Houseboat Stability Analysis

Safety for All Vessel Owners

DMS had the pleasure to work with a houseboat owner who lived in an area which frequently experienced hurricanes.  This owner had the foresight to check the stability of their vessel before adding a second level to their houseboat.  DMS conducted a basic intact stability analysis to check against hurricane strength winds and assess vessel survivability.  

The Challenge of Unique Designs

The challenge with small vessels is their lack of standardization.  Like most small vessels, this one did not have any drawings available.  But DMS was able to clearly communicate with the owner and obtain detailed information based on pictures and owner measurements.  We obtained all required information without the need for a local survey.  This saved the owner thousands of dollars.  DMS coupled that with conservative assumptions and adaption of USCG regulations to create applicable stability criteria for this vessel.

Added Value For Owners

Our vessel owner gave great care to survival of their houseboat.  They filled the hulls with closed cell foam to prevent the vessel from flooding.  An excellent precaution.  But DMS discussed the situation with the owner.  If flood water reached the main deck of the vessel, it would poor into the hulls.  The closed cell foam prevents the vessel from sinking, but enough water remains to allow mold growth.  The resulting insurance claims would still require extensive repairs to the vessel.  

After discussing these risks with the owner, DMS set our stability criteria to ensure flood waters did not enter the main deck.  Based on our stability analysis, DMS produced a clear table of survivability for each category of hurricane.  Our owner now has the tools to make precise and informed decisions about the safety of his vessel for future hurricanes.

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