We've changed the basic systems that Felicity came
with significantly and added several pieces of cruising equipment. This page provides information on how she is currently configured
and provides a 10,000-mile report card on the following topics:
Cockpit shower |
Washdown pump |
Water system |
The boat came with a 35 lb CQR anchor with 250' of 5/16"
high-test all-chain rode controlled by a
Lofrans 1000-watt Cayman
electric windlass. A 220' length of 1/2" 3-strand secondary anchor rode
was also on board. We replaced the 5/16" chain as the existing chain had
a few rusty links. We built a chain snubber with two lengths of 1/2"
3-strand nylon, an ABI chain
grabber (part #1044SS) and 1/2" bow eyes. We added 50' of
5/16" high-test chain plus 350' of 5/16" New England Megabraid as our
secondary anchor rode and use the previous secondary rode for our stern
anchor. We upsized our primary anchor to a 45 lb CQR and still carry the
35 lb CQR as our secondary anchor. We added a 22 lb high-strength
Danforth on rail mounts for our stern anchor and also carry a
FX-16 collapsible anchor as a spare.
The Lofrans is worth it's weight in gold. It hasn't needed anything
and works as designed. Our old 35 lb CQR would have been adequate but
the extra weight of the 45 lb anchor helps our peace-of-mind in marginal
anchoring conditions. We changed our primary snubber from a single line
and chain hook to the two-line system almost immediately as our boat
sailed around too much on the single line. The double line does rub on
the brightwork and we'll be adding stainless or bronze protection in New Zealand.
We'll also be adding stainless plates where the rode touches the brightwork on the bowsprit.
Practical Sailor says the Spade anchor is
great and friends on another boat who used it agree - next time we'd
likely choose that anchor and carry a CQR as a spare. The Bruce also has
a good reputation but doesn't fit well on our bowsprit.
10/03: We added stainless rub strakes to the bow to protect
the varnish from the snubber. However, we found that when we switched to
ablative bottom paint this year, the snubber promptly removed the paint
from the bow. We switched back to a single line snubber this year and
other than a bad lead that we need to provide chafe protection from,
we've been happy with this setup. When we switch back to hard bottom
paint, we'll switch back to the two line snubber.
07/07: With half of our anchor chain rather rusty, we treated
Felicity to a new arsenal of 5/16" high-test chain.
The boat came with a Magma barbeque grill attached to the stern rail
with a regulator for portable propane bottles. It also came with a hose
to lead directly from our large propane bottles to the grill.
We used the grill occasionally and found it useful for cooking and
not getting the galley hot. We left Mexico with six portable bottles and
arrived in New Zealand with one remaining. The regulator is aluminum and
corroded inside the stainless sleeve, thus requiring replacement (thanks
didn't use the propane bottle hose as the o-ring had deteriorated. We've
since learned that this is also quite dangerous to have a high-pressure
hose leading to the grill.
4/02: Added a tee after our solenoid and attached a
shut-off valve, 10' of propane hose and a low-pressure regulator. This
allows us to use our primary propane bottles safely.
We replaced the mainsail cover and added staysail and trysail storage bags. We
had a cockpit awning and boat awning made in Seattle as well as port
covers and lee cloths for the main salon. The dodger was only a four
years old and in good condition.
It was smart to have the mainsail cover made after the new mainsail
was done. Our cockpit awning is average and the boat awning is poor. We
should have had these items made in Mexico where they know about the sun
and have seen and made many variations instead of in Seattle where these
items are never needed. The lee cloths work well but should have been
sized to allow us to crawl out from the end of the settee. We rarely use
the port light covers but will now that we're in a live-aboard marina.
The dodger has gotten quite a bit of wear and the seams are starting to
go. We'll look to replace the dodger and redesign our cockpit and boat
awnings in New Zealand.
12/02: We replaced the dodger and boat awning and added a
semi-permanent bimini and foredeck awning. The work was all done by the
Boat Cover Company
in Auckland. Our new dodger/bimini is a virtual copy of the Trish
Schattauer design on Layla. The awnings
were designed by the vendor as we had seen their work on larger boats
and were quite impressed. All of the work is of quite good quality
though it has taken more than nine months to complete in between all
their mega yacht work (due to the America's Cup).
We added a Scandvik hot/cold pressure water control and retractable
shower head in the cockpit before leaving San Diego.
Once we reached Cabo we didn't use the interior shower again until
Opua, New Zealand. On our small boat without a separate shower stall, we
found that it was too hot below to shower and then wipe down the head.
The exterior shower worked very well and was additionally useful for
washing off dive/snorkel gear and doing laundry.
We replaced the v-berth cushion with a custom
Handcraft Mattress foam
mattress and custom-fitted sheets. The quarter berth cushion was
replaced with a short nav seat cushion to increase
storage. The rest of the cushions are original.
We're glad we replaced the v-berth mattress as sleeping on a standard
foam mattress would be difficult when doing it day after day. But we'd
spend more time researching options next time and possibly opt for a stiffer
mattress. The cushions in the main salon are now showing their age -
they look fine but the foam is wearing out, especially on the port side
where we sleep when underway. We plan to replace these in New
12/02: Yeah! We have new cushions in the main salon. The
Boat Cover Company
in Auckland made them for us using a beige ultrasuede with high-quality
Elephant foam that should last us a good while. We're not sure we did
the right thing getting a light color for our cushions, but the
ultrasuede should at least clean well.
