Day 439 Throttle, Water Generator
While I was working away at the davit construction, Gena was doing her own thing. Sometimes, as mentioned before, we find it best just to stay out of each others way. Sometimes we cross paths, asking for advice, and when that happens, look out! If we're both doing complex tasks, and either of us interrupts the other with a question that requires more thought than, "yep" or "nope" things can get pretty ugly! Happily this doesn't happen too often.
It did today though. The ongoing problem with how to control the throttle from 2 stations became more a battle of wills I think. After a while, ( a long while, I'm afraid ) It was agreed that the two should be paired together. The cables are Teflon, so friction won't be much of a problem in any case. After Gena put it together, it pretty much came out the way I'd imagined so now I'm not really sure why we were arguing in the first place.

The photo above shows the two coming in together. The controls feel a little sloppy, but not bad! We started the engine and it is nice and responsive. We'll call that a success.

The goofy looking thing to the right is for the hydraulic power drive pump. The autopilot doesn't have the guts to power the motor directly so we must put a controller in-line. I think the auto-pilot was designed with a continuous running hydraulic pump and electric valves in mind, like any front end loader, or crane would have. The outputs are (+) port and (+) starboard. No good for reversing a motor.

Before I go into this too far, I can use the gift of hind-sight as I am typing this page weeks later. I had researched the design and decided to order parts to make an H-Bridge. An H-Bridge is a fancy way of saying forward-reverse motor controller. A simple switch can be made to do this, as can a relay. Unfortunately relays and switches wear out quickly with this kind of amperage, so not my first choice. The best way to do this was to use 4 MOSFETs ( don't even ask!!) and a high end driver.

After a solid day of messing around with it, I had managed to blow 6 MOSFETs,  one driver chip, and my stack. Through a misunderstanding and poor description data on the chip, the first 2 were blown. The minute I reversed it, 2 more cooked.

Anyway, to make an incredibly long story short, I did finally get it working. A powerful solid state beast it is! 200 amps controlling power! But little did I know  at the time, Gena was plotting against me by ordering a 12 volt winch controller solenoid off of eBay. Duh! I  sure wasted that day! Neither of us had thought of one of those, until then.
..As a footnote I simply must add: when the day comes that the solenoid has sputtered off it's last chunk of contact plate in a blinding arc, my solid state unit will come out of it's dark dingy storage area, triumphant at last!

The photo to the right shows Gena checking the used auto-helm ( not to be confused with the auto-pilot, 2 separate systems there) to see what parts will be needed to rebuild it and make it better.

Some of the bushings and bolts are pretty worn, but still beats buying one new! Once we are using it, I will be sure to post some video in the what worked and what didn't section.

 Also going aft is the Aquair water generator. The 8 amp savior of our extra power needs. She had welded the support pole for it months ago, but needed me to polish it today, as I was already busy polishing all of the davit parts. :-|
The unit is solid enough, very heavy in fact, and has an oil filled sealed aluminum housing. Problem is the paint started chipping off like a cheap toy car, and we hadn't even took it outside yet. I'm sure paint was just an oversight and the real quality is inside.  Gena stripped the old paint, which suffice to say, came off really easily, and coated it with a lighter prettier color, in several coats of Tremclad.

8 amp water Gen in place

The stainless housing made earlier is fit with a rubber sleeve to stop( or dull) the humming coming up through the hull directly under the aft berth. ( photo left). The wire was fitted with a special water tight plug we found at DigiKey, which mates to a 4 pin socket going through the transom. It was the only solution, but shouldn't get in the way.

There is a pin in the pole which when released, lets it down low into the water. Raising it should allow easier cleaning if it gets fouled by weeds.


Ever since we painted the boat, the hawse pipes have needed to be finished. I didn't much like doing the first as I nearly destroyed it, and we have just enough halves to do them all. Gena saw that they weren't done and cut them down to fit while I was polishing the above. They were all just 1/4" too thick for our bulwarks. When I did the first, I used the grinder which took forever. She somehow used the cut-off saw. I'm still afraid to ask how. If I'd have seen that I would have said NO! She has her secrets, I have mine.

I did insist on having a plate under the 12" cleats she was about to mount. I offered to cut the plates, she smoothed and drilled them, then got her revenge by making me polish those too!

Sure doesn't look 12" in the photo does it.  I had insisted on the plates because I don't think those little lips on those little feet could hold enough sealant to make a long lasting barrier against water. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd rather not wait until we're out there, with no cutters, materials, or drill press before finding out it didn't hold. Time spent here is worth a lot of $$ spent elsewhere. ( My new motto!)

Here's a couple of photos of my davit progress...

A fully assembled, yet to be smoothed up, davit assembly finished in the dark of winter!

Next box done

The box with catch handle in place, all shiny, just like in the Maya 3d animation!
For more on the davits, go to pro55.htm

Day 439:
14  hours for Gena - 60+ hours for me over the week( davits). Finished water gen and mounted, made bracket for throttle and installed, finished hawse pipes, mounted some big cleats

Need a house moved?

Located near Millet Alberta