June 2011 Archives


Progress on Lamoine’s first Electric Lobster Boat

After a bad bump in the road–an off-brand of epoxy which hardened to a chewing gum consistency and then stopped–Eleccentricity is taking shape. The bottom is done except for bottom paint which goes on just before launch, and the sides are on and glassed.  On June 6,  I plucked up my courage and cut a rectangle out of the bottom where the outboard lower unit will emerge.

My friend Jim sent me some bronze oarlocks so I will have an option when the batteries run down. I am looking forward to “the big flip” which will hopefully occur today. In order to do this I am building a cradle to support the boat upright. If there are pictures of the flip below it means it has happened!

I had pictures of the process but my camera stopped talking to my computer so I have no way to get them out.  These pictures were taken with my video camera. The boat is so big and heavy (eighteen feet long, seven feet wide and so far, 275 lbs.) that I can walk all around inside it without tipping up the eight foot long cradle.  The flip was scary. I was worried the ropes I suspended it from the ceiling with would pull the ceiling down. This process was at the limit of my strength.

It will barely fit through the door!

I’m still sort of making things up as I go along. I have no clear idea of how I will outfit the interior. I could build a standing-height bridge  and cuddy cabin but that would create quite a lot of wind resistance.  I’m anxious to get it in the water with all the batteries and motor in place so I can check the “trim”, how it matches up to the theoretical waterline, before I choose where to add superstructure weight.  Send me your ideas!

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Progress on Electric Boat..more pictures

I finally got the pictures off my camera:

The motor well cut was made 6/6

The cradle was built before the flip

Lifting the hull. Will the sides break?

So far so good!

Over and intact! All I got was a bruised elbow.

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Spam Comments

I’ve been getting dozens of comments per day of the “I’m glad I found your blog, it’s one of the best” variety.  In other words, totally generic. A way to get the email address and webpage of the sender published on my pages (they wish!).

I have great anti-spam widgets which put all these sorts of comments into a separate folder, but I still have to go through it all.  Yesterday I had to review over 150.  A bother. And you just know there’s a software writer out there who made it possible for attention seekers to send bland, generic comments to thousands of blogs with a keystroke. On my site, these spam comments have been accelerating. The search engines are partially to blame. They measure your web presence and assign your importance in search results based on how many times your website is mentioned on the web, even in the comments section of other people’s blogs.

Besides being a bother for blog owners, these spam comments sometimes mask less-than-specific comments sent by real people. So you may have sent something to me and you may not have a website called “f0rtuneteller0nline.not” (slightly altered to thwart their efforts). But your comment may be like his/hers:

Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this web site. Regards,

So if you want to get through, please mention something that’s actually on my site.  I apologize to those real people whose encouraging comments didn’t appear. As for my “web strategy” I am not into all the new stuff. I would never send spam comments, tweets or even facebook entries. I’m a dinosaur. I hate iphones. Big flat screen TVs are OK though.

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In Maine, Water and Electricity Do Mix

I have a request for more boat progress pictures.  This is Eleccentricity, my wacky electric boat, which is now upright in my garage and moving ever closer to completion.

Glassing the insides

After flipping it over I fiberglassed the insides and then cut out the floorboards. They got glassed too. Gunwales (the strips of wood at the tops of the sides, inside and out) were next installed. I was looking for ash but found instead a pair of amazing fir boards, twenty feet long.

20 foot fir boards were recruited for gunwales

Next came decisions about where I would install the dashboard, which would also define the size of the foredeck.

Floorboards cut but not fastened

Remember, I’m making this up as I go along.

I positioned a lawn chair on the boat’s floor and tried various spots for where I would sit behind the steering wheel. For some unknown reason, the steering is always on the right in power boats–like England, Japan, and India do with cars.

Fitting the dash

After deciding where to put the dash I cut out a piece of glued-up ash and glued and screwed it into position. Then I built a framework in front of it to support the foredeck. I wanted to curve the foredeck so it would shed water (rather than dumping water in the captain’s lap). This could not be done with anything thicker than 1/4″ plywood. Now, 1/4″ plywood is pretty thin stuff and not likely to support a middle aged guy with a little extra padding, so I had to use two layers. Amazingly, when you epoxy two layers of curved 1/4″ plywood together you end up with something so stiff it feels like concrete. Getting it to curve in the first place was very difficult, involving lots of clamps and screws, stainless steel of course. Next up: floatation foam in under the floor. Then I’ll start dealing with the daunting mechanical and electrical systems. Stay tuned.

Second layer going on

Framing the foredeck

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