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Posts to this blog will happen infrequently, if at all. The blog will remain accessible for historical purposes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Four Down, Four to Go

Installed the center water tank and the port fuel tank this weekend. The fuel tank went in pretty easy, but the water tank put up a fight. Center Water Tank Installation
From Building a Westsail 42: Tank Installation
The tolerances between the tabs and the framing, and the tanks and the cleats were pretty close. Also, apparently my pre-installation of the cleats weren't all in the same plane. In order to get the tank fitted and laying flat on the cleats, I had to trim off bits from the cleats using a grinder and hammer/chisel. With the close tolerances, we had to gently lower the tank into the space with lifting straps, keeping the tank as level as possible to avoid getting caught up on the sides of the framing. After numerous cycles of install/test/remove/trim we had a tank fitted (with sore backs). The tank is secured to the framing using thru-bolts backed with tee nuts requiring only a single wrench to install/remove (no tapping screws!). Port Fuel Tank Installation
From Building a Westsail 42: Tank Installation
As with the water tank, we had to trim some of the cleats to get a good fit, but it wasn't nearly as extensive/difficult as the water tank. Tank was secured to the framing using thru-bolts. The green fiberglass angle stock cross members were then bolted down (these act as a hold down for the tank, and as support for the floor). With both tanks (and all tanks eventually) the lifting straps are being left IN, wrapped around the tank to help the next poor sod who has to lift them out (hopefully it is not me).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day Tanks (Fuel) are IN!

Got the day tanks installed this past weekend. This did not involve simply putting in the tanks. It also included the following:
  • the glasswork for the port side main salon framing. Previously they were simply fitted and glued in. They got the final glass work: 2 layers, both sides.
  • permanently glue and glass the primary bulkhead between the engine room and main salon. I had previously cut and fitted this and simply left it in place anticipating I might have to remove it to get anything "big" in through the cockpit floor for the aft cabin frame-in. Well, the aft cabin frame-in has started and the biggest pieces are already in (and they came in through the companionway). So, I dont need to worry about this bulkhead to move stuff in. Therefore, in it goes, permanently. Glass tabbing, 4 layers, both sides.
  • Cut, fit and install a sideboard piece for the dinette riser. Which also forms one wall for the tank space.
  • Install (glue and screw) tank support cleats for a snug fit and paint the tank space with Bilgekote.
Before installed, the 21 and 17 gallon aluminum tanks were protected with a high build two part epoxy primer. The prep and paint included sanding the tanks with 80 grit (using a D/A), applying Pettit Metal Prep 6455, followed by two coats of Pettit Protect 4700 epoxy primer. Elbow plumbing fittings were then installed and tanks mounted using thru-bolts to secure them to the framing. Theoretically, I should not need access the tanks again until final plumbing for fuel is done.
From Tank Installation

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gee, Tanks!

Fuel and freshwater tanks arrived this week. Custom made by Coastline Equipment in Bellingham, WA. These guys make great stuff. They have a whole shop devoted to fabircating tanks of all types and materials. All tanks have good quality welds, reinforced corners, baffels, and are pressure tested and certified. All at a very reasonable price.
From Building a Westsail 42: Tank Installation
The fuel tanks, 5 total, are made of aircraft grade 5052 aluminum. Each includes 8 inch inspection ports, tank level senders, and fuel supply/return dip tubes. Total fuel capacity, including the two day tanks: 250 US gallons. The freshwater tanks, three total, are made from 304 stainless steel. Each includes fill, outlet and vent ports as well as an 8 inch inspection port and tank level senders. Total capacity: 145 US gallons.
From Building a Westsail 42: Tank Installation
The large 98 gallon center fuel tank could have been larger as the space allows for it. But, while I could have installed such a tank now through cockpit floor, once the boat is finished, the tank could never be removed without cutting it up (it would be too big to fit throught the companionway). I have to assume these tanks might be removed in the future (hopefully never). Anyway, this leaves some space underneath the center fuel tank for which I have a plan (more on that later). So, the next few weeks will be spent trimming the final tank fitment, installing a couple cleats, painting the tanks (fuel tanks only), and some initial plumbing. When all is said and done, tanks should be in!
From Building a Westsail 42: Tank Installation

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And the Resin Party Continues...

Saturday we took a day off from working on the Westsail but Sunday I did a few things. In particular, glassed in the aft-cabin panels that I framed in last week. I must say, I am getting a bit tired of playing with resin. What with the gloves, respirator and everything, it is getting kind of old. I guess the good thing is that I am getting faster at it and the laminations tend to be a bit better. It is really annoying when your respirator starts to come loose and you are wearing resin covered gloves. Must avoid touch! I had to have a couple knots of resin cut out of my hair later that night.
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Update on Diesel/Electric: Nordhavn and EMotion Hybrids

Nordhavn Quietly Removes D/E Information from Website Nordhavn, a maker of heavy displacement offshore capable power boats, one of the first to offer Diesel/Electric option (made by Siemens) for this type of boat, has quietly pulled the information from their site. A reader from the "Passagemaking Under Power" Internet list offered his understanding of the situation: "PAE tends to focus on proven technologies in their boats and takes a very cautious approach to introducing new technology. It was hoped the motor manufacturer would provide a complete and proven solution, but that didn't happen, so there were some teething problems. I believe that the basic components were sound, but wiring and controls were areas where a lot of new learning was required. Two boats were built, one with full diesel electric and the other partial. The partial electric boat is being rebuilt to go back to a conventional drive system. My reading of it all is that a significantly larger engineering effort would be required to bring this to market than the business could justify. Its no fun to be on the "bleeding edge" of new technology, but I give PAE credit for taking a shot at it. But diesel engines and proven drive technology still do a pretty good job of shoving water aside. I wonder what kind of money Toyota spent to bring hybrid drive technology to market? I'm betting it was HUGE compared to the annual sales revenue of a company like PAE." A setback for greener D/E propulsion for pleasure boats. Another note... EMotion Hybrids Launches Lagoon 500 Catamaran with twin 16kW electric motors I believe this is a first for EMotion Hybrids. It will be interesting to see how well she performs. Additional: If you want to see a good technical explanation of how a Diesel/Electric system can work (specifically EMotion systems) checkout EMotion's YouTube channel for a series of informative videos. Additional x 2: checkout Mickey's in-progress research site on D/E.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Aft Cabin Frame-in

This last weekend saw the start of the aft cabin frame-in. Earlier in the week I cut and fitted templates from door skin using measurements taken from my homemade "electronic tick-stick" One of the more challenging parts was maximizing material usage when cutting the coosa board. I had three sheets, but ended up using only two plus a piece of scrap on hand. Also, fitting and supporting the pieces for the berth while keeping it square was a bit frustrating as there is (was) nothing to block it against to keep it from moving around. Once fitted and supported, they were glued into place. Later they will be glass tabbed. All during this time, I went back and forth on the size of the berth. The drawing suggesting it was big enough. But when I drew the lines on the hull, it seemed small. Then I took real measurements in the hull (which ended up matching the drawing pretty closely) and it seemed big. Then I cut the templates and it seemed small. Now that I have the final pieces glued into place, it seems big (whew!). That gives you an idea of how poor my eye for space can be. Not surprising as I have a hard time judging distances at an anchorage.
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Friday, October 03, 2008

Hello Romanian Readers

Wow, a Romanian Blog/Forum cited this blog in some kind of article. My Romanian linguistics skills are pretty rusty (like non existent), but I think the article is about boat building. See Greetings from North America! Addendum: Romania is third on the list of countries for traffic to this site for the past month. After US and Canada.