Friday progress 25

The executive summary for today is: Not a lot 🙂

Again I needed to do some work this morning and then we felt we needed to take some rest this afternoon, especially after carrying lots of heavy stuff for the motor frame up the ladder.

So we spent a few hours sitting around the motor compartment plotting and planning how everything is going to line up. We even made some decisions. Next the trick will be to do them in the right order.

First we properly fitted the new motor frame drive shaft and it’s bearings. Then we fitted the belt pulley.

That allows us to position the forward end of the motor frame, there is just space to squeeze a replacement belt on when needed.

That allows us to work out the relationship between the end of the propeller shaft where it goes into the thrust bearing part of the Aquadrive, making sure there is enough propeller shaft in the boat for the PSS Pro Dripless Seal.

As you can see there is a lot of motor frame drive shaft that is unsupported at present. And the aft end of it carries a fair lot of weight (the CVT joint, Coupling converter and Coupling).

So a key set of decisions have been made about how we extend the motor frame to support a pillow bearing on the aft end of the motor frame drive shaft; and how we fit the motor frame onto the motor mounts and them into the boat. That is all done now and I can take the parts home and build it all up in the garage.

The next big decision was about the bulkhead that needs to be built to fit the Aquadrive thrust bearing to and which needs to be strong enough to absorb all the thrust from the propeller. This new bulkhead will form the base of the new bulkhead to the aft cabin. So access to the Dripless seal will be by lifting the floor of the aft cabin and access to the Aquadrive through a removable section of the cabin bulkhead. We will make the lower section of the bulkhead from FR4 (10mm vacuum compressed epoxy resin and fibreglass) with plywood triangular braces on each side of the propeller shaft going forward and aft. It will have a U shaped cut-out for the propeller shaft as otherwise the motor compartment isn’t long enough to ever be able to remove the propeller shaft. We will need to create 7 degree angle packing for the Aquadrive to align it correctly with the propeller shaft.

So it looks like we will have a few weekends with a rather more draughty aft cabin as we will have to remove the bulkhead, door and door post before we can fit the new bulkhead and it will take a while to get that properly aligned.

When that is all done we will have to fit some supports for the motor battery bank, which should be reasonably simple, we just need to get the full drivetrain connected first to check the height clearance.

Then we can fit all the bulkheads to the cockpit locker, aft cabin and corridor. Then we can do the wiring. …

Saturday extra

So we had an extra day this week.

The house battery bank box got the last bits coated in epoxy.

I finished the vertical posts that the corridor and cockpit sides will fasten to. These got coated in epoxy and fastened in with thickened epoxy. They will also support the horizontal beams that the house battery bank will sit on.

Finally, we put the first coat of paint behind the saloon cushions.

Very pleased with the progress this weekend.

Friday progress 24

I suppose the most significant progress is that we has a guest sleeping on board with us for the first time. Stephen, one of our sons, in our social bubble, joined us for the night. The saloon single berth got a good rating.

Today, I ended up working for the morning but Jane and Stephen took the house battery bank apart and then reassembled it with thickened epoxy as glue. They have then coated nearly all of it with epoxy and added some fillet joints to strengthen the joint between the sides and the base.

Then we spent some time going over the design and plans for the electrics.

Meanwhile, one of the lasts part of our drivetrain had arrived (the shaft from the reduction belt pulley to be connected to the propeller shaft via the Aquadrive) so we have been able to lay things out and make sure everything fits (it does – just).

Motor frame on temporary wood supports at approximately the right height showing the motor shaft in about the right position to connect to the propeller shaft.

I’ve had to redesign the way the electric motor rests on the engine mounts so that we can support this shaft at the propeller shaft end. So a few more bits of metal and one extra bearing are now on order.

This shows the base of the box for the motor batteries.

It is slightly oversized at present but there is just space for it and still be able to open/close the seacocks. Access to the Aquadrive (which will be partly under the battery box) will be by making the new bulkhead to the after cabin open-able (after all no carbon monoxide or diesel fumes to worry about).

The house battery bank goes above the motor and the motor battery bank.

The two inverters go on the bulkhead forward of the motor and just above it (grey bulkhead at the bottom of the previous two images).

Given how tight everything is I’m sure we are going to have to pay attention to air flows and ventilation to ensure that the motor, the motor controller and the batteries don’t overheat. However, I’m pretty confident that we are going to be able to make that work fine for most climates with passive ventilation. We will probably need to assist that with fans in the tropics (but if it is hot there should be plenty of solar power available to charge things.

The centre of gravity of the batteries has moved up a little from what I had hoped for. However, I don’t think it is very different to when the diesel tanks were full (and it doesn’t move around). Fortunately, we have saved a whole lot of weight in other places and when we switch to dyneema rigging we will save a whole load of very high up weight.

So not huge visible progress but a lot of thinking and planning will help next steps.

Holiday progress day 15: the end

Just eating a black eyed bean curry from our multi cooker. Then heading home.

The cockpit floor is fitted, the main drain hoses are test fitted. We just need some hose adapters 32mm to 50mm and then we can connect the forward drains.

With very straight 50mm drains the cockpit should drain superfast, we are slightly concerned that small children might get sucked out with the torrent 😉 So we will add a small step halfway up back of the cockpit. That will also help our knees a lot.