We didn't put much thought into what dinghy or engine to carry with
us. We knew we wanted a Hypalon dinghy that could store small and
Yamaha outboards seemed to have a good reputation among cruisers. With that
knowledge in hand we descended on a boat show and came away with a 9' 6"
Achilles with an inflatable floor, a
Yamaha 5hp 2-stroke outboard
I outboard motor lift.
Our choices were ok but we've learned a lot. We'd choose the Achilles
LSI-96 again but would like for it to have bigger tubes and
non-degrading tow rings and oar locks (the rubber breaks down in the
sun). The inflatable floor had a factory defect and they replaced it for
us in San Francisco and we've been happy with it since. However, there
is no service for Achilles in New Zealand so we'll be repairing the tow
rings and oar locks ourselves. The Yamaha 5 has worked ok but needs a
tune-up after 18 months of service. However, it is underpowered and
we'll be looking to upgrade to a Yamaha 8hp 2-stroke before leaving
The advice we'd give to future cruisers is to buy the biggest and
fastest dinghy you can afford and also be able to store on board. Bigger tube size
keeps you drier. A RIB is preferable for many reasons if you have room to store it.
2-stroke engines are much easier to find parts for and service than
4-strokes. Hypalon lasts the longest in the sun but covers can be made
from Sunbrella to protect any dinghy. Yamahas seem to be the most popular among locals but you see
all the popular brands out here. Buy the biggest engine that the dinghy
you choose supports and carry spare parts including a prop, impeller,
spark plugs, fuel filters and lower unit oil.
3/03: We purchased an 8hp Yamaha 2-stroke short-shaft outboard
after servicing our 5hp. The 8hp is a two cylinder and is smoother
running - it should also give us the power we need to plane. The dinghy
is in for repair right now - in addition to the two rings and oar locks,
the floor is getting some glue to hold the piece of hypalon on that
surrounds the keel valve.
5/03: Discovered that the Achilles pressure gauge had corroded
from the inside out. Upon removing the gauge, the plastic disintegrated
as well. We'll pay more attention to keep it out of the UV and to rinse
thoroughly with fresh water if it gets salt water on it.
8/03: The inflatable floor developed two leaks. One on the
bottom where a nail from the dock found its way on board and the other
around the fuel tank tie-down. We ran out of glue for Hypalon and have
followed the advise of others and used super glue. Hopefully that will
hold until Australia!
10/03: The super glue worked almost too well but
unfortunately, I did the patch wrong. After expending many calories
pulling off the original tie-down and my super-glued patch, I replaced
the whole thing with a single large patch using PVC glue we found in
Port Vila. This has held for the rest of the season, though with a
couple of other very small leaks only at the highest pressure, I think
we will replace the floor.
We carry six 6-volt
Trojan J250 lead-acid batteries wired in parallel and
series to achieve a single 750-amp 12-volt house bank. Three of the
batteries are stored under the quarter-berth and three are stored on a
custom shelf behind the engine and under the steering pedestal. One
12-volt 100-amp lead-acid engine starting battery is stored in the port-side lazarette and is connected to our battery switch as bank #2.
Our primary charging system when cruising is a
alternator and is supplemented by two 55-watt
Siemens solar panels on
sunny days and an Aquair 100 towing generator on passages
(convertible to wind generator at anchor).
For AC power and dockside charging we use a
Heart Interface 1000-watt
inverter. The entire system is managed by a
Heart Interface Link 2000-R
battery monitor which controls the inverter, battery charger and Heart
In New Zealand, we added a portable transformer from
convert dockside power to 110v. This transformer can be used throughout
the rest of the world by changing the input plug.
We're happy with our electrical system. The Heart inverter and
Link-2000R monitoring system have worked without problems and battery
monitoring is simple and accurate. We're glad we have a large capacity
of power and would recommend at least 600 amps for any cruising boat
that uses refrigeration.
Our two maintenance items include topping up the water in the batteries
regularly and rebuilding the Balmar alternator. In fact, the Balmar
alternator is the only item we're not completely happy with. The diodes
were burned out when we bought the boat and we had it rebuilt by Balmar. The
diodes burned out again in Mexico and we rebuilt it ourselves. They
burned out again in Papeete (possibly due to not pressing the diodes in
fully) and we replaced it with our new spare. The new
spare is has been working without issue. We'll have the alternator
rebuilt in NZ.
We should have thought ahead and wired in support for 220-240v power
during the refit. Doing it now seems overwhelming as we'd have to
offload a lot of gear to gain access to the places we'd install wiring,
switches and the transformer. We'll consider doing this if we offload
the boat someday for other reasons.
8/03: The batteries and/or the battery monitoring system is
showing its age as the amp hours consumed does not appear to be tracking
correctly any more. We are planning on replacing the batteries in
Australia and will look to install an identical set as we've been happy
with their performance to date.
10/03: For some reason, the batteries are now performing as
they used to. They only started acting weird after we did a 2.5 hour
equalization in Auckland (our first since leaving Seattle). When we're
reconnected to shore power, we'll run a load test to determine current
capacity. Also, to update the note above, we're still using the new
spare alternator we installed in Papeete without any problems. We also
had the original Balmar repaired in Auckland and now carry that as our
07/07: At nearly ten years of age, our Trojans served us well,
but were due for replacement. All house batteries were replaced with new
Trojans and we also replaced our starting battery.
