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Thread: A call for designs

  1. #1
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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
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    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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    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 12:20 PM.

  4. #4
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    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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    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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    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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    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 08:47 PM.

  9. #9
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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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    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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    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 11:45 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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    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.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Brian, guessing you might be in Eugene-Springfield? I had not heard of the PD goose until you mentioned it here. It is kind of homely, but wow, does it perform!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO0B5p7iTjE

  16. #16

    Default Re: A call for designs

    I'm in the Corvallis area. The PDR and descendants all started with a Bolger design called Brick. Andrew Linn, from Salem, was part of the PDR contingent that sailed in several Texas 200s. He also sailed the first cabin version of a Goose in the same event one year, and later built a one-off version at the Community Boathouse in Toledo. Like a lot of things Bolger, the concept looks odd but works.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    You could do it Yangtze River tracker style. No need for motors or oxen.

    -Dave

  18. #18
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    If you're that worried, why not just move now?

    Where are you hoping to get to if this quake strikes?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    I would suspect it would take an "African Queen", much like Humphrey and Kathern used to deliver the torpedo. Steam powered, fueled primarily with wood, but could use just about anything that burns. Shallow draft Vessel made from wood could be maintained indefinately.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Brian, I just googled the Bolger Brick and then spent some time on the PDRacer pages. Lots of fun and looks like a great way to learn to sail if one didn't want to build the Oz Goose.
    Lupus, this quake probably won't occur in my lifetime (I'm 64). I am just thinking through ways to solve damaged infrastructure problems that will affect friends and neighbors. Our local governments have put a lot of effort in to this kind of planning. Exempli gratia:
    https://multco.us/em/oregon-resilience-plan

  21. #21
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    You could do it Yangtze River tracker style. No need for motors or oxen.

    There might be some resistance to tracking like they did thru the Three Gorges on the Yangtze, before the Chinese built the dam. Unlike the photo the trackers worked naked summer and winter.

  22. #22
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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....
    HeHe, that would be me. Several times in the last twenty years there have been monster snow storms, wind storms, power outrages - And we didn't even notice. When the world comes to an end all we gotta do is stay home. This is easier than ever since i quit my day job to be a full time dirt poor unemployed backwoodsman.

    We get snowed in every winter as a matter of course ( Stevens County, Wa) and park a car some distance down the mountain and snow shoe in and out. So naturally we're always stocked with sufficient provision to last quite a while. My wife likes hoarding and stockpiling food the way I like hoarding and stockpiling guns and ammo.

    .....Of course, there are all those folks that keep telling us "When the stuff hit the fan we're going to your place!" I built a guest cabin just for these folks!

    Anyway, the very best water craft for the Pacific Northwest is the humble canoe. For every aluminum fishing skiff in garage you'll find 100 Coleman canoes and similar on the wood pile in the backyard!

    For a barge, take two such canoes, lash a few poles across them and deck it with something. Instant barge that will easily tote 1,000 pounds, or even more. Rig a sail if the wind is in your favor. Take apart easily and portage obstacles.

    The canoe has many advantages - They are easily ( relatively) to drag or portage around obstacles, they are easy to solo paddle or you can pile up to four people aboard, at night it's easy to drag one into the forest where you'll not be observed and you can sleep under it!

    Edit-- I should add, when you lash the canoes together set the bows a foot or two closer together than the sterns, This limits the amount of water splashed into the canoes, especially if your towing them at some speed, or rig up a big sail.
    Last edited by Etdbob; 04-24-2017 at 03:29 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    I like the canoe idea, medium and freighters. But another option with what's on hand.


    You could take this






    And add a bit of this, at least for downwind upriver action.






  24. #24
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Bob: That's a pious idea about lashing canoes together. Congratulations on your rural lifestyle choices. If my bride weren't a confirmed city girl ...