We also had a big sort out of the forecabin which had become a messy dumping area for tools and bits. That allowed us to check our anchoring plans (and happy they will work). So we removed the very old, rusty, anchor windlass and a couple of other bits.

We also did some measuring for our aft cabin plans and again happy that they will be an improvement.

So, despite all the named storms, and the impact of COVID-19, we have had a good holiday and made a lot of progress towards being ready to launch next spring.

Holiday progress day 14: oh no more cockpit work

Today Jane finished two important tasks on the cockpit drains project.

First, she filled the last gaps in the joints between the new lips (upstands) and the old grp lip & flange with thickened epoxy.

Then she painted the bottom of the cockpit floor.

Meanwhile I was removing some trim in the saloon which was stopping the cushions fitting properly.

Then I started on the replacement forward drains. Had to make some backing plates, cut for a flush fit and clean a century’s dirt.

These are ready for hoses. Before that we have to paint around the large aft drains; fit the rubber sealing strip and bolt down the cockpit floor.

This evening a gentle walk into Beaumaris for fish and chips. Absolutely worn out now.

Holiday progress day 13: yes more cockpit work

We are getting very close with the cockpit after today.

The epoxy work for the aft cockpit drains is nearly finished. After drying overnight we should have just a few little bits to fill with thickened epoxy to make sure that the lower lip if fully sealed (where it tucks under the old grp lip and flange).

With the lip bits are now fixed in place (to both the cockpit floor and to the drain area) and the area around the white skin fitting filled with epoxy so there should be nowhere for water to collect.

As you may be able to see our resin has gone a bit jelly like and so isn’t mixing as smooth as it was (don’t know if this is shelf-life or temperature or what). We are nearly at the end of a big bottle, so as it seems to still set hard we will use it up on areas where the finish isn’t too important (and hopefully ones not critical to safety).

I have managed to get both of the old drains out ready for new TruDesign skin fittings.

If we can’t finish them this holiday we will simply seal them up for the moment.

We also had a big delivery of shiny bits today (sadly FedEx left only parcel 1 of 2 so not everything).

Here is the PSS Pro dripless seal and the refurbished bronze flange it will fit to.

Here is the Aquadrive (thrust bearing and CVT that allows for the motor to be on a different alignment to the propeller shaft).

Then we have our motor mounts.

This evening we had a really nice socially distanced BBQ on the beach with the members of the NWVYC we cheated slightly as we don’t have a BBQ. So we ran a power extension cable from the boat and setup our Induction Hob on our workmate 🙂 It was very effective 🙂 Anyway it was lovely to see people and chat about boat refits (and other topics were permitted).

Hoping dry weather continues so we can get the cockpit watertight.

Holiday Progress day 12: more cockpit drain epoxy

Pretty horrible weather today until about 3. With the wind from the North and heavy rain it meant that the cockpit wasn’t a good place to try doing epoxy work. Especially as work was on the floor that needed to be out of position.

So this is where we are at with the drains. I got the lip a bit wrong so will fix that tomorrow.

This is the floor which has to end up being sealed from water by the lips .

I’m pretty happy with how this is turning out. By the time it is finished I think it will look like it was always there.

Holiday Progress day 11: Tips

No actual progress today (unless you count going into Bangor to update my phone contract and getting some food from Aldi).

So instead a few random tips

  • If you are lazy, like us, and take washing up home to do in the dishwasher, then don’t forget to bring it back with you!
  • LED strip lights that can use either a cigarette lighter or mains plug are great when you have no working wiring in your boat.
  • If you are doing a boat refit in the UK then top priorities are stopping leaks (remove fittings you don’t need ashore and fill with sealant, windows, hatches). Stops everything else from getting ruined. Then good bed cushions.
  • Keep all yoghurt pots, great for epoxy work.

Holiday progress day 10: New cockpit drains

Wow, a dry day! So we made excellent progress on our cockpit drains.

First, we fitted the TruDesign through hulls, which the TruDesign seacocks will screw onto. We have followed their advice and epoxied them in (so in theory they are as strong as the hull itself). We sanded back to the gelcoat all around then hole. There is thickened epoxy under the flange and around the thread as it goes through the hull. As the “mushroom” sticks out from the hull we (again as advised) used the thickened epoxy to create a fairing to smooth the water flow. It isn’t brilliant but we have a lot of work to do later and will improve it then.

On the inside the backing plate was epoxied in at the same time.

Then we started on the drain from the cockpit. First, Jane was clearing off the remains of the sound insulation from the bottom of the cockpit floor.

Then I cut away the wood reinforcement so that we can add lips to seal around the new corners.

These are the lips that will be fitted to the cockpit floor.

Then I was making progress on the new corners that get the new drains fitted in them.

These will be both bolted and epoxied into place and around the drain it will be filed to level with the old edge with thickened epoxy. This is roughly what it will look like when done. (but coloured consistently and I’ve now rounded/smoothed the cockpit cutouts.

So, we just have to do all the epoxy work (which will depend on how bad the rain is tomorrow).

Then we can remove and replace the original drains from the front of the cockpit (which will end up connected to these under the floor). They are very solidly glassed in so that won’t be quick and easy to get them out and not have to do a lot of rebuilding.