Monday, September 25, 2017

An Informal Sea Trial

We took Autarkia out for a little trip down the river yesterday with our friends Tom and Julia.  Julia is recovering from a severely broken ankle yet did quite well getting around the boat.  Autarkia's large foredeck was a hit!

A points about performance:  She is slow and heavy so takes a little while to respond to the helm.  That said she'll turn quite sharply due to the OCB.  I could get her up to hull speed with the motor revved up to 4000 RPM, but we found that cruising at 2800 - 3000 RPM was a nice compromise for noise and speed.  At that power setting we did 3.5 KTS going upstream against a 1-2 KT current (it varies, and is slower this time of year).  Downstream of course, was a very respectable pace.  Getting to Vancouver in a day would be easy I think.

If I got her pointing straight enough I found that I could leave the helm for minutes at a time and she would keep course.  The foredeck is so pleasant a space, and quiet (you can't hear the engine up here) that I am already thinking of a forward steering station of sorts.  Another future project for the pile - and it's pretty high already.

We were out for the whole afternoon and the engine ran the whole time except for a little stop when we tied up to a log boom for snacks.  We used about 6 litres of gas.  I am very impressed with the Evinrude E-tec 30 HP.


At the Helm





Looking Upstream Towards the Mission Rail Bridge


Municipality - "Not Our Responsibility" Province of BC - "Not our Responsibility" Federal Government - "What mess?"


Getting Snacks


Look Ma - No Hands!



Grape Juice From Tom and Julia's Garden Mixed With Club Soda


A Typical Fraser River Saw Mill



Another Eyesore


Derelict Queen of Sidney 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney-class_ferry



More Mess






Lot's of Gravel Barges


Friday, September 22, 2017

A Cosy Stateroom

We made another little push to finish up Autarkia's interior with some recent work on the 'stateroom' (sounds a little hoity-toity don't it?).

Anyway, some overhead shelving for books, clothing etc adds to the storage space.  I also put in an LED hidden light strip that illuminates the whole space nicely,  and to add to the illusion of size - a mirror across the bulkhead.  That will encourage us to stay slim and attractive :-)  For safety, I covered the back side of the mirror with Gorilla Tape so that should the mirror be broken (by virtue of me looking into it beyond a reasonable interval or otherwise) the shards will be restrained.







Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ground Tackle




The windlass is a used Lofrans I got at a ship breaker.  I took it apart, regreased it and it is as good as new with a fresh coat of paint.  The bow roller is for a boat trailer and works well in this application as well.  The cleat and windlass are bolted to the deck with aluminum angle reinforcements on the under side.  The hole in the windlass where the chain feeds through is capped with a piece of plastic and some weatherstripping.  The anchor chain hangs from the cap and its weight holds the cap in place keeping the rainand spray out.





I have 150 feet of 3/8" chain.  Pretty heavy!  


Here is the cap held in place.


There is lots of room for the chain to pile.  The bitter end is shackled to the structure, but I do have a couple of hundred feet of rope as well if I need to extend it.  Those aluminum bars help reinforce the aluminum angles on the deck stringer, and carries some of the load down to the bottom stringers.  I have some rubber mats for the chain to pile on, and if I need to wipe up any water it will collect against a cross piece.  I intend to wash any mud off the chain as I stow it.  We'll see how easy (or not) it is to keep this area clean.

I have a Rocna 13 lb with chain and 200 feet of rode that is stowed in the propane box.  I intend to keep looking for more anchors to add to the collection but for now I think we are good for this area anyway.

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Visit From a Fellow Blogger and Sailing Barge Builder

It was a delight to have Dennis Donohue come by and visit us aboard Autarkia today!  Dennis is building a Triloboat and has been blogging it here:  http://dennisdonohue.blogspot.ca/

Nice guy and definitely a kindred spirit!  So good to make a new friend...


An Improved Steering System For the Outboard

When I launched Autarkia last October it was under pressure and duress imposed by the city to get her off the property.  Hence some things were rushed and one of them was the steering system for the motor.  I had to be able to power her from the boat launch into the harbour a few hundred yards away.  So I rigged this very simple tiller bar to the motor that worked rather well.  Well enough in fact, that I used it once again to take her out and test out the off center board this summer.  What I noticed though, was I zigged sometimes instead of zagging.  You see, with this setup you moved the tiller bar left to go left and visa versa.  Makes sense when you think about it, but quite counter-intuitive for someone used to tiller steering with an outboard motor or a rudder.  Another drawback was that you couldn't let go without it wanting to change course.


Here is the original setup.   the tiller bar was hinged at the edge of the deck and in the pic the motor is turned all the way for a right turn, with the top of the tiller bar pushed all the way to the right.  The linkage to the motor was with some aluminum bar and a ball end.

So I finally pulled that out a couple of weeks ago and replaced it with this:



The steering shaft is 5/8" keyway bar stock I got at Princess Auto, along with two bearing blocks; one for the top and one to go through the deck.  The upper support was made with some ABS plastic I had, mounted and bedded to the cabin bulkhead with aluminum angle and SS bolts.  I parceled and served the shaft with tarred seine line and will varnish it.  Also I have yet to make a a boot for the bottom end to protect the bearing.


I made the steering crank with some steel bar stock and had it welded to a weld-on hub - also from Princess Auto.  The knob was cut out from a 3/4" piece of HDPE plastic I had.  I simply used a hole saw to get the round shape.  I chucked it into a dril and sanded the edge a bit.  It now spins on a 1/4" SS bolt.


The bottom end of the shaft has two more weld-on hubs spaced a couple of inches apart, over which I was able to very snugly fit a piece of heater hose.  It made a dandy drum.  Poly rope and bearinged  garage door pulleys complete the arrangement.  Since the photo was taken I tweaked the placement of two of the guide pulleys.  That piece of white PVC pipe is a tunnel for the fuel line running from the deck box housing the tank down to the motor.  I store no flammable liquids inside the boat.


Here is the starboard side.  The burlap bags are filled with 2x4 cutoffs for the wood stove.

I fed the rope through pex pipe fittings in the sides of the motor well and bedded them in with polyurethane caulking.  Also, I smeared lithium grease on the rope where it passes through the fairleads.

I haven't taken her out yet, but have run her tied to the dock at all power settings.  The motor turns from lock to lock with a little over two turns of the crank.  It is as smooth as butter.  The motor also stays put when you let go.  I am quite happy with it and when it breaks it will be easy and fast to fix.


The Mate approves!