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AYRS meeting at the Basingstoke Canal Centre - 21 & 22 September 2019

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:38 pm
by John Perry
All are invited to this weekend event in Surrey and If you cannot attend the whole weekend you are welcome to drop in for any part of the event.

The Basingstoke canal is a very pretty stretch of water but it is not really suitable for sailing since there are low bridges and overhanging trees. Many AYRS members do have small craft that could be used on the canal - e.g. canoes and rowboats and those who own yachts probably also have yacht tenders. Also, those who do not wish to go afloat could explore the canal via the towpath.

In addition to some easy boating, this weekend gathering is intended to provide an opportunity for members to chat about their projects and exchange ideas. We have booked a meeting room at the canal centre on the Saturday so that members can give presentations on sailing and yacht research topics, let John Perry know if you can offer a presentation.

The Basingstoke Canal Centre (BCC) has a campsite but there are also plenty of hotels and guest houses in the area. The address is Basingstoke Canal Authority, Mytchett Place Road, Mytchett, Surrey GU16 6DD Email Phone 01252 370073.

We propose to share the cost of the meeting room among those using it, this is not expected to be more than £5 per head. We would ask members who bring boats to pay individually for a canal licence, this can be done on-line or on the day at the BCC office - it's £3 per day for all unpowered boats unless you are a member of British Canoeing in which case it is free. Those who wish to camp at the canal centre should book individually by phone with the BCC office. We understand that early booking of the campsite is recommended since it is in demand.

An outline program, given reasonable weather:

Saturday 21st September
• Arrive and campers put up tents and settle in. Boats launched and canal fees paid.
• 12:30 Lunch in BCC cafe.
• From 13:30 convoy along the canal and back (with a tea time canal side picnic stop if weather suits)
• 16:30 Meeting in BCC meeting room to discuss members projects (as Thorpe meetings)- room hire from 16:00 to 19:00.
• 19:30 table booked in local pub or restaurant.

Sunday 22nd September
• 09:30 - Breakfast in BCC cafe
• 10:30 - Hull drag measurements for those who are interested in trying that, or as an alternative activity a second convoy along the canal in the opposite direction to Saturday. Regarding hull drag measurements, we expect to have available a means to measure tension in a tow line and we are considering ways to do the towing. Suggestions welcome and offers to provide equipment also welcome!
• 13:30 Lunch in BCC cafe
• Pack up and go home (or continue with hull drag measurements, depending on how that is working out).

If you need further information contact John Perry - you could use the private messaging system on this forum or contact details in Catalyst.

The picture below was taken on the Basingstoke canal at Winchcombe which is a few miles from the BCC but I think it gives a good idea of what this waterway is like and how attractive it is for canoeing/rowing, also for walks along the towpath. I made the green boat in the picture a couple of years ago, it is a rowing boat that can be used by one person rowing or with a second person acting as cox. There are retractable outriggers for the rowlocks, these are retracted in the picture. We will probably bring this boat to the BCC and if no one else offers a subject craft for towing tests we could use this one, although it might be interesting to have a few boats for comparison. I would say that some of us attempted to carry out towing tests on a previous occasion and we did not find it as easy as we expected, for one thing it was difficult to keep a steady towline tension. Advice welcome from anyone else who has tried this before!

Re: AYRS meeting at the Basingstoke Canal Centre - 21 & 22 September 2019

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:52 am
by John Perry
This event is now two weeks away. Not all our members read the posts on this forum so I have sent an announcement to all members within approximately 80 miles of the venue in Surrey UK, using email for those members who have provided the AYRS with an email address and post for those who have not.

This event, in common with all AYRS events, is open to all who have an interest in yacht research, so do feel free to mention it to friends who might like to attend.

I contacted the Basingstoke Canal Centre (BCC) on Friday and they confirmed that they expect to have camping space available over the weekend of this event but I would still sugest that if you want to camp during this event it would be a good idea to contact the BCC as soon as you can - the phone number is 01252 370073.

With regard to the towing test proposed for Sunday, I am about to wire up a load cell and computer so that we have a means to data log towline tension. I am expecting that we will have a powered boat available as a low speed towing boat but I am wondering about options for towing from the canal bank as an alternative. Thoughts/suggestions welcome!

Re: AYRS meeting at the Basingstoke Canal Centre - 21 & 22 September 2019

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:56 am
by John Perry
With the proposed towing tests now less than 2 weeks away I spent yesterday rigging up a load cell with an arduino microcontroller. It will need to be connected to a laptop to use it, I don't think I have time to include data display and storage at this stage. The need to take a laptop afloat could make things a bit difficult if its a wet day - maybe a large plastic bag. All part of the problems of outdoor AYRS style experiments. The arrangement I have put together will work with speed determined by pressing a button on passing two points a known distance appart on the canal bank, say 100m. Can anyone bring a long measuring tape I wonder? I may add a gps module to provide an alternative way to record speed but I have a feeling that timing between two points may actually be better than gps at the low speeds that we will probably be working with. I happen to have a precision laboratory balance available and I am pleased that the load cell does give stable readings that agree with the laboratory ballance within a gram or two. The maximum load for the load cell is 10kgf, although I have an alternative one for up to 2kgf. It might be an idea to include a week link in the tow line to avoid damaging the load cell if there is an overload. At these low speeds and towing forces the towline can I be quite light, maybe just a length of sailmaker's thread.

I am not an electronics engineer so I was pleased to get this far, but its all relatively straightforward these days, a typical school science project I think, maybe even a junior school science project!

Re: AYRS meeting at the Basingstoke Canal Centre - 21 & 22 September 2019

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:14 am
by John Perry
Well, a handfull of people have expressed interest in coming to our meeting at the Basingstoke Canal Centre this weekend. (Note that it's not at Basingstoke - it's near Farnbourough in west Surrey). So, with the weather looking fair it promises to be a good opportunity to chat about our projects and do some really easy boating - We can promise no tides, no rapids, no choppy seas and no seasickness.

If you would like to talk about a project, or maybe a sailing holiday, in the meeting room that we have booked for 16:00 Saturday you would be very welcome - we hope to have a screen available for digital pictures.

With a view to the towing trials that we might fit in on Sunday I have been playing with electronics this week. Pictures show the gadget I have made for measuring the drag and speed of a towed boat. I am not an electronics engineer, if you are one you can probably tell me how to make it a bit better!

The first picture shows that it is mounted on a piece of plywood. The idea is that this would be attached to a towed boat with clamps, lashings, or maybe just held manually. The towline to a tug would be attached to the purple string that is just showing at the top of the picture.

The second picture shows the inside of the box. I never meant it to be as complicated as it has become - at first it was just going to be a force measuring device that would send readings of the towline tension to an attached laptop computer. Then 'mission creep' crept in, bits were added so that it can operate independently of a computer storing the data on an SD card, then timing was added so that towing speed could be determined by pressing a button on passing two objects a known distance apart. Finally a gps receiver was included to give an alternative speed measurment method. There really isnt space in that small box to add much more !

Details for the weekend are in my first post on this topic.