• 7th November 2007 - By adventuresofgreg

    Sorry for the delay in keeping these updates flowing!

    We’ve been so busy checking items off the big TODO list, that I have not really had much time to sit down and put together a blog post.

    I’ll have more complete images soon, as my progress right now is much farther along than the photos shown here, but I thought I had better get something up showing my progress rather than wait until I have completed work.

    1. Electric

    I mounted a 12 VDC marine battery on the floor behind my seat. It weighs about 40 pounds, so this comes off my stack of ballast weight plates. I also installed an electronic battery charger. When on the ocean, I may opt to replace the lead acid battery with some lithium ion batteries – probably the A123 nano battery, compliments of my buddy Bill from Killacycle as they supposedly won’t explode. I will also use solar panels to charge them, and not an AC charger, as I won’t have an extension cord long enough to stretch across the Atlantic ocean.

    For now, my goal is to spend some time touring around the coastal area off Vancouver Island and I will be spending nights sleeping on board WiTHiN at marinas where I can recharge the battery with available AC power.

    One of my sponsors is Rock The Boat Audio who kindly donated a water proof MP3 stereo system. At only 50 watts per channel, I was afraid that it wasn’t going to be loud enough for the rocker in me. But WOW! I installed the speaker into the gunwales and they act like giant base cabinets. The interior is so small inside WiTHiN, that 50 watts is totally BOOMING! The quality of the sound is absolutely awesome – really, very impressed with Rock The Boat – these guys really rock. More photos showing the system soon…

    2. Stern compartment

    Ben constructed a wood floor which fits into the rear compartment behind my seat. The floor will be secured down using some elastic cords which will allow me to use the 2 or 3 inches under the floor for storage (probably drinking water). I will place an open cell foam mattress on that for my bed. The walls in the rear compartment will be covered in foil insulation for that fashionable ‘NASA’ look. The rear area is very small, but perfectly comfortable to sleep in – especially with my flat floor. I was a bit concerned about getting into that area, but it is actually quite comfortable – doesn’t really need to be any bigger at all. To get into the back, I need to open up the top hatch, stand up, step behind the rear half-bulkhead behind the seat into the bedroom, then sort of slide down to the bow, feet first. Once in there, I can kneel down and re-fasten the top hatch.

    3. Retractable outriggers

    To get into the rear compartment, I require additional stability to stand up through the top hatch so WiTHiN doesn’t tip over. On the ocean, this might be achieved with a ballast keel, but for now, I am using some retractable outriggers. The floats are foam plugs covered with fiberglass with aluminum tubes attached that slide through aluminum sleeves bonded into WiTHiN’s hull. To extend or retract, the floats are activated using handles connected to the sliding tubes through slots cut in the sleeve tubes. I used a fairly loose fit on the aluminum tubes because I was concerned about oxidation, but the tubes wouldn’t slide very well. So, we had my expert machinist Manny from Rohmec Industries machine some UHMW bushings to fit both the sleeve and the sliding tube. Now the outriggers slide out from the force of gravity. For now, they are very easy to activate, but I worry about what will happen to the fit between the plastic bushings and the aluminum when it oxidizes from the sea water. To be safe, I added some pull-cords to retract the outriggers if they get stuck. This is a cord tied to a handle that runs through a pulley that pulls the outriggers in very quickly. I can activate the pull handles from the rear compartment, or from my seat. If I were ever upside down with the outriggers extended (the floats are NOT intended to be used during rough conditions), then I would be able to pull the cord and retract the outrigger very quickly. The floats lock into retracted and extended positions with a shear pin. I wonder if plenty of lubrication on the tubes will insulated them from the effects of oxidation? Anyone have any suggestions for me?

    4. Dorade vents

    Ben installed two Dorade vents on the sides of WiTHiN right at about head level – half way between the cockpit and the rear compartment. I chose this location because the retracted floats will shield water from splashing up into the vents. These vents automatically close if splashed with water and can be quickly closed from the inside with a push of a button. I want to connect an electric fan to one of the vents to either blow air out the vent, or to suck air in. The outside vent nozzle can be directed into the wind, so I can have one nozzle directed into the wind, and the other directed the opposite way. With the fan, this should allow for air flow in from one Dorade vent and out the other.

    5. Port lights

    Ben bonded in two Bomar port lig
    ht windows into the sides of WiTHiN. My visibility out isn’t great, but hopefully it will be good enough to navigate around the Gulf Islands. My GPS will help, but I do need to keep a close watch out for other traffic. I’m not sure if the red & green navigation lights are required? Anyone have any advice on this?

    6. Rudder controls

    Ben invented this really slick way of activating the rudder. We used two aluminum extrusions with UHMW sliders and two handles. The sliders are connected to my rudder line and can be tensioned down with a wing-nut to lock the rudder into place. They work really well and are very comfortable and easy to use.

    I know that things still look a bit ‘rough’ – like it was Fred Flintstone’s boat made from boulders. Remember that this is all before body work which still needs to be done. I expect that it will be very smooth and sleek looking after it is sanded down and painted. Way more soon!

  • No Responses to “WiTHiN progress update”

    • Tim on November 7, 2007

      Greg the best thing you can do to aluminum to prevent corrosion is to anodize it. You will still get salt build up but the metal will not be oxidized. The salt build up will cause some sticking but this could be help with a good fit and maybe an o-ring used to seal the sleeve/tube interface. Anodizing will add approximately 15┬Ám (0.015mm) to the dia of the tube. Check with any business that does electroplating. If they don't do it then they will be able point you in the right direction

    • Anonymous on November 7, 2007

      Hi Greg,

      Aluminum tubes on the outriggers are fine for your test boat, but on the real one, use stainless steel. Also, even though you never PLAN on using the outriggers in heavy seas, be sure they are beefy enough for emergency use.

      It's looking great!


    • "the Dude" on November 8, 2007


      you far surpassed my technical expertise, and now my imagination as well, I don't feel so secure about the floats set-up, but really have no specific criticism of it.

      A mental awareness pop quiz:

      Greg is asleep dreaming of dolphins when upon waking finds himself 5 meters below cold water surface in utter darkness confined to his formerly comfortable cabin, his floats and front end apparently sheered off by a speeding cigarette boat carrying illegal drugs, which then proceeded to smash into his expedition yacht, leaving all hands otherwise occupied. With 1/2 liter of freshwater, 1 liter fresh air, a very soggy open cell matress and pajamas, no radio, Greg decides this is no problem, and proceeds to survive somehow. How does he do it? (change conditions to fit the most likely scenario)


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