The boat came with basic but outdated electronics including depth,
speed, VHF, Loran, radar and a first-generation GPS. We eventually
replaced all of the electronics (except the autopilot - see Self
Steering) after replacing the failing
Furuno radar in Mexico. The
following electronics are currently in use:
In addition, we carry a
Toshiba Tecra 8100 laptop with electronic
charting software and a backup Dell Inspiron 3800 laptop. We have a
Samsung 17" LCD monitor/TV for watching DVDs from the laptop. For music we
have an Alpine in-dash AM/FM/CD player with a 6-disc CD changer.
Electronics are finicky and even choosing top-of-the-line products
doesn't preclude one from problems. However, we've had pretty good luck
in the first 18 months of service of all-new gear. We like our old
Furuno radar better than the new Raytheon but service in Mexico was
non-existent and surprisingly replacement was easier than repair. The
ICOM M710-RT is an excellent radio and is simple and very reliable for
daily email and cruising net check-ins. Our ICOM VHF burned out on high
power in Mexico and we purchased an identical spare while it was fixed.
A waterproof handheld is essential but we still work hard to keep it
dry. We've come to prefer the Furuno
weatherfax over PC-based weatherfax as it's easy to program and normally
doesn't require attention to receive faxes.
Our Toshiba has been great and after expensive repairs from a
saltwater dousing continues to work fine. We feel that Toshiba service
and warranty repair is very good. We bought the Dell as a spare after
our saltwater experience with the Toshiba, as email is our primary means
of keeping in touch with family and friends. The Dell has been the worst
laptop we've ever worked with and service has been a nightmare. We
bought the LCD panel to watch movies as we couldn't both see the laptop
screen. We've since found a place to mount the laptop where we can see
it fine and the LCD panel doesn't see much use. The
Alpine stereo system works well but we wish we knew about European
tuning before buying a stereo - we can't receive FM broadcasts outside
of North America. MP3s are also big now and it would be nice to have
support for that in our stereo.
6/02: Added a permanently mounted docking station in a
waterproof locker for our Tecra. We now use the LCD monitor with a
Logitech cordless keyboard/mouse. We'll add a smaller 15" LCD as the 17"
is proving too large on our small boat.
10/02: Samsung 152T 15" LCD was added for the nav station.
5/03: Discovered that Raytheon provides a "Plus" update for
the RL70 radar control head. This adds MARPA capabilities and HSB2. The
unit needs to be sent to either the UK or US for service though, so
we'll look at doing this from Australia. After much thought and debate,
we're also thinking of switching to C-MAP charts on the radar as our
primary charts on board. However, since this season is less than six
months long and we don't know how long we'll stay in Australia, we'll
take a fresh look at technology changes before leaving from there.
A freshwater-cooled Yanmar 3GM30F diesel engine came with the boat.
The standard 55-amp Hitachi alternator had been changed to a 100-amp
Balmar during the electrical upgrade shortly
before our purchase. We replaced the single
Racor fuel filter with a
more-accessible dual Racor filter system and added a
change pump. The shaft is protected with a Norscot shaft seal. We added an
exhaust shut-off valve to close in heavy seas.
We've added close to 1,000 hours to the engine in 18 months and
10,000 miles of cruising and the engine continues to run strong at 2,500
original hours. We replaced the mixing elbow in Mexico when the welds
broke down (a spare we didn't have) and cleaned the cooling system and
adjusted the valves
before leaving Mexico. The Norscott has worked great and after a scare
in Seattle when the hose clamps came loose, we normally check these when
changing the oil. We haven't found a need to close off the exhaust port
yet, even in the spreader-height seas we saw off the California coast.
8/02: We had Power and Marine, the local Yanmar
dealer, rebuild the injectors. One proved sticky which could be the
reason we had started to get a bit of black smoke recently. They
reported that the engine appeared strong.
3/03: We replaced all cooling water hoses due to age and the
fact that we were also replacing the hot water heater. While doing this,
we found one frost plug which was weeping and needed replacement. The
instrument panel also was aging and cracking due to a sticky engine stop
cable. The cable and panel were replaced.
8/03: This season we've seen the engine heat up more than
before and as a result, we've lowered the RPM we run at. We've checked
every part of the cooling system and also just replaced the fresh water
cooling pump and thermostat. We'll see if that improves things, but
initial testing at the mooring doesn't appear to show any improvement.
We also learned that our secondary fuel filter should not be left with
standing fuel for long periods of time as the filter clogged rather
quickly when we began to use it.
We removed two oscillating fans that sounded like Cessnas and added
six Hella Turbo fans. The
Hellas are known for quiet operation and
low-amp draw with effective air movement. We added fans in the nav
station, galley, two in the main salon and two in the v-berth.
The fans have worked great. The locking knob has worked itself loose
a couple of times which has resulted in a hanging fan and broken
electrical connection (very thin wire), but the fans live up to their
reputation of being quiet and drawing a low amount of power. Putting
fans everywhere was, in hindsight, very smart.
