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Everything posted by MikeStevenson

  1. We get about one person every year-and-a-half or so who wants to know if they can build a Weekender in either steel or aluminium (it varies.) I haven't the slightest idea: Can you? I know you may, but I don't know if you can! Seriously, I can't imagine it working too well. Mike
  2. Alright Frank! I'm glad you noticed that; I'll have to check ours as well. I've always gone by the I-can-build-another concept. Over-litigationhas crippled the fun in modern life. Bring back personal responsibility (responsible for yourself but not much else!) Mike
  3. That's three different types, right? We've had a lot of shots with three of our different designs, but never four or more to my knowledge. I suspect this late-July will beat that at the Mega-Mess. You Alaskans are still way cool anyway, and you certainly have the most northerly fleet. (unless there are some lurking Scandinavians we haven't heard from?) Mike
  4. What, or who, is a luthier? I just in the last few months noticed the finish scrapers and assorted accoutrement in the Lee Valley catalog. It seems like a good idea for harder woods; I don't know about sodft woods like Redwood. Mike
  5. Mini-Cups are great! I had so much fun with mine. I don't think anyone will be any less interested or helpful if the boat's not a Weekender. Mike
  6. That's all we've ever done: roll the boats on their rail. Be careful of the rail as it's a bit delicate, but with caution almost anything can be achieved. We've rolled Weekenders with only one person and a few gallon paint cans. I know we're confident by way of experience, but it's also important to not worry too much about many of the steps in the process. Mike
  7. Sorry, I just thought it would be good to make sure both groups knew about the meet. Mike
  8. Don't get me wrong: We're seriously in the wood-butcher school of building for the most part. I've only just started playing with the portable Bosch table saw and router table stuff to get better fitted parts. The boats we do are not cabinetry, and especially not the CycleKarts (they get foam and glass and bondo almost all over so the plywood structure is rough.) Don't sweat the finish. Mike
  9. I was just wondering how many of you are watching the Big Messabout plans on the other forum. We'll be there, and I hope a lot of you will be too. As you probably know, we wanted to do this in 1981, but it never was to be. Now we're really looking forward to attending a big meet (and somebody else is organising it! ) I'm just trying to drum up attendance as we'd llike to have a chance to meet as many builders as possible. Thanks, Mike
  10. It sounds like the consensus is that the weight savings is probably a bit, but not that big a deal. The main thing is the coolness factor, and the fun of making the part. I suspect the laminated b-mouth mast would tend to stay straighter as Florin points out(although I've never noticed any deviation in the cut 4X4's), and the cost of a laminated one is sure a nice bonus. I think a couple of other things would crop up: you could need to put a drain point in the bottom of the hollow mast, and it would allow for wires to pass up the center easily. The tabernacle could be beefed up by making a foot or so of the mast bottom solid (and maybe the top where the rigging/halyards/etc. attach.) Maybe cut a plug to fit inside the staves and it would glue up at the same time as the mast? It may not be needed. The tapering aspect makes me wonder: would not a double-tapered spar be possible this way? (Fat in the middle, skinny at the tips.) This would seem like a cool way to build a really light mast or a gaff for a latteen, especially if one epoxied carbon tow along the faces. Mike
  11. Guillermo, It sounds like the lona de PVC is the stuff! Mike
  12. Nice! Is this an industrial LPU? I've seen more and more urethanes (or at least some type of great-looking, self-leveling, tough paint) showing up at low prices lately. We may have to go back to speccing non-boat paint. Good call. Mike
  13. Cool...That should speed things up a whole bunch! Just pick starting and ending diameters and work from there. 'Fit'were me, I'd do a test at each diameter to make sure things worked out before ripping tapered staves. Has anyone ever weighed one of these to see if it really saves that much weight? ...just seems like a lot of work... Mike
  14. Adla: Lee Valley router bits are great. I like 'em and have a few. I think they're made by Amana. I can't see why you couldn't taper the staves ahead of time. I'd probably do a few test pieces to get a diameter at the top and at the bottom, then just make the staves as needed; taper from the bottom fat end to the narrow top using the dimensions you worked out from the test bits. Stump: The tapered mast works fine. Mike
