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Topics - Brian.Dixon

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It kinda hit me today that with all the videos that people are posting, that it might be a good idea to start a YouTube channel or play list to get them all available in one spot when people search for them ... so far, I know of the following ... if anyone has new links that I'm not listing below, please let me know so I can get them added too - First stab will be done by end of Monday the 4th.  Here's my list so far

- Anthony Lyndaker / Cook Inlet Boats overview of the Great Alaskans, it's lines etc
- Jason Buehler boat flip time-lapse, parts 1 and 2
- Bob in Olympia (RBob) roof and roof painting review
- The ongoing video build blog from Randy Henry in Silverton, Oregon
- The two speed-record (44 mph) videos originally from Adrian P in Gresham, Oregon.
- Dennis Jeffrey's hole-shot video
- Roger B in Spain, hull flip details
- Dan Boccia in Alaska, reviewing his accommodations when they were being built

What else?

« on: November 11, 2020, 08:08:24 AM »

We are now present on as well as on Facebook - Whenever I post on Facebook, I will post in our group (Glacier Boats of Alaska) as well.  I encourage all members to join our group and join in on the discussion - long term, Facebook will fade away to just a bookmark of sorts that points to our website and the site while the site becomes our first stop: link:
  Glacier Boats of Alaska at MeWe!

Facebook link:
  Glacier Boats of Alaska at Facebook



Announcements / MINOR UPDATE - For those planning on twin outboards
« on: June 01, 2020, 09:00:59 AM »
FYI - I made a few minor updates on the outboard transom cut-out depth for those who plan to use twin outboards.  If you are interested, see the transom lofting for both standard and Kodiak models of the Great Alaskan.  Impacted files:

  • Standard Great Alaskan Construction Manual, part 1 of 1
(metric and USA)
  • Standard Great Alaskan Sheet 008a (and Sheet M008a metric)
  • Kodiak Addendum (metric and USA)
  • Kodiak Addendum Sheet A005b (and Sheet MA005b metric)

Announcements / TWO new METRIC drawings DONE... 2.5m maximum beam
« on: May 07, 2020, 10:49:29 AM »
FYI for Euro builders - It has come to my attention that the max trailerable width in Europe is 2.5 meters and 2.55 meters, depending on where you live ... I have now released 2 new drawings that when used, result in a maximum beam (at the sheerline) of 2.5 meters.  The standard Great Alaskan is 2.565m, FYI, so this is a small adjustment that only affected the lofting of shelves and the shelf molds:

Sheet M002c2-5 - Shelf Lofting 2.5m Beam
Sheet M010c2-5 - Shelf Molds



I'm starting production of printed plans using the latest set of documents ... which I'm calling v3.  I have ONE SET of printed plans that were printed before the metric conversion.  The plans INCLUDE the Kodiak addendum and full download rights for all the latest from our website.  These are imperial (USA) plans.  The changes that occurred in the latest version are:

- Some clarifications added to the Kodiak Addendum
- Dan Boccia's notes on custom-made aluminum tanks - what to do, what NOT to do.
- All drawings have been transferred to my new drawing template format that supports the production of USA and Metric unit drawing ... but no content has changed.

Message me if interested.  I'm asking below my production cost ... only $75 shipped (USA destinations only)

Thanks, I'll update when they're gone.


« on: April 20, 2020, 02:25:52 PM »

The long awaited METRIC plans have been released! 

  • Download plans purchases - Choosing metric or standard USA plans will send you an email with an appropriate, imperial or metric units, ZIP file containing all manuals and drawings (PDF format).  BUT ONCE you register at our website, you may download plans documents in EITHER format
  • Printed plans purchases - Choosing printed plans will send you an email (with download link) as above, and printed plans in the units of your choice will be mailed to you (free shipping).  AGAIN, ONCE you register at our website, you will be able to download plans documents in either format.

Have fun!

Off Topic / Oldy but goodie...
« on: February 14, 2020, 02:28:08 PM »
Missing Wife Found by Alaska State Troopers

The day after his wife disappeared in a Kachemak Bay kayaking accident, an Anchorage man answered his door to find two grim-faced Alaska State Troopers.
"We're sorry, Mr. Wilkins, but we have some information about your wife" said one of the troopers.