4/03: Replaced one v-berth fan and relocated the galley
fan as they were becoming loud. All fans are being fitted with a plug to
enable moving noisy fans to less-used areas before replacing.
The galley is well laid out and needed little. We added a custom
spice rack to make spices more accessible and add storage space. The
annoying knobs on the bronze port got tennis balls installed (we haven't
hit our head there again). A light was added above the stove. We
replaced the faucet and fresh/salt manual pump outlets and added a
Seagull water filter and dish soap dispenser.
The spice rack is awesome, reports Cathy. The light above the stove
proved to be of low quality and the switch broke - we replaced it with a
similar but hopefully higher quality light in New Zealand. The Price Pfister kitchen faucet
was overkill - we hardly ever pull the faucet out and use the sprayer.
The Seagull filter is excellent and the water we drink from the
watermaker and store in our tanks tastes like bottled water. The soap
dispenser does get used, but filling it regularly seems to be an issue
and the small soap bottle comes out sometimes. The sink drains rusted
out due to the boat sitting 3" lower than normal (now on it's designed
waterline). These were replace in Tahiti but we need a more permanent
3/03: The kitchen faucet developed issues due to crud from the
decomposing hot water heater. Parts were not available in New Zealand
for Price Pfister and as the faucet developed some corrosion issues, we
decided to replace it with a Grohe faucet which is sold worldwide. The
galley sink drains and custom stainless fittings were replaced and a
Sealand T12 waste pump was installed to evacuate the sink overboard.
Sound insulation was also installed to deaden the pump noise.
Our boat came with two stainless steel hatches, manufacturer unknown
The main salon hatch leaked in heavy rain and the latches on the forward
hatch were falling apart. We decided to replace the hatches with
cast Almag (Aluminum /Magnesium) reinforced hatches. The new hatches use
thick Lexan and have structural cross-bracing to add support.
We're not as happy with the Bomar hatches as we thought we'd be. The
castings have imperfections in them, the handle latches need rather
adjustment, the stainless bolts corrode in the Aluminum and the handles
are tough to operate. That said, the hatches don't leak when
secured correctly and they did fit our existing deck cutouts fairly well. We don't know
of a better hatch, but would look at the Hood ones more closely and see
if extra supports could have been added. We also should have done more
investigation on fixing our old hatches.
We outsourced the replacement of the head before leaving and had a
Lavac uses a standard Henderson MK5 bilge pump
and operates on a suction principle thus eliminating the complex pump
found on other heads. It is a dead-simple system and long-timer cruisers
speak highly of the system. The system is plumbed so that we can use the
same pump to empty the holding tank as well. We also installed a
holding tank monitor for the holding tank that lights up a light when the tank is
While we haven't had to rebuild the head, the Lavac does have a
couple of annoying traits. First, more physical pumping is necessary as the
incoming water needs to be drawn in via suction which takes 5-8 pumps to
develop. Second, after pumping the seat is wet and needs to be wiped
down. Would we install it again? Maybe not. Other friends have had no
problem with standard high-quality heads (like the
Raritan PHII). Maintenance of the hoses seems more time-intensive
than the head itself. We continually forget to put vinegar in regularly and the result is that the hoses calcify
over time. At
some point, the hoses reduce in size to a point that they become
unusable - one friend removed his hoses in French Polynesia and beat
them on the deck to remove the build up. Yuck. Reminder to self: USE
VINEGAR WEEKLY! The
holding tank didn't see any use the tropics but for times we do use it,
the Tank Monitor works fine.
3/03: We replaced all the head hose and one Jabsco Y-Valve
that had a broken handle. The Henderson pump was also rebuilt.
Calcification was EVERYWHERE! It was the cause of the Y-Valve failure
and explains why the head has not worked as well recently. We will
develop a vinegar program and follow it from now on. We will also likely
clean the hoses every 12-18 months as routine maintenance and exercise
the Y-Valves at least monthly. We also discovered that the Groco bronze
anti-siphon valve was blocked at the vent. The consumable
rubber/stainless vent insert was both hardened and sealed shut. Cleaning
and lubricating it helped some but due to the rubber being hard, it
didn't close effectively and proceeded to leak seawater. A new
replacement component was installed and it works fine. The bonus is that
the Lavac head seat now does not get wet during flushing.
The boat came with an Espar D3LC forced-air diesel heater that the
previous owner had recently installed. We used the heater quite a bit in
We used the heater a couple of times in Mexico but otherwise it
hasn't been used in the tropics. When we made it to New Zealand, we
removed the exhaust plug, turned on the fuel supply and it fired up
immediately. The fuel booster pump gave out though, perhaps due to a
saltwater dousing on the trip down. We replaced that and we're looking forward to more good service. Note that we
haven't seen Espar represented in New Zealand, but
Boat Electric in Seattle
provides excellent worldwide service.
3/03: We used the heater this winter in New Zealand a lot.
Towards the end of winter, the heater started to smoke a little on
startup and shutdown. The glow plug and screen were replaced and the
heater now has no issues with smoke.
All of our navigation lights are standard Aqua Signal. At the
masthead we have an Aquasignal tricolor/anchor/strobe combination. The
tricolor and anchor lights have been replaced with low-draw LED lights
from Deep Creek Design.
