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Undersea Ropeline BoatRail

Presumably pulling a rope works better than pushing water with a propeller
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[See 2018 edit below]

Did I propose this already?

Anchored rope "rails" floating lower than boats so that they don't get cut when a boat passes, allow large ships to advance by pulling on the rope, creating large "undersea railways".

A sonar unit replies to calls for location. The equipment is rented or sold, and the operation is run by pay for use.

Maintenance units automatically monitor the ropelines and fix or update them as needed.

[2018 edited addition] Here is an improvement that will make it bakeable:

Rather than a complete ropeway with "rails" have only a series of anchors with sonars and a buoy released to the surface when sonar signal received. An RC dinghy pulls a rope to the buoy and easily connects (with mechanical device) Boat then pulls itself till next buoy is needed. I suppose the system would be started in shallower areas.

When done the buoy pulls itself back down waiting for the next call via sonar.

It could be "virally spread" by ships spreading the buoy's as they advance, or sending them ahead of travel with a "sinker" dinghy supplied by the BoatRail company.

pashute, Aug 16 2011

Cable ferry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_ferry
Wkipedia calls them Cable ferries. [baconbrain, Aug 16 2011]

Here's a prototype... https://www.youtube...watch?v=BrSRjfCNRxE
[pashute, Mar 19 2018]

[link]






       IMHO: This is the greatest of my ideas.   

       When nobody posts an anno you can always do so yourself
pashute, Aug 16 2011
  

       Improvement: Small floating "towboats" anchored to the ropes can simply pull the heavy boats ahead
pashute, Aug 16 2011
  

       //This is the greatest of my ideas// Oh dear. Ooooooh dear.
hippo, Aug 16 2011
  

       River ferries have operated by this mechanism for hundreds of years, and still do today in motorized form. WKTE?
Alterother, Aug 16 2011
  

       Mark Twain described a riverboat in Europe that used this, many years ago. The chain lay on the bottom, the boat had rudders at each end.   

       That was an up-and-downstream boat, cross-stream ferries are presently in use in many places.   

       I've ridden the hand-cranked Saugatuck chain ferry in Michigan, and the Akers ferry in Missouri (although that one has an overhead cable, not under water), and watched but not ridden White's Ferry on the Potomac.
baconbrain, Aug 16 2011
  

       There are quite a number of modern river ferries in Europe and the eastern US that run along submerged cables, either under their own power or drawn by motors on the shore.
Alterother, Aug 16 2011
  

       How is this not baked and widely known to exist?   

       Windermere ferry in Cumbria is the first that springs to mind.   

       Publish an idea that allows routes to cross - I'll probably bun that.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Aug 16 2011
  

       I think this is an adaptation of the cable-ferry to trans- oceanic voyages, thus the idea is not quite baked, for reasons too numerous to list.   

       Unless you want me to.
Alterother, Aug 16 2011
  

       Now I know that this is the best of my ideas. Something close to it has been baked "BEFORE RECORDED HISTORY" according to Wikipedia.   

       First, [brain] thanks for the ferry boat link. We don't have rivers in my country and when I visited Mississippi it was far from the river, and I wasn't in 'touring mode'. so I was not aware of it. Kissinger is reported, upon crossing the Jordan "river", to have said: "That's it?" And the Bible also laughs at our river - Naaman, when told to rince in the Jordan says: "Why should I not rinse in Avnah and Parpar the rivers of Damascus, which have better water than any in Israel?"   

       [Alterother] Is correct, it's an adaptation to cross oceanic travel, and yes, please list some of the reasons that make it a novelty and not WKTE.   

       Here is an improvement that will make it bakeable: Rather than a complete ropeway have only a series of anchors with sonars and a buoy released to the surface when sonar signal received. An RC dinghy pulls a rope to the buoy and easily connects (with mechanical device) Boat then pulls itself till next buoy is needed. I suppose the system would be started in shallower areas.   

       It could be "virally spread" by ships spreading the buoy's as they advance, sending it forward with a "sinker" dinghy supplied by the BoatRail company.   

       [Absinthe] Please respond to this annotation and tell me if you still think it's WKTE. Thanks.
pashute, Aug 19 2011
  

       I don't know how buoys are held in place, but if it's just by a weight on the sea floor, there's a limit how hard you can pull on them before their anchor point moves. So they'd need pretty heavy weights.   

       Also you'd want to be pulling on something that's further forward from you than it is down, so that it trying to pull you forward rather than trying to sink you. So in deep water, you want to be pulling on something that's anchored quite far ahead of you. This seems easier if you do have a complete ropeway, rather than just buoys. Though I guess only requiring buoys makes the system cheaper.   

       You'd want the small dinghy to start towards the second buoy as soon as the first one is connected to the boat, so that it's ready as soon as possible.   

       And maybe have a spare rope or two between the dinghy and the larger boat. The dinghy travels to the second buoy and connects it to a rope that goes to the boat. The boat no longer needs its connection to the first buoy, so it disconnects somehow, and then sends the rope back to the dinghy along the spare connecting rope. The dinghy never needs to go back to the boat, anything that needs to be sent back and forth can be pulled along the permanent connecting rope(s).   

       ETA: maybe you want the dingy to go more than two buoys ahead. You could have a loop of rope that goes between the dinghy and the boat. The dinghy goes ahead, linking more and more buoys onto the loop. Once at least one is on, the boat pulls itself forward. Whenever the boat reaches a part of the loop that has a buoy attached, it removes it. If there are more buoys, it keeps pulling, otherwise it waits for the dinghy to attach another one.   

       I also don't see why this wouldn't work.   

       ETA: possibly silly addition - if you could have a multi-kilometre rod pushing the dinghy ahead, it wouldn't need a propellor. It could be telescopic, or inflatable, or some other mechanism so it's not always full length.
caspian, Oct 29 2018
  
      
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