Mhaighdean Mhara Dry Docks


Original Concept Art

This is the original design generally to scale. There were about fifteen different sketches prior to this one (none of which I will embarrass myself by posting). This one I landed on late one night actually by mistake but it really struck me so I shopped it around to several of the Crew for feedback. Everyone liked it, I liked it, Jen (the wife) liked it so it became our visual.

Of course, as we all know (having watched Rachel build Vardo Two phase by phase) when building a Pennsic Home the final product will never be exactly like the original plans and designs.

One thing I liked was the addition of the gun ports. Most will be just facades but a few per side will actually open to make windows for ventilation. Obviously all of them will not open, we would loose too much wall room for the cabinets and built-ins. If I can pull it off, you shouldn't be able to tell the difference between the false and real gun ports. She should look like a 24 to 30 gun galleon when finished out on two gun decks. (12 to 15 per side)

The aft castle will be raised and my two nice deck chairs will finally get some use instead of being stuck in the back of the pavilion. You can see the two positions of the chairs on the top view. The stairs (one set port and one set starboard) will likely be a three step riser, which will make the aft castle deck 19.5 inches higher than the main deck.

Latest Concept Art

So here is a quick first shot at the revised Mhara taking into account the shortening of the height from an eight foot main deck to seven and a half, plus lengthening the ship from 16 feet to 21 feet. I will be reworking it from here several times (as I did to land on the original above) as this one feels too boxy, square, and harsh. I need better lines and curves like the version above.

Stay tuned for further pictures.....


IDEA: The Hull

I studied both the Twilight Mistress and the Dexter's hull materials and look. I really liked the sleek planked look of the Dexter and also the ability to stain it a color of my choosing and coat it in urethane. What I wanted to try and do was eliminate the slight buckling around the curves and give it some more sealing ability inherent in the materials while retaining as much of the great look as the Dexter's custom cut luan gave. I currently have some great tongue and groove pine wall planking. It is thin enough to bend into a curve, about the right height, comes unfinished, can seal the groove with wood glue for strength and prevent water seepage, and is pretty cheap. I have test bent it and it appears to be able to take the curves. I'll know when I actually try to assemble the bow if this is the material to meet all my design specifications.

IDEA: The Roof

I need to watch the weight always, and the lightest, yet most water tight roofing seems to be the 'rubber roofs.' Here we have two varieties: 1) a butyl sheeting, much like a pond liner that is "glued" with a sticky sealing adhesive or 2) an advanced product that you trowel on and smooth with a medium nap roller. It adheres to near vertical as well as horizontal just as evenly and after curing will provide a seamless, water tight 20 mil rubber barrier. It goes over nearly any material, especially treated plywood which means I can go with a lighter roofing material that serves as both the exterior roof and the interior ceiling. I plan to try a nice bead board for decorative effect inside. It is nice in that seams, vent fixtures, etc in the roof are simply sealed with a butyl tape first then the rubber coating goes right over it and makes the seamless barrier right around the fixture.

This is the product I am favoring, it is available from a number of outlets:

IDEA: The Electrical Stuff

Okay, first off - no that is not my wiring diagram yet, just one I stole. I'll get mine up once I figure out what the heck it all means and what features I need. I figure it will look a lot like this in any event since this is from an actual weekend boat's system.

So here is the deal. I will run a 12 volt DC system powered by a pair of Trojan T-145 6 Volt Gel batteries in series. At an amp hour rating of 260 I should have plenty of power. I Currently use two 12 volt deep cycle marine batteries in my Panther pavilion rated at 115 amp hours each running a large 20 inch DC fan and charge ipods, cell phones, laptops and also runs the fan on the Aerobed. And after two weeks I usually have some charge left in battery 2. I usually discharge to about 80% which means I probably consumer around 150 to 175 amp hours over two weeks. The T-145s give me a lot more over that plus the 6 volt batteries provide a more efficient discharge. I may see if it is possible to continue using the 12 volts (why not, they are still holding great charges) by hooking up a battery bank in parallel - the two 12 volts and the series 6 volts - which if compatable would provide me with nearly 500 amp hours of power. More than enough to run the lighting and fans and sundry items without the need to install solar panels (though that would remain an option if needed later)

So, I figure the system will feature:

  • Cigarette-lighter style plugs in the front, one to the aft of the ship for my DC appliances. Possibly a third in the centre for convenience.
  • The four wall lamps will be wired with DC bulbs for ultra efficiency, and be placed on a switched circuit with a dimmer. The switch will be near the door, how nice to come home at night and just flip on a switch and light!
  • Inverter with two outlets, modified sine output with digital readouts, inline fuse, and low voltage cutoff at 10.4 volts with audiable alarm.
  • Possibly one additional 12 volt DC light to provide white light. The four wall lamps have red tinted glass and while great for ambiance wouldn't do much good if you need bright light for reading or digging in drawers.

Contact the Captain!