The LED tricolor and anchor lights have worked great for us and draw
.3 and .1 amps respectively. Deep Creek Design seems to be putting their
revenues back into product design because newer versions we've seen are
brighter than ours and still draw the same amount of power. Note that
visible range as compared with standard bulbs is decreased. But for an
anchor light, we don't see this as an issue. Deep Creek Design also gets
kudos for great service - our friends on Velella needed a replacement in
Bora Bora and it was Fed-Ex'd to them for only the cost of shipping.
Many cruisers opt for a
deck-level anchor light that also lights the cockpit; while this doesn't
follow U.S. regulations, it does help visibility in an anchorage and a
lighted cockpit adds extra security.
5/03: Discovered during our pre-passage check that the port
bow light was not working due to the inside components being corroded
away. The original bronze screws were stripped and the light needed to
be replaced. The new Series 25 lights have stainless screws.
6/03: We found that our tri-color light casing was coming
apart and the anchor light was dimming. Both were returned for service
and evidently will be repaired with charge under the five-year warranty.
We replaced the original fixed 3-blade prop with a reversible,
feathering 3-blade 17" Max-Prop from
in the hope that we could back the boat up easier as well as increase
The prop has worked fine though getting the pitch set correctly has
an issue. The prop may be oversized for our boat (our friends on a
Panda 40 carry the same size prop which works well for them). Our
backing skills have improved and the Max-Prop no doubt helps us. We
don't notice a marked improvement in sailing performance. For the high
cost of the prop and installation, we would be hesitant about replacing an
already-proven system again.
3/03: Greased the prop as normal maintenance. After several
consultations with PYI, a local prop shop and Bob Perry, we decided
against cutting our prop down in size. We'll consider this again if and
when we repower. Note that greasing the prop significantly reduced
vibration that had appeared late in our previous cruising season.
8/03: The anti-fouling spray that was applied in March
continues to work great. We still have no growth on our prop even after
several months in the tropics. I believe the name of this professionally
applied product is "Prop Speed."
10/03: The Prop Speed applicant is still working great and we
only had minor growth on the edges of the prop blades. It also appears
that this applicant electrically isolates the prop from the seawater as
our zinc is now lasting much longer.
04/07: Greased the prop when we hauled out for bottom paint,
waxing, and stainless polishing.
We carry the original
Adler-Barbour 12v refrigeration that had been on the boat for twelve
years. It worked great in Seattle and was efficient but we wondered if
it would be over-taxed in tropical climates and consume a lot more
power. The compressor is stored in the lazarette and we have a vertical
evaporator plate that provides a small freezer section.
After heavy debate on whether to replace this aging system, we
decided to keep it. We're glad too - it has worked flawlessly and even
on blistering hot days doesn't draw more than 75 amps (60 is more
normal). We do not have the water-cooled option and feel that for the
added cooling it may add, it also adds electrical consumption and a
corrosion and maintenance item that doesn't justify it's addition.
However, a friend reports that instead of seawater he circulates fresh
water from a tank and net energy usage is lower so perhaps our
perceptions are inaccurate. We
should carry a spare control module (after hearing of two failures on
our Pacific crossing) and should have the system recharged when efficiency degrades. When necessary,
we'll likely replace the system with another Adler-Barbour system but
will also consider options that work well for friends including the
Isotherm holding plate systems and Frigoboat, whose Keel Cooler design is
5/03: Replaced the rubber seal under the ice box lids. Also
installed lid hinges.
8/03: The fridge packed it in. After several tests, we
concluded that the compressor had failed. We initially were going to go
without refrigeration until Australia, but then figured we could replace
it fast enough that it wouldn't be too much hassle. After some quick
research and discussions with other cruisers we replaced the until with
the Adler Barbour Super Cold Machine with the larger vertical evaporator
bin. We will look to add the plumbing for the water cooled condenser in
the future and are using only the air cooled one right now. With the
larger evaporator, the unit draws slightly more amps. When we make it to
Australia, we'll do some power tests and report the results here. We'll
also explore air ducting and water cooling options more.
Some thoughts from our research:
- Adler Barbour does use the new Dan Foss compressor but the
adjustable speed is preset based on the condenser/thermostat. We had
hoped they would employ a technique more like Frigoboat that adjusts
the speed depending on the cooling characteristics of the installation
(e.g. highest speed when charging batteries or reloading box, most
efficient speed for maintaining box temp).
- The Super Cold Machine includes both an air-cooled and a
water-cooled condenser. The Capri 50-SSC was the closest Frigoboat
option but was only air cooled. Ideally, I would have liked to have a
combination that uses the air cooled in combination with the Frigoboat
keel-cooled condenser, thereby enabling the system to work when hauled
out and ensuring the benefits of water cooling without the hassles of
a water-cooled condenser and associated plumbing.
- The downsides with water-cooled condensers include weak pumps that
other cruisers say have short life spans and the possibility of
clogging. Therefore, the pump should only be enabled when you're on
the boat and monitoring the system. The Super Cold Machine does not
require the water cooled plumbing to be installed and works
identically to the Cold Machine when not installed/enabled.
