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Posts Tagged ‘stephens waring’

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Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 2.35.12 PMEvery sailor knows keels have become more and more of an issue over the past few years.  We’ve seen multiple deaths, disappearances, and dramatic rescues, all thanks to under-engineered, poorly constructed, or unmaintained keel attachments.  The designers over at Stephens Waring put a laymen’s look on this oh-so modern issue in their latest newsletter, which we reproduce here in part:

They’re boats. Not much happens without their keels. You’d think that the average boat person would be all over what’s up with the big heavy things down-under their boats. But most don’t and for good reason. The engineering involved intimidates: The Beach Boys would never, ever write a song “Hull John B.” And Jimmy Buffett, as much as he loves to fly, never got far with a tune called “Changes in Laminar Flow, Changes in Lateral Resistance.”

But irrational keel fear is pretty darn dumb, once you know what it does and why. So let’s start with how a keel is attached to your boat. And for that, let’s have a marine-engineering moment and take a deep dive into the bulb keel on our 50-foot daysailer Ginger, which we finished back in 2007 at Brooklin Boat Yard, in Brooklin Maine.

What keeps this lovely keel under Ginger, and not lying on the bottom somewhere, is an interesting nautical puzzler, indeed.

Crazy Glue Doesn’t Work

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 2.28.45 PMFor starters, no matter how much adhesive, basic wood framing, or any sort of rudimentary attachment systems you might have, nothing easy and simple keeps a keel, a keel. These big heavy underwater wings are too massively loaded, and work too hard to be attached by anything basic. What’s required is a bomb-proof connection technology that conjoins the massive bulb at the bottom of a modern keel to the relatively light engineering and framing at the bottom of a modern hull.

There are several paths to brokering that structural handshake: We’ve spec’d vertical bolts in some boats that straight run up from the vertical axis of keel, through holes in the hull. And are attached with big honkin’ nuts. Like 6-inch, giant suckers that need special wrenches to tighten. But nuts and bolts kind of drive us kind of nuts. They loosen. They eat up interior volume. They need special tools. Heaven forbid you cross thread one. Oh boy.

Instead, for Ginger we developed a keel with its own attachment structure, that could be fitted into a watertight socket in the bottom of the hull. It’s not exactly how airplane wings attach into a plane fuselage. But it’s close. And we love how tough the green structural attachment frame in the sketch to the right turned out to be: That’s the bronze ‘gridwork’ fabrication — a structural element that creates a water-tight framework in the hull’s structure. This beefy sucker, that can never, ever move, is then pinned in place by a giant, horizontal rod that slides along the axis of the keel. Connecting keel to boat. Nice and tough.

Read on.


February 7th, 2017 by admin

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If you’ve been scared to make the move to electric propulsion, the time is now, and we thank our friends at Stephens Waring Design for making repowering with a Torqeedo look so easy.  Here’s how they did it for Azulita – go to their site to find out more and sign up for their industry-leading newsletter.

Thanks to the folks at Torqeedo, getting rid of that silly old internal combustion engine has never been easier.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 11.54.26 AMBack in 2014, one of our favorite smaller designs, The Signature Series 24, got a loving prototype build up at the Northwestern School of Boatbuilding, in Port Hadlock, Washington. Christened Azulita at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, that year, this little Spirit of Tradition honey has since made her way to the mid-west. These days she charms her current owners daysailing on Lake Michigan.

(Go ahead, waste the morning and check this video of her footing around in, at most 5 knots of breeze. We look at this clip all time. And dream. She’s really is the perfect little boat.)

Like a lot of small boats, Azulita bumbled through the grim auxiliary power issue with the usual stupid-ugly, side-mounted, small-horsepower electric “sheer killers,” oh sorry … motor.

So late last year, we were thrilled to from Auzilita’s owner: Praise the heavens, he he wanted to retro-fit in a new, way-slick propulsion system. A Torqeedo ‘Cruise’ fixed pod and dump the side-mounted Cuisinart from hell that had become too painful for the owners to handle. And if you have not checked out these small, all-in-one electric power systems, by all means do.  For $5,000 — or about the same cost as a combined outboard, control system, and fuel tanks — you get a motor, a battery control system, a throttle, a battery, cable, parts and clear enough instructions so any competent yard can install the system in less than a day.

In fact, we think the Torqeedo is so simple, you could probably install the thing yourself.  So in that DIY/SOT, we’re including some of our working drawings to help you get started.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 11.54.49 AMHere’s some notes.

The Motor Is On the Outside: The big news with the Torqeedo, and some other similar pods, is the motor is not in the boat.  It’s right down there near the prop encased in its aluminum lower strut, in the water. Think about how cool that is: The motor needs no cooling system. It’s in the cold water!  There is no drive shaft. Instead, installation is all about mounting the prop/motor housing, smart placement, drilling some holes in the right places, designing a proper mounting structure and then running the control wires to the battery and throttle.  That’s pretty much it.

The Battery is No Big Thing.  Torqeedo intelligently uses so-called lithium iron phosphate batteries to drive its system.  Those are the smart ones that don’t explode, unlike what’s in your smart phone or the 787 Dreamliner.  Just locate this battery for best trim results in the boat securely.  And you are all set.  The install is very hard to mess up with the Torqeedo system.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 11.55.00 AMYou’re drilling a hole, not installing a drive shaft.  Since you are just running control wires, and not a vibrating turning drive shaft, the through-hull is merely a single vertical hole drilled into and through the boat, sided by two smaller holes for thru-bolting the entire pod/strut in place.  The drilled holes need proper protection and to be well structured, secure, sealed, and stable. We included the drawing to show you how simple it really is.  Anybody can do it.

Read the Instructions. Honestly, the only way we can see screwing this up is succumbing to Male Answer Syndrome, and trying to drop this unit without going through the manuals. Don’t be a dope.  Instead, click here and download the actually pretty well-written instruction set that’s both in English and German. You will find these Bedienungsanleitung worth reading even if you’re planning to hire the work.

Obviously, we would happy to hear from you about your propulsion needs. We have several sophisticated cross-platform projects crossing our desks as we speak. But that’s not the point here today. We think Torqeedo is a great idea. And it deserves our support: We’re happy to forward you our drawings, as long as you understand you are using them at your own risk, and you will likely benefit from designers, like us, to help with particulars regarding your  your boat. You will find we can save you a ton of time. If you want to do it yourself, great. Just email us and we will gladly assist in helping you sort the best solution forward.

In sum, if you’re thinking of re-powering away from internal combustion engines, by all means, start with this power pod.  It’s easy, perfect for any small sailboat, and oh boy does it work.

Gute Arbeit, TORQEEDO!

January 17th, 2017 by admin