Barge

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Seacowboys, Oct 1, 2005.


  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Was thinking about building a barge for a retreat. Deck barges are fairly cheap and offer enough room for housing, water treatment, sewage treatment, a small garden, solar collection, are very defendable, and have the ability of moving from one location to another. Summers could be spent in an area where subsistance gardening was available, there is an abundance of fish and game along most waterways.
     
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    interesting. What's your estimate on cost for outfiting one like above?
     
  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    What about fueling it, or would it be able to be done up with a sail? Could be a cool idea, I doubt you would have near the troubles with finding a place with some room if you had the seas to choose from.
     
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I'd think you'd drag it to a nice Caribbean safe harbor and then move it with another vessel if need be. I doubt that you could rig a sail system up and expect to navigate it
     
  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well I was kind of thinking in terms of with it being a retreat that it would be most used in a post SHTF type of time and so not sure on how/where you would get the fuel for the tug, unless the tug were wind powered or something, I wouldnt think you could sail a barge but Im certianly no expert on it so wasnt sure.
     
  6. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    You can generally pick up a pretty good deck barge, say 180'x54'x12' for around 200-500k, options are unlimited as to accomodations, from double-wide trailer type things to what-ever type house you want to build. I happen to like steel and shot-crete as a construction method and will probably design something using this technique.
    There are also a number of housing barges already available, a few sold as surplus from the navy recently at Norfolk. These were set up as floating housing, labratorys, etc. and some were self-propelled. I like the ease of securing a floating structure and the mobility. This is a type structure that can support several families in a secure environment, if needed. Lots of possibilities here.
     
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Gee is that all! :shock: lol
     
  8. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Wonder if steam engines or electric/steam could be adapted to a self-propelled barge? boilers could possibly be supplimented with solar energy or battery banks much like the old submarines ran on, recharged by solar/steam generator, instead of fossil fuel. Hydrogen engines? readily available water and electricty could make for a lot of hydrogen. Where are all the rocket scientists?
     
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Old, mean, and nasty Administrator Founding Member

    Partial answers and opinion:
    Yes, direct drive steam engines could be used. Old, well understood technology. Dunno if any could be found of an appropriate size. Maintenance is relatively intensive, and fuel supplies are an open question.
    Steam electric is also possible, probably a better option from the standpoint of controlling the propulsion system. Ditto on fuel.
    Gas turbine electric is another possiblility. Small, responsive, and fuel flexible (to a point.) Micro turbine power plants are available today. Again, a fuel problem. and maintenance is an open question. Worth a closer look.
    Batteries are DC, of course, and if used as backup for anything other than DC propulsion, inverters are needed. Big ones, assuming certain AC loads, especially AC propulsion.
    Solar panel agmentation is very possible, bearing in mind that they are pretty large area per watt. Good roofing materials. Bad if installed over the garden, shade isn't too good for crops. Thru today, solar is not very efficient at conversion, but getting better quickly.
    Wind augmentation is also possible. Sea borne platforms will see breezes that don't find the valleys on land.
    Hydrogen as a fuel is still in it's infancy. Not a good choice at this time. Generation is very inefficient at present, costs more to make than biomass diesel.
    Given the givens today, diesel is the best choice at sea. Well understood technology, compact, adaptable. Two propulsion engines, one power plant. YMMV.

    No matter if we are floating or in the woods, power is a question that needs to be addressed ahead of need. There is a trade off (as usual) between sea and land. "At sea" needs a land based support of some kind, a resupply and fueling station as a minimum. (Or a highly agressive "landing party.") On land, mobility is reduced due to needing a fixed land base for growing and feeding, and a more intense defense infrastructure. One advantage to a land based group is the ability to fall back on more primitve means of survival. Out of diesel? Burn wood. Out of wood? Burn MZBs or proselytizers that knock on the door. That said, if water based, move on to somewhere where the supplies are more plentiful.
     
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