Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Monday, November 11, 2013

Continuing The Build But In A Different Direction

As I have previously written, I am in a continuing start and stop mode as I save for necessary materials to continue. I get enough to buy the next item, it gets bought, and then I continue saving for the next item after that. Unfortunately, for now, all of these items are inter-connected in the sense that I need certain items which I haven't bought yet (i.e. bronze hardware), in order to continue using the materials I have already purchased (lumber and plywood).

This is frustrating to say the least and I wish that I had though of this possibility earlier in the year. I expect to be able to get the hardware by the end of the month which will allow me to start building again, but I may have difficulties with the epoxy because of colder temperatures. Fortunately, living in central Texas, we have much milder winters generally and can even have days that get up into short sleeve weather.

So in the meantime, so that I don't feel like I'm accomplishing nothing, I have been concentrating my efforts on the planning portions for later stages of construction. At some point, I will need to begin working on the top side of the boat. There is quite a bit of work involved in that besides simply fitting and installing components.

One of the bigger projects is designing the electrical system  and determining placement of components to keep the balance of the boat correct. In order to design the electrical system, I need to know what I am going to put in the boat. In order to know that, I need to do some planning and research. So I will be doing that over the next several months.

The balance of the boat is very dependent upon how heavy particular items are and where they are located in the boat. The traditional way (as far as I know) of handling this is to take each items weight and determine what it's weight moment is given a certain distance from the center of balance. There is more to this subject and I will cover it at another time, but suffice to say that weight moment is how much weight is applied by a given item at the location it is placed at. Think teeter totter.

Anyway, each item is placed on the boat and it's respective weight moment is calculated. The goal is to balance the sum of the weight moments on each side of the center of balance. This can be done on paper, but can be tedious if items need to be moved around a lot to get the correct balance.

I have elected to create a small software program to allow me to keep an inventory of weighted items. The items (such as batteries, motor, fuel tanks, etc) are added to the inventory along with their distance from the center of balance and their weight. Distance is measured horizontally, vertically, and athwartship (side to side) from the center of weight of the item to the center of balance point on the boat.

The software will then automatically calculate weight moments and show the balance of the boat. I also plan on making it possible to easily move items virtually to see how the balance is affected.

This is the plan for the software, but the implementation is another story. I have been working on this for approximately a week but still have a ways to go before it is useful.

Finally, this last week, a friend from one of the builder forums I frequent, sent me some interesting photos and links of a different boat design that uses an outboard bracket in lieu of an internal motorwell to free up space in the aft cabin. This basically places the outboard motor another 2 feet aft of it's original location with a subsequent increase in it's weight moment. It is this idea that prompted me to begin working on the balancing software since if I elect to use this idea, I will need to find a way to balance out the boat .

I am very intrigued by this idea and I would very much like to have the additional space in the aft cabin, but it does present a few challenges. In addition to the added weight aft, it extends the boat's length beyond what I can fit in my garage as I build. I am still considering the idea and trying to come up with options so the jury is still out on whether I will do this or not.

I'm sorry there are no pictures this week. I don't think a picture of me hunched over a computer keyboard would be very interesting or useful. The photos of the outboard bracket idea are not mine and I have made a conscious decision to avoid using other's photos on my blog. I can however, provide a link to some of the photos.

So I guess that's it for now. 

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