Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inflatable Boat

Inflatable boat is a kind of boat whose bouyant apparatus (tube hull) will not absorb water when it experiences damages due to collision, leakages, brakes, or cracks. The inflatable boat does not have hollow hull. The hull tube which is the main buoyant vessel is filled with special foam whose specific weight is much lighter than the specific weight of the water. Inflatable boats are often used by Search And Rescue team, military personnel and any parties who work in unfavorable marine environment. Cities that are located in the lowland areas often experience flooding after heavy rain. I remembered the time when hurrican Cathrina hit New Orleans a few years ago. SAR team used inflatable boats that are powered by diesel or gasoline outboards engines to evacuate people who are trapped during the flood. The boats do not need a lot of maintenance because much of their bodies or hulls are made of rubber and other synthetic materials. Boats that are made of wood and steel need regular maintenance to prevent or minimize corrosion.
Other application of foam as fill material in marine devices is lifebuoy. Inflatable lifebuoy has long been recognized in the marine world. The inflatable lifebuoy will be thrown to crew or passenger of a boat or ship who has fallen into the sea. Classification Societies and SOLAS regulations have certain rules and requirements for the installation of inflatable lifebuoys, rafts and boats in big ships as life saving devices which people can use to escape if their ships are facing severe accidents at sea.
The picture of the inflatable boat above was taken at the wooden boat harbor of Anggrem area in Manokwari city of West Papua. This boat belongs to Indonesian army and has 10 seats powered with two Yamaha outboards. As a matter of fact, if the seats are removed, the inflatable boat can carry up to fifteen people. On the stern part of the boat, we can see the logo of the manufacturer, Hammer and Hammer Shark.
I took the picture using my digital camera Sony Cybershot DSC W-310 when I was guiding a group of tourists from the Netherlands in February 2011. They visited this coastal city for participating in the Gospel Preaching Day both in Kwawi area and Mansinam island. The Dutch travelers were the decendants of WL. Jens. A Dutch pioneer who was working as missionary in late 1800s in the Dore bay of Manokwari. by Charles Roring
Also read: Outrigger boat as tourist vehicle