to meet your requirements (solar electric) of course.
Soooooo it works on land, snow, and water. . .has a kind of Robur the Conqueror feel, I LIKE it. :) I especially like the twin, separately controlled paddlewheels.Delete
Why reinvent the wheel unless that is your goal? There are a number of cheap vessels around that have bad engines and could be recycled into what you are looking to build. If the vessel is purchased from Boat Angles (http://www.boatangel.com/) or some similar charity its a 3-way win, you win, the environment wins and the people supported by the charity win. Additionally, many marinas have derelict boats they would love to be rid of for a song but when the 200 HP inboard dies its beyond economical repair... I doubt you want that fossil fuel burning engine anyway. A small 10 HP outboard for emergency use or for when crossing busy seaways would probably be all that was needed for your lifestyle. The rest of the time trolling motors would take you silently along at a more natural pace.ReplyDelete
As an added benefit, it will be much easier for those following along to purchase a similar boat and follow in your footsteps. Not many people will tackle the project of building a boat to live aboard from scratch. (well that's my opinion anyway but I was amazed by what you did).
Keep posting! I enjoy following you two.
WAIT, they've already INVENTED the wheel??!!?!Delete
Keith we really thought about this, and we could have our choice of a number of free, pretty-good-condition boats with dead engines, but the problem is this: It takes a lot more to push displacement V hulls through the water than a flat bottomed Garvey type hull, and most of the boats we've seen are older Fiberglass hulls and they're HEAVY. The amount of electric power needed to propel them at any speed for any distance more than counterbalanced the savings. We are, however, following your advice and adding a small gas engine for additional power. Building the boat, we get exactly the boat we want, in a shorter, more compact package. Besides, I love building stuff. :)
All great empires must fall. However, I see that this one may have some time left in her. I think that giving her away is the best choice.ReplyDelete
As far as the new vessel is concerned, I can't wait to see Tesla's Revenge. I eagerly await her saga to start.
Us either. Hoping to find a set of good hands that would enjoy a life on the water in our beloved Shantyboat.Delete
Hi Mungo, I have been reading your blog for a while now and can relate to wanting to build your own. First off I would consider holding off dismantling Floating Empire until TR is ready to go, and fully liveable. In which case you might just urn FE into an AirBnB or something!ReplyDelete
I am interested in your ideas of propulsion and storage. I am working on a sailboat but want to put an electric motor in to get in and out of harbours and so on. Unfortunately sidewheels will not work.
There are some decent turnkey packages to electrically power existing sailboats, including : http://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/electric-sailboat-kits-and-accessories-inboard-motor-ev.html and others. More and more of the marina folks are going to electric power for their aux. engines.Delete