TrawlerFest, and the Electronics of Miss Ruby

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Publish date:
2007-06-20 01 Splash!
The Helm is well thought out and features Raymarine electronics.

The Helm is well thought out and features Raymarine electronics.

As Wes was drawing the plans for Miss Ruby, he and I began attending Trawler Fest in Solomons, Maryland. There we found a wealth of information, including numerous contacts for the technical side of the project. For several years Wes attended seminars on AC/DC applications, diesel engines, fuel systems, heating and air conditioning, and whatever was available. He spoke with presenters, vendors and other experts in his area of interest, and constantly read articles to glean the latest information.

The IBEX (International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference) shows in Florida and Maine were an invaluable resource. Attending the Norwalk Boat Show each September was an annual family event, both to peruse boats for ideas and to meet with vendors for information. Some of the best advice came from the technical people for a product we wanted to use.

Father and son work out the placement of Miss Ruby's gen set.

Father and son work out the placement of Miss Ruby's gen set.

All our research paid off when it came time to put the knowledge to work aboard Miss Ruby. Conduit for electrical circuits had been run throughout the boat during the project, but now the concentration was in the engine room. Wes prepared electrical drawings and used them to provide a thoroughly thought-out plan for conduit runs and for fitting the puzzle together of all that would go into this center of operations.

Two Deka 12-volt 8D AGM batteries, wired in series, were chosen for engine starting. In addition to engine systems, the 24-volt system would also power the bow thruster, anchor windlass and boom winch. The choice for house batteries was four Deka L16 6-volt floor-scrubber batteries. A Deka 12-volt Group 24 24-660 battery would service the Westerbeke 7.6kW generator. To charge the house bank, a separate 210-amp alternator was added to the main engine. Battery boxes were built and batteries installed, mains for 24-volt and 12-volt systems were wired, and a Heart Interface Freedom Marine Series COMBI inverter/charger (model 25) was used.

We decided on Raymarine electronics. Facing the captain is an E-Series networked display with GPS, chart plotter, fishfinder, Pathfinder radar scanner and video camera. In addition, the ST8002 SmartPilot Controller with digital compass can be easily reached to the right and is connected via SeaTalk to the ST60 rudder angle indicator.

The ST60 speed instrument is set up for stand-alone operation with a separate transducer. To the left are displays for the ST60 wind and ST60 depth instruments. Also to the left are an Icom VHF radio and a Clarion marine radio with AM/FM tuner, CD player and Sirius-ready satellite radio capability. Above the windscreen are tank monitors for fresh, gray, and black water.

A boat diagram shows each of the nine bilge pumps; an alarm goes off and an LED warning indicator lights up if one is running. Further to port is a chart table for ease of navigation, again reachable from the helm. The entire helm area shows the thought and precision with which Wes and our son Wes III addressed the entire boatbuilding project.

Ruby's wiring is meticulous throughout.

Ruby's wiring is meticulous throughout.

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