"Did you find her!?  Tell me!", Wilkins asked.

The troopers looked at each other.  One said, "We have some bad news, some good news, and some really good news - which would you like to hear first?"

Fearing the worst, the ashen Mr. Wilkinis said, "Give me the bad news first ... get it over with".

The trooper said, "I'm sorry to have to tell you sir, but this morning we found your deceased wife's body in Kachemak Bay."

"Oh my God!", said Wilkins.  Swallowing hard, he asked, "What's the good news?"

The trooper continued, "When we pull her up, she had 12 twenty-five pound King crab and 6 large Dungeness crab clinging to her, and we feel that you are entitled to a share in them."

Stunned, Mr. Wilkins demanded, "If that's the good news, then what's the really good news?"

The trooper smiled and said, "We're going to pull her up again tomorrow..."  :D

Announcements / UPDATE: Kodiak Model addendum 1-11-2020
« on: January 11, 2020, 10:23:29 AM »
  • I added detailed information on how the 5" additional hull depth in the Kodiak Model impacts components that are sized based on the height of the boat's gunnels: Forward Cuddy Bulkhead, Aft Cuddy Bulkhead, Aft Pilot House Bulkhead, and Pilot House Lower Side Panels
  • NO drawings were impacted by this update
  • NOTE: I have also updated the Kodiak "all files" ZIP document and the product hosting company ZIP file as well - the file that is downloaded via email upon initial purchase.  At our website download page, you'll see a 1-11-2020 date on the ZIP file now.
Let me know if you have any questions.


Experimental Postings / Test Pick again
« on: January 10, 2020, 07:04:54 AM »
This is a test pic:

Announcements / HAPPY NEW YEAR - AND THANK YOU!!
« on: January 01, 2020, 08:37:00 AM »
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!! And THANK YOU for another great year! 2019 was record breaking in terms of plans sold, new boats started, new boats launched, and in the number of states countries, world-wide, where Great Alaskans have been built (or are being built).

Also new this year was the introduction of the 30x9-1/2 KODIAK MODEL and at least the beginning of a metric version of the plans that will help out our overseas pals that want to build a Great Alaskan - The manuals are all done and the drawings are in-progress.  Expect a metric release by end of February 2020.

 Again, thank you!!!

Announcements / NEW Spray Rail alternative drawing
« on: September 23, 2019, 09:44:53 AM »

FYI - I just uploaded Sheet 012Alt, an alternative spray rail shape and location.  This version has good up-sweep towards the bow for a more sporty look, and at the stern end, the rails sweep upward 1-1/2" from their lowest location.  This 'smile' shaped spray rail helps the boat look better on the water even if loaded a little heavy in the stern... old boat painters trick :)


PS: Scroll waaaay to the bottom of the file list on our website's Downloads page.  I need to fix the sort order, but for now, the new file appears down at the bottom of the list.

Great Alaskan FAQ / Electrical design by Dan Boccia <- Read this!
« on: June 16, 2019, 10:18:38 AM »
Dan Boccia (Alaska) provided the following article which provides a great starting point for wiring up your boat, what order you should follow, and some great words of wisdom that'll save you some heartache!  I've inserted some notes and references where you see [EDIT] preceding some information.

[CAVEAT] Learn basic Ohm's Law and electrical design, how to use a basic multimeter, and the basics of working with electrical wire (types, gauges, crimping and attaching connectors - including on those big battery cables, etc).  Reference to Nigel Calder's book is given below.

From Dan:

Finished the cabin electrical wiring finally. Deleted the cabin wiring diagrams above, replacing them with the diagram below, that now includes wiring for running/anchor lights through a double-pole double-throw (DPDT) switch. Also deleted a photo that came in sideways. I'll take some pictures of the finished installation in the next few days.

