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Thread: Aqua Casa

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Aqua Casa

    Attracted to the Aqua Casa, and also noticed the Lisa B Good. Compared to other boxy shanties (Dianne's rose, Retreat, Wanderlodge, Millie Hill, escargot) both of these seem to have extremely low freeboard.
    AquaCasa16.jpg

    My intended use is canals, small lakes, protected waters where I would feel comfortable casually canoeing.

    My attraction to these designs is simple build, low cost materials and power, within my 3500lbs tow limit, like the concept of using it as a camping trailer, and I believe the open airy feel of them negates the claustrophobic tingles my wife gets when entering the cabin on a sailboat, powerboat, etc.

    I read another post looking at these same two designs and the great advice seemed to focus on two elements:
    1. High center of gravity. Lisa B Good designer notes that after 40 degrees of list you are sleeping with the fishes
    2. Low freeboard ships water


    Happy to take this great advice and move along but have two quick follow up questions.

    So if they are top heavy, center of gravity is to high can that be offset? I could lessen the weight up above by giving up on a walkable roof and going with lower weight construction. Maybe even skin on frame. I was already considering a pop top like a Catalina sailboat to lower wind draft for towing. Both designers encourage a bit of freedom in cabin design.

    Alternately, I was thinking of a water ballast system. Tanks in the sealed deck or even on the deck under the furnishings. Sounds like design changes but in any small craft distributing the load correctly is one way to stay right side up.

    As for the low freeboard I am curious about this rental houseboat that seems to be a flat raft with a solid bulwark around the front. Very low freeboard (am I even using that term right?)
    rentalhouseboat.jpg

    The Aqua casa is designed with rectangular doors that seem to start level with the deck. If the front/rear decks are sealed, as per the design, but I adjusted the doors to start up say 6 inches any water that comes on deck could be discouraged from entering the cabin. And the bulwark could be raised, not to the point of the pictured houseboat, but a bit higher with an accompanying enlargement of the scuppers. Hmm, starting to picture the foredeck of a nuclear sub completely awash while underway. I might even hear the klaxons and foreword tilt of the deck as we slip under?

    I am not trying to prepare these to waters beyond their intended use. I do not see stories of happy extended use for either of these designs, and there may be a reason for that.

    Thanks

    J

    PS: laughing at myself. I had a spelling error. Originally wrote "mall lakes" instead of "small lakes" - Yes, I believe either of these designs would be suitable in a retention pond found at your local mall. Maybe even step it up to golf course water obstacle worthy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    Default Re: Aqua Casa

    low freeboard is not an indication of seaworthyness.
    I sailed a boat hundreds of miles at SEA ,that had less freeboard than most zodiacs that came alongside in the harbor.
    windage on the trailer.... that might be another matter. best waer yer pfd driving over bridges
    mmmmbut im just beeyessing...I've little experience in flat protected lakes and rivers .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    dfw
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    Default Re: Aqua Casa

    Jim Michalak has a design that might be worth considering

    https://duckworks.com/shanteuse-plans/

    i watched one being built and gone aboard for a ride up a bayou

    very stable and can take a bit of wind/wave action

    18033363_955790677896517_1164319744321737981_n.jpg

    kind of a happy little girl

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  4. #4
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    Jul 2013
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    Default Re: Aqua Casa

    I was interested in Lisa B Good, but very few have been built and the stories about stability appear to be dire. Aqua Casa does not look a lot different....
    If you want standing headroom all over, a bigger footprint sounds important or, more weight. The 'drawings' of AC show very little immersed hull.
    Last edited by Andrew2; 03-29-2022 at 12:21 PM.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Aqua Casa

    40 degrees is a lot of list for a powerboat. Just saying. If you got any of these boats sideways on a breaking wave you'd likely be done. But, you've stated you plan on cruising protected waters, so, really, not an issue.

    I would have a high sill/ step for Aqua Casa's door. Wont take much chop to be shipping water on that foredeck. I'd want to make sure this slop and slosh stayed out the cabin. I rented a houseboat on Lake Powell, and our foredeck was often awash underway when headed into the wind. Granted it was windy, blowing 20-25. This leaked past the deck height sill of the door and into the living space. And this was a much bigger boat than what is shown. Like this.

    weekender_exterior_2_1000x667.jpg



    The barge has low freeboard( aft) , but it likely has a watertight deck that drains overboard.
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    Default Re: Aqua Casa

    Wizbang, thank you for comments about low freeboard.

    Steve, a runner up design is Phil Thiel's Escargot which resembles the Shanteuse. But the Shanteuse has the gap down the middle permitting standing. Interesting. The Escargot plans include plans for a similar design that has a gable roof.

    Andrew, "more weight" - I was thinking of water ballast but that in effect changes the design. I am not qualified for that.

    Breakaway - exactly. The design would limit my choice of waters but that compromise may well be acceptable. I believe sealed decks are part of the plan - just less volume compared to the Water Lodge, Millie Hill or Escargot. Yes, I was thinking higher sill/step for either door. Also lower the center of gravity with lower weight construction - possibly giving up a walkable roof.

    Hey, the famous USS Monitor had low freeboard too and it did fine...
    Up until it swamped.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Aqua Casa

    Whoa, Phil Bolger's Houseboat #481 changes things a wee bit.

    I believe there are people like myself, with zero boat design skills. Others that dabble a bit but it may not be their full time occupation and then those that actually design commercially. Phil Bolger of course falls into that last category. Having him put pen to paper and come up with something that resembles the Lisa B Good and Aqua Casa is reassuring. And then having someone go out and build it and cruise the waters I was thinking of cruising is even better.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Aqua Casa

    Quote Originally Posted by jshaley View Post
    Whoa, Phil Bolger's Houseboat #481 changes things a wee bit.

    I believe there are people like myself, with zero boat design skills. Others that dabble a bit but it may not be their full time occupation and then those that actually design commercially. Phil Bolger of course falls into that last category. Having him put pen to paper and come up with something that resembles the Lisa B Good and Aqua Casa is reassuring. And then having someone go out and build it and cruise the waters I was thinking of cruising is even better.
    Your link does not show dimensions. But, it looks a bit bigger than Lisa B Good, so likely much more stable. It does not take much more breadth to improve things.

    (Currently building a Bolger design, so some confidence in his expertice.)

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