Slowly Moving Along

“Surely you should be done by now”

No….and stop calling me Sherly!! I think it was a couple of weeks ago, Sunday, my only day off…. it snowed! Then it was raining , cold and blowing stink but as the title says…slowly moving along.

The parts are in from the machine shop so time move along. Gotta figure the final spot for the motor bracket now that we’ve got the new shaft extender.

Soon it was obvious a wooden bridge between the boats engine mount was in the way, so off it went

Then we hung the bracket and roughly aligned the shafts and took measurements.

It became apparent the L beams needed some ears cut out to fit over the bridge supports. Also it’s getting apparent to me that I have no idea how to describe all of this!

Then back on board, hang the bracket and do a few spot welds…eewww!

And after some more welding….Et viola

Well alright. Now, the new cutlass bearing has to be placed in the stern tube and re-installed. The shaft diameter is 40mm. The new bearing was 1 5/8 inch…which comes to 41mm…sonafabitch! So that was pushed back another week… but things are moving along….slowly!!

Stay tuned and mind the weather….now it’s in the 20s…getting hot

Capt Pete.

ps… a sight for soar eyes…

… see something missing???? Yes!! The Perkins is gone!! Sold for parts for 300 clams. Good f-ing riddance!!!!

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Ten Years After!

No! Not the band, dummie, neither Alvin Lee. We’re talking about Zoot Allures!

Yes indeed, March 13th of 2012, Zoot Allures was acquired/purchased/ baptized/….take your pick. And that’s when this blog started. Big plans, great dreams, large statements…..yeah well, sometimes things don’t go the way you’d want them. “Life happens while you’re making plans” as the saying goes. I wanted to move in in 5 years and cut the lines in 10, but that obviously was not the case. Which means I should edit the scope of this blog, hmmm. So yeah, Happy Birthday Zoot Allures. Will I be drinking Champaign on board? No. I’m stuck at work and it’s snowing!

But here is what’s been going on.

The batteries….

Lithium Iron Phosphate prismatic cells…aka lifepo4, LFP. Their nominal voltage is 3.2 volt. So we string 16 in series to get 48volts for our electric propulsion. It’s very important that they are all at the same state of charge, SOG, so that during charging and discharging they all move together. Otherwise the higher or lower cell will trigger stopping the charge/discharge cycle which will limit our capacity. So I’ve been doing this at home, discharging via an inverter and a space heater and all went well. We also have the BMS (battery management system) which monitors the cells and protects them from over charging/discharging. It’s also bluetooth= smart= ..sweet|!

Bytheway… formatting a page on wordpress has gone from difficult to impossible.

Other than that…. more destruction! Removing the old engine instruments and charger

And now for some funk. Since we’re going for a new motor installation, it a good opportunity to take care and replace stuff…..like a stuffing box.

And what is this stuffing box do you speak of, sir? A stuffing box (ours is a volvo penta dripless type) is like a gland that seals where the shaft goes thru the boat via the stern tube. And when the shaft goes thru the stern tube, there is the cutlass bearing which keeps it nice and snug. Cutlass bearings are known to make sailors cry. Mine is housed in some metal fixture out ol’ Zoots butt. It is a screw on with 2 bolts holding it which I had to cut out.

Then unscrew the thing

…And the entire stern tube came out!!!!

Son of a bitch!!!! One step forward….ten steps back

Happy 10th Birthday Zoot Allures!

Stay tuned…. mind your butt

Capt Pete

ps……After 10 years I don’t know whos bunghole is bigger. Ol’ Zoot’s or mine!!!!

pss…. And speaking of bungholes….how big of one is Putin anyway?!?!?!!!!!!

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Shopping DooDads

What did you do during your lockdown, hmmm???

Did you binge watch a bunch of series on netflix???

I didn’t. I went shopping. And when I say “went”, I mean I sat on my couch in my pajamas and hit AliExpress, BangGood and Amazon.de. BangGood ships from the Czech Republic, Amazon from Germany, so the prices are final including VAT and any other customs. AliExpress is naturally from China…shop and pray. (Bytheway… the batteries came from AliEpress in Poland so again the extra $$ were included and final)

So what did you shop, you may ask.

First of all a decent multimeter for pete’s sake! I got a Uni-T with an ampmeter clamp which goes up to 1000amps DC. Sweet! It took 2 months from China but no extra charges.

Next…. Battery chargers. Firstly, a cheap one. 1200watt which will be for the full 48volt battery, charging at 20amps.

The 48volt battery consists of 16 cells and the flavor of the day is to use a benchtop power supply so you can get funky with voltage, amps, constant current (cc) and constant voltage (cv) charging. I’ll explain what all that is in another post.

First a Riden! Best bang for your buck. 800W switching power supply and a 18amp controller. I bought it from all over the place, the psu, the controller and its box. And I put it all together without electrocuting myself!

I also got a smaller 300watt one. Smaller, programable and cute! Though it would be a good idea to get a second one to be on the safe side. (to be continued)

Another vitally important component of the battery is the BMS (battery management system). Lithium cells mustn’t be overcharged nor undercharged. Since there are 16 cells in series, the bms is vital. It’s a relay type with bluetooth, known as “smart”. This also shall be exposed more in a later post. Also it’s the only thing I shopped that got held and charged in customs plus VAT….D’oh!

How about a fuel gauge?? Our new fuel is AMPS! So I got a smart shunt by Victron… the good stuff. It pretty much measures amps going in and out of the battery so you know what the hell is going on.

Jeez…. anything else.

Yes! A 15tonne hydraulic crimping tool!

A big ass wire cutter for big ass cables

And something I’ve needed forever…small wire stripper and crimper

So there. When I shop… I shop!! And I’m not done yet…. only for the time being.

Still gotta get distribution bus bars, big ass cables, lugs for said cables… and build the whole thing. The lockdown was fine but now all hell is breaking loose work wise. Insert blasphemy.

Stay tuned…and dig up the jammys…it’s getting chilly!

Capt Pete

ps…..And if anyone owes you money, that big ass wire cutter will be most useful….!

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