Thursday, July 31, 2008

Brown-Campbell Co. sponsors Ship 41 in Interlux Waterfront Challenge

Ray Gualtier, general manager of Brown-Campbell Co. in Maple Heights, Ohio has agreed to sponsor Ship 41's project for the Interlux Waterfront Challenge. Brown-Campbell Co. will collect and pass along aluminum expanded metal drops to make the flotsam scoops. This will greatly help the project move forward and allow the Sea Scouts to provide local marinas with prototype scoops for field trials.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ship 41 Interlux Challenge Project Review To Date..

To date the scouts have designed three versions of the flotsam scoop; first, a simple basket on the end of a telescoping pole, second, the same basket with a clam shell arrangement and thirdly, a simple basket with one end open. The scouts have also tested a disposable net (potato sack).
The net and the open ended basket were both very successful. The net needs further modifications to make it easily removable from the holder - so we will proceed with flotsam net 1.01.
The commercially available expansion handles are not strong enough and cannot cope with the service demanded of the scoop. The custom built handle on model 1.02 worked perfectly and will be our standard going forward.
Now to make some minor refinements and get the project publicized.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sea Scout Ship 41 Flotsam Scoop 1.02

We really wanted to get some experts to try out Flotsam Scoop 1.02, a basket with one end open for easy dumping.
And so we asked the Commodore of Lorain Sailing & Yacht Club, Fran Burik and husband, Paul, to help us test this design.
They were both suitably impressed.
Commodore Burik was determined to clean up the marina as the club was hosting the Interlake Nationals the coming weekend.
She said the scoop made light work of removing the floating trash even a large steelhead trout that was starting to fester.
With two scoops working we soon have the marina cleared of floating trash and debris. A job well done said a very thankful commodore.
Thankful to the extent that Fran asked if she might keep the scoops for the club clean-up scheduled on Saturday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ship 41 Interlux Challenge Flotsam Net

The next design to be tested involved a different concept. Several scouts had designs involving nets and the handbook for the Ohio Clean Marinas program recommends the use of swimming pool skimmers. However it is generally agreed that pool skimmers do not hold up to the wear and tear of marina use. A more robust design was needed, hence the "flotsam net".
The net, a mesh bag, one of several samples provided by Kandi Greer of the Volm Companies, was attached to an aluminum hoop by carabiners. The net worked very well and was the only tool that could be used, because of its light weight, from a 10' bulkhead. The problem was that the bag was not easily removed from the hoop once full. Gabriel suggested turning the bag upside down and tying a slip knot in the bottom of the bag to ease emptying it in trash bags. This helped in emptying the mesh bag but the original thought was to fill the bag then dispose of it. An easier way of attaching the bag to the hoop had to be designed - back to the drawing board. Stay tuned for "flotsam net 1.01".

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Testing Flotsam Scoop 1.01

Remembering that our project in the Interlux Waterfront Challenge is to design and test a clean-up tool for the waterfront. Details of the challenge can be seen at: This past Sunday afternoon our goal was to clean up a corner of Spitzer Lakeside Marina (Spitzer is a sponsor of Sea Scout Ship 41 and provides dock space for our 36' Mariner ketch) in time for all the visitors for the Fourth of July fireworks display. It's one of those corners where drift wood, plastic bottles and cups, styrofoam, dead fish, etc, always seems to collect and would be a good testing ground for our Flotsam Scoop model 1.01. The clamshell design worked very well but the scoop as a whole was just too unwieldly and cumbersome. The added weight of the continuious hinge and bar stock was just enough to hamper the handling of the tool. The scoop itself still worked well and picked up the dead fish, weeds and floating debris. A regular garden rake easily handled the material close to shore pulling it on shore to be put into grbage bags. A total of 11 bags were filled.