It’s finally coming together. All the hull pieces are assembled and we’ve started running wires to the various components inside. Once that is done we’ll take her to the lake; not to run but to simply see where she needs weight to trim her and make her just slightly positive buoyant. Then comes the programming. Fortunately Drew Morgan and Patrick Forringer have agreed to help out. Drew is an engineer with an excellent grasp of electronics and Patrick is web programmer and quad-copter racing enthusiast. The starting point for the code can be found with other details on the ROV Controls page.
Bart has a long career driving Army tanks and commercial trucks hauling oversize loads. And he was the perfect crew member to go with me to look at some heavy hauling equipment. We just wanted to see if it would work for hauling the boat, but now we think we might just build some wheels onto the keels. Temporary of course. –Doug
We might also haul from the aft end. The hitch structure would need to be a little more elaborate but it provides the advantage of hauling the rudder shoe close to the truck making it easier to cross railroad tracks and other bumps in the road.
Back to the ROV, and the first job was to remake one of hull sections. I expect that we will be modifying parts on this ROV for a long while but I have growing confidence that it will be a real game changer in that we’ll be able to reach 3000 ft with forward and side viewing sonars for less than $5000. There is lots of work to be done but there are lots of discoveries to be made. Let’s get busy.
I question myself when I want to add something that I have never seen on a boat. But this one just makes a lot of sense to me, and lugging the 80 pound welder, and plasma cutter, grinders, and steel up and down the companionways has convinced me this is a really good idea. Putting a lift into the companionways actually started because we wanted to be accessible. While Seeker is not going to be wheel chair accessible there is still much we can do to make it more accessible and ladders are high on the no-go list for folks missing a leg or two. So boat tradition be damned, we’re putting in lifts. Yes, we could use the deck crane but think about all the things that have to be done before you can swing a load through a cargo hatch using hydraulics and a crane that needs to be secured. The lift will make the trip in about 30 seconds. So BRAVO to Russ, Eli, and Clyde that worked out the details and made the parts that got my idea from paper to steel. There is more work to be done and refinements to be made but the first parts are in place and working.
Sometimes you need to slow down and relax, and when you don’t you lose $100 parts to the drill, the welder breaks down, the plasma torch dies, your laptop dies, and you catch a cold. Maybe these are good things. Maybe it’s the Universe making us slow down. And you know what? It’s right. Tools and the other things in our lives can be replaced. This moment we live in can not. It’s been a long time since I had a day to do something with my mind other than office work or boat work. Go see “Hidden Figures” …great movie. And many thanks to Bart, Clyde, Eli, and Russ. You’ll see them in the next video too where they are working on the companionway elevator.
And you can find Tom’s “Portable Steel Rocket Stove” Here
A lot got done this past week. “DC” and I finished out his week by figuring out a design for working the anchors on and off the boat, including a bow roller, chain stopper, and a possible redesign on the winch that will make it easy to switch out a capstan for a spool of steel cable. Then Clyde and Joel came in and we mostly completed the framing for the forward cabin sole. And along with Bart and Paul Hatch we have the hydraulic cylinder mount for the rudder installed. I’ve got one more week of vacation and beautiful weather ahead before we shutdown the boat building a switch to back to working on the ROV. If we’re going to have an awesome work boat, we’re going to need some awesome tools to do the work.
How about sailing a Chinese Junk to the South Pacific and investigating the naval battlefields of World War II? It sounds to me like the perfect job for Seeker. And our friend and crew member Nick is doing all the leg work. Check out his YouTube channels: Renegade Show and Sailing Through History and here more about our plans in this video.