As we get closer to our departure date, the urgency to complete all those upgrades we had planned is heating up. Here are a few of the ones we have checked off the list.
Sea Water Pressurized Faucet – Our boat did not come equipped with a seawater pump at the galley. We removed the existing and difficult to use manual hand pump for fresh water to make room for the new faucet. We decided to go with an electric water pump instead of the more traditional foot pumps. Instead of making a new thru-hull, we tapped into the water intake for the air conditioner. We built in a Y-valve to the water tank so we can use the new faucet with seawater or freshwater (as a back-up to our main pressurized fresh water system). Having and endless supply of seawater in the galley will help reduce the demand on our precious and limited supply of fresh water.
SCUBA Air Compressor – This was a planned upgrade before we even purchased the boat and had an influence on the type of boat we purchased because we knew this required extra space.
We knew that we wanted to dive remote locations and having our own air supply was the only way to do it.
We purchased a Brownie’s YP-25 electric compressor that can fill one tank in about 25 minutes. We ran a new electrical line from the main AC breaker panel to a cockpit lazarette and installed it there.
It still leaves plenty of room for storage when the compressor is not in use.
Reversing Stove Burners – Our Force 10 stove has three burners, but the larger main burner was in the back with the two smaller ones in the front. This would not do and the Admiral demanded a change the first time a pot of soup boiled over and ran down the back of the stove onto our cabin walls. We took the stove apart and managed to turn the stove top around 180 degrees. We were able to re-use all the existing piping, but decided to replace all the burner parts to improve performance. The top was not an exact fit in the new configuration, but after drilling several new screw holes, it worked.
Lifelines – We bought the boat with the traditional plastic-coated cable lifelines which leeched rust in any areas. We learned from our previous boat that these are impossible to inspect for damage and can create a false sense of security.
We made new ones ourselves with 3/16th stainless steel 9×17 wire and hand swaged fitting. Fortunately, we were able to re-use all the pelican hooks and turnbuckles.
Whisker Pole – we purchased a Forespar 13-24 aluminum pole and installed it ourselves on the mast by adding a new track. It’s out of the way and easy to deploy when needed. We hear that these poles are great for holding the sails out, but they are also amazing for hanging hammocks and chairs over the water.
Perhaps the most important upgrade of all…Wine Glasses – Wine is a key part of life aboard for us and we hate drinking it out of plastic. Thanks to Kimberly’s Dad and Bonus Mom, we upgraded to unbreakable stainless steel “glasses” that look and feel great. Their buoyancy sucks, so we’ll have to be careful. Surprisingly, the metal does not affect the wine taste at all and we are very pleased with them.
We still have a few more projects on the list, but with only two weeks before departure, we’re getting close to being ready.