Monday, August 11, 2008

Launch of the Glasshopper

Maiden Voyage of the Glasshopper.


August 8th 2008 the Glasshopper is ready to launch. Next weeks the interior will be finished as well as lots of details.
Glasshopper will be christened with a big event in October.

The bow shape is quite unique containing only planar surfaces.


In January 2004 I had the initial concept idea and here it is.

The shape of the exterior is consistently planar above and beneath the waterline, meaning that all surfaces are flat instead of curved.


I like the long V-shaped bow surface a lot as it creates a long straight edge at the side of the hull and results in nice waterlines.

A lot of spectators came to watch.


Are we ready?


The draught is perfect and meets the estimated displacement which is very important to be able to pass the low bridges 'en route'.


Typical Dutch view.

Steering position.


Starting up the technical systems.


Touch screen computer controlled technical installations.

Overview of the main electrical systems.


Optimal visibility for the skipper.


Glasshopper sails for the very first time electrically propelled.

The big picture.

Just a detail.


A crystal reflecting the environment.

Satisfied and happy people after the succesful first trip.


Glasshopper at its berth. .

Lying at restaurant 'de Krom'.

Time to finish the interior.


To be ready to welcome guests from all over the world.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Movie: "Working at the Glasshopper"

Seven months of working at the Glasshopper.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Finishing Glasshopper Construction

Finally the exterior of the Glasshopper is finished.

The crystal cockpit looks very transparent .

Looking at the connection of the cockpit to the forward column.

Looking forward showing large glass area.

Looking aft in the passengers area.

The bar is nearly finished.

Flatscreens ready to pop up to present information to the passengers.

One of the large ballast pumps with a capacity of 30,000 liters per minute.

Part of the double bottom ballast tank with a cross pump.

Some other nice installations.

The entrance door in the aft ship closes watertight due to the low draught when passing bridges.

One of the electric powered podded propellers.

The aft ship propulsion arrangement with the two ballast intakes at the centre.

As it is launch day today this is the last chance to weld the anodes to prevent hull corrosion.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Glasshopper Superstructure

'Pièce de résistance' will be the glass superstructure with a crystal shaped cockpit and columns carrying glass panes. All together a very transparent superstructure offer a great view to the environment.

Stainless steel rods form the basic structure of the crystal shaped cockpit.

Rods meet in a hub.

Looking at the top of the superstructure with the centre beam.

Columns prepared to carry glass panes.

A view of the interior space with enough headroom for tall people. See also the battery storage in front.

Not less than seven heavy duty battery chargers are installed.

Together with a battery management system, they have to keep the batteries in fit condition as the batteries have to supply energy for all vital systems onboard including the propulsion and airconditioning.

Switchboard to manage electrical energy distribution.

Part of the airconditioning which leads fresh air to the ceiling.

Sliding door installation in aft ship

Some of the wiring for the podded electric motors.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Glasshopper Installations

As the Glasshopper offers several unique features, the technical installations are very important.
In order to lift the whole boat 80 cm. a ballast system is installed. This requires a custom solution based on large pumps, sliding gate valves and an automated water level measurement- and computer control system.
Aft ship with large ballast water inlet, a pod mounting flange on top and an intercooler for the airconditioners.
Water inlet valve.
Future ballast pumps position with flexible mounting.
Ballast water flow control with sliding gate valves for dynamic leveling.
De-aerating the ballast tanks with large, sound insulated, ducts.
The electrical propulsion system contains more than 10,000 kg battery weight, 2 podded propellers, a bowthruster, spud poles for berthing, electrical converters, battery chargers, a battery management system, a biodiesel genset.............
Foreship with knuckle and bowthruster inlet.
Bow thruster propeller.
Bow thruster installation inside.
Telescopic bow spud pole to berth the boat at shallow waters.
Some of the traction batteries which will be monitored individually when they're in use.
Electrician Andre needs his concentration.
In order to know which cable he has to connect.
The generator set barely fits in place.
Stainless steel biodiesel fuel tank.
Very nice detail of remote controlled valve.
Working at the aft spud pole.
In detail.
What's next?
Let's take a look at the climate control system with windows sliding down for fresh air and close contact with the environment. Furthermore an airconditioning will be installed. The white flexible ducts are part of the conditioned air distribution.
Narrow slots for the future windows.
Telescopic hydraulic cilinder to provide window movement.
To manage everything flexible, the electrical system is based on a CAN-bus system and a lot of computer control.
Much cosmetic work has to be done also.