LOA = 33'6"
LWL = 31'9"
Beam = 14'
Draft = 18" (boards & rudders up)/5'6"(boards down)
Prop draft = 24" (Sonic drive leg down)
Sail area = 611 sq ft (290 sq ft main, 321 sq ft genoa)
Disp = 9,000# empty
Goosebumps is a Gemini 105 Mc sailing catamaran built by Performance Cruising Inc. in Annapolis, MD. We took delivery of Goosebumps, hull #729, on 11 April 2001 at the PCI dock.
When we bought our boat, Tony & Sue Smith only built one boat and they did it remarkably well. The Gemini 105 Mc is a 33' 6" cat with a relatively narrow (for a cat)14' beam. The hulls have twin asymmetrical centerboards and kick up rudders. It has a 39' Selden mast which steps on deck. With all the usual goodies at the masthead like VHF antenna, WSI and masthead light, Goosebumps requires 46' of overhead clearance. The boat included 2 Dave Bierig sails (and a sail cover): main and roller furling genoa (in 2002, Dave had been building sails for PCI for 28 years). The furler is a Schaefer 1100.
Auxiliary power is a 27 hp Westerbeke 30B-3 connected to a Sillette Sonic catamaran drive leg. The drive leg is something like an I/O drive but substantially longer since it has to reach a foot from the bridge deck to the water. The drive leg is connected to the rudders through light weight ropes when it's down. Having the drive leg turn with the rudders increases maneuverability under power enormously. The standard 50 amp alternator delivered with the Westerbeke has a built-in regulator (making it unusable with an external regulator without a mod).
The interior accommodation includes a dinette, a galley down to starboard, master cabin forward amidships with queen size mattress. To port there is a navigation station (which has become something of a library and parts storage), a head compartment with shower. The boat has 2 aft cabins port & starboard whose 48" mattresses are laughably called double berths. Any thought of the aft cabins being saved for guests evaporated as the reality of storage needs for food (starboard aft cabin) and spares (port aft cabin) won out. Well, there's still the dinette which can be converted in an emergency.
We ordered the boat with a small heater connected to the engine to heat the
cabin when the engine is running. Not a liveaboard heating solution, but it
was great for the ICW where we powered most of the time. Our boat came with
3 low power Hella fans
for ventilation. 3 fans just weren't enough so we added 2 more with at least
3 more to come.
[5/2003: we added 3 more fans for a total of 8. The latest fans are 1/2 the price of the Hella, have a mounting frame that's the same dimensions as a Hella (so it can serve as a replacement!), are quieter and have over 100,000 hours expected life. Call Hot Wire at 888-430-7576, X/2144 for info.]
The head and galley are supplied with pressure hot & cold water. The electric
heating element on our Attwood water heater died before we ever left the PCI
dock. The way the water heater is installed on our boat allows a bubble to form
around the heating element if a water tank runs dry and the pump pushes air
into the lines. With no water surrounding it, the element overheats and dies.
We still have hot water when the engine is running and that has worked out OK.
[5/2004: we lived comfortably without hot water dockside since 4/2001. When I returned to the boat in 4/2004, I found that Michael (boat watcher extraordinarire) had the water heater circuit breaker turned on. In the exchange that followed I learned that the AC function of the Attwood worked just fine. Surely our existentialist life made better people of us. Maybe next time I'll wait longer for the bloody thing to heat up! :-)]
The galley is equipped with a 3 cubic foot Dometic refrigerator which uses either 115 VAC or propane to operate. This unit uses ammonia as the refrigerant and has so far worked very well. When away from the dock we get about 16-18 days on a 20# tank of propane for both cooking and refrigeration. That includes baking bread a couple times per tank. We'd like to see a little more insulation in the door of the refrigerator, but the rest of the inside is fine. The unit will only work on a boat that sails upright as a catamaran does and would be inappropriate on a monohull. The technology for the refrigerator has been around a long, long time. I remember relatives on farms in the Central Valley of California as recent as the mid-1940s that had no electrical power service and used the old Servel refrigerator. The Servel was a predecessor to the modern day Dometic.
