Tag Archives: wooden boat

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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Rigging Alice Gale

Alice Gale is rigged for sailing.

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Alice Gale



Posted by on January 2, 2016 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


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A two day sail in San Diego Harbor.

Gail and I trailered “Alice Gale” down to San Diego and spent two days sailing out of Shelter Island.


Posted by on February 2, 2014 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


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A morning sail from Dana Point Harbor

I took video of a nice morning sail out of Dana Point Harbor. I have a good view of Rodger Nelson’s ‘ Simplicity 14’.


Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


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A nice day of sailing


Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


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Alice Gale under sail

These are more photo’s from our Lake Havasu sail taken from other participants.

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


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Alice Gale is launched

We have successfully launched Alice Gale with a Christening held on Sept 8th at the Back Bay Marina in Newport Beach.   A number of good friends and relatives were on hand to celebrate the launching with us.

The ceremony of christening new ships began in the distant past, and we know that Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all held ceremonies to ask the gods to protect sailors. Maritime superstition held that a ship that wasn’t properly christened would be considered unlucky. Sailors have long believed a coin under the mast brings luck. This ritual is believed to have started with the Romans. The mast has been stepped with a new 2011 dollar coin. Christening a new ship with wine or holy water has obvious religious overtones, but the practice pre-dates Christianity. By the 1800s the christenings of ships began to follow a familiar pattern. A “christening fluid” would be poured against the bow of the ship, though it was not necessarily wine or champagne. The practice of breaking a bottle of wine over a ship’s bow was introduced by the British navy in the late 17th century as a cost saving measure! Previously the ships were baptized with a “standing cup” of precious metal, which was then promptly thrown overboard. The rapid production of ships during the height of the British Empire put an end to that. The christening of ships became great public events, with large crowds assembled to witness the ceremony. And it became standard for champagne, as the most elite of wines, to be used for the christening. The tradition also developed that a female would do the honors and be named the sponsor of the ship. I have asked Gail to do the honors of christening our boat.

Viewing Alice Gale

My adoring crowd

“For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” I name this vessel “Alice Gale”, May the Gods bless her and all who sail in her. “To them we toast, and ask to celebrate “Alice Gale.”


“The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this vessel be given the strength to carry on. The keel is strong and she keeps out the pressures of the sea.


“Today we come to name this lady “Alice Gale”, and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for the Richards family and friends. We ask the sailors of old and the mood of God that is the sea to accept “Alice Gale” as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. ”


In the name of all who will sail aboard her in the years to come, we invoke Neptune, the ancient god of the sea, and Eolus, the god of the wind, to favor us with their blessings today. That she may always find shelter from tempest and storm and enjoy safe passage to all ports she visits. May she be blessed with fair winds, calm seas and good fortune to all who sail upon her. May the gods protect her and all the sailors who enjoy this beautiful boat named Alice Gale.

Champagne was poured over the bow to appease King Neptune and everybody raised their champagne and shouted, “TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO Alice Gale.”

Gail Christening Alice Gale

Christening Alice Gale

Alice Gale

Preparing to raise the main

Raising the main

Ready to take her out

View of the sails

Mast head detail

Detail of the Bowsprit

Mast partner detail

Gail and Stan Richards


Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


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