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Bobber Hull

Really Bad Weather Boat
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
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This is both an idea and a challenge.

When I was very young, my dad read me some great adventure stories about some boys on sailing ships. It must be fantastic to have a kid and be allowed to inspire a new human, but that's beside the point now. One thing that bothered me was how dangerous storms were and how easily they would smash a ship to splinters. Back then I thought you could defeat this simply by building a very sturdy steel-clad vessel that could be dumped on a rock from 50 meters high and not get damaged. I've seen images of escape vessels for burning oil rigs and they look a lot like what I had in mind.

Now, a number of decades later, I know that the real problem is not the strength of vessels, but that of its delicate passengers. Humanoids do not enjoy sudden encounters with Mister G. Force. The oceans are still a very dangerous even today. You don't really hear about it often, but a few ships, modern ships, just disappear every month.

Very large waves exist. Storm waves can get up to 50 ft high and captains have reported waves of a 100ft high. The movie "A Perfect Storm" had some pretty good computer generated footage of the kind of waves one might encounter in a rotten storm (although when they filmed the people, the big waves were gone and it looked very much like a studio). If you're in a small vessel and you fall off a breaking 50 ft wave, things are not looking good for you. A modern fiber glass boat will survive the hard smack down just fine, just as it can be dropped on concrete from 30 feet high without considerable damage, but the people inside can be turned into mush.

I want to set out a challenge here on halfbakery to come up with boat or ship designs that can carry you through this in safety. Whoever comes up with the best design gets all of the glory! Ideas can be for sailboats, power boats or ships.

My idea, which can be seen as a first contribution, is to make a boat shaped somewhat like a fishing bobber. It has a very narrow beam and is very deep, with a sleek vertical line. If this boat finds itself on the slope of a tall wave, the pin shaped keel will keep pointing approximately down. If this boat falls off a 100 foot breaking wave, it'll fall into the water below like a spear and buoyancy will pull it back up. When the 100 feet breaking wave comes down on the boat, pressure will suddenly increase quite a bit in the cabin, but again the bouyancy will lift it up. The Bobber Boat could be a low speed power boat.

Can you think of something better? No you can't! Betcha. If you think you can, post your idea in this category.

jmvw, Nov 19 2006

Flip Ship http://sio.ucsd.edu...ger/flip/index.html
As bobberesque as it gets. [Shz, Nov 19 2006]

Bobber Hull http://jacksontechs...rojects/bobberkeel/
I know.. I can't draw. [jmvw, Nov 19 2006]

An attempt at your idea http://www.bimmerbo...riginal/Bobber1.jpg
[jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006]

http://www.bimmerbo...riginal/Bobber2.jpg [jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006]

http://www.bimmerbo...riginal/Bobber3.jpg [jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006]

http://www.bimmerbo...riginal/Bobber4.jpg [jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006]

http://www.bimmerbo...riginal/Bobber5.jpg [jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006]

Para Sea Anchor http://www.rfd.com....ductId=1291&reDir=1
[jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006]

Free fall lifeboat http://www.youtube....I_o&feature=related
55 meters - wheee! [Whistlebritches, Jan 07 2012]


       Zorb across the ocean.
fridge duck, Nov 19 2006

       Are you talking about a regular use vessel or an emergency type vessel(like a life boat). In the real world the counter point between what a ship does in a normal situation and what you are discussing here are at near opposite ends of the spectrum. Your boat for example is well optimized for large wave survival but would be highly impractical and inefficient(if not useless) in any other situation or application.   

       So please if you will, expound upon what the parameters are of your challenge.
jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006

       jhomrighaus, you're so right. Bad weather resilience really is a limiting parameter. I am thinking of vessels that are general purpose, but will be able to resist the worst weather, not rescue or escape vehicles. However, I think the challenge should be open to the toughest rescue vessels as well.   

       Shz, I saw that ship on tv and it was very odd how the cabins turned 90 degrees! I'd like a job on that ship (I think).   

       fridge duck, Zorbs are very cool and I would love to go when their Virginia location opens up, but I think you would risk breaking your back even when falling off a 20 foot wave. I've jumped off 6 feet waves on a jet ski in the ocean and I knew you had to be careful. On the Zorb web site they are clear that Zorbs are not suitable for dropping off cliffs. Waves are similar to that. Not to mention the windage: a Zorb would really be moved around in a hurricane.
jmvw, Nov 19 2006

       Are they required to deal with a rogue wave on realtively calm seas(enexpected/predicted event, freak event) or primarily during rough weather(when one expects something might happen)? Put another way should these designs be ready for this situation in thier normal form and operational mode or can the vessel be prepared for rough weather through a change in configuration(change of shape, closing of hatches or covers kept open during routine operation), operational changes (vessel behaves one way during normal operations but if needed can be configured for rough weather kind of like say a "flip/bobber" configuration) or thru personnel action (special design features such as personnel protection areas designed to protect a crew during rough weather)?   