Btw, did you know that the new OPD (overfill protection device) that recently became required on all LPG tanks reduces the filled volume by about 15%. Nice, huh?! That means that a 20# tank is really a 17# tank.
PCI included a decent start on electronics with a set of Raymarine (ex-Raytheon, ex-Autohelm) instruments: ST-60 tri-data (speed, depth, log & water temperature... so why is it tri-data and not quad-data?!); ST-60 apparent/true wind speed & direction; and an Autohelm 4000+ autopilot. All the Raymarine instruments are integrated through the Raymarine proprietary SeaTalk bus, so the wind instruments allow the autopilot to steer either off its own flux gate compass or off relative wind (ala self steering). The wind instrument includes alarms that can be set to sound when the relative wind speed hits the speed where you should reef. Pretty cool. All the instruments work very well. And the autopilot is indispensable!
PCI also included a Uniden President 25 watt VHF radio, CO detectors by Xintex in each hull and a Sony automotive AM/FM/CD stereo radio with a pair of decent Sony speakers.
The 105 Mc model marked the first of Tony's "convertible cockpit" Geminis. At the Annapolis Boat Show his demo had a hard-panel enclosure, but the practicality of canvas enclosures won out and as far as I know, no further boats were equipped with the hard enclosure. Out own boat was delivered with no enclosure, but we eventually changed that!
It's difficult to say enough nice things about your own boat when you're as
happy as we are. As Tony Smith says, the Gemini is a boat built to a price,
so yes, there are examples from other builders with finer finish or bigger/better
something or other. But frankly I can't imagine a cruising boat delivering more
bang for the buck than we enjoy with Goosebumps! It sails very well, staying
balanced and manageable in all wind conditions we've experienced. Our boat is
pretty heavy with cruising gear and we still feel pretty good about its speed.
But the really significant difference between the Gemini and most other cruising
catamarans are the centerboards and kick-up rudders.
[5/2003: on 5/11/2003 we heard a call from a nearby catamaran taking on water. We were nearby and went over to offer help. He had dagger boards and one board hit a rock or coral head cracking the dagger board case and causing a leak. If I ever needed further proof of the efficacy of the center boards and kickup rudders, this was it. We had just gone through the same area and our only problem was to find the rudders partway up and the center board back up in the case. 3 cheers for Tony Smith and the Gemini!]
PCI has a wonderful site
with lots of details about the Gemini. If you're interested in the Gemini, including
a history of the marque back through the early Telstar trimarans, you'll want
to check it out. Tony Smith has greatly influenced the current multihull market
offerings. Recently Tony developed the design of a new trimaran, similar to
the Telstar he designed in England before moving to the US. As I write this
in December 2002 I don't know if it has made it into production.
[3/2003 update: the Telstar is still in development with presentation planned for the 10/2003 Annapolis Boat Show.]
Well you can't really buy a new boat and not want to throw money away on a few toys, now can you? It's probably a law or something! :-) Here's what we thought was "necessary" to make our cruising more comfortable. Well... mostly necessary!
When we ordered the boat we weren't sure if we really needed many of the things that PCI offered as factory installed extras. We didn't realize what a saving it was to buy these things from PCI for delivery with the boat: davits, canvas enclosures, solar panels and air conditioning are the main ones that we should have gotten. Live and learn! In general, PCI is unwilling to do special modifications. Plus they aren't too interested in adding on any but a few accessories. But I would encourage an interested buyer to discuss what you have in mind because they will install a few things they don't admit to on their options list, e.g. they've worked out the installation of a Heart Interface Freedom inverter in the past.
The most significant modifications we made were to the electrical system. We firmly believe if you don't get this right, you'll be tripping over it for as long as you own the boat. That's not to say that what we did is necessarily the best way to do things, but close attention to detail is necessary for the long term safe operation of the boat and we did things the best we knew how.