  15. I hope someone has a boat at the Big Messabout with the modified steering. I want to try one out and see if it's any different in feeling from our original system (aside from being twice as slow.) The reduction in turns is what I would argue against, as the system we have in the plans is fast-acting and makes things more tiller-like than a traditional wheel. Those of you who've switched seem happy enough though, so perhaps the modified versions are not much different. Mike
  16. Hi, Every once in awhile the question of solar charging system set-up rears its head. Here is a page link which I think matches what we've found to be true fairly closely. I haven't compared the battery state-of-charge voltage chart with our own, but it's probably fairly accurate; his source is Trojan Batteries and they're a good company (we worked with them on the electric race cars.) The chart's only for flooded batteries. The solar tips are good. http://www.cieux.com/bm/chargingSystems.html Mike
  17. Interesting. I hadn't heard of a new electrolysis technique. One still has to apply power to split the H20? I would assume so. Pressurising the Hydrogen will still be problematic, but at least people are working on it. Mike
  18. I just followed the Google link at the top of one of these pages to the Briggs & Stratton Electric Outboard page. Very cool that someone's finally done a better e-o/b. The one that was available before was pretty ancient-tech. The B&S E-tek motor is a really good one. It was bought/licensed from a company in England where it's beeen used for inboard boat applications for some time. The B&S motor is rated at 3hp. which is roughly what they call their E-tek motor. I know that it is far mor capable in the right hands, but the B&S e-o/b probably has its top power output limited. Our EV-developer friends got hold of some of the pre-production E-tek motors a few years ago and beat them mercillessly in all sorts of uses. They were getting upwards of 7+ hp., and one guy said "the upper end is when you start melting things." B&S has set the operating voltage at 48v, which is right at the upper limit as per the USCG (50v), and what I'd chose for a boat drive system. As a note, this is the motor my uncle and I were speccing for his 40' monohull. They're running Kort nozzles, which look like props with a shroud around it, and that is what's going on, but are actually a little more sophisticated. They develop around 20% more efficient thrust than an open prop, but are limited to slow speeds. They're not planing drive systems, but they're very good for displacement boats and produce a lot of thrust. They get used on European tugs and on fireboats and research submersibles, etc. A pretty attractive unit, and I hope they get a lot of business. The price is not too bad, considering. One still needs four batts. and lots of big wire, but it's a new product and there's always a time before the price drops. These would answer the power concerns of any Weekender or Vacationer, but the weight would be prodigious. I suppose if you want inboard ballast anyway, you could consider this. Mike
  19. Nicely done to Mr. Horvath. There may be a sea-change at WB. We'll see. We've tried running ads off-and-on in WB and have seen zero response. In fact, since the last one we've seen a dismal slide in interest (to the point that some of the members of SP&P are wanting me to shut down the plans again - don't worry, I'll not be shutting anything down for many years!) I wonder if any of the DIY boat mags will be covering the Big Messabout? Mike
  20. Thanks for the info Frank. I like the idea of fuel-cells, but I have concerns about the hydrogen problems. It seems that we're trading one centralised fuel economy ofr another, which is certainly why it's getting the ok from the-powers-that-aren't. Hydrogen as an explosive isn't a concern much (it's probably less an issue than gasoline fumes), but the pressure systems and embrittlement of metal parts is a concern. Plus, it's pretty silly to me to be using natural gas to get hydrogen; just use the methane! CNG is a lower pressure system which is already in use (most busses seem to use it now around here.) It's really pretty clean-burning (compared to gas/diesel/propane), it's simpler. The real holy-grail is the direct-conversion fuel-cell, which runs on any petrochemical or hydrogen and cracks the hydrocarbon onboard. It's still the same CO2 cycle as burning natural gas, but it's quiet! It's basically an internal-combustion generator like we're used to, but with no noise or spinng parts. That would be the real answer to my mind, and they've worked well in lab tests. Hydrogen fuel-cells are only