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Messages - Brian.Dixon

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I did  not put any floatation in mine, but will carry survival suits, and make sure everyone knows how to put them on as well as a EPRIB or personal beacon. Also a good skiff so hopefully I can make it ashore

I agree ... Mustang suits are the bomb ... Keep in mind the study that I read on them ... those that zipped them ALL the way up survived for days, little water gets inside.  Those that left the zipper down a couple of inches died in hours.  Zip it!  Zip it in the bud!  (In my best Barney Fife voice...)

A raft on the roof, inflated or in a giant emergency raft satchel, is a good idea too ... especially if wandering far from any ports.

I did  not put any floatation in mine, but will carry survival suits, and make sure everyone knows how to put them on as well as a EPRIB or personal beacon. Also a good skiff so hopefully I can make it ashore

The way I see it:

  • Wood boats float.  Motors don't.  Squeeze in stern flotation, as near to the motor as you can, so you have more boat to hang onto or to climb onto should you capsize
  • I like polyurethane flotation just fine - in an all-glass or aluminum boat.  Renn had several stories where the foam rotted and was nearly impossible to clean out, let alone the lost flotation.  It makes me wonder if the foam-filling expansion created a crack here or there?  Or is normal humidity in an ocean environment enough to cause rot?  Dunno.
  • Polyethylene doesn't rot
  • You cannot turn a large boat upright once it capsizes - your hope here is to get as much of you as possible out of the water to slow down your hypothermia death
  • If using polyurethane, build in lots of chambers ... they can't ALL rot, right?

Just my opinionated 2-bits worth - presented for your consideration :)


Thanks for the input! My original desire was a small range like a Force 10 or something. If I did that, no microwave and minimal pier draw. Maybe I will reconsider that. Iím mapping out the space for the hot water heater and itís tight. Maybe too much of a luxury?

Anyway, Iíll spend time reviewing my list of wants and needs. I appreciate the input.

If you're gunkholing or traveling (SE Alaska!) and sleeping nights in a slip, then why not have the luxuries?  Hot shower or cold shower?  I can go without a microwave, but for extended trips, having hot water for a shower (on-demand sprayer) is priceless.

Re: the foam.  Lots of folks, myself included used pool noodles in the bilge spaces.  There are 200 in mine if I remember right?  A lot, I know that.  Cheap too.  Just a thought.

KEY WORDS: CLOSED-CELL POLYETHYLENE ... impervious to bilge filth, oil, gas, and everything else, and does NOT absorb more than about 3% (by weight) water even if submerged for years.  Pool noodles are polyethylene but you can buy it in sheets and blocks too. polyEHYLene ... ETHYL ... plastic names are confusing ... must be polyethylene (did I mention polyethylene?).. LOL ...

Looking good Randy! This stage of figuring out all the storage details and how you're going to mount all the equipment you're stockpiling and route wiring/plumbing is a super interesting stage!

Just a heads up, microwaves are maybe 65% efficient, so if your "small" microwave is rated at, say, 700 watts, it will take ~ 1077 watts of inverter output power to run, and since inverters are maybe 85% efficient or so, it will take ~ 1267 watts of DC battery power. Lithium batteries usually operate around 12.8 volts so that's 99 amps of DC power coming out of your battery bank during microwave use (a lot!). Many 100 AH lithium batteries have a continuous discharge rating of no more than 0.5C or 50 amps, so you can see that running this microwave, with absolutely zero simultaneous loads, may be the max your dual 100AH battery bank can handle. If your hydronic heater happens to kick in while the microwave is on, or your fridge, or someone decides to do a washdown, your lithium battery BMS may shut your batteries down due to overload and your house system will be dead until you remove loads and reboot the BMS.

With all the electrical items you have, especially microwave and water heater both which require massive amounts of DC power, your house system appears undersized unless you have more premium batteries with robust BMS's that can reliably discharge at 1.0C or 100 amps each. I'm less worried about your amp-hour capacity than I am about your continuous discharge capacity, although if you plan to stay on the hook in a cove somewhere for a couple days without running, your AH capacity may be lacking unless it's high summer with lots of solar.

Just something to check before you get too far down the road - have fun building!

Solution: SHORE POWER ... and no hot water unless heated on a stove when offshore, and no microwave offshore (use the cooktop).  That's what I'd do anyway - simplifies everything.

Yes, maps and charts are pretty important. Iím installing a Garmin 943 xsv MFD with an 18Ē HD radar and a good transducer. Iíll have a tablet running Navionics as a BU when I go north. Iíve ordered a Standard Horizon GX2400B with AIS receiver and the PA speaker for fog signals and loud hailing. Other electronics I have are a good GPS VHF handheld and a personal locator beacon I carry in my life jacket.

Purely because Iíve always wanted one, Iím installing a dash mount instrument depth sounder as well. Iíve got a Blue Sea systems ac/dc power panel and Iíve been stockpiling electrical wire though I expect Iíll have to buy quite a bit more. For heat Iím doing a Webasto diesel  hydronic heater that Iíll mate to a 6 gallon hot water heater and a heat exchanger for cabin and berth heat.

I have a manual flush head that will go in the usual place and include a sump box in the floor as a ďwet headĒ. I still have some planning to do on the whole MSD thing but I have some pretty good plans.

I have about 10 good LED light fixtures plus the two adjustable.

