A while back I promised a list of the changes we made this past year. It is a difficult list to make since there were so many and some more significant than others. We started making these changes when we hit the dock in February 2011, so we’re tentatively calling this the 2011-12 refit. However, since it’s still 2012 and we’re still at the dock I can’t say for sure that the list is complete.
Aircon Strainers – Replaced the cheap plastic strainers on the air conditioners’ raw water pumps with big bronze Grocos. The strainer baskets are larger, and they open from the top, so we can change them without getting nasty water everywhere.
Ambient Cockpit Lights – We spend a lot of time in our cockpit at night, but were never happy with our lighting. We have flood lights, which are great if you lose a contact, but aren’t very pleasant to eat under. We installed some Imtra warm white LED rope lighting under the bimini and are very happy with it.
Anchor – We upgraded our 44# Delta to an 80# Manson Supreme.
Autopilot Brain – Replaced our AP core pack with a new one we carried as a spare. The old one is now the spare, but only for temporary use. An AP failure would likely start a big electronics upgrade.
Autopilot Gyro – Added a rate gyro to the autopilot. It should improve Otto’s ability to steer to the wind and keep a course in big waves.
Autopilot Power Supply – Wired the autopilot to an unswitched power supply to limit voltage drop. Utilized separate contacts to turn Otto on and off. The next autopilot will be 24V.
Auxiliary Refrigerator – For the longest time we had a cooler as a bench seat at the salon table. We used it mainly for produce and swapped water bottles between it and the freezer. We replaced that cooler with an EdgeStar refrigerator/freezer chest. The galley refrigerator and freezer work much more efficiently now that they aren’t constantly having beer and water bottles swapped in and out, and the new unit can back up either of the galley units if they should fail. We haven’t bothered to compare power usage yet.
Bridgedeck Fountain Covers – Made covers for some of the bridgedeck drains to subdue the geysers of water we get through them in following seas. Our generator and inverters in particular do not like salt water.
Cabintop Steps – We put a pair of small steps on either side of the cabintop to make getting up and down from the “roof” easier.
Catwalk – We broke the original one and had to replace it.
Central DC Panel – Replaced the central breaker panel and cleaned up the wiring behind it. We’ll eventually do the same in the port and starboard hulls.
Cockpit Coaming Rehab – The raw teak cockpit coamings needed some TLC. We filled the cracks that were developing and then finished the wood with polyurethane to match the table.
Cockpit Cushions – Our cockpit cushions are simple closed cell foam with Phifertex mesh covers. We made two new cushions and replaced the covers. We’re planning to snap them down with adhesive SNAD sockets.
Cockpit Drawer – There is a large storage area under the helm seat, but it was only accessible by tilting back the entire seat pedestal. This was awkward, especially when somebody was trying to drive. Instead we cut a hole in the side and put in a big drawer. That makes access easier and removes a major design constraint for a new helm seat design.
Cockpit Locker Lids – We lost a couple to rot and decided to replace them all. The strip they hinged into was also rotting. Replacing the backing strip led to repainting the whole cockpit.
Cockpit Shade Panels –We had some simple Phifertex panels made that unroll from the bimini frame and attach to screw eyes around the perimeter of the cockpit. These give welcome shelter from the sun and the wind, but are pretty useless against rain. We’re still trying to figure out a dodger.
Cockpit Table – The original cockpit table was ugly and seemed to always be in the way. We could take it inside, but had to disassemble it to do so. The new table has a gorgeous solid teak top, and leaves that fold up. It can pass through the salon door without disassembly. The table is much bigger, but we generally only fold the leaves out at mealtimes, so the cockpit feels more spacious.
Companionway Steps – The steps from the salon down into the hulls used to be covered with nasty old carpet and were really hard to keep clean. Now they’re teak and look much better.
Crib – Needed a place for Rachel to sleep. The crib was designed to transform into a toddler bed, a big girl bed, and finally back into general seating as she grows.
Curtains – With four original bedrooms and bathrooms, and other assorted storage areas, we had a total of 10 hinged doors. They were constantly blocking access to something if latched, or banging if unlatched. We removed them and put up curtains instead.
DC Fuse Blocks – Added proper fuse blocks for all the unswitched loads connected directly to the DC busses.
Deck Awnings – We’re continuing to look for a solution to keep the deck and cabin shaded during the summer heat, but doesn’t require us to gather in large areas of canvas during the summer rain squalls. We’re currently playing with tensioned shade sails, but have not yet had the opportunity to observe them in more than
20 30 knots of wind.
Deck Fill Hatches – The hatches covering our deck fuel and water fill ports have never been very secure. One was original but didn’t fit quite right and allowed salt water to get into the fuel and water tanks. Someone went to a lot of trouble to replace the other one with a “waterproof” plastic lid, but the lid was cracked, it leaked, and the ring it sat on was rotting. We went back to the builder’s original solution, but the new lids are lockable to dissuade someone from adding or removing anything from our tanks.
Dinghy Lift Hardware – We had a piece fabricated for our dinghy lift system, the design of which was modeled from a cut-up beer box.
Dri-Dek – We love this stuff. We put down Dri-Dek matting in the cockpit and several of our storage areas. We’re planning to put it in the bottom of the RIB too.
Engine Covers – Our engines are in the hulls under the salon step landings. To lift the old engine covers, we had to move away the fore and aft steps. The cover lifted free, and then we had to find somewhere to put it. Now the covers are hinged and can be opened much easier.
Fourth Cabin – Through a number of cleaning, organization, and cosmetic projects, we have successfully activated our fourth cabin. We haven’t yet freed all that room’s shelving and closet space, but at least we have a bed for (moderately athletic) guests and crew.
