Need Help/Idea's Pontoon Lift Lake Weeds


by laketetonka
Tags: help or idea, lake, lift, pontoon, weeds
Michael_E
Michael_E is offline
#37
Apr19-08, 08:01 PM
P: 21
I used to do design work in the fruit industry where we used large, open impeller trash pumps to move large volumes of water, (along with anything floating in it, like apples, pears, etc.). They even used these things in the maraschino cherry business to tear the cherry clusters apart into individual cherries with stems by running them through the pumps, (yeah, once they're cured those cherries are almost as tough as leather). You're probably wondering what the heck this has to do with your problem. O.K., here's the idea:

You mount one of these pumps at the back of your pontoon boat, run a tube into the water and suck up the weeds, water and all. Pump them right into a screened catch basin in the boat and you're done with it. Lots of ways to implement this in more creative ways too. You could design a cutter system at the outward end of your suction tube that would keep you out of the water and just guide the suction cutter head while sitting at the back of the boat, (kind of like a big lawnmower). Make the catch basin a hydraulic powered dump so that you could just run up on shore and dump to a trailer pulled by an ATV. If you had trouble with the pump clogging, (I doubt it, but those weeds might be pretty tough), you could easily design a chopping apparatus just forward of the pump. Just a thought.
Danger
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#38
Apr21-08, 01:51 PM
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Michael, that's what I love about PF; so many people contributing with so many different approaches to things. That's a great idea about using a pump. It never occurred to me that one could handle solid stuff like that. It's certainly a lot simpler than what I was thinking of (and I still haven't figured out how to tie the knots in the baler section anyway ).

edit: Cancel that, I just figured out the knots. Working on how to simplify the mechanism, just in case Laketetonka still wants to go that route.
laketetonka
laketetonka is offline
#39
Apr25-08, 01:42 PM
P: 11
Thanks for all of the new ideas, I will try and review both options to see which is a better fit during this summer.

The idea of a trash impeller sounds great, but won't the stringy weeds get caught up inside the unit? I asked a Honda pump dealer about using a regular trash pump and a diaphram trash pump and I got mixed reviews from two different dealers.

One said that the diaphram pump should work great and the other dealer said that neither unit would work well with lake weeds?

Is there a specific unit that you would recommend to research?

Thanks again for everyones help and ideas on this project
Laketetonka
Michael_E
Michael_E is offline
#40
Apr25-08, 08:32 PM
P: 21
Quote Quote by laketetonka View Post
The idea of a trash impeller sounds great, but won't the stringy weeds get caught up inside the unit?
I think that would depend on the strength of the weeds and how much processing that you did to them first. If you wanted to be absolutely sure, you might consider cutting them into smaller pieces first. A sickle bar mower would work well,( they look like a big hedge trimmer if you haven't seen one). The pump that I'm talking about had an inlet diameter of about 6" and an impeller of about 8" diameter. The impeller looked sort of like a squirrel cage fan with about 4 or 5 blades in smooth cast iron. The outlet was around 6" as well and we just used steel adapters to fit the inlet and outlet to stock PVC pipe. If you mounted the sickle bar mower assembly inside a piece of formed pvc pipe, something like a pipe, slotted in the long direction, with lips, you could suck water and weeds into the assembly and chop them off in little bits, depending on how deep into the water you lowered the suction assembly. If the sickle bar deal didn't work you could always fit the suction unit with the equivalent of a reel mower and I'm sure that would work. This would take some experimentation, but I think that you could eventually set things up so that you had the water borne equivalent of a riding lawnmower.


Quote Quote by laketetonka View Post
One said that the diaphram pump should work great and the other dealer said that neither unit would work well with lake weeds?
The nature of invention is that no one has made the ideas that you're working with work...YET. To make your ideas work you have to fool around with them until they do. If you believe people when they tell you that something won't work, before they've even thought about it or tried it, then it never will work for you. If you are financially challenged, you could always make a small unit up first at a low cost with a small diameter trash pump, (rent a sump pump for a few days for your trial) and some sort of chopper assembly, (please guard it well as I'd hate to think that you cut yourself up messing around with this). Once the concept works it's easy to scale it up. [/QUOTE]

Quote Quote by laketetonka View Post
Is there a specific unit that you would recommend to research?
If you want to know more about the pump I used you could Google: Van Doren Sales in East Wenatchee, WA and ask them about the pump that they use on their "hydrofillers". These are machines which automatically fill bins of fruit after it's been sorted and floated in long flumes. Once they know that you aren't a competitor they'd probably tell you more about the pumps and where to get them. They're big and you'll need a good sized engine to drive them, but hey time is money and the faster this removes the weeds the more $$$ you make. If they aren't too helpful, I'd just search for a high volume centrifugal pump, preferably one with an impeller design that's good at shedding loose material. You might try an agricultural supplier, like someone who'd sell pumps to a dairy operation as I know they add water to manure and spray that onto fields as fertilizer, (and that would require a pretty clog free pump). I've thought that this idea would work for quite some time, (like twenty years), but I have so many other things going on that I've just never had any desire to develop it. It'd be neat to see someone get some mileage out of it. Have fun and be careful !

Michael E.
Danger
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#41
Apr25-08, 08:44 PM
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Michael, your idea about the blades just triggered another thought. He could combine the properties of the conveyor and the pump by using an auger. It wouldn't be nearly as fast as either of the others, but it might be cheaper and it would do its own chopping.


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