Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Big Boat Liberator

Scoop up land and free boats
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
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Imagine bicycle wheel tilted at a 45 degree angle to the ground. Glue spoons to the outside, so they scoop when the wheel turns. Mount this device on the top of a suitably sized vehicle. Now upscale it about a thousand times.

Intended to free boats grounded in canals or other narrow passageways, this massive machine would have a tilted wheel-shaped excavator. The wheel would have scoops on the rim, and the scoops could drop the dirt on the higher side of the wheel, leaving them free to scoop more dirt on the bottom.

Were a large ship caught in a canal it would dig downward and sideways into the earth, undermining the land the ship is resting on, eventually freeing it.

Voice, Mar 24 2021

Moving lots of dirt in a hurry https://www.google....mobile-gws-wiz-serp
is a well studied problem. [pertinax, Mar 25 2021]

Egypt's Suez Canal blocked by huge container ship https://www.bbc.com...iddle-east-56505413
[xaviergisz, Mar 25 2021]

How to dredge https://www.marinei...-maritime-industry/
[pertinax, Mar 25 2021]

Is that ship still stuck? https://istheshipstillstuck.com/
[Voice, Mar 27 2021]

Airbags launch https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7QXZI9MNMLg
[xenzag, Mar 27 2021]

Voice's link gets honorable mention in AS#143 https://us5.campaig...474e2&id=cf13207312
(evidence Underhill is likely on HB) [Sgt Teacup, Mar 31 2021]


       I would hear more about the free boats and land I can scoop.   

       You're reinventing the bucket wheel on a reclaimer (see link).
pertinax, Mar 25 2021

       Make your Liberator float and it could be employed to dig through the container ship! Ha!
whatrock, Mar 25 2021

       The boat ran aground. Why didn't they simply off-load some of the conveniently-containerised load with a crane (shirley a floating or crawling crane wouldn't be too far away...)? Then it could float to a slightly deeper part for re-loading.
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 25 2021

       //You're reinventing the bucket wheel on a reclaimer //   

       No, I'm picturing something much larger that can dig deeply into the ground at a 45 degree angle. The bucket wheel is swept back and forth for strip mining. That wouldn't help when you want to undermine a hundred meters of shore.
Voice, Mar 25 2021

       The state of the art of removing undersea sand seems to be represented by the hydraulic dredger (see link). In the same link, you can see a "spoons-on-a-wheel" approach discussed under the heading "bucket ladder dredgers", where it is deprecated as being noisy and, more importantly, slow.
pertinax, Mar 25 2021

       //Why didn't they simply off-load some of the conveniently-containerised load// - Getting a big enough crane close to this boat is hard. Containers are usually unloaded with vast purpose-built dockside cranes and anything else is going to be much, much slower. Also, if you unload the boat without making sure it stays evenly loaded, it'll break in half.
hippo, Mar 27 2021

       Solution: Block the canal at the other end and wait until the water level rises a few more feet with the first tide.
xenzag, Mar 27 2021

       Second solution: airbags under front of ship - inflate airbags - pull ship along them like a weight on logs. See link
xenzag, Mar 27 2021

       [hippo], eleven or twelve Kaman K-Max K-1200s could lift each fully-loaded (67,200lbs*) 40-foot container. If we had 22 K-Max helicopters, we could simultaneously lift a container at each end/side, thus maintaining non-break-in-halfage.   

       *assuming the max gross weight does not include undeclared migrants within the walls of the container (info from repeated sad but true Customs incidents)
Sgt Teacup, Mar 27 2021

       //it'll break in half//
That's the solution! Just split it down the middle (where's an explosives expert when you need one... :-( ) to let the backlog through, and deal with the containers as & when possible.
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 28 2021


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