- Using a larger evaporator bin gives us more freezer space and
maximizes the surface area that is capable of removing heat. However,
we've been told that the system will work best with the freezer kept
full of frozen food. The larger evaporator requires higher current
draw from the compressor. We'll report later regarding our actual
Note that we have found that the new Super Cold Machine introduces
noise into our electrical system when it is running. This interferes
with weatherfax reception and SSB reception. If any readers have
successfully dealt with this issue, please write us and let us know what
you've done. For now, we just turn it off for the SSB and hope we
remember to turn it back on.
The boat came to us with original standing rigging (including a
Furlex furler for the jib and a Harken furler for the staysail) and
well-used running rigging. We decided to do a complete overhaul of the
rigging in anticipation of a circumnavigation. Practically all of our
purchases were made through
and they provided excellent service with extremely competitive prices.
We updated the standing rigging extensively, including:
- Upsized the original 1/4" stainless rigging with 9/32" stainless
316 Loos rigging wire with swages on the top and
Sta-Lok eyes on the
bottom. Whisker stays and bobstay were upsized to 9/32"
Loos dyform wire for additional
- Replaced the Furlex furler with a
Schaefer 2100 as the old furler
wasn't easy to operate, required greasing and we couldn't find
replacement parts easily.
- Removed the Harken furler in preparation for a hanked-on staysail
which all the books said was the optimal choice for heavy weather.
- Replaced non-self-tailing mast winches with two
- Replaced all mainsail blocks with
Schaefer 8-series stainless
ball-bearing blocks. Foot blocks and jib blocks were also replaced
with Schaefer blocks and
Schaefer snatch blocks were added.
- Added a 7/8" stainless track on the mast for the trysail (deck to
2' above spreaders)
- Added a Forespar 12-22' telescoping pole with mast track/car
- Added Antal halyard line clutches
- Added Navtec hydralic backstay adjuster (manual ones would
conflict with SSB antenna)
We completely replaced the running rigging with
New England Ropes line. We chose
Sta-Set for jib lines, Sta-Set X for main sheet and spinnaker halyard,
and V-100 for main and jib halyards.
We made a lot of changes with our rigging and this was not
inexpensive. The running and standing rigging replacement was essential,
but the other gear replaced or added was optional. We're happy that the
mainsheet is easy to adjust now. The Navtec backstay adjuster is a piece
of gear that we've considered removing - we've bumped it accidentally
and let the tension off in big seas, which is dangerous. Not being
racers, we also don't adjust it as we should. In addition, it seems to
be losing tension if not touched for a week or so. We're not sure what
is causing this.
Removing the staysail furler was also a potential mistake. We don't use the staysail as much
as we did before and the bag sometimes interferes with anchoring. But
then again, we haven't been in conditions yet that warrant the use of
the storm staysail.
5/03: Installed new sheaves in the center traveler car.
Original replacements for Nicro Fico are available from
Rig Rite. We also
have determined that the Navtec has an issue maintaining moderate
pressure for more than 5-10 days (depending on starting pressure). As
there is no external fluid leakage, we figure it might be a leak in the
high/low pressure control valve. The NZ Navtec rep would not warranty
the unit as it was purchased in the US so for now, we'll live with it as
the issue is only a minor annoyance.
We took part in Practical Sailor's liferaft testing in January, 2000
and based on that experience purchased a valise-packed
Ocean Rescue liferaft for superior quality, light weight and excellent
survival pack contents. We carry a 36"
Galerider drogue, a
15' Paratech sea anchor
and a 12' BUORD parachute that has been reinforced by
Victor Shane for use
as a sea anchor. Our ditch kit is contained in a red floating case from
Navigation. Our standard flare kit has been augmented with Pains
Wessex parachute flares. A manually-deployed NAT 406 GPIRB is stored
below the nav station and an ACR 406 EPIRB is stored in the liferaft.
We've installed a
MOM-8A man overboard module and a
Lifesling on the
stern rail. Aloft we carry both
Blipper and Mobri radar reflectors and
reflective tape applied to both sides of the top of the mast. We use
high-strength webbing for our side-deck jackliines.
The webbing jacklines worked well for most of the trip. We made a
decision to replace them each year but have seen little degradation,
though we usually bring them inside after passages. However, on the trip
from Tonga to New Zealand one end of a jackline came undone, cause
unknown. We'll be switching to lifeline cable attached with positive
locking shackles. On some boats this can be a poor choice as the cable
will roll underfoot, however we believe it will be out of the way on
Felicity and two similar boats have liked this system very much.
Fortunately, we can't comment on any personal experience with the
rest of our
safety gear. After many discussions with cruisers who have made
decisions, we're still happy with the choices we've made. Our only
disappointment is that Winslow was to have secured a New Zealand service
center within six months of our purchase - 18 months later this is still
work in progress which means shipping our raft back to Florida for
servicing (not cheap).
10/02: Winslow picked up the tab for shipping our liferaft to
Adelaide, Australia for service at CHC Helicopters. Tony Hall, the
primary contact at CHC, was a joy to work with and I have no doubt the
job was done professionally. Kudus to Winslow for keeping their promise
- we hope to see them offer a more comprehensive service network over
the next couple of years as this is the only thing that holds us back
from recommending them wholly to future cruisers.
5/03: Decided to purchase new webbing jack lines instead of
switching to lifeline cable. We may later decide to move to cable, but
Safety at Sea in Auckland gave us some good ideas to correct our webbing
attachment. Essentially, we'll connect the forward end to a cleat using
the provided loop through the cleat and back over - like a dock line.
