Construction update | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Construction update

We just had another visit to the Northshore yard in Itchenor. "Distant Shores" (the new boat) is coming along great. Right now the final electrical and mechanical systems are going in and we met with David Payne of Mastervolt to inspect the electrical systems. As a cruising boat this couldn't be further from Two-Step. "Distant Shores" has a completely modern and advanced electrical system including a Generator, charger/inverter, isolation transformer, and triple the battery capacity of Two-Step. For more info on the electrical system see my blog entry on that.

The Northshore team are doing a really great job on the boat! Having built our first boat I have an appreciation of the thought and work that goes into building a boat. Ian, the engineer doing the installs of electrical and electronic gear is just excellent. I am afraid to say I would have been wasting time trying to figure out how to do something that Ian can do much more effectively. They have done almost of this stuff before and even if we have some new combination of gear to be fit in, Northshore's background of having built over 700 boats means some people there have experience with the right way to do things. No corners are being cut.

As an example - we are having Mastervolt AGM batteries fitted for both the main ships bank and also the generator and engine starting battery. CE and ABYC standards state that batteries should be in vented lockers. But this regulation was obviously intended for standard flooded batteries - not AGM or Gel cells which are sealed and do not vent gas while charging. I myself might have been tempted to install the AGM batteries and not bother with the vents - but not Northshore. They have done the best job I have ever seen on a vented battery box - running high quality breather tube to a beautiful stainless vent in the transom.

The whole boat is being built to that standard. Take a look at the back of the main electrical panel. Beautifully installed and so tidy it will be a joy to maintain this. Mark - who designs the electrical systems at Northshore has worked there for 27 years. The work he is doing is excellent and the systems shows the knowledge they have amassed over the years. In fact many people have been working there for more than 2 decades.

Next big milestone will be to put the deck on. So far the deck has been separate, and equipment is being installed on it as well. It will stay off until the last minute. It makes it much easier to do installations of large or heavy equipment since the overhead crane can be used. We shot this last visit when Ian was fitting the generator.

But now the launch is getting closer and much of the work in the hull is complete. So the deck install is imminent! Stay tuned!

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