Thursday, June 26, 2008

Flotsam Scoop 1.01

The Flotsam Scoop 1.0 is back in the shop at Mansfield Structural for modifications. The latest "improvements" include a clamshell to assist in the removal of larger pieces of driftwood and debris. Vern, a certified welder and class A fabricator, designed a roller arrangement that would allow the clamshell to be opened and closed by sliding a lever up and down the handle. This basic mechanism is show in the short video. The Sea Scouts came up with the clamshell suggestion after touring the Army Corp of Engineers
dredging operation on the Cuyahoga River. The dredge, Clyde, used a clamshell to remove silt washed down from upstream to deepen the shipping channel to allow freighters to bring iron ore to the steel mills. Army engineer, Vito, told us that for every inch of draft lost by the big ore freighters cost the companies $100,000.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Flotsam Scoop Prototype Tested

The wind had blown a nasty pile of floating jetsam (pop bottles, beer cans, plastic, wood and dead fish) into a corner of marina at Lorain Sailing & Yacht Club. It was an ideal situation in which to test Flotsam Scoop model 1.0
The Sea Scouts took turns using the scoop and soon had the area cleaned up. The feedback was very positive, the scoop worked as designed.
Some problems were:- 1) Lock washers on the nuts holding the handle in place,
2) Handle extension tended to rotate,
3) Same of the larger drift wood could not be picked up or would drop off the scoop,
4) It was ackward emptying the scoop into the mid size garbage bags we had on hand.
Many suggestions were made to improve the scoop and these will be incorporated into Flotsam Scoop model 1.1 - stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Brain Storming Session

A few Sea Scouts, parents and adult leaders got together to put together ideas on the design of a "flotsam & jetsam scoop" to handle floating debris that is unsightly, smelly and always seems to collect in that one corner of the marina.
Once everyone come up with ideas and sketched out a design. Each design was presented to the group - nothing was ruled out - from floating nets to aluminium rakes to mesh scoops.
Each design was considered for ease and cost of manufacture.
A local fabricating shop, Mansfield Structural, agreed to work with us to produce prototypes to test at the marinas.
The photo to the left shows Bubba working to produce a prototype from a design sketch of an expanded metal scoop, approximately 18" x 11" with a telescopic handle all made from aluminium.
The Sea Scouts will field test and report back.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Accepting the Challenge!

Our trip and tour of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography FLIP vessel, details of the vessel, in San Diego really stirred our thinking about the water environment that we enjoy as Sea Scouts.
What impact can we have on our local shoreline of Lake Erie as a small group of high school students? During dinner at a great restaurant called Gus's a friend mentioned the Interlux Waterfront Challenge. It is a competition, created by Interlux, the yacht paint people, challenging groups to develop projects to improve their local environment.
As Sea Scouts we accepted the challenge. In the past we have regularly participated in clean up efforts of our shoreline and river banks but this challenge called for something more, something "inspirational and self-sustaining".
During our clean ups we have used a tong like tool to pick up individual items but nothing to handle what we see at our marinas after a storm.
A google search on the internet did not reveal any tools to assist in the removal of this flotsam and jetsam. What is needed is a cross between a snow shovel and a leaf rake.
So we need to get brain storming!