Monday, April 18, 2011

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand … Simplify, simplify." --H. D. Thoreau

The wait continues, Donna’s new 2nd Generation Catrike Trail has still not arrived at Mt Airy Bike. So we haven’t departed for Florida which means we haven’t left Florida to get to our home  in Maine the Tiki construction site. So I have been bent over the Tiki 30 plans for hours and hours over the last few weeks.

Every boat is a compromise naturally enough but I’ve found myself wanting more in the area of sailing performance out of my boats. But sailing performance is in near direct opposition to crew comfort. I forget where I read this and I’m in debt to the original author, “anything on a boat that doesn’t make it sail better, then by definition, makes it sail worse”.

Our first boat Tschuss, which was a Catalac 10M catamaran, sailed with two drogues in the water. Sure the three blade Michigan props made Tschuss a good motorboat but seriously detracted from any sailing performance. Our next boat Rubicon was a Heavenly Twins 26ft catamaran. Rubicon with an outboard that raised to the bridge deck and canoe hulls could sail circles around Tschuss. We lived aboard both and Tschuss was without a doubt more comfortable but I liked Rubicon immensely more.

I saw my first Tiki, I think it was a Tiki I didn’t know of Mr Wharrams designs in the summer of 2005, and I was in love. Here I was on this hideously complex boat, Tschuss, and there was that simple Tiki and it’s owners enjoying the same harbor. Now I’m reading about Rory’s “Cooking Fat” a Tiki 21 with just netting for a bridge deck and no motor and his amazing round the world adventure and cross Atlantic Jester Challenge races.  I really think that the best approach will be to keep changes to the basic Wharram design to the minimum, i.e. keep it simple!!

Yeah! got the call the Trike is in!!!! So no more Tiki updates for a few weeks when hopefully the build will be started:)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Can I really have refrigeration?

It’s been a rainy day so no trike riding. It’s been a day of design work. “Design work” a kind way to describe trying to put 10 lbs of sand in a 8 lb bag.  The TIki 30 was really designed as a tropical backpacking type boat. This makes sense since it can be disassembled and transported across a continent behind a small pickup truck. My problem is trying to put some more modern amenities in the equation. Adding a two burner stove or even an oven is trivial compared to adding refrigeration which is anything but trivial.

In this case I would like to have a small, approximately 5 cu-ft, ice box with Adler/Barbour Cold Machine refrigeration. I know that many long term cruisers do without refrigeration, heck some even do without a motor. But we’ve had refrigeration on our last two catamarans that we lived aboard from 2005 until last November. So I’m spoiled.

It is not an easy or cheap to add refrigeration. Here a a few things that need to be considered.
  1. Spend over a grand to buy the Adler/Barbour compressor(CU-100) and evaporator(VD-150).
  2. Find a well vented place to mount the compressor, preferably out of ear short. The evaporator will be in the Ice Box.
  3. Design a 12 VDC battery system that has enough capacity to go a few days without recharge. We got away with 4 deep cycle batteries in the past. This will be adding to the boat probably 500 lbs in batteries, switches, circuit breakers, wire, etc. That’s 22% of the boats designed load carrying ability. Batteries and hardware will run several hundred bucks. And then find a place to put a few cu-ft of batteries.
  4. Now design a way to keep these batteries charged when not at the dock. I’ve found that with a sunny day and under 90 degF ambient, my last ice box could keep cold with two 80 watt solar panels. But it’s not always sunny so the batteries are needed to carry through the less than sunny times. A wind mill would also help, since it does seem that when those cold fronts come through wind also comes with the clouds. The weight of a couple panels and a wind mill, cables, switches etc. can run about 50-lbs total.  And cost is again well over a grand.  And find a few sq-ft of space to mount the solar panels, without shadows. I don’t even consider running the engine or a generator since they destroy peace and quiet and have even higher life-cycle costs.
  5. Next it would be nice when we’re at a dock if the batteries could be kept topped off using shore power, that will extend their lifespan and we could even run a toaster. So now I need to design an AC system with weather proof power cord, receptacle, circuit breaker, battery charger, wire, connectors, etc. Probably another 50-lbs of stuff and more than a couple Benjamin’s out of my wallet. 

So it probably costs 3 or 4 grand and adds about 600 lbs to a small boat. Damn, Donna and I could buy a couple of good beers every night for a couple years for that price and the only added boat weight would come from the extra pounds the beer will put on our bodies.

Wow, after typing all that up I’ve convinced myself that we need to learn to do without refrigeration, it’s just too expensive in cost, weight, and volume. A supper well insulated Ice Box will have to do. Plus this boat is not going to be a full time live aboard vessel, the plan is to cruise for 3-4 months a year.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tiki is back on!

The rational half of my mind say "there is no time, a house to build, training for 2012 RAGBRAI" but then I see a picture of a Tiki and my mind immediately begins imagining white sand beaches and clear blue warm waters, and my irrational mind says "so what I WANT A TIKI 30!".
So I've been going over the plans again trying to see if I can fit the items we put in the "very nice to have" category.
  1. A propane stove with oven,  a Force 10 compact would be nice.
  2. Refrigeration.
  3. Air Head composting toilet. 
  4. In hull galley table. 
Now these hulls are narrow, I think pretty near a 10:1 length to beam. So after several drawings and discussions with Donna, the oven is out. Some type of smaller stove that can be moved from a in hull location to on deck location is in. Then I think I have room for the other "necessities".