New Titanicfeasible or folly


Will C. White

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Apr 18, 2007
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One thing to consider however may be a resurgence in smaller coal fired vessels, when one considers the amount of fuel available and new clean technologies. Air cargo is very inefficient for large loads, and with the price of conventional fuel (ethanol is no replacement; neither is nuke), and I really don't think any of us want to leap all the way backwards to sail.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Bearing in mind not only the fuel shortage but also the growing problem of obesity and lack of exercise on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps we should go back to galleys?
 

Ben Lemmon

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Oct 9, 2009
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quote:

perhaps we should go back to galleys?
To quote Ruth's menial and completely ironic phrase (just for the heck of it): "I can hardly think of a skill that I should need less."

If you went back to galleys, you would have a revolt within a week, deeming the practice as "slave labor." Such a needlessly liberalistic society in which we live. *sigh* Aren't there other things to divert their attention?​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>(ethanol is no replacement; neither is nuke),<<

Don't be so sure, at least in the near term.

Biofuels at least show some promise but I wouldn't bet on coal taking over in our lifetimes. Your grandchildren may see it on some level but they sure as hell won't be stoking it manually. There have been merchant ships in service in the modern age which use it, but in a finely pulverized form with machinary feeding the boilers.
 
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Matt Pereira

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the whole ethanol is pointless cause from the documents i have access to in the auto field it takes the heat of roughly 2 gallons of diesel fuel to create 1 gallon of ethanol. Not that good of a replacement.

To the topic if you want a period correct Titanic why not do like some of the people have done and build very (very I stress) large models. I started work on a 6ft model myself and theres people out there that have went larger than that. Just a thought though.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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quote:

Bearing in mind not only the fuel shortage but also the growing problem of obesity and lack of exercise on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps we should go back to galleys?
Well, Bob, it's an idea that has legs, yes indeed. Few difficulties, though. Are the obese fit enough to stand the regimen, or are indeed the stick insects, like me? And then there's our growing lack of concentration. Even if I did survive rowing for a few hours, and ignoring the obsese having cardiac arrest alongside me, I'd be woolgathering about ... oh, just stuff ... and get out of synch, despite the beating drum and the threat of being chucked over the side.​
 

Bob Godfrey

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No worries, Mon, I wouldn't expect you to row. You clearly don't need the exercise, and in any case my friends would get the good jobs, like beating the drum, calling out "Stroke 29! Ramming Speed!" or whatever and marching up and down to flog the slackers, like Rogers. I daresay this would only work for tourist class. The First Class passengers would bring servants to do their rowing.

I'm having three galleys built for a trial service. Look out for advertisements for The Ben Hur Experience.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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I think I'll go for the beating, calling, marching, flogging etc., as you suggest. It sounds fairly physical, but I think I could just manage it. One has to do one's bit, after all. I'm a bit worried that Rogers might make me laugh, and so I might fail to chuck him over the side, and that's always a bit of a problem really.

Especially as one might have to put up with Romans insisting that we have to fake naval battles. Still, it's all good stuff, and I think we can flood the arena and make it look really convincing.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>the whole ethanol is pointless cause from the documents i have access to in the auto field it takes the heat of roughly 2 gallons of diesel fuel to create 1 gallon of ethanol. Not that good of a replacement.<<

Odd, I've seen stuff which states it's a gallon of fuel burned to produce a gallon and a half of ethenol. Supposedly a net gain...until you realize that ethenol is nowhere near as energy dense as any petroleum based fuel, or even vegetable oil and waste fats rendered to produce biodiesel.

It may well be a moot point however since the bare bones fact is that mineral oil will be on the way out because it will run out. The world's reserves, however large, are a very finite resource. Coal may well take it's place because those resources are huge, but even then, it will eventually go away, so some very smart people had best get cracking on alternative energy sources which are not feel good panaceas.
 

Bob Godfrey

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You won't need to flood the arena, Mon. The North Atlantic will be quite wet enough.

On a more serious note, back in the early '70s there was talk of a possible comeback, for cargo vessels at least, for auxiliary sails. Not the traditional kind, but rotating vertical cylinders. As far as I know nothing came of it back then, but possibly such ideas are still under consideration.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Not the traditional kind, but rotating vertical cylinders.<<

Wasn't that something the Germans toyed around with? I seem to recall seeing something about that in an ancient issue of Popular Mechanics. I think the idea was to run generators which were tied to the propellors.
 

