Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stabilizer mounts

I have had another rather unproductive week.  Since our son was born late last year, my free time is generally limited to nap times on weekends and after bedtime.  It is also limited to the times when I am not sick with the various germs he brings home from daycare.  This past week we shared multiple rather tenacious viruses.  Slowly we are getting back to normal.

I have started working from the gearbox to finish up the hull, but I had run out of epoxy and needed to wait for more to arrive.  I had a little left of a different brand, so I am using this for the stabilizers so I can avoid mixing.  The boat will be a trimaran, but the stabilizers will be positioned to barely touch the water in calm conditions.  I am using a slightly different stabilizer mounting design from previous versions of Rick's V15.  There are a few use considerations guiding the design.  One is that I live near enough to a lake that I can walk there using a dolly and car topping will be infrequent.  This means I would like to keep all the pieces together for the walk over, and have a very easy assembly process.  My boating outings are also limited to short windows, so every minute saved in setup is an extra minute on the water.

To keep the pieces together I am using a some nesting tubing so the stabilizers can be rotated out of the way.  The snap button will have two positions, one for transport and one for use.  The nesting sections will be vertical and will be joined by a 3 ft horizontal tube.  A secondary benefit to having a vertical mount is this provides a few extra inches of wave clearance.

The fiberglass tubes are all purchased from a small kayak paddle manufacturer.  The nested tubes are originally made for two-piece paddles, so the fit is very good.  The mount at the main hull will be located at the vertical edge of the seat back fairing.  This will allow for height adjustments based on rider and cargo weight.  I have also made a late modification to use a split mounting bracket so each side has independent height.  Based on trials from Rick, he points out that the propeller torque is high enough at cruising speed that the boat can list slightly.  One way to offset this is to lower the stabilizer on one side.

 So far, I have used a small drum sander drill attachment to create the "fishmouth" shape on the tube ends.  I used gel epoxy and set up everything to bond parts square.  Afterwards, I used scrap wood for gussets and applied fillets and glass tape over this for reinforcement.  It should hold up.  I will be painting these components, including the brackets.

Since the last post, I have also stitched and glued most of the stabilizer panels and the bracket panels, but I will put these photos in a later post.

Time up to this point: 75 hours

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