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Thread: A call for designs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default A call for designs

    If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you will have heard the dire predictions of what will happen to the highways, interstates and bridges in Western Oregon and Washington after a major Cascadia subduction zone quake. Basically, the transportation infrastructure will have collapsed, making access to food, water and medical attention virtually impossible.
    I was thinking about this last night when a light bulb went on.
    Wait? How did people travel before there were roads and such?
    The local answer is flowing past my Salem home less than a half-mile away.
    The Willamette River. D'oh!
    There will be obstacles, of course, mostly in the form of collapsed bridges at Boone's Ferry, Salem, Independence, Albany, Corvallis and Eugene. Clearing paths through the debris will be a big help, but at this point they represent six portage points between Oregon City and Springfield. Not a huge problem. Similar challenges will exist on the many rivers that drain Washington west of the Cascades.
    Helicopters will be working hard to supply food, water and medical teams/transport but the need will far outstrip what military helicopters can provide.
    The rivers, however, will be a much lower tech highways for the people. Recreational fishing boats will be the first "river cars" but it will take almost no time to design and build a new/old class of shallow-draft barges and tugs that can handle more efficient loads.
    Boatbuilders and designers, are you listening?
    Just thought I would share this meditation ...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Deer Isle, Maine
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    951

    Default Re: A call for designs

    I present the mighty....Gundalow!



    My work here is done! http://www.gundalow.org/

  3. #3
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Thanks Jackster! There would definitely be a role for sail power as fuel will be scarce.
    That said, the more I think on this the more I realize the challenge is to design a shallow-draft mini-barge that can be towed, perhaps in a string of several barges, by a small fishing boat -- say, a 14-foot riveted aluminum Smokercraft (I know, the horror for wooden boat fans but ubiquitous) powered by a 10-20 horse outboard.
    I can't recall seeing any such barges as I have in mind. I am thinking 8 feet wide, 12 to 16 feet long with a foot or more of freeboard depending how they carry their loads, and very easily constructed of 4 X 8 sheet goods, dimensional framing lumber, nails screws and caulk or glue. Potential cargo might include anything from injured or uninjured human beings to food, water, fuel, livestock and building materials. Down-current performance not so critical as performance against a current. Of course, the quake could strike during winter high water flows just as easily as in summer with some skinny water in places.
    A key consideration in designing these expendable mini-barges would be making them as free of drag as possible to allow even a small boat to pull two or three at a time against the current.
    Last edited by Bill in Oregon; 04-18-2017 at 11:20 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Portland, Oregon
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    38,177

    Default Re: A call for designs

    Freighter Canoes.

    Can be poled, paddled, or motorized. Will float over shallow riffles, and even be dragged across gravel bars. Substantially more payload than a standard canoe --

    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  5. #5
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    David, I agree. But here is my thought. For every freight canoe in garages and back yards in the Northwest, there will be 100 or more small aluminum fishing boats already at hand to provide the pulling/pushing "tugboat" function.
    The freight itself would be handled mostly by the barges, and the barges could be fabricated using lumber, sheet goods and fasteners salvaged from any of the tens of thousands of destroyed homes across the Northwest. I am thinking super quick and dirty with the materials at hand here. You could even skip glue or caulk and just hammer the sides to the bottom with little more than sections of flattened garden hose as a caulking membrane to keep out most of the water.
    I mean, if you really let your imagination go to work, think of squads of volunteers who fan out across our towns and cities to pull light boat trailers down to the rivers -- or even carry those 12-foot Valcos with 10-horse Evinrudes down to staging areas.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2015
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    Dorset, UK
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    You're going to need a Rabelo and some some Oxon.

    Archive footage from Portugal care of In the Boatshed.

    Movie bit starts at 11 minutes in.


  7. #7
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    Mar 2011
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    Mukilteo, WA
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Using the river for transport would be fun, but for all out survival- plant a garden. Store some water and some bulk food (oats, flour, rice) and you'll be fine. A wood stove will make it comfortable if its winter.

    Before roads, rivers were used for transport, but the bulk of surviving was done at home with no need to go anywhere.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    J.M. Thats all well and good. What if this quake strikes in late January? Folks living self-sufficiently in rural ares will be much better off than those of us who live in cities, even if we take precautions to stockpile food and water for ourselves. Even that won't be of any value at all if natural gas main fires sweep through neighborhoods. This is much more like being on a war footing. Think London Blitz in spades. I'm talking a transportation network that can be set up in days to serve a population of millions.
    Last edited by Bill in Oregon; 04-18-2017 at 07:47 PM.

  9. #9
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    Perth Australia
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Amazing video . Takes courage to navigate through obstacles that would tear you apart with so much weight . . . Must of been a nightmare in peak hour traffic ! ��

  10. #10
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Edward, thanks for that video on the Barco Rabelo. Those Portuguese river boatmen are something!

  11. #11
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    Dec 2015
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    Dorset, UK
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    They build 'em on the river side with man tools.

    In order you need an adze, axe, hammer and a saw for the fiddly jobs. Oh and a big mallet for those trunnels!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QWtnwmAUvvE
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 04-19-2017 at 10:45 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Oregon View Post
    ... there will be 100 or more small aluminum fishing boats already at hand to provide the pulling/pushing "tugboat" function.
    ...
    There are hundreds of them, but without gas for the motors they are quite useless. Something that you could paddle or row or sail a bit would be a lot more versatile in a worst case scenario.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  13. #13
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    Jul 2013
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    Aquitaine
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Edward, thanks from me too. I spent 30 yrs over there and spent some time with old boats. Gives me pimples looking at the vids.
    A2

  14. #14

    Default Re: A call for designs

    I like these kinds of "What if...?" thought projects. I live a bit upstream from the OP, and have often thought about the same thing. My current doodlings are of larger versions of the Puddle Duck Goose (12 X 4' enlargement of the Puddle Duck Racer). A useful one in a post-disaster scenario my be my latest in what I call the "Willamette River Scow" family. It uses the shallower Goose rocker scaled up to make a 20' X 5' 4" hull, although I have extended the bow to make 20' 6" LBP. The rig is two GIS 105 sq ft lugsails from Really Simple Sails. The construction is ala Michalak, with buoyancy compartments fore (3' 6") and aft (4') under decks and a side captive leeboard. Outboard motor mount and two rowing positions, with side benches and removable boards allowing for camping or cargo or just taking a lot of people. It requires 15 sheets of 3/8" MDO or marine ply. I've drawn versions of these from 13' 6" to 26', but a couple of them stand out for economy of material and rig: this one and a 17' 4" X 5' smaller sister that uses a 105 and 36 sq ft (also RSS) yawl rig and 10 sheets of ply. I think they'd make good post-disaster boats (although I really intend them as camp-cruisers), and they've just been fun to draw! These hulls can take a lot of weight.

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