Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Big hole in the boat

A Sidepower bow thruster going in at the KKMI yard last year.  This unit is a 24V SE-100.  

This unit is rated at a little over 8HP.  The yard did a great job on the installation and were able to place the tunnel very low in the bow to reduce cavitation.  There are two 12V Lifeline AGM batteries dedicated to the 24V thruster.  The batteries were originally isolated from the engine start bank with a Newmar battery isolator but I have since replaced this unit with a Balmar Duo Charger.  I found that the thruster bank was never getting fully charged because of the voltage drop across the diodes in the Newmar isolator.  The new set up is nice because the Duo Charger will allow the batteries to fully charge and source 30 amps when needed (thruster in operation) from the engine start bank.  Additionally, the Duo Charger will limit charging to 30 amps so I didn't have to run huge wire through the boat.

I opted for the flat panel control at the helm instead of the joystick.   We also have a wireless remote.
Overall thoughts on the bow thruster.  It is certainly a luxury item.... and an expensive one at that.  I'm glad we have it though.  Shindig is big heavy boat and we are in and out of marinas all the time.  Knowing that we have the bow thruster if needed gives me the confidence to get in and out of tight spots.  Also, Shindig does not have much prop-walk to help with maneuvering.  With our prior boats I counted on that a lot to spin the boat or suck the stern into a side-tie.

We have also found that it buys us time when tying up.   It is usually just the two of us when docking and Nancy does the jumping.....  She can secure a spring line and stern line while I can hold the bow of the boat against the dock with the thruster.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bolts in the bilge - again

The photo above is the flex aquadrive coupling from the transmission to the prop shaft.  I discovered that two of the six bolts that hold the shaft coupling together were laying in the bilge.  There were still 4 other bolts holding it together but if this were to come apart or spin off axis under load all sorts of bad things could happen.  I figure that either the engine would come off the mounts or the prop shaft would  shaft would bend or it would rip out the cutlass bearing and sink the boat.  Any combination of these events would ruin your day.
On most boats these bolts are safety wired so they cannot back out.
It looks like there was paint applied to the bolts so one could visually see if they were loose.....
Replacing these bolts with wire ready hex heads or drilling these for wire is on the "todo" list.  For now things are back together with loctite.

8/4/2012 update -

The happened again.  There were to bolts that backed out all the way and 2 others were hand loose.
This time I drilled out the heads and ran safety wire through them.   I suspect that they might be a tad too long and were bottoming out in the coupling.  I took off about 2 threads on each as well for good measure.  This fix will solve the problem.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Boat Leather

A nice project for home.  I think it took me about 5 hours all told.
I got the kit from boatleather.com.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Shindig Battle Flag

Ready to do battle....  The Shindig battle flag flys high at the CYC opening day festivities.

Our flag was designed our our neighbor Jan Thomas (Jantdesign) and produced by our buddies at North Sails.  We love the way it turned out and how fast North was able to turn it around. (2 weeks)