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Saturday, September 29, 2007

ABYC Electric Chick

ABYC is the American Boat and Yacht Council and is the primary standards body in the US for recreational boat builders. While we have been members of ABYC for sometime now, the only thing we have really "got" out of membership is the big paper binder of published standards.
Last weekend, my wife started a 7 weekend course on ABYC electrical standards. It covers DC and AC systems and goes down to the details like the minimum tension of a crimped ring terminal on a wire. This is good as the electrics of modern boats is continually changing and there is a lot of stuff to know. Me, I only have my AC and DC circuit basics from my Univeristy Physics degree. More theoretical than practical.
Though we are a ways away from eletrics on the Westsail, this will be good knowledge to have around. We are still keeping an eye on the new distributed electrical systems builders are starting to use now. This stuff is so new, ABYC does not address it (yet).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Westsail Design Updates

A few design changes have been made to the Westsail while we have been working on the small boat. Forward Berths In the bow of the boat, I had originally designed a single birth with storage underneath in the boat. The intention was that this area was mainly to be for storage of sails, fenders, line, etc. And, that in a pinch, it could be used for a single person berth. Then I noticed the Westail 42 "Chesapeake" came up for sale a few weeks ago (this is the W42 that Walter Cronkite had built out for him years ago). In the listing pictures it shows an "over/under" berth in the bow. Here there are two berths, each on either side, at different heights, where the feet overlap. The upper berth will be a little cramped for one to sleep, but again, 90% of the time it will be used as a shelf to store things, and a berth if we are hosting big parties .

Forward Salon Floor Height I had been going back and forth on where to set the height of the forward salon. I am six foot two inches, and have been determined to ensure that I have standing headroom in most areas of the boat. We have it in the main salon and in the aft cabin. But I was undecided on the forward salon. I already had the floor supports installed and the temporary 3/4" plywood floor had my head almost touching the underside of the deck. The balance being with floor area, as, due to the curvature of the hull, the lower the floor, the smaller the floor area. And, you need to figure how much gap space overhead for electrical wires, lights, and thru-bolted deck hardware. During our talks about rudder design, Bob Perry mentioned they allow three inches below the outside of the deck for hardware and wire runs. The deck in this area is almost an inch thick (cored with plywood). I thought two more inches was a bit too much, so I split the difference and dropped the floors one and a half inches. So, in the end, I may "almost" have standing head room, depending on what is needed for the overhead. But that will be ok if it comes to that. Design is always a compromise. I, last week infact, took the router to the supports and leveled then down 1.5 inches.