Monday, April 25, 2011

Installing Actuator Mounting Plate

OK, several significant milestones have been reached.

First, the glass work is done on the port side, the hole is drilled, and the mounting plate is positioned and aligned. Now it's time for potting the plates in position.

Step one is lots of mold release on the underside of the mounting plate. This first picture shows the drill holes taped over and the wax can artfully displayed. I sure hope I put enough on.

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First thing this morning I met up with my glass guy to do the potting. The night before I positioned the plates where they can be grabbed and lowered into place after placing the epoxy filler around the area. The grabbing and lowering is easier said than done, especially on the port side. It took a while to come up with a body position where I could lift the plate into position without falling into the filler. And the plate is heavy - probably 50 lbs.

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My glass guy mixed up the goop to a nice mashed potato consistency - stiff enough to hold it's shape and not sag, but soft enough to press the pate into it - and scooped it into place where the place goes. We then swapped places with me in the engine room and him outside the hull spotting as I lowered the plate. It went in just fine, and our calculations of the quantity of material was pretty good. Math can be your friend. Once set in place, I popped back outside and rechecked the alignment.

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Within an hour we had both sides done. If you look closely in the pictures you can see a little bit of filler around the bore looking in from the outside, and the edge of filler around the plate on the inside.

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The good news is that the plates are set and potted, but the bad news is that it's curing very slowly. By the end of the day it was still clay-like in its consistency. This is normal in cooler temperatures and it just needs to be warmed up, which I'll do with a couple of heat lamps tomorrow. The down side is that I had a friend lined up to install the actuators tomorrow, but I don't want to bolt them down until I'm sure the potting is fully cured. All I need is for it to not be fully cured and squish out screwing up the alignment. So I'll wait until it's rock hard.

Comments and discussion on this post:

askaer: Back after 250 Nm south of Singapore to the beautiful and not so well known Indonesian Islands, we crossed the Equator on our maiden cruise with our newly installed Trac stabilizers with Star features. Our immediate observations are 1) highly effective, 2) extremely responsive, 3) predictable both under way and at rest, 4) easy to operate and 5) works well with our autopilot. We tried them in 20 Ms both at 20 kts and at various displacement speeds. if anything negative perhaps there is a bit to much shake at low speed that we will try to work on through configurations. The boat behaves differently with the fins installed compared to before but impressive at all sea conditions so far met. We were a small group of boaters along and it was interesting to observe how different the Grand Banks EU47 went through the waves at great comfort to its passengers. Will report with photos later when I have more time. Continue your great work. It is worth it! But looking at the GBY after installation work on our "ALMA" - it is a major venture for you! Kind regards from Singapore.
Tanglewood: Thanks Heine. It's great to get confirmation of their performance. I'm hoping to be in the water in three weeks or so, and can't wait.

This is a huge project, but I must say I'm enjoying it - and I'll be glad when it's done.

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