April 23, 2018

Flying a hydrofoil boat is like riding a bike

Filed under: Bicycles,Sustainability,Technology by Branko Collin @ 12:10 am


Controlling a single-track hydrofoil is like controlling a bicycle, two Masters student from Delft University claim in a paper published in Naval Engineers Journal last month.

“We used a mathematical model to validate whether a single-track hydrofoil using two foils, one behind the other in the water, would remain stable in the same way as we stay upright on a bike,” one of the students, Gijsbert van Marrewijk, told Delft University last week. The principle of staying upright on a bike is the one of steering into the fall.

Van Marrewijk and his co-author Johan Schonebaum were inspired by the hydrofoil boat of the Solar Boat team of their university, of which they were members. Hydrofoil boats have wings under the hull that lift the boat out of the water, reducing drag and, all other things being equal, increasing speed. Using a single-track hydrofoil reduces drag even further over the more conventional and more stable multi-track vehicle.

See the 2015 version of the Delft University Solar Boat team in action:

For some reason recent versions of the boat have returned to multi-track hydrofoils. The mathematical model developed by the two students should make it easier to test new designs in a computer simulation.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gbvm2, some rights reserved.

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May 27, 2013

Artist wants to use old refugee boats for canal trips in Amsterdam

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 12:26 pm

Meet Teun Castelein. His plan is to sell you boats that African refugees (the successful ones) used to reach the shores of Europe. Apparently these boats end up being destroyed by the town of Lampedusa in Italy, but Castelein sees a second life for them as the pleasure boats of the citizens of Amsterdam.

Castelein, 1:53 into the video:

Take this one. I believe this boat really suits Amsterdam. There is something cosy about it. This is a boat that makes you want to spend time with your friends. With its two benches facing each other it is excellently suited for sipping a rosé. It even has a cute little roof for when the sun is beating down on you. [Picks up a booklet from the deck] By the way, to seal the deal I include this authentic Gambian passport, just so you know where this boat came from.

AT5 says of Castelein that he tries to find the boundaries of the free market. In the past he unsuccessfully tried to register the brand Allahclothing. He also introduced marihuana cheese: “I live in the souvenir shop that is called Amsterdam. […] Eighty percent of the tourists are 35 years old or younger. And they all come here for the weed and the cheese. The Netherlands should embrace this product as it represents the tolerance, craftsmanship and trader’s spirit that have dominated Amsterdam for centuries.”

In 2004 the city of Amsterdam measured that on a sunny Summer day, on average 764 boats (PDF) pass any given point in the city centre. Busy sluices even process up to 1132 boats per hour.

(Link: Trendbeheer, Photo: crop from the video)

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January 21, 2013

Fireman saves 65 coffee containers by putting foot in ship’s leak

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 9:18 am

Last Friday a diver of the Schoonhoven fire department saved millions of Dutch people a few jittery hours when he put his foot against the wall of a ship carrying coffee to stop water from flowing in.

The captain of the river boat Salamanca had noticed on Thursday evening that his boat, which was moored to the quay, was suddenly deeper in the water, Schuttevaer reports. When the fire brigade arrived the engine room was already flooded by a metre. The boat was moved to another location where fire trucks could get near it.

The hole turned out to measure about 5 by 2 centimetres. One of the divers who had entered the engine room to place the suction tube plugged the hole temporarily by placing his foot on it.

The Salamanca was transporting 65 containers filled with coffee. It is unknown how the boat sprung a leak.

The Dutch are among the most enthusiastic coffee drinkers in the world, consuming 8.4 kilograms per person a year. Only the Scandinavians drink more.

(Photo by Vitaly Volkov, some rights reserved)

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November 2, 2012

SS Rotterdam stays in Rotterdam

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 11:39 pm

The recently restored former passenger liner SS Rotterdam will stay in the city it was named after, DutchNews reports.

The ship was bought in 2005 by housing corporation Woonbron which wanted to turn it into a hotel and restaurant complex after renovations. Renovations, however, cost 230 million euro, which is 224 million euro over budget. Woonbron started capsizing and had to let go of the monumental steamer, and at the same time of its board member Martien Kromwijk.

NRC adds that the high cost was partially related to the unexpected presence of asbestos on board.

In 2009 the cost overrun was still limited to ‘merely’ 169 million euro, as 24 Oranges reported back then.

The new owner Westcord Hotels, a Dutch hotel chain, paid almost 30 million euro.

(Photo by Jakub Bogucki, some rights reserved)

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October 7, 2012

A hot tub that you can take sailing

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 1:48 pm

This is the HotTug, a boat that doubles as a (you guessed it) hot tub.

The boat is built from wood and fibreglass. A wood stove heats the water inside, and an electric engine propels the boat for about 2.5 hours (but there is also an 8 hour version). The entire contraption functions as a regular boat regardless of whether you fill the tub with water.

A version with stove or engine costs about 15,000 euro, but a version stripped of these accessories can be had for as little as 9,000 euro. Werf IJlst in Friesland rents out these babies for 300 euro per half a day.

The HotTug was designed and built by Supergoed from Rotterdam, the design studio behind the ‘bicycle tunnel as racetrack‘.

(Link: AmsterdamNews.net. Photo: hottug.nl)

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May 6, 2012

Using boats for transport in the canals of Amsterdam

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 11:18 am

Bright reports about an inner city shipping company that uses an actual ship in Amsterdam.

