|Posted by sean on November 27, 2010 at 1:05 AM|
THE TONGDEE BOATS AND HOVERCRAFT
By Sean Walker
What are we about? We are about sport boats. First off let me describe what our boats are used for. All out boats are for shallow rivers and lakes and most of all fun. When we say shallow rivers we mean 6 in. of water, sometimes less. We are always experimenting with ways to make our boats perform better and be even more fun to use.
The long tail facilitates shallow water use but the boat must be of a design that will handle shallow water too. Our boats are real performers, so much so that their use is limited only by the amount of water needed to allow the propeller enough depth to drive the boat.
Jet skis and jet boats often make this shallow water claim but unfortunately they need the intake for the water jet pump to be under water and if the water is shallow it will defiantly scoop up debris from the river bottom that will severely damage the pump impeller. The only other boats that can operate in water this shallow are Airboats and Hovercraft, we build them too.
We usually build small boats. Our 11 ½ -foot boat has a maximum capacity of three people. The Nitwing handles two persons and is 10 feet long. Our mini boat, the 8 foot Ruranit is a single person boat; it can be called a PWC (personal water craft). So our boats can go in shallower water than a jet ski but not as fast or nearly as heavy. They are a fraction of the cost of the Jet Ski to build and very inexpensive to operate too. They easily fit in a pickup truck with a single person doing the lifting.
Personal goals of the designer
Well, here is where I write what it is that drives me to design and build these boats. As I have said elsewhere, everyone needs to play, have fun, thrills, and have a exhilarating experience. Everyone should have something similar in their lives to be happy about. It is something that turns you on so to speak, an escape from boredom.
More years ago than I care to mention I was one of the few people who opened up the Golden Triangle of Thailand and other areas to motorcycle riding. At that time there were few highways but mostly back roads in poor condition. The degree of difficulty made for an exciting time but those days are gone now that anyone can travel here by road easily.
I had to find new adventures and more remote jungle areas so I began boating. I soon found out that the Thai long tail boats were too heavy to transport to the many areas that I have now explored with my light weight boats. I was also able to improve on the shallow water use as well. I am not saying Thai long tails perform poorly they don't, they are slower work boats. Mine are much faster and have enabled me to further my life's adventure, the exploration of the jungles of Thailand. I saw the challenges, developed building criteria and went for it. My success is that I am having a lot of fun.
I have been designing, building and using my boats for a long time now and I have made great strides in doing what no one else here seems to be doing. Going fast economically and going where no one else can, in very shallow water. Transportation for me is in my pickup.
They dont transport boats much here in Thailand boats are confined to a given area on a river or lake. Thai long tails dont easily fit on a trailer they are too heavy and long. Boats here can be trailered but there arent many launching ramps. There are hardly any places where a trailered boat can be launched without difficulty. My boats are a breeze to launch and use.
Speedboats here and indeed everywhere use too much gas. It takes 1,000 - 2,000 B. to travel 80 Kilometers a 2-3 hour run. This amounts to an average cost of 600 B. (18 dollars US) per hour. This is the cost of going fast. With my speedboat you can travel at a slower but similar speed and spend only 170B. (4 dollars per hour US).
I admit my boats are usually small, but I like them that way. I could make them bigger but that would cut down on their shallow river use. A maximum size for shallow river use is 14 feet long. I will make bigger boats eventually and you can bet they will not cost much to operate too.
Using the boats of my design it is now possible to go quite fast economically, this is facilitated by my engine set up and hydro hull design. I am fast and many times cheaper to operate, and can be easily transported by pick up truck or car top anywhere in the country.
If you compare speed wise, a speedboat or a big fast long tail is three to ten times its cost and are gas hogs as previously mentioned. All our boats are very maneuverable sport boats. Our boats use 6.5, 13, and 23hp. engines. Everything I can do to make a boat work well in shallow water and high-speed lake use with small engines will be accomplished. I have developed a new category of boats and my boats are the only ones in it.
Now my favorite boat is my catamaran sailboat. Come back and visit for mast and sail making videos. Thanks, Sean
ALL QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED
BY POSTING ON THIS SITE ONLY, JUST REGISTER
EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDERTIAL