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Sep 12, 2009
Hi all
I just discovered this site a couple of weeks ago and have been perusing it ever since.* Currently I'm boatless although I do work on a large salvage tug. We are 2/3 of the way through a wreck removal job in Gibraltar. My last boat was an Albin 25 Deluxe.
I loved the double cabin concept although the headroom and overall size was just a little to small for me (6'4, 270lbs). So my next project will be a Navy Personnel boat conversion (Admirals gig). Hopefully it will come together in the next 6 months-the aquisition part at least.
My current home/homeport is St Augustine Fl. Wok* Tug Homeport is New York Harbor.

Jack Curley
Weclome aboard!

Few folks here do conversions , most simply shop really hard and get what they find.

We did a conversion on a USN Utility 50 with a Uniflite hull.

6-71 with cheap parts and reasonable fuel burn.Under 3gph at 8K

Ran the "loop" and the huge rub rail was a delight in about 100 locks.

Fred* I have seen your boat on the site. I'm curious if yours has the* Flanking rudder like the other utility and personel boats. My boat of choice is the Willard 40' version of the p boat with the single 6-71 (as opposed to the cummins twins on the newer ones.)
I have been on 50' utilities and know them to be heavy duty machines. I like your conversion
Jack Curley

Welcome to the group. I see your point on the Albin (6' 4). You'll miss that boat for a long time* ..* Wounderful boat** ..* had a 70 for 5 or 6 yrs. Mine was an older rocker bottom hull w a 34 hp HM Yanmar. Cruise at 8.5 to 9 knots. Every time I have to work on my Willard (W30) i wish I had my Albin back. I'm 5' 10" and the Albin was too small for me too. No problem on the Willy though. I know people that often (almost usually) have personel boats in the Seattle area. FF is building a boat to be shiped in a container (I think) and he hooked me up w Atkin Boat Plans .com. I doubt you have a builder situation but the Atkin site is fun to browse anyway. I used to google over Willian and John Atkin boat plans in the library in Seattle when I was 12. The forum is a bit dead now but that gives you a chance to browse the arkives w all the old discussions we've had in the past.

Eric Henning
Thanx Eric- I did a delivery of an Albin 25 in the earll 1980's across florida. It was the most fun I have ever had boating. I sold my Albin in 2004. It had a 28hp Volvo with a custom fiberglass
hard top installed by the previous owner. As soon as I sold it , I regretted it.
Building from scratch would be nice but not in the cards for now anyways. In the earl 90's I built several Phil Bolger boats,starting with the Diablo. At the time, I was living on the north shore of Massachusetts and took the boat by Montgomerys' Boatyard (where P Bolger' office was).
Long story short ,Phil and Susan came for a ride and I think he had more fun than I did.
At a later date I sent him pictures of a 30' Tennessee (his design) that I was building. He had never seen/been aboard a Diablo (other than pictures). He had designed it about 10-12 years earlier.
Hey Fast Fred
I assume your utb 50 has a 24 volt system. I'm curious how you have altered it. I
would like to here your thoughts on batt banks,Inverters and I think I read one of your posts about a solar panel keeping things topped up. My intended use would parallel yours,Coastal cruising and nights at anchor. The personnel boats have your set up (as is from Gov't). Also how have you stepped your 24-12 ?
Jack Curley
Sorry but mine is old enough that its all 12v , so everything is OTS.

The usual methods of 12/24 is simply two alternators, and the systems kept apart

On many coaches a Vanner unit takes the engine 24v and charges the 12v house and operating units , by switching between batteries.
Amazing unit , about 60A of output so it does fine with all but really heavy charging of the house.

Yes, we still have the flanking rudder ,,
BUT the usual USN 50 has a 1.5-1 reduction , and with the flank rudder can easily back in a straight line .The reason for its use on a crew boat. The inside flanking rudder arm was easier to get to , so the Auto Pilot rudder position* pick up is there

As a Maine work boat ours was fitted with a 3-1 gear , and now swings a 32x32 prop instead of the 27x17 (or so) of the stock boat.

The stern walks to say the least in reverse , although with speed , say over 5K in reverse she will steer very controllably , but not in a marina at those speeds!!

How is your 12/24 currently done?

Two solar panels can* be wired for 24V , and many charge controllers will work.

Look in Home Power Mag , on line free , for more info if needed.

The key to your setup will be the size of the house bank, and the speed you wish to charge it.

IF its really big only a dedicated alt of about 1/4 the size of the house bank will keep the charge times low.

We use an RV* propane reefer outside on the aft deck, so our 12v house loads are really minor , XM radio, cabin light , anchor light , cabin fan,propane solenoid .Nothing that really is a BIG user.

Go for 12v refrigeration and you will require 200A of batt for each day of anchoring, UGH!

A 120V house cheapo with inverter is even worse!


-- Edited by FF on Tuesday 22nd of September 2009 04:54:49 AM
Hey Fred,

Got a picture of the "flanking rudder"?

Eric Henning
I assume the Navy personnel boats use a dc-dc converter to step down the 24v system. As the navy boats only need small amounts of 12v, maybe just lights, and radois. Your suggestion of the separate 12v bank and related charging system is probably the way to go.
I like the idea of the propane fridge ( with all appropriate safety measures taken). 12 volt needs would be modest including led cabin lights. The solar panels could keep things topped off.
Groban Supply has an add that runs continuosly in the "yellow sheets" (boats and harbors) for used 24volt 300 amp generators- no core charge. Master mechanic has an add for 24v 65 amp alternators for $219, 12v 145 amp alt for $219 (reman). They also sell 24v fan motors for $15, that are suitable to run on 12v (at a lesser speed) to keep the cabin air "moving"- at those prices you can sprinkle the cabins with them.

The flanking Nozzle (I used the term flanking rudder in my prior post) is for backing straight on military small boats. It is connected with the steering rudder by a tie bar (drag link).
Fred had an excellent idea of connecting the autopilot at the fl nozzle.
A true flanking rudder is used to "flank" tows around bends. These stop tow side slip as used by Mississippi river towboats. They are independently controlled from steering rudders. If you see a picture of a towboat wheelhouse, you see the shorter levers above the steering levers-these are
the flanking rudder controls. My knowledge of river toboats is VERY limited, but I have talked with several pilots.
On another note we just rebuilt our 8-71 generator engines prior to this Gibraltar trip. This was a "preventive " rebuild- 40,000 hours on one and 38000+ on the other. Both engines were running well at time of rebuild. We also have 2 other 8-71s' aboard- 1 powers a bow thruster and the other powers the tow winch engine.

The local big (18 wheel) truck parts store will have alts on sale a number of times a year.

A brand new "Prestolite" is probably a Leece Neville mfg unit , brand new and cheap.

With external V reg (the only one to have) you will get 140A in 12 or 24 v depending* .Under $150 on sale.

Usually you can specify the belt size , dual belts* to match the DD is the way to go.

The addition of a 3 stage regulator allows the most rapid recharge of most batt systems .

The Vannier at 60 Amps is aviliable used from bus recycle places.

Our propane solution was to mount the tanks and fridge (in its own weatherproof box) on the aft deck , which is self draining. The solenoid is only for the stove , and a mechanical 2 hour timer is in series with the off on as a second safty.Cheap insurance.

We also ran the propane supply inside of a used hydraulic line .
These are really heavy duty (and cheap) to protect the propane hose.


-- Edited by FF on Wednesday 23rd of September 2009 04:34:51 AM
My previous boat was an Albin 27 sport cruiser that I yachted up. I turned it into a poor man's picnic boat. Sold it for the most ever received for an Albin 27. Great boat but a wet ride without enough "Carolina Flair" what can I say I am a Carolina, state of that is, NCSU boy. She had a Lehman 90 in her.

-- Edited by Daddyo on Thursday 24th of September 2009 07:22:50 AM


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I liked the 27s' but never got to ride in one. Just because someone spends a million on a picnic boat(read-Hinkley), doesn't mean that they have more fun!

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