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Category Archives: Building Stage

The building of the Ebihen 15, from first cut to final paint trim.

Alice Gale is now a “Happy Ohm”

After several years of motoring out to the sailing area of Newport Beach I have desired an electric conversion to allow smoother and quieter operation, provide a substitute power source for relaxed cruising with friends, and allow access to the canal homes in our area.   An electric conversion would allow us to significantly expand my local area of exploration. My gas 4.0 motor was not particularly happy at super slow cruising speeds and liked to run at quarter throttle which for the Alice Gale was approaching hull speed.    I desired an electric motor that would have zero to max power available with the twist of a knob or throttle.

I have researched multiple sources for electric propulsion and found a direct solution for my use without significant modification to Alice Gale.   Elco Motor Yachts started distributing 9.9 hp motors that have the exact footprint of my existing 4.0 hp Mercury motor.

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As a reminder to my followers,  my number one usage of Alice Gale is harbor cruising under sail with friends while enjoying the views and a glass of wine with snacks.  Boat speed was never an issue, so a fast responding quick moving sailboat is the opposite of my desires.    Under perfect conditions I wanted a responsive boat that would move comfortable under a range of wind conditions and be stable enough not to concern the captain or passengers of ‘dangerous capsize conditions’.     Alice Gale has always been a responsive and easily driven boat under light to moderate wind conditions.  Under erratic and higher wind conditions greater then 10 knots required more sailing focus from me or reefing to de-power  the boat for comfort sailing.

With this in mind I have been comfortable trading boat acceleration for more stability.

The following photo’s explain my changes to Alice Gale in making her a truly multipurpose boat.  She is rigged for both sail and as an electric launch.

My design updates included adding 550 lbs of lead acid AGM batteries to the center line of the boat.

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This modification has done an excellent job in lowering the waterline on the bow of the boat and raising slightly the stern to match the designed waterline originally intended for the Ebihen 15.  Alice Gale was alway a bit tail heavy and looks better with several passengers sitting up front.  With the added battery weight clearly centered on the boats center the boat sits very comfortable in the water, though it now may be an inch or two overall lower then design.   It has made the boat several inches longer at the waterline, so in reality I have a slight increase in maximum hull speed.    As the owner of the boat I am extremely happy with the changes.

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Alice Gale sitting nicely at the dock with electric propulsion

llSo starting from the beginning of my modification.  After determining by measurement and balance I selected an installation of the batteries directly below my forward seats on  the center balance point of Alice Gale.   I designed and made brackets and a battery shelf to both secure and hide the batteries from normal view.    All of my parts where first constructed with thin ply patterns.   I experimented a number of times to come up with the final shape, shelf height and overall look.

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Brackets cut and notched for cross members

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Removing finish for Epoxy attachment

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Bracket and cross members installed

With the weight of each battery at 61 lbs I made sure I had sufficient cross bracing to support the weight of four batteries.  Each support member is epoxy attached to the adjoining frame.

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Shelf

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Battery support

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More prep

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Adding a door rail

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Door rail detail

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Door rail detail

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Door rail installed

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Prep and paint the shelf brackets

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Shelf installed

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Painted to match hull color

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Dry fitted door panel

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Identified Left/Right side for perfect fit

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First battery install

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Cutouts for Gauges

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Filled old master Switch location

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Master Switch, Amp Meter, and Charger outlet

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Finished look

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Finished look

The tight areas under the seat shelf has the added benefit of allowing stowage of fenders and life jackets without the clutter of being underfoot or hidden away in cabinets.

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Installed charger

I installed NOCO Genius dual 10 amp chargers for each 12v bank.  I hooked up across each 6 volt pair to individually charge two batteries independently from the other batteries in the bank.   Each side of Alice Gale has a similar row of batteries (4 – 210 amp AGM) and a 2 bank 12 volt charger as shown.

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Shunt and bilge pump wiring

I used my previously wired bilge pump and required to a 12V bank.  The lower shunt provides details to the running amp meter from Victron Energy.

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Ready for our first cruise

 

 

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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Building Stage

 

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Alice Gale gets a cover

Gail and I made a cover for Alice Gale.  We purchased Sunbrella cloth online and designed a fairly tight fitting cover using heavy plastic sheeting from Home Depot as a template for each panel.   A PFAFF quilting sewing machine did the heavy work (a bit difficult with multi-layer seams).   It took about three days to put it together.   We have used it so far for several overnight stays in campgrounds while heading up north to Seattle with good success.  It has kept the dirt and dew out of the boat.

Fitting the area for the belt strap

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Building Stage

 

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Setting Sail

Time for some driveway sailing.    I stepped the mast for the first time and set the sails in the driveway.   A few adjustments and “Alice Gale” will be ready for launch.