The aft end has a D-ring which we'll connect to a cleat using
several rounds of 3mm Spectra line secured with a "Monitor" knot.
The sails were the original Neil Pryde sails supplied with the boat.
The mainsail was in below average condition and the jib and staysail
were in above average condition. We could have added stitching to the
jibs and made do with them for a season or two. But our plans included
covering more than 10,000 miles in our first 18 months of cruising, much
of this far away from quality sail makers. We made the very expensive
decision to replace the full sail inventory with local high-quality sail
maker Schattauer Sails. Our new sails should last us an estimated seven
years of active cruising. Our inventory includes:
- Full-batten mainsail with two deep reefs
- 90% high-clewed Yankee on a
Schaefer 2100 furler
- Staysail, hanked on and stored in jib bag
- Storm trysail, bright orange, stored on separate track in
- Storm staysail, bright orange, stored below in quarter-berth
- Asymmetric cruising spinnaker, 1.5 ounce, in
ATN sleeve, stored below in
The sail quality has stood up well. We've had minor chafe on the
mainsail where the full battens rub against the lower shrouds when
running downwind but otherwise the sails are as good as new. The 90%
Yankee was chosen as a good-sized working jib and the clew is forward of
the forward lower shroud when beating. This removes the possibility of
chafe on the jib but the 90% size may be a little small for going to
weather in up to 12 knots of wind. We feel that increasing this to 110%
would provide better light wind performance without making the sail
unusable in 15-30 knot winds. Friends who also added a 130% genoa
shipped it home and haven't missed it and we haven't found much need for
one. The spinnaker gets little use and takes up a lot of space on our
small boat. We hear it's smart to have but we can't yet say we're happy
to have parted with $2335 for the sail and about $600 for the ATN sock,
halyard, control lines and masthead block.
3/03: The sails have some mildew that has accumulated from
sitting too long at the dock. All the canvas cover snaps had to be
lubricated to get to the sails (we know, we should be sailing more!).
We'll look into having the sails professionally cleaned in Australia.
10/03: Here are some further thoughts regarding a spinnaker.
First, for a double-handed crew, leaving the spinnaker up at night is
often not a viable option in anything but settled light weather. In our
experience crossing the Pacific, this has happened only once. In many
(but not all) of our discussions with fellow cruisers, the female in the
crew would not be comfortable taking the spinnaker down on the foredeck
at night in a squall. Second, the wind ranges and sailing angles it is
most usable for have rarely occurred for us and when they do are of
somewhat short duration. At the upper end of the spinnaker wind range,
we find that a poled out yankee and single-reefed main does just as well
and is much easier to reef. Although we have yet to see a Code Zero sail
in use on a cruising boat of less than 40 feet, they seem to make a lot
more sense to us as the sail can be furled from the cockpit in a squall,
the sail (with it's wire luff and removable furling drum) can be stored
below when not on passage, and is usable in a much wider sailing angle.
The boat came with an
Autohelm 6000 autopilot with a type-1 linear
drive. We chose to keep this system as it seemed like it was sized
correctly and it worked fine and provided redundancy. A new
self-steering windvane was also added for long passages where we would
be sailing and trying to conserve electrical consumption.
This system has worked very well for us. We needed to re-cut the
keyway in the rudder post arm for the autopilot after it chewed itself
up on our way from Seattle to San Francisco and we added a set screw to
keep it in place. The autopilot has proven to be correctly sized (design
spec is 24,000 lbs - we're 22,000 lbs loaded). The Monitor is an amazing
piece of gear and we are constantly amazed as we watch it steer us down
wave after wave.
3/03: The outside control head for the ST-6000 has a crack and
is allowing moisture into the head. This has been repaired with epoxy. A
Sunbrella cover was also made to try to reduce UV exposure.
5/03: The Monitor control line has been replaced and extended
farther into the cockpit. Placing the control line in a location that is
easily accessible by crew makes it much easier at sea.
10/03: One steering line was replaced due to chafe for our
passage between Vanuatu and Australia. We'll replace both lines in
The boat came with a Manship pedestal steering system with a backup
tiller. The quadrant had minor rust appearing on it which we removed
with a wire brush and then applied Rustoleum paint. The steering cable
was in good repair but we replaced it anyway and carry the old one as a
spare. During replacement, we also found that the clevis pins on one set
of pulleys were bronze and had been worn through at least 25%. Those
were replaced with stainless clevis pins as the other two pulleys had.
The rudder packing was replaced with Teflon packing.
The system has worked great. We oil the cable periodically and
check the tension. We feared that the bearings might wear more with the
use of the Monitor self-steering but we haven't seen this.
We converted our one hanging closet to bulk storage by adding a shelf in
the middle. We added "baby lee cloths" to the shelves in the v-berth and
quarter-berth. The full quarter-berth cushion was replaced with a
navigation seat cushion to maximize storage space in the quarter-berth (aka
the Garage). Supports for a dive tank were glassed into the wet locker.
We're happy with all the modifications we made. In New Zealand we'll
be adding hinges to the cabinets behind the main salon settees to ease
access. We'll also explore
ways to hinge the refrigerator lids to keep them from moving around in a
5/03: Hinges and latches have been added to settee cabinets
and hinges have been added to the refrigerator lids. We've also
waterproofed the lazarette lids as salt water has entered during
passage. This should have been done in Seattle but we (and several
friends) never thought of this.