       Was I correct in my interpretation that we should post said ideas in this catagory and not as annotations to this Idea?   

       Finally, would you like me to see if I can create a nice 3D rendering of your bobber hull?
jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006

       1- Beautiful. Yes, reconfigurations are absolutely fine and acceptible - as far as I am concerned (I don't want to be the authority). Sailors would be able to do this in response to advancing weather. The vessel should be able to carry its occupants through a storm and a rogue wave with minimal damage   

       2- Yes. If you have an idea for a vessel that can deal with these circumstances, you should get credit for this and not me.   

       3- I would like that. I consider it most important that the idea comes across to people.
jmvw, Nov 19 2006

       sokay by me, jus havin sum phun wit my g-funk twizzle!
jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006

       So how big a wave is the standard, 50ft? 100ft? More?
jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006

       Whatever conditions you find that exists. The ocean is the judge, not me. It's about being safe on the ocean. With reasonable speed. Cigarette boats can carry enough fuel and topping out around 120 mph are fast enough to outrun pretty much anything including the Coast Guard (who calls them go-fasts), but this probably only pays if you're smuggling coke and you're a real scoundrel and it's not what we're looking at. Scoundrels can fend for themselves and the US Coast Guard has a couple of kevlar boats with machine guns to deal with these guys. I'm thinking about the ocean crossing sailor and about ships and the oddball who dares to venture offshore in an unusual vessel.
jmvw, Nov 19 2006

       A complete overhaul of the design of the ships just to compensate for this specific problem will probably decrease speed and would increase cost. For a boat designed to be an outpost of sorts this would be worthwhile but I would suggest just a retrofit for regular boats. A device that can be bought separately and attached or deployed when needed.   

       I don't really have boating experience, just some cog wheels and a light bulb in my head.   

       My idea: The up-side-down umbrella. As anchors are used when there is sea bottom, something can be used to stabilize the boats altitude in the ocean. Parachutes are used to slow descents, and a similar device can be used to slow ascents. A device, rigged to a boat, drops 200 feet into a more stable column of water and deploys. It opens like an up-side-down umbrella. Whenever a large wave comes, the boat will be prevented from going to the crest of the wave and crashing 50 feet off thereof. The cable will be spring loaded to dampen the sudden up-and- down swells of the ocean. Make sure that your boat is air-tight enough to surface after it is temporarily submerged. New forces to reckon with are water pressure as the boat is temporarily submerged many times. I believe this solves the G-force problems though.   

       comments? (more likely criticism) please.
twitch, Nov 19 2006

       FLIP is based in my home town,I've heard some stories of who gets invited and who can't take it. The poker games are also supposed to be fun.   

       I also worked across the street from a company that made self righting lifeboats. Heard the stories about the ones that didn't.
normzone, Nov 19 2006

       there you go [jmvw]. I took some liberties to try to make it seem like it might actually work. I was working with the idea of a larger long range science type boat application in mind. The drawing is based on a 55 foot length, and 25 foot width and a 75 foot draft, the spire extends 80 feet above the surface(based on your blueprint of course) Sorry if it looks a little silly but its the first model of a boat i have made and the most complex model so far(not everything I tried worked). If you dont like it then delete away or if you would like to see something different I will see what I can do.
jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006

       That is beautiful! Thank you much! Don't tell me you made this in Sketchup? Delete it? No way. This illustrates the concept of the bobber hull very well. I think your boat would be a very tough ocean going vessel.
jmvw, Nov 19 2006

       Yup thats about 2.5 hours in Sketchup(with a solid hour fiddling with how to make hull shapes)
jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006

       Twitch, that is not a bad idea. You would need a very strong parachute and you couldn't move very fast. Perhaps it could work for smaller boats. I think tanks have been dropped from parachutes, so strong parachutes exist.
jmvw, Nov 19 2006

       I think The thing twitch is talking about has a very close cousin in the para sea anchor.(see Link) I also seem to recall that during heavy weather mariners used to drag very large lengths of rope in the sea to help stabalise the ships.
jhomrighaus, Nov 19 2006

       That para anchor does seem to be almost what I am describing except that it is meant to control horizontal drift while my anchor is meant to be weighted straight down and control vertical movement.   

       So this is perfectly half-baked.
twitch, Nov 20 2006

       Here is an Idea :   

       Make boats smaller and use large emergency parachute when falling from a 100 ft wave top.
VJW, Jan 06 2012

       Very baked for lifeboats, see link. Also includes deluge system for fire protection, positive air pressurization, specially designed seating with harnesses. Very rolly-polly in heavy seas, I understand you end up ankle-deep in...well, it has corn in it.
Whistlebritches, Jan 07 2012


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