Tag Archives: boat construction

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.


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.


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.


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.


Brackets cut and notched for cross members


Removing finish for Epoxy attachment


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.




Battery support


More prep


Adding a door rail


Door rail detail


Door rail detail


Door rail installed


Prep and paint the shelf brackets


Shelf installed


Painted to match hull color


Dry fitted door panel


Identified Left/Right side for perfect fit


First battery install


Cutouts for Gauges


Filled old master Switch location


Master Switch, Amp Meter, and Charger outlet


Finished look


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.


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.


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.


Ready for our first cruise




Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Building Stage


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Birthdays, Holidays, and finally a Tiller

I haven’t posted for almost 6 weeks.   I have worked on Alice Gale during this time frame but much more time was spent on a slide show for my Dad’s 80th birthday party and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.   I had a great time with family and friends during the past weeks and I couldn’t be happier.  My dad’s party was a great success and holiday meals with friends and family where outstanding.   I also got a little ski holiday in between Christmas and New Years.  Mammoth Mountain was in excellent condition with over 100 inches of snow on the ground.

Back to Alice Gale.    I finished basic work on my trailer modifications.   I ordered some custom sized u-bolts to replace the four stressed bolts in use.  I still need to wire the trailer for lights, but I will wait until I have Alice Gale already on the trailer.   It’s time now to work on the boat again after what has felt like a long lay off.

I ordered the majority of my final hardware items from Classic Marine.   These parts came in during the holidays.  The workmanship and quality of these parts are remarkable. While expensive, each part is a work of art.

I have completed work on my tiller, while also working on the rudder.

Sapele Mahogany laminated to match width of shaped tiller

Working on the rudder and tiller shape

Ready for Varnish, with end ball installed

You can also see that I have installed the 4HP Mercury outboard.  Here is the motor mount prior to installation.

Measured and cut, ready for epoxy sealing amd mounting

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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Building Stage


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Bilge Keels

After installing the 4th board I started and completed the Bilge Keels.   These are made from oak stock.   I first rough cut the compound curves to closely match the shape of the hull then shaped to the finish look.    I attached mine permanently with epoxy and stainless steel screws.  They can also be attached with screws and bedding compound if you want the ability to replace once they wear out.

Rough cut to shape

Finished, epoxy and SS screws attached

Showing the bilge keel installation

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Posted by on April 21, 2010 in Building Stage


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