Mast stepped

Jib and Main set

Aft view

Balanced lug, with jib.

We took “Alice Gale” down to the water to get the centerboard set into its proper location.  Might as well take a quick sail while we’re at it.   Our official launch party is a few weeks away.

Stan and Alice Gale, ready for launch

First (pre) Launch, dropping the center board.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Building Stage, Sailing the Ebihen 15

 

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Trailer modified for shallow boat ramp launching

An extension was welded onto my trailer to allow for shallow water launching.   The high trailer bunks require a rather significant ramp angle to allow for proper launching.   To protect myself from being unable to launch due to a low tide, or low ramp angle at some launch ramps I had an extension bracket welded to the frame.   I found the necessary square tubing at a local metal supplier and bolted on extra trailer tougue.   A quality weld job was done by ABC Welding in Anaheim.   Chuch Williamson went out of his way to do an outstanding job and protect Alice Gale from weld splatter.

Trailer tongue extension

Trailer tongue extension

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Building Stage

 

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A laminated mast guide

I needed a method of safely dipping the mast under the Pacific Coast Highway bridge over Newport Back Bay. Alice Gale’s designer Francois Vivier provided a drawing for my modified ‘Balanced Lug Sail’ plan with a detail for a laminated mast guide.  I used mahogany cut into 2-4 mm strips.  These strips where bent into shape and epoxy glued.  After the epoxy set I shaped each guide on the bandsaw and then sanded to final shape.   The top of each guide is dowel jointed to the mast partner and the lower guide is screwed to the center board with a center brace epoxy glued. The guide was bright finished with varnish.

Centerboard and mast guide view

Building the laminated mast guide

Shaping the mast guide

Varnished Mast Guide

Mast guide detail, dowels used to pin to mast partner

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Building Stage

 

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Building a Birdsmouth Mast, Boom and Yard (Part Two)

Waiting to be launched.

I have completed the build of the Mast, Boom and Yard. I am applying the multi-coat varnish to each and my next task will be to launch the boat long enough to lower the center board so I can finish the center board case top.

Setting up the construction table

I used the mast construction table, shortened to build the boom and yard.

Scarf table

First the staves are cut and scarfed together.   Each stave is cut with a birdmouth and tapered as needed to match the design diameters.  The yard has good taper build in while the boom had no taper.

Clamping the scarfs after gluing

Scarf detail

Good view of the birdsmouth

Planning the staves to similar thickness

Fitting the end plugs

Boom glue up

Boom and yard on the table

Epoxy set and ready for shaping, cap to be added later

Thickened epoxy

Used a hand plane to take off first few cuts

Power shaping the Yard

Taking shape

Almost done

A properly sized diameter form used to check final diameter

Boom and Yard, varnishing

Yard and Boom detail showing reef comb

Detail of ends, showing birdmouth construction

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Building Stage

 

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Building a Birdsmouth Mast, Boom, and Yard. (Part One)

Now that the bulk of the build for “Alice Gale” is completed it is time to tackle the birdsmouth mast, boom, and yard.   I am a bit intimidated by building a 20 ft birdsmouth mast but I am moving forward based on the very good information from the Internet on how to build a birdsmouth mast.

First I finished up a few odds and ends with the trailer.  I finished wiring the lights, and added the side bunks.

Side bunk

I used my table saw and band saw to make the 8 boards for the mast.  Each board is scarfed to the required 20 ft length.   Also I tapered each board to create a narrow diameter at both the bottom and top of the mast.

Takes 8 tapered and cut boards for a birdsmouth mast

Next step was building an accurate construction table that was both level and had the right sized forms to hold the mast straight.   You have to build in the taper on the forms too, else you end up with a warped mast.  I used a normal level and a laser leveler to make the building jig with correct level and taper.   Glue up went well doing the work without help.  I used West Slow Hardener and had the necessary time to get the mast together before the resin went off.   I was careful to put the resin in a large flat pan to prevent excess heat from the resin and worked as quickly as possible in painting the resin on.   As long as I quickly spread the resin out I was able to mix several batches of resin as I worked.  It took about 1/2 an hour to complete the entire glue up and alignment checks. Preplan the entire process and it seems to work out ok. If I had screwed up anypart of the glue up I would have had to start over.

Mast table laser alignment

straight line with a laser leveler

mast construction forms, sized for taper

alignment check prior to epoxy glue up

 
The plans do not call for a hollow mast, but at my age I wanted a mast a bit lighter then solid wood. The finished mast weighs in at 29 lbs, (no hardware) and I am pretty satisfied with that.

More shaping and then on to fitting the halyard sheath and eye-bolts for the stays.

Birdsmouth construction with end plug

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2011 in Building Stage

 

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