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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

BEP Distributed Power Switching

Australian marine electrical equipment manufacturer, BEP, is producing products for electronic distributed DC power switching called CZone. I always liked the look of BEP products. Very clean. This particular system seems different in that it uses NMEA2000 as the primary data buss. Seems every other maker has their own proprietary data wire and protocols.

Details on the BEP system are sketchy right now, but may be worth keeping an eye on it.

Thanks to Ben over at Panbo for the heads up.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Remember these previous posts about the bow pulpit? I think somewhere in there I said the goal was to have the bow pulpit done by spring time. Well, it ain't gonna happen. It hasn't even got beyond the design stage where I left off last fall. The reasons? The shop overhaul is one. The other is money. As with nearly everyone in this economy, we have taken a hit on funds that we can spend on this project. The stainless fabrication of the bow pulpit is not a trivial expense.

The good news is one can always spend more time refining a design, this is no exception. I have some ideas on how to test-fit/mock-up full scale model of the bow pulpit, using data collected on the anchor roller testing (see previous posts) so I can be more confident in what we want before stainless is cut and welded.

With luck, stainless construction may begin in a month or two, but it will go slowly. Anyway, like I always say, there is ALWAYS something work on with a project like this.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Trying to Move Forward

I've been side tracked with a couple shop related projects (again) but its all good. I did manage to finish the final plywood mockup of the forward salon settees. It will require some trimming back of the cabinet supports under the side deck in order to maintain good symmetry. All the ergonomics feel good.

There was a compromise on symmetry. In the picture you can see the forward corner of the port settee sliced off as you approach the door to the head. This was done to maintain consistent width as one approaches the 24 inch wide door to the head, which will be a pocket door offset on the center line (most Westsail's had these as swinging doors right smack in the middle). We are planning pocket doors throughout and this settee modification was necessary.

The side effect is that it makes this part of the settee pretty much useless for sitting. But we don't expect to be sitting there anyway. It is a perfect place, however, for one of the dogs to curl up and nap. Can't forget about them. We also have an idea of putting a cabin heater on the bulkhead there some point in the future. Anyway, this compromise has been planned all along. The early CAD drawings revealed that this would be necessary to accommodate the pocket doors. So it is not unexpected.

As this frame in begins, it is necessary to think about mechanicals in this area. Particularly, the fresh water deckfill system, forward bilge pump and thru-hull, and conduits for electrical and domestic water. Its kinda nice to be getting back to mechanicals after cutting and fiberglassing Coosa all this time.

Also need to think about hull insulation. Anyone have recommendations on insulation material?
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Friday, April 02, 2010

Asymmetry is Beautiful... NOT

It's driving me crazy. Testing out ergonomics and preparing to install more "detail" framing, forces you to look closer at things, of course. And, the closer you look, the greater the chance "defects" will be found.

In this particular example, test fitting the forward salon settee surfaces has revealed that the starboard side hull, in this area, is a bit more "shallow" than the port side. With everything else measuring fine from the center-line, gunwales, and side decks, all level/perpendicular, this is the one area where starboard hull surface does not match port. And, if you stare at it for a minute or two you can just see the extra "shallowness".

It will require the starboard settee backrest, forward end, to be "tweaked" closer to the center-line by about an inch or two. Of course, a similar matching tweak must be done to the port side to keep the interior lines symmetric, which is a must. The human eye is interesting in its ability to detect things like mismatched geometries and mismatched colors. Anyway, the tweak is minor. I guess this is another reason why its good to do mock-ups and testing.

This is the second time I have found asymmetry in the hull. And I shouldn't be surprised. After all, having been laid up in 1975, these hulls were not designed in CAD or had their molds cut with multi-axis CNC milling machines. It was all done by hand. Defects like this should be expected I suppose. So am I wanting too much from a 35 year old hull? Probably. If anything, perhaps I am experiencing the same thing boat carpenters did back then. Which is fine by me as solving problems is one of the fun aspects of this whole project.

So, for you Westsail 42 owners out there. Your boat's starboard side hull is a bit more shallow than the port side. So far, its all under the waterline, so you will never see it while in the water. And it is so slight, I doubt it affects the hydrodynamics of the boat. I wouldn't let it keep you up at night, lol.
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