Here are my thoughts on the electrical system from what I have, in some cases painfully, learned:

1. Every single current-carrying wire should have circuit protection, period. Battery-mounted fuses make this easy to do these days, ABYC exceptions for main battery cables be damned. Be sure the circuit protection is appropriate for the smallest wire in that circuit. Know how to use ampacity and voltage loss tables when sizing wires, and be conservative (size wires up when in doubt).

2. Do your wire and equipment layout/design first before running out to buy equipment, wire, etc. Understand how things are going to be wired. There's a lot of time to be saved, and safety to be gained, by doing your layout ahead of time. I posted my diagrams for a starting point/inspiration.

[EDIT] Make sure you follow ABYC Marine Wiring color coding on both your wiring diagram and in the boat.  If or when this is not possible, use clear labeling on each end of every wire segment so that anyone doing maintenance in the future doesn't have to guess on the origin or application of any particular wiring.  Color code table below.

3. Understand batteries - the different types, how to size them, how they like to be charged. Read Nigel Calder's book and understand it. Another huge time saver. Note that AGM batteries being charged directly from an outboard is not ideal and will likely result in reduced battery life.

4. Be sure to bond any aluminum fuel tanks and tank fill fittings to your common neutral bus.

[EDIT] Bonding is not grounding, although it sorta is.  "Bonding" means "In a direct current (DC) system, make all negative (0 volt) wiring the same voltage - no fractions of a volt above or below each other because that can result in 'ground loops' - unexpected current, corrosion, and shock potential".  In short, bonding means all negative wiring must end up at a common 0-volt reference somewhere.  Bonding includes ground buses, and those ground buses are connected to motors (your true source of 0 volts), and you motors should have zincs on them.  The motor bonding connection must be to the same metal that eventually leads to the zincs - most modern motors have a bolt on them for this purpose).

5. Windshield wiper installation is a complex and shockingly expensive sub-project. I highly recommend the Roca W12 wiper motors over any of the junk from AFI, Marinco, etc. The Roca motors are quiet, and feature super nice infinitely adjustable sweep that is simple to set up, maximizing the sweep area on your window. I tried to avoid the synchronized controls in favor of the Cole-Hersey knob-type controls, but regret this. Get the synchronized controller with its switch, which I may ultimately end up doing. Having 3 wipers out of sync can drive you bonkers, and my attempt to get the outside wipers in sync manually failed - now the outside wipers really only function on interval, which should get me by for awhile. Get the control!

6. For most common anchor/all around top lights and side running lights, you'll need a DPDT switch that allows the forward-facing top light to turn on when you want running lights OR you want anchor light.

7. In general, the best sequence of work is to mount ALL of your electrical equipment, roughly run ALL of your wires a little long (all of them labeled at both ends), locate wire anchors (typically zip ties with anchor-blocks) then either start terminations on the field wiring and work toward the central panel, or vise-versa.

8. Have a way to label the wires worked out. I ended up with the Brady labeling machine that prints on heat shrink and love that solution. You can also use a cheap $25 label maker and use non-adhesive low-temp clear heat shrink to cover the labels. I could not find the appropriate clear heat shrink locally.

That's enough for now.

Moving on to the electronics installation now.....more opportunities to drill holes in the boat!