I ordered today an am/fm/BT stereo today and have a little amp for it and four speakers, plus two for the berth.

Today I ordered two 100 amp hour lithium batteries for the house and an AGM battery for the motor. Iíve got a Dc to Dc charger to go between the AGM and the lithium, but Iím considering adding an inboard two bank charger like the Genius Pro 2x10 when itís parked. Iíve also got an 1800 watt DC/AC inverter and plan to install a small microwave in the galley. Iíll have a couple 100w or more solar panels on the roof as well.

I even have, if thereís room, a 12v TV and a marine digital TV antenna! Got that at an auction cheap and itís currently in our kitchen.

What I have left to buy is a cook top and I just havenít decided on which configuration. I have a alcohol burner stove top I refurbished but now Iím not liking the idea.

I also ordered a bilge control panel that includes manual/auto and a visual and auto high water alarm. It has two floats - high and low - to install but there is plenty of room in the bilge. I have a set of LED floods for the top and, of course, some LED nav lights. I still need an anchor light.

Iíve got the fridge as well. So the galley will have to be very efficiently put together for everything to fit. Iíve drawn it out but Iíve got to really get busy and diagram out the plumbing and wiring and all.

Other plans: Iím going to replicate a tackle storage system for the stern with tip out drawers holding Plano tackle trays  there will be a wash down pump back there as well. Iím doing rod storage cabinets along the gunnels and a fish box in the floor. I have marine grade expanding foam for floor voids and flotation. Kinda looking forward to that.

Another thing I still need to do is install a thru-hull fitting that will serve the wash down pump and maybe the toilet input. Lots more internal work to do.

I still need to wire in the bow thruster, and the windlass installation. Gadzooks there is a lot to do before spring! And my garage is packed with stuff!

But to respond to the original question, definitely maps and backup maps.

... Haha.  Someday, I'll do a minor redesign and increase the capacity of these boats ... people are loading them up!  (If I stay in business long enough) ... but for now, thanks to the (grumble grumble) "current" economy, plans sales went to zero and study plans hung in there for a bit, then study plans sales have quit.  PayPal decided that they'll fine you $2500 for each time that their thought police don't like something that YOU thought ... so I had to drop PayPal.  Small businesses can't afford this trash and one infraction can put you out of business (or pursue a lawsuit that you can't afford and go out of business anyway).  Right now, it's all losses and no gains ... survival mode.  I'll keep things alive until the money runs out ... OK ...Off my pedestal ...

Yup! Just ordered the goose neck LEDs but I havenít thought much about the book rack. Iíll have USB ports and a heat exchanger for the hydronic heater, so itíll be comfy.

Not such a big deal in Oregon, but in some places, mapping is important ... electronic, but with paper back up.


Don't forget a magazine (and map) rack and a couple of reading lights on flexible necks ... the cuddy in this boat is a nice cozy space with a big bed and plenty of headroom for hanging out and reading a good book before bedtime...

Thanks to all who have given Ms Jones and myself support and advice during our build. Special thanks to Brian for his excellent and comprehensive design and plans, Chuck for his superb CNC cutout hull kit, and Dan for taking on the wiring of our boat. It is truly a great community.


Thanks for the kind words, Lindy.  All the best to you and your own today and always too...


Thanks Brian, definitely going to go the minimal route if I go this direction. I think I can get the clearance with a 4" or 6" bracket in addition to the 4" jack plate I already have. I am maybe going to give it another debugging run here in a couple weeks once I fix the scuppers and actually lower the motor while I am on the water to see precisely how low it needs to be before I commit to any approach. I am going to try to add some weight to the fish box and fill the bait tank as well to make sure I am not stern down at that point either.

Perfect!  Some people put sand bags in the boat to simulate different loads and load locations...

 Beautiful boat!  You're going to love the 2nd steering station when you're out hammering tuna and salmon!


Boats are teeter-totters and these boats are light for their size.  It's worth it to optimize the boat's balance.  The bracket will slightly increase fuel mileage and does let you run the motor higher ... approx. 1" for each 12" of setback.  BUT every boat's different.  This is a starting point.  Don't go crazy on the motor mount ... you want it just long enough to work (fix clearances, balance the boat) and no more ... stern-down boats are more dangerous than bow-down boats... expect to gain a couple of hundred pounds in the stern over time too ... most future mods and additions will be back there.

Man, what a beautiful job designing and integrating the electrical on this project. It's seriously a work of art how clean and well thought out everything is. Great work! Thanks for sharing.

Exactly what I was going to say!  The electrical work (in addition to the boat of course) is a real work of art!


Great to hear all the good news and good times!  The hull speed, e.g. maximum speed without trying to lift the boat onto place, is about 6.6 knots, so your 20 hp kicker sounds like it's working as good as it will.  As you approach hull speed, the amount of horsepower required goes up fast and it's not worth trying to maximize beyond what you're getting.

Brian, I am investigating chopping down the top of my transom to increase steering clearance with the jack plate I am using. How close can I cut the top of my transom to my top motor mounting bolts? How much wood do I need to leave between them and the top?

The standard for motors in the size range that the GA takes is 2" from center of top holes to the edge of the cut-out directly above the top motor mount hole.  I think any less than that will result in the mount rising higher than the bottom edge of the cut-out.. the motor needs space around the hole for proper support.

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