A few days ago I went to a funeral over in Wisconsin. While it was a gray affair, there were a number of people there who’ve heard about SCOUT and asked lots of questions. Since some of them were recurring, I thought that I’d answer a few of them here.
What happens if it gets picked up by a fishing boat? or a Navy boat? or a pirate ship, etc…
While we’ve taken every measure that we have available to us to steer clear of high traffic areas, this is a remote possibility. However, we don’t worry about this very much for a few reasons.
- It’s big (pretty heavy and awkward to get out of the water as well)
- It’s hard to see (black deck, black panels, low [6-12" freeboard], relatively small, no sail)
- It will be documented (a set of documents to explain the project and why it’s there)
- Other people don’t worry about it (The Pinta, for example, with their sail, was much more visible)
What happens when it flips over?
If you take a look at our photos page, you’ll notice the big fin or “keel” as it’s called. This will be cut down (currently it’s quite a bit bigger than we plan for it to be, but we can always make it smaller- making it bigger would be a challenge). This keel will have a bit of weight on the bottom that will be enough to keep the boat right side up (and if it flips, it will right itself).
What happens when water gets inside? Do you have bilge pumps, can it sink?
SCOUT will be completely full of foam upon completion. If you drilled a 6″ hole through it, or broke it in two, it would still float.
Why doesn’t water go up the propeller shaft?
We’re using an exterior fiberglass tube, inside of which are a number of sealed bearings. Between these bearings is a grease that we believe will eliminate this problem. Keep in mind that the propeller shaft is more than 6 feet long and actually rises above water level (so even with no grease or bearings, it would hypothetically stay dry unless it flips over).
I hope that this answers some of your questions.
If you have a question, we can answer it for you if you put it in the comment field below. It can be about something that I can answer (like why the bottom paint is blue) or something for David or any of the other guys (like why we’re using three compasses).
Thanks for sticking with us through all of this