[EDIT]  Some additional notes:
  • Electrical wiring always needs service at some point - the ends corrode and stuff ages.  You want to have excess wire near each end of a wire.
     Electricians call this a "service loop" - there is enough extra wire at the ends for you to snip some off, add a new connector, and to reinstall.  See next topic - drip loops
  • In a boat wiring job, you want to have 'drip loops' near each connection.  A drip loop is excess wire that makes a downward U-turn from it's connector so that moisture or water will run (gravity) down to the U-turn rather than into a bus or connector where it can cause corrosion.  See 'wrong way' and 'right way' drip loop photos below.  The 'right way' is Dan's boat.  The 'wrong way', surprisingly, came from a so-called professionally written article on boat wiring.  In addition to having the drip loop, make sure that (whenever you can), the connectors are installed at an upward angle rather than straight out, so that water (again) will tend to run away from the connection, not towards.  Finally, note that many marine connectors are available with silicone or other anti-water goop or coatings inside the crimp connectors to provide further protection.
  • Ignition-proof electronics, switches, etc are preferred.  Your fuel system, heating system, or anything that may unintentionally provide flammable liquid or gas to hidden areas can result in a boat fire.  Ignition-proof (Blue Sea etc) components are designed to a) provide NO sparks, and b) are generally sealed so that if a spark IS generated, it's encapsulated in the device.
  • Nigel Calder's excellent book: Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual
  • Also recommended, Metal Corrosion in Boats by Nigel Warren.  This book will also help with the understanding of bonding and corrosion in boats - a good read and an education for all boat owners.
  • Purpose of BRANCH protection: Branch circuit protection is FIRE protection and it's ONLY purpose is to prevent too much current in a wire so that the insulation will not heat up to the point that it catches on fire.  Branch circuit protection is NOT device protection!
  • Purpose of DEVICE protection:  Device protection is NOT for the prevention of fire.  Device protection is in ADDITION TO branch circuit protection.  It's purpose is to protect the devices in the boat, e.g. your electronics and other components - even motors etc.  The best way to design is to design a POWER DISTRIBUTION system with complete BRANCH protection first, then for sensitive devices, provide ADDITIONAL inline protection - Example) You might have 16 amp DC power wired throughout the boat, branch circuits come off of that at DC buses, and each branch circuit provides power to a device.  You would use wiring capable of more than 16 amps for the main power distribution and this wire should have a fuse or circuit breaker sized to protect THAT WIRE from over current.  Each branch circuit would have it's own fuse or circuit breaker to protect the branch circuit wire (for fire protection) that is sized according to the gauge of the branch circuit wire.  Finally, if the device is sensitive, you will also provide a device protection fuse or circuit breaker just for that's device's limitations (mfg info).  An example might be a 4-amp branch circuit with a 4-amp circuit breaker that feeds a radio with a 2-amp maximum current ... you'd put a 2-amp fuse inline on the branch circuit wire (after the circuit breaker, before the radio).
  • You can do this!  Take your time and draw it up in advance, including routing through the boat, and work through it systematically - and read Dan's info above, the Nigel books, and all documentation from the manufacturers of everything you bought for your wiring (or is powered by your wiring).

Dan's cabin electrical diagram (general diagrams below):

Dan's Power Distribution & Charging:

Dan's Neutral & Bonding:

ABYC Marine wiring color codes:

RIGHT way to use excess wire ('service loops') and drip loops, downward angled connections and awesome labeling!:

WRONG way to wire ... Looks GREAT, but there is ZERO slack for doing repairs and NOTHING to prevent moisture from running right into the connectors!

Great Alaskan FAQ / How to mount outboards? Motor mount template?
« on: June 14, 2019, 01:08:21 PM »
Here's a couple of drawings ... One shows the motor mount template for 150-300 hp motors, and the other shows a twin setup and how the holes fit around the stringers (use the upper end of the lower slots if mounting twin outboards).  The motor mount template fits on a 14-1/2 inch wide by 14 inch tall area - but it can be bigger too.  My favorite setup is to have an aluminum plate made according to the outboard template, then mount a short (4" or 6") bracket or jack plate to the hull ... and mount the outboard to the bracket or jack plate.  That makes a nice clean mount, room for the steering gear, and easier adjustability for tuning the height (jack plate).

FYI - The upper holes are 3/4 inch apart, vertically, measured center to center.

FYI - Also, if using a jack plate, you don't need a set of holes and a lower slot ... just 4 holes, the top 2 holes on top, and the top end of the slot on the bottom... do the adjusting with the jack plate.  Even a low-cost manual jack plate (or bracket with adjustment built in) is fine.


Announcements / PLANS UPDATED!
« on: April 22, 2019, 09:13:05 AM »
The following updates occurred today (4-22-2019):

  • A new drawing, Sheet A010 - Model Comparison, has been added to the Study Plans and to the Kodiak Addendum
  • The Study Plans main document has been updated (with a minor reference to the aforementioned new drawing)
  • The Kodiak Addendum main document has been updated (minor remarks about bottom panel assembly turnover and seam building)


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