half an answer to me, and may distract everyone from the real solution (possibly why we're seeing large-scale support for the system.) In the meantime, quiet generators are still not that quiet. OK for power while underway, as it's not much different than a 4-stroke o/b. I wish someone would make a nice, quiet 4-stroke 2hp or 3hp. The Honda 5hp we had in the Hydroflier was great, but still too heavy for Weekender use (not really, but a little o/b would be better.) Dave: 3X6 works out to about 200 watts (max, usually figure about 80% of this in normal lighting conditions) if you use good panels. I don't know if you're using a 12v or 24v motor, but the amps would be either roughly 15A for 12v or half that for 24v. Find out how many amps you're drawing at cruise, and the solar would be able to supply whatever percentage it works out to be. Similarly, if you want to charge while motoring, you need to size your charger to either supply more than you draw while cruising (to top off batteries while motoring, and allow some quiet cruising time) or to supply a percentage of your cruising power needs and make the rest up while sailing with panels or at rest either with panels or gen. It's pretty easy to figure out, but keep in mind that everything needs a "fudge factor" to allow for the resistances of batteries. Add about 20% more amp-hour supply than you draw and you'll probably work out ok. It never hurts to have too much solar and/or generator available! Mike
  21. Interesting application. I suspect a slippery d-ender would get around very nicely. The biggest problem with electric vehicles of any sort (cars, boats, planes) is the range. If you're comfortable with short range, you can have electric power easily. The little Topolino electric conversion I'm working on is a case in point: I'm looking for it to have a range of a bit over twenty miles. Most people wouldn't consider that as useful, but around here we have five little towns all about five miles apart; our usual errand-running loop takes about 13 miles at most. In a boat, the range factor is more acute than would initially guess. The distances for a cruising sailboat's normal motoring range of a couple hundred miles or more are wildly more than batteries can reasonably handle (if you still want to have any space down below! - and that's for a big displacement boat. Our little light-weight boats can't carry anywhere near that.) Obviously, we need to be content with "a kicker", something to help us get back a few miles after the wind dies in the evening. This is well within the capabilities of electric, and fits well with most people's actual needs. Not too many people are out doing deep-water crossings and needing to motor six hundred miles. I mention all this because an uncle of mine has been debating an electric motor for his ULDB 40-footer for some time. He wants to be able to cruise the Pacific, so he needs range and that lets out the very sophisticated electric system he's worked out. The reality is that he only needs a 30-40 mile range as his life really doesn't include anything more than San Diego sailing right now. I keep trying to get him to go with electric for short-range running, and add a hybrid generator system if he wants range. Mr. Williams is thinking along these lines and it's pretty valild. A small, quiet Honda could add tens of miles easily, and it's limited only by one's patience with the noise and by fuel capacity onboard. Solar is great, and we have really enjoyed the solar-electric boats we've made, but it's important to measure your needs and the available deck area you're willing to part with. They really only can supply a part of your needs, but that means your range is extended by that much. If you're willing to wait for a bit, you can fill your batteries back up in a couple of days with the right set-up. Mike
  22. Happy Birthday! Ten is cool; plus, you already have a boat to goof around on! Congratulations! Mike
  23. Thanks for the tip, but I just got a few nice shots from Mark via e-mail. I'll probably pull a couple off hte forum posts as well. We use Macs for all our web work and creative stuff. We have some Dells for trading, but that's all we use them for (aside from surfing the web, as they're fast and Explorer seems to work better on the PC's
  24. To some degree you may be obssesing-over-the-m, but it's a valid question. Mostly we're trying to keep things simple and to minimise stuff going on at the mast head. You need a cable clamp to keep the continuous wire from slipping as the mast shifts (thereby obviating the support a fair amount.) It's not too big a deal; either way will work. The two -wire method is probably a little stronger but will be more work. Mike
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