Originally posted by sonhouse
Radar image of the lakes of Titan. The question is, suppose it's 200 years or so in the future and we have super insulators and such and fusion reactors and we had a reason to do so, could we build ships that would ply the lakes of Titan? Can we have something substantial float on such a surface as liquid methane?
Well liquid Methane has a density of about 40% that of water.
To support mass M requires Displacing an equal mass of fluid.
The displaced mass is density p times volume displaced.
M = p * V
If we make P = 1 for water and P = 0.4 for methane and want to
support the same mass in each then we get...
Vw = 0.4 * Vm
Vm = 2.5 * Vw
So a ship sailing on pure Methane would have to displace 2.5 times the volume
per unit mass of one sailing on pure water.
This might require building out of Carbon fibre instead of steel (carbon fibre having 3
times the strength per unit weight as steel).
But it's eminently doable.
And it's not like there is a shortage of carbon on your methane lake.