Galley Breaker Panel – Added a new breaker panel to control the port and starboard water pumps, the salt water pump, the propane alarm, and the propane solenoid.
Galley Countertops – We changed from a Formica countertop to a teak veneer. It was mostly a cosmetic change, but the old countertop had been cut up when we changed the stove.
Galley Faucet – We changed the galley faucet from a household model to a marine model that should help us conserve water.
Gooseneck – This is the joint where the boom meets the mast. Above that is the tack assembly, often with horns to hook the sail on when reefed. Our gooseneck was experiencing some unhealthy wear against the mast bracket, the reefing horns were bent, and the tack assembly was threatening to break off. Some HDPE washers seem to have fixed the wear issue, and a new tack assembly and 5/8" bolt have corrected the rest. We need to come up with a new method for reefing to keep it from happening again.
Head Renovations – The starboard forward, port forward, and port aft heads all received paint and teak grated floors. Starboard forward and port aft also received freshwater electric toilets. Sumps are emptied by remote diaphragm pumps through Jabsco bilge strainers. The starboard forward and port aft holding tanks now both have diaphragm discharge pumps with dedicated pickups.
Headliner – The original ceilings were 1/8” door skin panels. They were ugly to begin with and had not fared well over the years. They were held up by plastic trim and we couldn’t figure out how to get the panels down to access wiring etc. without destroying them. The new panels are 1/4" ply with a birch veneer. They’re a little heavier, but can hold a screw, so are easier to put up and take down.
Instruments Changes – Chart plotter, AIS, NMEA Multiplexer, DSC, Satellite weather, etc.
Jib Cars – The old cars were a tri-roller type. They didn’t fit our track correctly, which caused some deck damage, which caused some rot. They also were chafing our rather expensive jib sheets. We replaced the cars with some very beefy new ones that Garhauer made to fit our track.
Jib Furling Line – The jib furling line is not something you want to have break since the sail will promptly unroll, probably at the worst possible time. Ours was looking suspicious so we replaced it.
Lazarette Shelving – The storage areas in the aft end of either hull now have shelves where we can store some of the plastic bins that are constantly threatening to overrun us.
Motor Mount – We carry a spare dinghy outboard, but have never had a good place to put it. So we built a mount for it on the back of the boat.
Nav Station – The nav station was completely redesigned to be more like an office desk and less like a chart table. The only storage in the old one was under the hinged top. The new one has four drawers, two of which can fit hanging files, and some shelves which fit the SSB perfectly.
Paint, paint, paint – We painted the topsides, the deck, the cabintop, and the cockpit; basically the whole outside of the boat above the waterline. The red underbelly still needs to be done, as well as the bottom, but we’ll have to haul out for those.
Pantry Shelving – We added additional shelving to Tanya’s pantry to increase space and organization.
Port Forward Lazarette Hatch – The big 24”x24” hatch on or port bow had a cracked and leaky lens since we’ve owned the boat. We couldn’t find a direct Gebo replacement to match the others, but the Lewmar Ocean hatches have the same cutout sizes. I think Gebo makes a better quality hatch.
Port Fuel Fill Hose – The hose between the deck fill and the top of the tank was too short and left a gap at the top of the hose. You had to be careful to fully insert the pump nozzle all the way down into the top of the hose or the fuel would be pumped down the outside of the hose and into the boat. This has happened. Replaced with a longer hose.
Propane Locker – We keep our propane in a vented bridgedeck locker, but expected to get dinged on our next survey. We built a proper vapor tight propane locker that should pass muster with a surveyor.
Propane Solenoid – We were warned that a propane alarm with integrated solenoid control was a bad idea, but we had to learn it for ourselves. Now they are separate and we can continue using the propane if the alarm goes off for silly reasons.
Salon Table – The old table was aesthetically out of place and had to go. The new table top matches the nav desk and galley countertops and has drawers and a cabinet in the base.
Salon Upholstery – We replaced all the cushions in the salon. The seats are waterproof vinyl with removable Sunbrella covers. The backs were changed from moveable cushions to a fixed bolster.
Single Side Band – We installed an SSB transceiver. Don’t really know how to use it yet.
Sound Insulation – Installed SPM soundproofing tiles in the engine and generator rooms.
Spare Dinghy – We got rid of the Porta-Bote and bought a 10’ Avon inflatable. The inflatable should be easier to store and easier to deploy.
Stereo Remote – Added a remote control at the helm for our Fusion stereo.
Tramp Attachment – Changed our trampoline attachments from eye straps to track and slides.
Vacuum Cleaner – We supplemented our big wet/dry vac with a small and light Oreck canister vacuum that was more suitable for carrying around the boat, especially by the kids.
Washer/Dryer – We installed a Splendide combo washer and dryer (vented). It’s a good washer, and it was a decent dryer for about a month, but it quickly clogged with lint and we can’t figure out how to clean it.
Water Heater – We changed our Isotemp water heater for a Raritan, eliminated the check valve in the cold water supply, and trapped the thermostatic mixer. We have better temperature control, but I think we’re losing a lot of heat to convection.
Water Meter – Installed a water meter with a remote LCD display in the galley to track our fresh water use.
Watermaker Overhaul – Replaced the feed pumps, membrane, hydraulic hoses, and fittings.
Watermaker Strainer – Replaced the cheap plastic strainer near the watermaker with a big bronze Groco near the thru-hull.
Workbench – Installed a dedicated workbench and tool area in our starboard hull.
Zinc Nuts on Prop Shafts – During our last haulout the yard forgot, or decided not to replace our shaft zincs. I don’t know if they’re strictly necessary from a galvanic protection standpoint, but I like having them in case our shafts try to slip out. We had a diver put them back.