The electronic freighter of Mokum Mariteam, the magazine writes, “replaces five trucks, and is quieter and cleaner.” (The company’s estimate is more conservative: “a boat of 20 by 4.25 metres, [and a] nett volume […] of 85 cubic metres (four compact trucks)”.) The batteries can power the boat for an entire day.

The canals of Amsterdam were dug originally at least partly for transport, but that function seems to have fallen into disuse, until recently. Bright adds that German logistics company DHL (originally American) has been using a canal boat for delivering packages “for years”. (Since October 1997, Binnenvaart.nl adds.)

The text on the side of the City Supplier, ‘vracht door de gracht’, simply means ‘freight through the canal’. The word ‘Mokum’ in the company name refers to the Yiddish name for Amsterdam, Mokum (Alef), literally meaning ‘city A’.

(Photo: Mokum Mariteam)

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March 3, 2012

Frost sinks popsicle stick boat

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:12 pm

Ship yard Aquaverium in Grou, Friesland has told former American stunt man Rob McDonald to remove his sail boat The Thor from its premises after the boat sank, Algemeen Dagblad reports.

McDonald built his boat from 15 million ice cream sticks in five years time and with the help of 5,000 school children. He was planning to cross the Atlantic Ocean with it, using his trip to raise funds for the Sea Heart Foundation charity. Its sea-worthiness had already been proven with a trip to London.

Unfortunately cancer grounded its captain. McDonald told Algemeen Dagblad that a group of business people had promised to take care of the boat, but ended up leaving Aquaverium themselves: “I am in shock. I wanted to do something fun for sick children with the boat, and I am especially sorry for them and for those who have helped me.”

The frost that got the nation so excited has destroyed the hull of the boat, and now the yard wants McDonald to remove its wreck. “We feel sorry for him, but nobody ever paid for his spot. […] We have tried to bail out the boat, but it is not working well because of the boat’s remarkable construction.”

In 2010 De Pers wrote that Aquaverium and McDonald had closed a long term lease agreement for a mooring spot. At the time, McDonald had put the boat up for sale at Marktplaats.nl.

McDonald is looking for a new spot to moor his boat.

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August 19, 2010

Sail Amsterdam 2010, tall ship parade

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:20 pm

Our first video report. It’s got a few glitches as we are trying to get used to a new medium. Enjoy.

Today Sail Amsterdam 2010 started with the traditional parade of tall ships. Led by the clipper Stad Amsterdam, 30 tall ships and a lot of small boats entered IJ harbour, which is wedged between Java Island and Piet Heinkade.

Sail Amsterdam was first organised in 1975 and has since been held every five years. The festivities will continue for the next three days, and include live music and theatre. On Friday a parade of barely floating home-built boats will be held in the canals of Amsterdam, the so-called Pieremachocheltocht. Most of the tall ships can be visited for free between 10 am and 4 pm.

This year’s event drew criticism from ship owners, who feel they have to pay the organisers too much money. They think it is wrong that so much of the proceeds of an event that is heavily sponsored by the government disappear in the pockets of a nebulous agency, Sail Arrangementen. The latter replied in newspaper De Pers that they do not understand what all the hoopla is about, as the ships’ owners still sell a lot of tickets.

This is Natasha Cloutier for 24oranges.nl.

The performance at the end of the video was by De Zingende Kapitein. Photo below by the Koninklijke Marine (featuring the frigate HMS Tromp).

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July 2, 2010

Rotterdam quay decorated with huge paper boats

Filed under: Art,Design by Orangemaster @ 2:21 pm

Florentijn Hofman, the artist who gave us huge cuddly dolls and huge rubber ducks, now has some very colourful yet huge ‘folded paper boats’ (made of metal) on display in Rotterdam, installed just a few days ago.

There are tons of pictures showing all five boats of different colours, even a pink one.

(Link: trendbeheer.com)

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August 25, 2009

Laura Dekker ready to emigrate if she can’t sail

Filed under: Dutch first,General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:38 pm

While Britain is anxiously waiting for 17-year-old Mike Perham to sail into Portmouth on 29 August after having sailed around the world, 13-year-old Laura Dekker has had to lawyer up in order to fight for the opportunity to attempt the same feat for the Netherlands.

An English article about Perham ironically starts with “while most teenagers may have been losing sleep over their exam results during the past few days”, while the Dutch courts have called upon Child Services, claiming Dekker’s parents are keeping their child from school because her learning while on the sailboat is ‘nonsense’. If Child Services thinks that the parents are not doing right by Laura, there is talk of removing her from their custody.

To avoid this situation, Laura who has dual citizenship with New Zealand, is ready to emigrate – that’s how much Laura and her parents believe in this sailing journey.

Her lawyer tries to tell the courts about this exceptional teenager. “Laura is not just some girl. She was born on a sailboat and lived the first four years of her life on one at sea. She has all the necessary skills and qualities for this journey.”

He makes another good point as well. If we compare Laura to a 13-year-old gymnast, no one goes and checks to see if the gymnast goes to school or is brought up properly — they get support from an Olympic committee or a sports association.

So, are the Dutch Children’s Services not seeing the big picture or are they seeing it very clearly? Why are boys like Mike Perham and record holder Zac Sunderland of the US praised and encouraged, but Laura discouraged? Is she really too young or is a girl less capable? Stay tuned!

My personal, uneducated take is that the entire family could just skip town to New Zealand for a year. Then New Zealand can claim the world record for solo sailing around the world.

(Links: timesonline.co.uk, depers.nl, Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy.)

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