Our boat has two stainless water tanks (90 gallons total) located
under the salon settees and a cast iron fuel tank (35 gallons) above the
keel under the floorboards. We cleaned the water tanks before leaving
Seattle and had the fuel tank professionally cleaned. We added
VDO tank gauges
for each tank. The
diesel tank sender is the tube-type from
VDO and the water tank senders
are a capacitor-driven tube-type (don't remember the manufacturer) which
eliminates the problematic float found on most water tank senders.
We haven't had any problems with our tanks. A friend who used the
same fuel polisher in Seattle needed to open his fuel tank in Mexico and
found that the gaskets did not seal properly when bolted down for a
second time (which we had been warned about). We'll be adding a spare set of gaskets in New Zealand. Once calibrated, the senders and gauges have worked flawlessly. They
do consume some power and we'll be adding a switch for them. The
gauges do not jump around and are quite accurate even when underway.
5/03: Cleaned the fuel tanks and found significant buildup of
contaminants. Installed new gaskets (Buna-N is referred to as nitrile
rubber here in NZ). Several new gaskets have been cut as spares.
10/03: The starboard water tank sender has stopped working. We
will investigate repairing/replacing this in Australia
We added a Flojet washdown pump with both fresh and saltwater
supplies. The outlet is by the bowsprit and we have a detachable hose
that is connected when we use the pump.
We have rarely used the system in the sandy anchorages we've been
visiting so it's hard to justify putting it in. In the future we might
just live with an outlet from the fresh water system installed in the
cockpit. The pump is identical to our water pressure pump so we expect
it to fail soon (see below).
We replaced our standard PAR water pump with a high-pressure
pump to reduce noise and increase pressure.
Not happy. The Flojet pump has been fully rebuilt twice inside a
12-month period due to a central part being made of mild steel and
rusting out. We've been quite happy with the Spectra watermaker
pumps and have changed our preference to Shurflo pumps after reviewing
their design and talking with many happy owners. This will be replaced in New Zealand. We'll also add an inline
filter to keep any particles out of the pump and faucet.
9/02: Added a Shurflo pump with inline filter.
3/03: Noise is similar to the Flojet. We've added sound
insulation and have suspended the pump with tie wraps attached to eye
straps. This has decreased sound somewhat.
Before leaving, we debated on the merits of having a watermaker on
board. In the end, we installed a
system. This system had only been on the market for a few short
years but had developed a reputation for being highly energy efficient
and backed by a company that focused on customer support. These two
selling points helped us to accept the high price of the system. We
chose the larger 380c over the 200c as the only difference is the
addition of an extra pump and pump cooling fins and fans. This extra
pump provides redundancy as well as extra output when power is not an issue
(e.g. when motoring).
12/01: The decision to add a watermaker has proven smart. Since leaving Seattle
we have never filled the tanks from dock water except when in a marina
for more than a month. The water quality is high and the power is not
usually a problem for the Spectra. Normal maintenance consists of
cleaning the sea strainer and pre-filter periodically. We're happy with
the Spectra but have had minor issues. Perhaps the largest issue was
with cracked Clark Pump end-cap fittings which Spectra thinks was the
result of using the old SC-1 pickling solution which has plagued the
company with service issues. The cracked fittings caused our production
to go down and the bilge to collect seawater for several months - but
the system continued to produce water just fine. We didn't experience
the outstanding support that Spectra was reputed to have delivered in
it's early days, but we did eventually receive the correct parts under
warranty when we made it to New Zealand. Spectra fixed the SC-1 issue
quickly and we would trust our watermaker decision to Spectra again.
Special mention should be made for
as their customers have received excellent support while cruising. PUR
systems (as of 2000) are much less efficient but for cruisers looking to supplement
on-shore water gathering with a less-expensive watermaker, PUR seems
like the way to go. Many cruisers carry PUR watermakers.
5/03: Installed new pump heads that we had received from
Spectra in 12/01. This has increased our output back to original
specifications. However, it has not significantly changed the salinity
of the output. We're seeing 460ppm with one pump running and this was
less than 220ppm when new. Still, the water tastes great and we'll see
if the salinity numbers improve with use this season and possibly a
re-calibration of our meter.
8/03: Our salinity worsened quickly after departing from New
Zealand and the water became undrinkable close to Fiji. Spectra was
initially very helpful in troubleshooting but then became difficult to
work with. On their recommendation, we replaced our feed pumps but that
didn't significantly change performance. We fixed leaking end caps on
the membrane as well. Against their recommendation, we decided to
replace the membrane as well. This has fixed our salinity issue though
production is lower than it should be. With new feed pumps and a new
membrane, the only piece left to change is the Clark Pump. We'll pull
that out and return it to Spectra when we get to Australia and have it
tested/rebuilt before leaving again.
With this latest incident, our opinion of Spectra has declined to
average. The system is efficient and the engineering is quite good (with
the exception of the older style plastic end caps that didn't use
o-rings). However, we have not experienced the great customer support
that we've heard of from others and would recommend forming a support
relationship with a reputable dealer before leaving for far-off ports.