You probably don't have time to wade thru the rest of this nonsense, so here's the skinny:

I intend to scratch build an ultra-light epoxyed plywood pontoon boat with a deck area of about 7 ' by 14' on 16 ' pontoons.
The craft will be powered by two 24V DC motors. The power will come from eight 12V Deep cycle marine (lead/acid) batteries that will be charged by solar panels and small vertical axis wind turbines.
The system will be split into two separate, isolated units
with one motor, two pairs of batteries, 2 wind turbines and solar array for each side.

The craft itself is still on the drawing board, there's some details left to work out but they're minor.
The current design displaces over 2200 pounds with only a 12" draught.

The plan is to take this boat from as far up the Mississippi as she can navigate down to New Orleans,
relying only on the solar and wind generated electricity she can create on board.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Drawing and drawing and drawing.

The sketch attached to the "Current drawing" link to the right has been revised.
I'll change the illustration in the header tomorrow or Monday.

I came up with a design for the canopy I like better.
It also shrinks the size of the footlockers on the deck which I think is a good thing. I don't see me needing as much storage space as the earlier drawing had, and having storage at a premium will inspire me to not pack things I don't really need.

I also think I solved the problem of mounting the rudders.
I'll have to do a separate, more detailed posting on the drive set-up, but in short:
The motors will be mounted to the transom inside of the pontoons above the waterline. There will be a large pulley on the motor shaft driving a V-belt. The lower pulleys will be attached directly to the props which will spin on fixed shafts on the keel.
This design keeps the motor more accessible and out of the bilge.
If one of the pontoons were to take on water, a short circuit at the motor would not only take it out, it could also take the batteries out. (like Ka-freakin'BOOM out!).
It also keeps me from having to worry abut the prop shaft seals leaking into the hulls.
Having all that stuff on the transom created problems mounting the rudders. Since I'm not sure the charging system will give me enough power to run all day every day, I may have to spend part of my trip drifting with the current. This would make large rudders a necessity.

That "Throttle telegraph" in the middle of the sketch would be big fun as a control console, but it would take me a month to build and just isn't in the budget.
...maybe on the next one.

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