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Old 19-07-2017, 18:41   #1
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REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

Hi All, particularly you techos.
My powerboat (5metres) is only accessible 50% of the time, the other 50% it sits on mud or the depth is too shallow to move it from its mooring. Iím on an island in the middle of a river. So, I have to plan well ahead and move my boat to some friendly neighborís jetty if I need to use the boat at low tide. Most neighbors donít really welcome other people using their jetty and for several hours at a time Ė in fact most refuse. You often have to walk through the neighborís property to get to and from your boat but there are others where you can access the jetty by walking along the beach so they are not likely to object to you using their jetty briefly, getting on and off the boat.
So, what I would like to do is to, beforehand, move my boat to deeper water nearby to another mooring buoy. I would also like to do it using a remote controller. What I am thinking is to have an electric outboard motor that I can control using a remote much like they do for drones, model aircraft, etc. That would solve the propulsion and steering challenge so that I can remotely guide my boat to its mooring when the tide allows and without using someoneís jetty. Later on, I would like to be able to remotely move the boat to meet me on some nearby jetty, or the local public jetty which you are allowed to use for very short periods only . And then do it all in reverse when I get back if itís low tide and I canít access my normal mooring.
The most challenging part to all this me thinks is to have some locking mechanism for the boat to attach to, and detach from, my mooring, also controlled remotely. It doesnít have to be for long periods, just until the tide is right or may be overnight ie 12 hours or so.
Would an electro magnet work, is this possible - any ideas please. I might add that there are many others on the island in the same boat (sorry).
Thanks.
Dave
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Old 19-07-2017, 21:04   #2
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

So y'all are thinking about an automated system that would detach a 46 foot sailboat from a mooring, go to another mooring, and automatically attach to that mooring?

Edit: Ok, a 5M powerboat. Doesn't change much.......

I'd happily design the hardware and write the software for that system (I really do have the skills). BUT, it would cost more than your boat.

Maybe find a deep water mooring... It'd be far easier and cheaper.
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Old 25-07-2017, 23:01   #3
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

Thank you. Ah, yes it would but then I would have to have a dinghy to store on a beach allowing all tidal access so that I can then row out to the moored power boat. I was hoping to avoid that.

I'm looking for a solution for not only myself but about 40 other boat owners in a similar situation on this island. We are presently looking to set up a cooperative/marina for small boats but costs are estimated to be around $20 000 - 30 000 for each of us to purchase a berth. Total: $800 000 to $1 200 000. You're right of course in that your costs would be more than my boat is worth but so is the berth cost. When you amortise it over 40 boats may be not? We would also avoid all the hassle of government environmental impact studies, plus greeny action groups against anything on the water that's fun, etc which could well torpedo the marina project.

Cheers
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Old 26-07-2017, 02:58   #4
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

You could start with this system and modify to your needs. Bet it isn't cheap.
https://www.mercurymarine.com/en-gb/...on+Redirection
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Old 26-07-2017, 04:38   #5
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

this is a stupid idea... don't do it
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Old 26-07-2017, 04:49   #6
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

There used to be a small artificial harbor at Hilton Head Island SC. that was accessed by a lock to control the tidal range within. Very simple in construction and operation.
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Old 26-07-2017, 15:48   #7
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

Wait, I don't get it.

You have a mooring in deeper water that you can move the boat to a few hours prior to needing it. But you don't want to keep it on that mooring all the time because you'd have to row out to it? Wouldn't you anyway?

Looking around the world, there are lots of places where people have found ways to keep boats moored or docked in areas subject to large tides. None of them have resorted to your solution. That might be a clue as to its practicality.

Just off the top of my head, there's what we call an "outhaul" around here. The boat (usually a dinghy) is on a deep water mooring, but attached to a loop of line that goes from shore, through an eye on the mooring, and back to shore. Pull one line to send the boat out to the mooring, pull on the other to bring it back. Works at any tide.
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Old 26-07-2017, 16:07   #8
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

Best and cheapest solution would be for you and the 40 other owners to employ a person full time to move your boats for you simply make a phone call when you require your boat moved!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-08-2017, 23:20   #9
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

