Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Working On The Bow Compartment

In the last posting, I indicated that I had started on the forward deck beams. The idea is that I want to complete the topside fairing so that I can fir the top deck. But there are several things that need to be accomplished, and in the proper order before I can get to the fairing. Some of those steps also need to be broken up into smaller tasks and shuffled with tasks in other areas. Confused?

Well consider this. There are three deck battens that need to be in place before fairing. The two outer battens are fairly straightforward, out of the way, and could be installed early on. In fact that is what I did. But the center batten ties into a structure for the forward hatch. The entire assembly needs to be installed at the same time. However, if I were to install the center batten, then I could not finish the forward bow compartment because I would not be able to get the bulkhead panel or anchor floor panel in.

The outer deck beams were a nice warm up to get me back into building mode. They simply required cutting several slots into frames 5 and 6 at specific points on the frame. I used the same technique to do this as I did when working on the longitudinals on the hull  two years ago, namely, I cut several slots in each area using a pull saw, then broke out the small pieces and filed the area smooth. I had to be somewhat careful on frame 6 because the cuts are made in the same area as the wood inlays. All of that was accomplished and the parts were epoxied into position.

Then it was necessary for me to switch gears and start work on the bow compartment. Now the bow compartment is going to consist of two sections. The upper anchor well, accessible from the top deck through a hatch (not the hatch tied into the center batten - which is a bit further aft), and a lower storage compartment which will be accessible from a hatch in the vertical bulkhead panel in frame 6. 

There are many considerations, several components, and systems that will be in this area. The bow navigation light (and it's wiring) will be on the top deck at the forward end. The lower storage compartment will have an LED light strip attached to the underside of the anchor well floor. There will be two berthing compartment lamps attached to the bulkhead later. The anchor rope will need to be attached to the stem in the anchor well compartment. The anchor well itself will require two oval holes in the hull sides for drainage. The bow eye attachment will be in the lower compartment and needs to be accessible so it can be installed later. All of the electrical wiring will need to be isolated from the anchor well and somehow be routed down one side of the boat back to the electrical panel. and of course, all of this needs to be aesthetically pleasing when completed.

Given all of that, the first thing that was needed was to lower the anchor well floor from it's previous position. This came about after a discussion with a friend who has one of these and he suggested that mine needed to be deeper than I had it. I lowered it three inches. You can see that in the following photos.

This was tricky because I didn't want it to steal too much of the lower compartment space. Furthermore, the anchor well floor would interfere with the bow eye attachment point on the stem if it were any lower than I lowered it to.

Once I had the floor panel resized to fit, I started working on the support cleats for the floor panel. There would be six of these epoxied to the hull sides and two more on the vertical bulkhead (to be added later). In order for the floor to be supported properly, the tops of the cleats had to be parallel to the floor. Since the hull sides are angled, I had to measure this angle and include it in the cleat design.

 The correct location for these was established by measuring down 7/16 inch from a line previously drawn on the hull sides along the top edge of the anchor well floor. This would allow for the thickness of the floor. They were spaced evenly in the bow compartment and epoxied into position.

Next up was working on the lower compartment interior paneling. I had planned on adding interior paneling to block off the hull structure and to provide a mounting surface for insulation on the backside (for sound mostly). 

This is a fairly odd shaped area, so patterns were required. These were made from poster board but left a bit short and then placed into position, along with the anchor well floor.

Then, using small scraps of poster board as witness sticks, I hot glued the scraps in position with the tips just touching the bottom side of the anchor well floor to get the final height of the patterns.

The two patterns were taken out and transferred to plywood. These were then cut out and fitted into the spaces with a bit of minor work required to get the final fit.

At this point, I must remake the lower compartment's floor piece so that it extends all the way forward under the interior paneling. I have already marked the position of the anchor well floor in relation to frame 6 and then transferred this to the vertical bulkhead panel. This is so that I can determine the best size and shape for the access hatch in that bulkhead. It also will allow me to better place the mounts for the two berthing compartment lamps. Also needed is a full understanding of how the wiring is going to run so that I can build in any wire runs needed. All of that will come once I have had some additional time to evaluate the compartment as it currently stands.

So that's it for now. This has been a fun experience and I feel like I am beginning to make some progress. Take care and have a Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Electrical Design And Some Wood Work

November and early December presented me with many opportunities to not work on the boat. Suffice to say, it was a long 45 days. I won't get into the details but there was little time for boat work.

But not all was lost. I did do quite a bit of electrical design work and I have started back on working the hull again this week.

I've struggled over the years trying to put together various drawings of the electrical system. I've read countless books on the subject and perused every web page I could find. I feel I have a fairly good overall understanding of the system, but I could never quite seem to get it down to an actual design.

About six months ago I ran into some new information that allowed me to make a more serious attempt at the design of the battery circuit. I actually felt pretty good about the drawing. But it lacked wire gauges and fuses. It also was missing several key components.

Well, fortunately for me, Glen L Marine, the designer of my boat, has started offering electrical system designs for a variety of boat types. They are provided to Glen L through an arrangement with Bayside Marine Design.

The designs are quite thorough and include additional information useful for putting together the actual system. I purchased a copy of the design for a 23 cabin cruiser with DC and AC power. Using that design, I drew up my own diagrams tailored to the specifics of my boat.

They are going to be part of a complete maintenance manual that I am putting together to go with the boat. The intent here is to have a reference describing the boat and it's internal systems so that in the future when I have forgotten everything I've done, I can go back and use this book as an aid.

In addition to the above, I was finally able to find time to actually work on the hull. I've completed the internal epoxy filleting of the frames to skin joints (except for some minor areas).

The deck battens will all be slotted into frames 5 and 6. In addition, the center batten will actually be part of hatch opening structure which I'll be doing next. I've decided to get this structural work done first so that I can finish the fairing of the topsides up forward.

Not much to show for 45 days, but I have some time off over the holidays, so hopefully I can get more done.

One last thing. Last month over the Thanksgiving weekend, I had the pleasure of helping another builder launch his wooden runabout for the first time. The design is a Glen L Monaco. My friend, Skip, put a considerable amount of effort and love into this build and it shows.

One of the highlights of the day was riding and driving the boat. I cannot remember the actual cubic inches of the engine, but it is around 460 if I recall correctly. Needless to say it is quite powerful. The following video gives some idea of what I mean. Look for the relevant part around the 1 minute mark in the video. Enjoy and take care.