Bob Godfrey

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That's it, Mike. Sails in the sense that a windmill has sails to drive machinery. I've seen cylinders of this kind used to power generators onshore, though larger fixed installations tend to favour the aircraft propellor style. There might be possibilities also to generate power from a ship's vertical movements as it rides the waves. Any devices of this kind could of course be useful only as an auxiliary power source.
 

Paul Rogers

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You wouldn't be able to chuck me over the side, Mon. Not without a block and tackle anyway. And I wouldn't be making you laugh (intentionally, anyway) as I'd be one of the "slackers" suffering a cardiac arrest.

I'd enjoy the flogging bit, though. Beats lying on Brighton beach, with a gang of children trying to roll me back into the sea before I can dry out.
 

John Clifford

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Actually, the discussions about galley ships reminded me of a news story, back in 1982: they showed the various entries at a sailing contest, in Maine, I believe.
The reporter mentioned that one group did a recreation of a galley ship. However, they were not too coordinated, as the story showed the oars on the side of the ship hitting the water at differing times. That would be the probable result nowadays.
wink.gif
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Any devices of this kind could of course be useful only as an auxiliary power source.<<

That was my sense of the installation itself. I'm not surprised that it didn't go anywhere. Dealing with the topweight issues was probably simple enough, but in terms of eating up space better used for cargo, it would only be in the way.

However, if somebody can come up with something that could generate power from a ships motion that wouldn't be a space hog, that would be a definate plus. Auxilaries can gobble up quite a bit of energy, even on a merchant vessel.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Michael, that is roughly what I mean its pointless because you get less miliage out of ethanol than plain gasoline so technically its a loss but they are pushing in the headlines that your getting something better than gasoline when your not. I have an idea and plans for something that uses no fuel to burn just an electric pump to move a vehicle but I never built a full scale model to see if it works or not and if it does I doubt the big three will stop me in my tracks like they did to Tucker back in the late 40`s.
 
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>>I have an idea and plans for something that uses no fuel to burn just an electric pump to move a vehicle<<

That's nice but where is the electricity going to come from? Something has to generate it and if it's not generated by the vehical, it'll have to be generated somewhere else...probably a coal fired station which is hardly carbon nuetral...and stored in some sort of capacitor or battary.

Just goes to show that electric vehicals aren't quite the cure all some would have you believe. (Although they are certainly more realistic then a replica Titanic!)
 
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Matt Pereira

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Michael, the electricty would be generated by wheel mounted "alternator/generator" like todays electric cars. But instead of requiring a huge heavy bukly battery pack it should in theory be able to operate off of one 24 Volt battery. The only time the battery is discharging voltage is when the vehicle starts to move from a standstill. After it gets moving then the battery is recharged and the vehicle is powered by the "alternaor/generator". The only thing though is I do not know how it would work when you add in the fact of gps and computers and tvs and all this other un needed garbage. I am just looking at it from a plain stand point of using one battery to power a motor from a standstill to get the pump moving to circulate the hydraulic fluid which is then moved through a item sort of like a trq converter which is a fluid coupler that will spin the wheels. To vary the speed will be a variable rate resistor like used in fan motors to adjust the speed of the pump. But This is using alot of parts that are still under patent so odds of me being able to produce a prototype would require me to go through all the legal paperwork first. Which I am thinking if I am able to get it to work just build one for myself.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>The only thing though is I do not know how it would work when you add in the fact of gps and computers and tvs and all this other un needed garbage.<<

Only how do you get past the problem of entropy? There's a very real loss of energy through the natural resistance in the conductor and this really doesn't go away. What you're describing sounds a lot like the ever popular Perpetual Motion machine, which is noteworthy for never having worked.
 

Ryan Thompson

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The bio fuel argument:

Ethanol isn't practical at the present due to production costs. Bio diesel, however, is (at least according to most of the studies). And diesel is what the vast majority of the liners run on currently, isn't it? In the UK, generic canola oil in the grocery stores has been far cheaper per-gallon than fossil diesel at the pump for a number of years now, so there's been a huge biodiesel movement there.

For what its worth, I live in a college town of 53,000. If you count the non-resident college students we have about 74,000, and if you count the illegal immigrants we have about 76,000 (give or take a few hundred). Every third diesel Mercedes-Benz I see has biodiesel stickers on the back of it, some even have a faux Mercedes-type badge that says "300 BIODIESEL" or "240 BIODIESEL" instead of "300D" or "240D"