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Posted: 3/23/2009 1:59:43 PM EDT
Just in time for the April 18 VA HTF dinner/afternoon, I was able to get the "Barge Inn" in the water today. It's been a long six month journey to get her here, but it's finally paying off.

Our lake does not allow gasoline engines, so I had to hire a boat shop to pull the gas engine and tow it to my lake. We were finally able to put it in the water today without propulsion of any kind. We had two people lined up to tow us from the ramp to where we had to store it, but neither one was able to make it. So, being a person of limited intellectual ability, I decided to "pole it" across the lake. I bought about 10 pressure treated 2x4's and screwed them together to make two "poles." My wife and I then spent the afternoon pushing it across the lake into a 10 mph headwind. A few hours later, we got it tied to shore where we can dock it. (don't ask - it was a LOOOOONG afternoon ).





I'll be putting an electric motor and battery bank on it in the coming weeks. My goal is to have it completely running by the April 18 HTF party. The boat's capacity is only 2,200 pounds or 15 people (whichever comes first). Start slimming up, guys!

Here she is on shore after a long day of "poling" -



She has an air conditioned cabin, a bathroom and will have at least one fridge for, um, water and stuff. The roof is open to seating, and would make a great firework launching platform (or pintle-mounted 50 cal?).

In all seriousness, I'll try to have propulsion and power engaged in time for April 18th. I hope about a dozen of you can come out and enjoy an afternoon on the water .
Link Posted: 3/23/2009 3:46:12 PM EDT
Still have the Deuce? Use the snorkle and tow the barge across the lake.

Is that in your backyard... nice. I guess that is an improved back yard from your last place.
Link Posted: 3/23/2009 6:21:20 PM EDT
Where is this? I might be down for the mid day idea on a lake before the next meet. Enjoyed going to the last one.
Link Posted: 3/23/2009 6:35:53 PM EDT
Haha, that's fantastic.

Link Posted: 3/23/2009 7:18:17 PM EDT
I recognize that ramp!

Link Posted: 3/23/2009 8:31:07 PM EDT
Strap a 40 horse diesel on that janx. They never said anything about a #2 oil engine, just gasonline. They'll be forced to comply and you'll get the propulsion you need
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 4:31:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2009 4:42:42 AM EDT by BlackFox]
Originally Posted By 7:
Still have the Deuce? Use the snorkle and tow the barge across the lake.

Is that in your backyard... nice. I guess that is an improved back yard from your last place.


You're a mess, 7 . No Deuce any more. I had to move because everybody kept shooting up my last back yard . For those of you who don't get the joke, I had a full range in my back yard and hosted several HTF shoots.

Originally Posted By ccosby:
Where is this? I might be down for the mid day idea on a lake before the next meet. Enjoyed going to the last one.


As at least one person has recognized, this is on the Swift Creek Reservoir (southwest of Richmond, near 360 and 288). It's about 25 minutes from the Innsbrook Cap Ale, 15 minutes from Rare Old Times or Southside Cap Ale.

Originally Posted By ProjectNick:
Strap a 40 horse diesel on that janx. They never said anything about a #2 oil engine, just gasonline. They'll be forced to comply and you'll get the propulsion you need


I am kind of doing something like that . I'm getting an ultraquiet Honda generator to strap on the roof and plug in to my charger/inverter. I'll still need a big enough battery bank to run the motor (8 batteries) and the lighting, refrigerator(s), air conditioning and other gear at the same time. I'm thinking another 8 batteries for that, which gives me an even 16 batteries (4 in each corner). Let me know if you know of anybody who understand boat wiring! I have no idea what I'm doing, but that's never stopped me before!
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 4:52:39 AM EDT
i thought that was the good ol' reservoir...

the reason no ICE allowed is because it's our drinking water! :p


(and currently as i write this, i'm visiting my folks who live in woodlake :O)

do youl ive on the BMill side or the woodlake?
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 5:28:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BlackFox:

I am kind of doing something like that . I'm getting an ultraquiet Honda generator to strap on the roof and plug in to my charger/inverter. I'll still need a big enough battery bank to run the motor (8 batteries) and the lighting, refrigerator(s), air conditioning and other gear at the same time. I'm thinking another 8 batteries for that, which gives me an even 16 batteries (4 in each corner). Let me know if you know of anybody who understand boat wiring! I have no idea what I'm doing, but that's never stopped me before!