Thanks to all who responded helpfully and perhaps I need to expand a bit more for others.
On the island our runabout is our car when we canít catch the ferry (our bus equivalent) and many have to leave before the ferry operates and return home after the last ferry for the day. Ferry is also expensive, relatively speaking. Many work in Sydney which is an hourís travel away. Add another half hour to leave home to get out to the runabout, motor to their berth on the mainland then get to oneís car in the public car park Ė allow half an hour each way. Total 3 hours travel, at least, each day. Anything to shorten this is a bonus.
If I berthed my runabout in deep water, entirely feasible, I have to walk to a dinghy, drag it across the mud into the water, paddle out to the runabout, then set off. Thereís at least another 15 minutes perhaps. Add the pouring rain, winds, darkness in winter, etc and the need to change from scungies into my suit for work. And vice versa on the way back. 2-3 days every week when I canít use my close-in mooring.
For 50% of the time my runabout is entirely accessible when moored via a outhaul line (we call it a running line here Ė illegal in fact but itísí all we have) off a neighbourís jetty so I can access my boat pretty easily. My proposal is to cover the other 50%.
In effect all Iím working towards is what will be available in future years ie driverless cars, a facility not far away. So, my future ideal world will be to walk down to the public or a friendly private jetty with deep water access and electronically summon my runabout to meet me. I will then get aboard, in my suit plus umbrella/wet weather gear as required, and it will take me to the mainland marina. I will then travel to work in my driverless car or public transport. (Iím actually retired but many arenít).
I consulted a mechatronics student just the other day and, after discussing my situation and proposal, he advises that it is entirely doable right now. So, I am now writing to various mechatronics departments in the local universities to see if they, or their students, might like to take it on as a project.
Thank you to all that responded with informative and helpful replies. If I make any further progress Iíll let you know.
Cheers
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Old 02-08-2017, 12:19   #10
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

OK, I THINK that makes a little more sense. I totally agree commuting by dinghy is no fun at all. In fact, that's why very few full-time commuters chose to live in a place like yours.

As for a self-driving small boat, I'd be very surprised if that turned out to be legal. Mechanically, self-driving cars are simple. It's the software, the laws, public perception of safety and the liability when something goes wrong that are holding things up.

Key is probably the software. It's hard enough getting a computer to integrate all the sensor data required to make reasonable decisions about where the road is, where the other vehicles are, and still be on the lookout for unforeseen hazards. Granted, we're reaching a point where many of those issues are being improved every day. But we're far from anything that can take on even a majority of driving situations.

Doing the same on the water would have to take into consideration an entirely new environment, entirely new situations, and different sensors.

And we haven't even begun to talk about machines making moral decisions about who lives and dies in an imminent accident.
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Old 02-08-2017, 19:37   #11
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

There are plenty of college engineering students who already work on projects with marine drones, and what you want to do is exactly that. Convert your boat into a 5-meter DRONE with remote control and remote docking.

I'd suggest that unless you are familiar with engineering, or have big bucks to hire out the job, you try to find a college with oceanography and engineering programs and talk to some professors there. Offer to pay the material costs and a stipend to any class who can take this on as a project, and you may get away with $25-50,000. Or Euros.

And forget electromagnets, unless you plan to run high capacity power cables out to the mooring.
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Old 04-08-2017, 22:17   #12
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REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce K View Post
Best and cheapest solution would be for you and the 40 other owners to employ a person full time to move your boats for you simply make a phone call when you require your boat moved!!!!!!!!!!

That's what friends are for. Get to know your neighbors and dockhands.
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Old 25-08-2017, 20:18   #13
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

A friend of mine cruises single-handed on a 55-foot cat. He installed servos on his throttle levers so that he could manoeuvre his boat from the foredeck while he attended to the anchor. Control of the servos was through his phone, and the bits themselves cost very little, him having bought them from a model shop. His next addition is to install something similar on the anchor windlass so that he can be sitting up in the crosstrees or whatever and control everything from there. We joked that in theory he'd be able to up anchor from a seat at a bar and drive the boat in to the dock to pick him up. I'm no expert but I recon you could figure out a way to do this using a few servos, a few solenoid switches and a phone app.

Of course, I would probably never actually do any of this myself, but it's an interesting problem nonetheless.
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Old 26-11-2017, 16:00   #14
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce K View Post
Best and cheapest solution would be for you and the 40 other owners to employ a person full time to move your boats for you simply make a phone call when you require your boat moved!!!!!!!!!!


This makes sence
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Old 26-11-2017, 16:35   #15
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Re: REMOTE CONTROL ON/OFF MOORING

Yes. What you want is doable.

I was working on a similar project myself but got distracted by wht gave me more money (=any money) to develop.

So do roll on. It will work. And there are bucks in it, if you do it well and commercialize your solution right.

Electro magnetic lock it is.

Cheers,
b.
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