Alphaboats Harvester Design Philosophy
Alpha Boats Unlimited believed there must be a better, safer and easier way to cut and pick up nuisance vegetation than has been done in the past. This new thought process for “Weed Harvesters” started in the year 2003 to address the safety and performance of the market products available at the time. Our resolution to design safe and products that perform continues to this day with constant process improvements.
Balance: The equipment must be able to carry a load with shifting loads in the bow, center and stern areas. This is accomplished when moving the debris rearward; the slanted sides of the conveyor squeeze the debris toward the center of the hull somewhat. This squeezing action toward the center of the hull as much as possible helps squeeze out some water thus lightening the load and at the same time position the load closer to the center of the hull. If a boat operator is cutting along a slanted shoreline and inadvertently picks up mud or weeds on one side of the cutting head, this debris is now on the boat. This action would want to tip the boat sideways. By moving some of this unbalanced load toward the center helps with the stability of the boat.
Safety and Noise: This was a big concern while redesigning these Harvesters. These issues all work out for multiple reasons. Putting the engine on the starboard deck inside an aluminum engine housing mitigates a lot of engine noise and engine heat to the operator. By squeezing the debris/weeds to the center allows for the engine to fit alongside the storage conveyor. The conveyor also absorbs some of the engine noise. The added space created by the squeezing action increases the walkway for the employee’s safety and ease of moving around the hull. The hydraulic tank and the fuel tank are mounted to the deck. All this keeps the desirable center of gravity lower. This allows us to raise the storage conveyor for cleaning purposes. The paddle wheels have a solid ring on the outside for the safety of people and property.
Performance: The desirable condition is to have a shallow draft and reach as far as possible to the shallow shoreline. A flat bottom hull is needed to reduce the draft and enhances a closer reach to the shoreline. The further the cutting head reaches out in front of the hull will help the operator cut in shallow water closer to the shoreline. The paddle wheels are wider making the operating width wider thereby helping with the speed and maneuverability of the boat. The engine is adequately sized to accommodate the over width paddle wheels. All hydraulic functions on one lever can change the forward and the reverse direction of the function. Paddlewheels are not needed to be removed for transportation, they are mounted and moved up for transportation. The boat operator needs to have good control in order to safely maneuver within changing water and wind conditions and around obstacles on a daily basis.