The most efficient hull
design is one that is long and narrow with a flat bottom. A catamaran
was my initial choice, in fact I got it down to Richard Wood's Skoota at 28' and we discussed ways to mount the bike. It would have been a build and that brings in the issue of money
, time and skill, all of which are in short supply for this venture.
A pontoon boat is what it is, rounded tubes and not too efficient as a 24' toon will take about a 50hp to get it up on plane. While they make a good camper, they are not designed to haul heavy concentrated loads. The aluminum
flanges are usually made in two pieces (][) and the 1/2 to 3/4 decks usually have a 2' span. They will carry a load dispersed over the deck
area, but not a good idea for a concentrated load on a few square inches of motorcycle tires. A large plate would help for the bike to sit on.
The connections between tubes and decks are rather weak and not made for blue water
. I saw a large pontoon sitting on the hard
on the side of a hill, with its beam uphill. After a few days sitting there, it collapsed under its own weight rolling the down hill tube and tearing away the flanges! It was not a steep hill.
When you get in some heavy chop and wind
, having a heavy load on a toon is just dangerous. I have run this by some of the toon manufactures as this was a thought long ago. About 80% of all pontoons manufactured are within a hundred miles of me, so we have them all over the place. The Tracker Party Hut is a great toon camper, but they don't advise loading it with a bike. A 4 wheeler is better on a toon as the weight is distributed over 4 fat tires, not two thin ones. With an 8' beam the height and CG of weight on a toon will not fair well in rolling seas or even rough lakes.
I mention this because I'd hate to see someone try it. But with camping gear
and stuff they are a fun camp cruiser for rivers and lakes.
The best load carrying capacity will be from a monohull
as cats need to be light to be efficient unless you get to large cats, like 50'. These are not my opinions but those of NAs and engineers/designers I have talked to about this project
So, what has been advised is to go with a monohull
with a narrow beam and some length. Bolger's Tennessee would be a good one, but the pointed bow, sharpie design make the landing craft set up harder. Bolger also has a tri cruiser with a removable bow that might work, but again weight is an issue.
Scows are the old work horse of the rivers and lakes for over a hundred years. The design is easy to build with a slight V or flat hull
. They carry more in relation to the shallow draft
than anything I can find at this length.
Bolger's Tenneesse uses a 10hp, cruises at 7 to 8 knots and uses a gallon an hour pushing the 32 footer with a 6' beam...much of this efficiency is due to the sharpie design and flat bottom. A 4 to 5' beam at the water
on a flat scow hull will be very similar, and a box beam can be added forward under that blunt nose to cut water jsut as the Tenn. does.
In my mind, there would be a stability issue as I really want a flat ride, I don't mind the pounding, just less rocking on a monohull. So,I have asked about adding amas and to my surprise, there are scows with amas. Having the akas with some decking above would be a great platform to swim or fish
Since I live in the heartland, there are not many opportunities to look for commercial
boats as there are in the east or west coasts. If I did find a nice 30' work boat, the beam would probably be over 8 1/2' at that length as well as heavy.....so how would I get it home....$$$$$! This is what keeps driving me back to building, which is really something I'd rather not do, but not much choice.....that, or sell the house and move!
Maybe not yet...LOL