Make your own free website on Tripod.com
MY 3-IN-1 LITTLE SQUIRT - REPAIRS AND MODIFICATIONS 2002


17-July-02
As of now here is the status of Little Squirt. I have finished the sailing gear and have tried it several times. The PVC mast was not suitable so I have purchased a aluminium pipe to replace it. The pipe is heavier then recommended, but it is all I could get. I still have to reinstall the sailing gear so I can use it.

I purchased a 36LB Min-Kota trolling motor, which did not fit in the built in motor mount. I built a separate mount on the transom of the boat. I am in the process of installing the box for the battery is located just aft of the rowing box. I considered installing it in the storage compartment in the front but decided against it due to the difficulty accessing this area. I am also installing a 5-watt solar panel on the bow of the boat.

26-Aug-02 Except for some adjustments to the safety for my electric engine which I will post when done I consider little squirt to be complete I will show pictures and explain the modifications I have made to the plans.




Ignore the clamps on the far left of the picture. They are from my nautilaus battery charger and are not part of the boat. Solar Panel:

I installed a 5-watt solar panel to the bow of the boat. I put it off center for two reasons. It left one side of the front deck clear so I could safely walk on it with risking stepping on the solar panel. It also left room so if for some crazy reason I wanted to install another panel. I bought the panel at Canadian Tire. I ran the cable aft and through the forward bulkhead into the storage compartment. I then ran it through the daggerboard box. I was careful to secure the cable on the side of the box away from the daggerboard opening, and up near the seat at the top. I did not want the daggerboard to pull on the wires when inserting or removing the daggerboard. I then cut a hole in the front of the daggerboard box for the cables to go through to go to the battery compartment. The grey wire in the picture is from the solar cell. There is a white rope running across the deck from the bow of the boat. Donít let it confuse you. I guess I should have cleaned up before taking the picture. I have been asked if the solar cell is of any use. I can not definitely answer the question. When on the water and running off the engine it gives me a lot of piece of mind knowing it is there. It may be slow a molasses but I know it will eventually charge the battery enough to get home. I also believe it will extend the range of the battery if it is hooked up while the engine is running. I tried to find out how well it would charge the battery on its own twice after a good run when the battery was discharged. The first time I found out that my battery was defective, and would not charge, and the second time I found out I had a loose connection in the connector for the charger that stopped the charge sometime during the process. Since I did not know when it stopped charging the battery it made the information I collected during my second experiment worthless. All the voltages I recorded are on this site under adventrues in a 3-in-1 or under the battery power consumption table below.

Battery Box:

The battery box was made by sizing a piece of plywood slightly wider then the battery and slightly higher. I then attached the plywood to the daggerboard box. That part of the box is made of ĺ inch wood so you can drill a few screw through to hold it in place. I then put the battery in place and cut 2 pieces of wood for the side supports and a smaller one for the front. The theory behind making the board smaller in front is too make it easier to get the battery in and out. I attached this boards by countersinking screw through the bottom of the hull and into them. I then filled the holes with silicone and repainted. The battery is held in place with a battery hold down strap near the front of the battery. I also took a small piece of wood and put in on top of the battery at the daggerboard box. I then put two screws in too hold the board in place. I theory this should hold the battery in place in the back. I cut a piece of tarp to cover the whole thing and cut a hole in each side of the plywood attached to the daggerboard box. These hold the bungie cord I use to hold the Tarp cover. If you look closely you can see the hole on the left side of the plywood. The hole is partly covered by the loops of the solar cell panel cable in the picture.

Note: From the very few recharge rate figures I could get in the 2002 season I believe that the solar cell can recharge the battery in between six to twenty hours depending on the weather. (**THE COMMENT I MADE ABOUT THE SOLAR CELL IS WRONG. WHEN A BATTERY IS DISCHARGED QUICKLY THE VOLTAGE WILL CLIMB FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS AFTERWARDS. ALL THE INFORMATION I HAVE COLLECTED ABOUT SOLAR CELL RECHARGING DO NOT TAKE THIS INTO ACCOUNT.**) I also figure I can run the engine for 2 hours at lvl 5 and 4 hours at level 3. Any lower level then three is totally unacceptable except when manuvering such as docking.

My Motor Mount (looking AFT)


My Motor Mount (looking forward)


My Motor Mount ( In Action)


My motor Mount (Construction Diagram)

In order to build my motor mount I cut a board measuring just slightly wider then the distance between the two clamps on the trolling motor. I wanted to give them just enough room to clamp on. I then put the board in the clamp and drew a line at the bottum of the clamps. This is to ensure that when you mount the motor the top of the clamp unit is resting on the engine mount and the clamps at the bottom are as close to the transom as possible. This line will be level with the top of the transom when the mount is installed. You now have to do some measuring. You want to cut this board so that the line you drew is level with the top of the transom and the board extends far enough down so that the screws you drill through it and be put in the board inside the transom that is the support for the engine mount. If you did not install the optional engine mount when you built the boat you will have to glue a ĺ inch board inside the transom large enough to support the mount. Round off the corners and you are ready to install this board. Put the board so that the line you drew is at the top of the transom. Put the screws through the mount and into the transom being sure to put the screws in so they dig into the board inside the transom. When I did mine the board split a little in the middle due to the slight curve in the transom and the fact I probably put in too many screws. It has not caused me any problems. Once you have done this take a second board and put it against the board you have just installed so that it is resting on the top of the transom and forward of the first board. Draw a line so that the second board is the same shape as the top of the first board. Cut your line. I glued the second board to the first and put a few screw in to hold them together. I also drilled two screws into the sides of the second board angling them downwards so they would dig into the stringer that was used to join the transom and upper deck. If this confuses you I have been told I give awful instructions, but all the information is here.

Mounting the sail with a U-Bolt

In order to mount the sail to the mast the plans call for you to get two o-ring bolts. You are then supposed to open the O on one and insert the other into it. You then close the loop and the two bolts are joined together. The only type of bolts I could get are solid steel. Has anyone ever tried to bend steel hardware. I came up with this alternate solution. I took a u-bolt and drilled two holes in the mast equal distances from the point where the original bolt would have gone into the mast. I then looped a o-ring bolt over the u-bolt and installed the u-bolt through these holes. So far I have not had any problems with this modification.



MY SAFETY DEVICE DISASSEMBLED


MY SAFETY DEVICE INSTALLED

This is the newest version of my safety device for the trolling motor. My trolling motor has no version of a dead manís switch. If you let go of a typical motor it will shut off automatically. This insures both that the boat does not leave without you if you falls overboard, and it reduces the chances of the prop cutting into you. Originally I took a clamp at the end of the battery cable and connected it directly to the connector to the engine. However because of the small surface area of the connection the engine constantly cut out unless the clamp was put on just right. I also had a rope around the clamp which I attached to my wrist with another loop on the other end. If I yanked on the rope or fell overboard the rope would put the clamp away from the engine connector and the engine would stop. Hopefully the modification I made will fix the loose connection problem. I took a small nut and washer and bolt. The bolt is 1 Ĺ inches long. I then cut a small piece of copper tubing 1 inch long. I put the washer on the bolt and put it onto the engine connector. The washer goes between the head of the nut and the connector. I then put the copper tubing on the bolt. I then fastened the nut on the end ensuring it was tight. The clamp from the battery can then go onto the copper tubing. The only problem I can see in this setup is that now the connection is so much more secure I need to see if it will still come loose when I yank on the cord.

CLICK HERE FOR MAIN PAGE