  25. #25
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    The Bolger keelboat design is a bit light for carrying cargo, but it would be quickly built and emulates the boats originally used for that purpose.

    http://www.earlyarkansas.com/keelboat-project
    Peter Belenky

  26. #26
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    After the big one we are supposed to reasonably expect that the infrastructure along the I-5 corridor will take between 1-3 months to restore. Using our river as a highway is intriguing and has significant historical precedent. Back in the day many of the commercial ventures faced the river. It's not clear to me how going up or down the river post earthquake provides an obvious access to food, medical care and other urgent needs. Drifting downstream is no problem. No doubt you have traveled the river. Going upstream in anything non-motorized is mostly exhausting and by extension - travelling a short distance. Access to gas? Any boat that is expected to navigate the Willamette will have to be transported to the water. I'm about 1/2 mile away as well. Perhaps the roads would be available to get you and your boat there. Who knows. Walking and biking sound fairly reliable. I could see backpacking an inflatable such as a Sevylor Tahiti to get from one side of the river to the other. U.S. Hwy 97 is expected to be the main north-south corridor after the quake. Perhaps merely getting to the east side of the river will allow access to supplies and services coming over the Cascades.
    https://www.oregon.gov/OMD/OEM/Pages...formation.aspx

  27. #27
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Former Boy Scout (be prepared) so I too enjoy thinking through disaster scenarios to better inform prevention and action planning. However, I suspect just what Etdbob has suggested - locally available and found materials will be used first to good effect rather than any de novo purpose-built boats. In the course of less than a day you and a neighbor could rig up just such a canoe-barge and get on with the rest of your needs - chopping wood for heat/cooking, planting for food, repair structural damage, search for survivors in fallen structures, etc. I've only visited Portland and Salem so I can't say I'm intimately familiar with the Willamette River valley but I also wondered how much utility would be had by using the river to move supplies.

    Perhaps related, but what do the local folks think about preparing for a major eruption from Mt. Baker, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, etc.? Assuming rivers remained debris-free could they serve as viable transportation networks?

  28. #28
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    A canoe-barge could be paddle right smartly by four people using the canoe seats, and the decked portion between the seats could be used to carry rescued survivors, cargo, ferry folks across the river or whatever. Having four brawny fellers paddling would likely discourage bandits who might want to steal the boat a bit, too.

    Hmm, I like that keel boat! It even has a cannon
    Bet that would make a fun houseboat too!

    For moving a canoe a half mike or more to the river, take a couple of bike wheels, stick 'em on a 2x4 and make a simple canoe cart. Two people could even lug their cargo home in the canoe with a rig like that.
    Of course rigs like this work with light skiffs too.

    A pontoon boat certainly can carry plenty.
    How sturdy are the rails? I bet you could rig half a dozen oars per side, row standing up, need a crew of twelve and someway to steer! Could be used as a human powered ferry to cross rivers when the bridges are out. Or heck, make a cable ferry out of one.

    If I remember right in the book "Alas Babylon", folks rigged ordinary small power boats with various types of sails and lee boards to ply the rivers after a nuclear war.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alas,_Babylon

    To get across a river in an emergency situation I'd lash up a quick "brush raft".
    I prefer using a tarp and making an oval raft instead of the little poncho type seen here, but you get the idea.
    http://www.doomguide.com/book/dsg_19_03.php

    keep a tarp, a hank of para cord and a machete or maybe better yet some pruning shears in the trunk of your car, and you can whip out a handy raft to get across a river and get home, should The Big One happen while you are out and about.

    I reckon that after a big nasty messy event that wrecks lots of infrastructure we'd all be real happy just to be able to get out on the water in anything at all and go fishing for a morning. Bring home something to eat. Gotta watch out for folks who might want to seal yer boat though.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    Well I just might have to lash up a prototype anyway -- and see if I can lease it to UPS!


  30. #30
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    Default Re: A call for designs

    The issue will be getting fuel not what type of vessel you have.
    Otherwise, a hovercraft would be the way to go.

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