May 6, 2007

More Float Test Pictures + Propulsion Update

Propulsion Update:
(Reduces risk of heart attacks: 9/10 Doctors agree)

In the closing week before Meeting of the Minds, the propulsion group has been working at a frenetic pace to both implement a new tensioning system, as well as replace the parts which failed during testing at Lake Arthur.

Mark and Will adding some final touches to the newly fiberglassed Lower Unit before mounting it.

Holes have been drilled into the transom and the system has been successfully mounted on the boat.
The new beefy 1/4" thick parts should provide the much needed support where the previous parts failed. Plus, we have some delicious looking new FEA pics detailing some concentration areas for the future:

In addition to our work on the mount, I was also able to get a few fleeting pictures (~200) of this weekend's float test. The following are the better of the bunch:

Taking the boat up Forbes to the utter amazement of all onlookers

My own "Abby Road" rendition

Our motor mount awaits mounting on the boat

"Gently" placing Nessie in the water

Fixing the propulsion system to the boat

Lluis: a man who needs no introduction, but often requires an explanation

No where else in the world do bag piping and solar boating mesh so well together

Chunks of Aluminum + Motors + 8 months of work = Absolutely Beautiful

I believe this picture is best described by a quote from Frederick Nietzsche:
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into the boat, the boat gazes also into you."

Attaching and inspecting the solar panels

Lluis is enjoying a bit of R&R in the assembled boat

Mark and Brian taking a turn in the boat

Kaufman washing down Nessie after a successful float test

Squeaky clean and ready for action during MoM and during next week's lake testing

That's all for now, and check back for Meeting of the Minds coverage later this week.
- Mark

Nessie Finally Spotted!

Today we put the new boat (officially named Nessie) in the water!!

Before we put the boat in the water, we met, and had a short meeting about travel to competition in Arkansas and what needs to be done to tie up any loose ends with the boat's completion. After a quick bite to eat, we all headed to the boat yard and began working on various items so the boat could be put in the water by the days end with all the components installed. Once we finished all of this work, we packed the solar panels, motor mount, batteries, tools, etc into Josh and Lluis's cars and headed to the lake. Nessie took an alternate route via the Carnivore's retrofitted hand trailer. Not only did it catch looks from people walking, but everyone passing by on Forbes Ave sure was interested in what we were up to.

Upon reaching the pond, we began to unload the gear. First was the boat, it went in smoothly and sat in the water just as we had hoped/designed. Lluis was the first to jump in the boat and move around to test the boat without any of the components inside. "This feels better than that time I went to Miami and went swimming with the dolphins!” were the words uttered from his mouth as he sat in the boat.

We then put the batteries, solar panels, and motor mount onto the boat. We recorded how the boat sat in the water for each additional piece of weight. Everything went as planned. The only change that needs to be made is the depth of our lower unit and propeller. As is, it sits too low in the water, which is not advantageous for efficient boat performance.

Of course, we still have the dashboard, steering, and other cockpit related items to install and this will be done at Lake Arthur when we can test the boat in a dynamic setting. Due to how the boat will plane and sit in the water when she moves, the position of the driver is key to an optimal performance.

We have a little over a month until Fayetteville, and there is much to do between now and then. However, after today we all can take a deep breath of relief and know that we have one sexy floating boat.

Lake testing will take place in about a week, so stay tuned to see how that went.

And now for pictures!

Riddhi finishing the solar panel mounting frame.

Brian modifying the old hand cart to fit the new boat

The motor mount with the new pulleys

Our version of the Beatles "Abbey Road " album cover

The boat's first real water experience

That's no fountain, that's a roooster tail!

Mark and Brian Test out the weight limits of the boat

As you might guess, putting the boat in a pond wasn't the easier thing, but it really didn't stop us!

The boys taking a breather from hard work (Gordo is happy about getting the burritos he just ordered)

Lluis fastening the panels onto the frame

The motor mount sitting nicely on the transom

Earlier this week, the power management team did some field testing with the panels, charger and batteries.

Mmmm, solar power!