PM Droopy here on arfcom. He's my co-worker and friend. He's done lots of electrical on boats specifically really big boats(40-120ft. boats) with battery banks
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 5:33:19 AM EDT
Great looking boat! What are you going to do for power? Electric motor?
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 6:21:31 AM EDT
We're definitely going electric motor with a battery bank. The boat is currently rigged to run things like the A/C only when connected to shore power, but I'm going to try to get it all running off the battery bank with a gas generator supplement.

Propulsion
Pretty much everyone else on the reservoir has a Ray Electric motor (http://www.rayeo.com/motors.htm), which run $5K+ just for the motor and another $2K for the battery bank. Quite honestly, I think Ray Electric has grown complacent, and their prices are too high and their motors are outdated (I think they're still selling the exact same motor as they were in the 70's). A small start-up company in Germany has recently released a new line of high-power electric motors that appear to stomp the Ray Electric motors (see http://www.torqeedo.com/us/hn/products/cruise-r.html). I'm buying the Torqeedo cruise 4R motor (48V, 4HP), which should be plenty big for this boat. It will definitely be the first motor besides a Ray or trolling motor on the water, but then this is the first houseboat on the water as well!

Power
While I toy around with the idea of using 12V marine deep cycle batteries, pretty much everyone is telling me to go with the 6V golf cart batteries instead. At this point I'm planning to buy 16 Exide GC2-H 6V batteries (often refered to as E-145's) (see http://www.exide.com/products/golf_car/spec_golf_car.html for specs). As mentioned above, 8 batteries would power the motor (48V), while the other 8 would operate as a "house bank" for the rest of the boat. This number of batteries would allow me to put 4 in each of the four corners of the boat and have an even ride. Our lake is only ~900 acres, which sounds big but really isn't. You can pretty easily get from one end to the other in 15 minutes. In other words, I'd say an average day may involve an hour of moving and 8 hours of drifting. The grill I'm mounting on the front uses propane and the stove inside uses alcohol. The sink and water tanks are powered by gravity, so there's little else to suck the juice beyond the radio, small TV and boat electronics. Here's the stock layout of the boat:



For anyone interested in more details, I've purchased a Xantrex Freedom 458 charger/inverter for the house bank. It has a 110V AC output of 3kW (up to 9kW/75A surge), and can charge the battery bank at up to 140A DC. The air conditioner (penguin 13.5K BTU) uses up to 15A of 110V AC power. That's pretty much the only thing I plan to connect via AC power, though, so it is well within the range of the Xantrex inverter. The refrigerators and everything else should use 12V DC power from the house bank. I also plan to run the Honda EU1000iA generator (1kW or 8.3A of 110V AC) to the Xantrex charger/inverter when attempting to run the A/C, motor, refrigerator, etc. at the same time.

I still need to run the calcs on battery capacity, inverter load and so forth. Again, I have no real idea what I'm doing, so feel free to critique away!!
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 9:35:11 AM EDT
they didnt say anything about propane. im not sure it anyone makes a propane reg for a boat motor though. it would be interesting.
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 12:40:59 PM EDT
Electric boat you say:

This is what you need.

Link Posted: 3/24/2009 1:01:25 PM EDT
Hmmm. I wonder if I can adopt some of the attributes of that electric boat.....



Link Posted: 3/25/2009 9:02:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2009 9:04:02 PM EDT by benzo]
Dang, that sounds like some work. Question: why didn't you put the electric motors in before launching it? Not judging, just asking!

ETA: I guess it isn't a drop in affair. Planning takes time.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 4:13:57 PM EDT
Very plausible post for your future boating accident story. Well played
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 4:35:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By benzo:
Dang, that sounds like some work. Question: why didn't you put the electric motors in before launching it? Not judging, just asking!

ETA: I guess it isn't a drop in affair. Planning takes time.



In short, I wasn't convinced the boat was going to make it, and wasn't willing to bet (another) $5K+ in motor and batteries until it arrived. I had friends lined up to tow it, so there wasn't theoretically a big downside. On top of that, there was essentially no opportunity to put an electric motor on it while mounted on a trailer before putting it in the water. The whole thing is a good example of why you have multiple backup plans .

Yes, and to your other point - it's taking a great deal of planning to get the electric conversion completed. It's certainly a lot easier now that I can measure the boat, areas I want to put batteries, etc. I'm going to have to get custom cabling made (for the throttle, battery bank and power system), and the large electric motor won't even get in the US until some time in April (hopefully).
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