I've accumulated the changes to the basic electrical system on a separate page. Check out our basic electrical system here.
The truth is we find we are pretty extravagant with energy use. A couple times we used the SSB radio for e-Mail for extended periods then watched TV for a few hours. By the time we got up in the morning we saw we'd gone through 80-90 AHrs. Not good! With a little effort at conserving, though, we can still use all the toys and keep the evening usage down to 40 AHrs. When the SSB is used for data (what is used for radio mail), it uses a lot of power!
I guess this is where we can mention the watermaker. We bought a Village
Marine Little Wonder with 200 gpd output. We were actually looking for the
150 gpd unit which would have fit nicely under the starboard aft bunk, but we
were told VM no longer makes the small unit. I did manage to get the boost pump
and the filters under the bunk, but both the high pressure pump and the membrane
assembly intrude into the starboard aft bunk (now storage) space. A watermaker
is a big power user, so there was a lot of blue language while all the wires
were gotten into place. That aside, we've been very happy with the unit and
feel pretty good about it's future utility. Fred Scheibl on Windwalker helped
with a lot of info when I was first looking into these things (if you use Internet
Explorer, check their Windwalker
site; Windwalker is cruising again and they're great writers that really
bring it to life!).
[5/2003: since the day it was installed it, we have seen only 5.6 gph vs. 8.3 gph spec. I presume it's because of the 20 micron filter I installed in place of the screen VM recommends. I'll be talking to VM about it.]
Well... not really a car. I'm talking about the inflatable dinghy. We bought
an 8' 8" Achilles
plus a 4
HP Yamaha 4-stroke engine before we left San Francisco. It's not very fast
(we can't get it to plane with both of us aboard), but it gets us there. And
the engine has been fine. Truth be known, though, I wish we'd bought the engine
on the east coast where we could have gotten an 8 HP 2-stroke that weighs about
the same as our 4 HP 4-stroke. Weight is a big issue for us.
[3/2003 update on Yamaha: I inadvertently left some gas in the carburetor for several months; it cooked in the Florida sun and turned into a thick, gooey sludge (varnish). I should have drained the carburetor bowl which is very easy to reach.]
Along with the dinghy we also added a set of KATO Marine davits to hang the inflatable above the water when not in use. Like so many other things, we should have ordered these from PCI instead of adding them later. We bought the optional 4:1 tackle to make lifting the dinghy a little easier.
We were concerned about the weight of the outboard engine while attached to the boat and hanging in the davits. So for open water passages we added a Fulton outboard engine bracket. It can be lowered and raised and for all the world it looks like backup power, but sadly it doesn't reach the water from the bridge deck transom. We would need a very long shaft on the Yamaha to use it for powering I'm afraid.
We bought both enclosures that ALMO makes for the Gemini: the clear plastic and the bug screen. Unfortunately we didn't buy them with the boat and had to go directly to ALMO in Millersville, MD. The individual panels for both enclosures are the same size so the panels can be mixed and matched, i.e. screens and plastic can be zipped together. Fall, winter and early spring with the plastic enclosure was wonderful. It was like adding a sun room. We haven't found the screen enclosure as helpful, but it would have been a life saver during the Great Bug War of Shaw Bay!
The first hot spell on the Chesapeake showed us first hand that we needed something to keep the sun off. First Celia made window covers for the stateroom window and saloon window (the "windshield") using white Sunbrella. These helped some, but we didn't really get any relief until she made a set of awnings for the forward- and mid-deck areas.
The awnings are made from something called Odysey which has a waterproof coating on the under side. This turned out to be not a great choice since the water gets trapped between the fabric and the coating and turns to mildew with no way to clean it. The 4 Forespar collapsible awning poles are 6 feet long when collapsed which presents something of a stowage problem. They've had many different homes when not in use and we haven't settled on anything that we're really happy about. Surprisingly, West Marine had the best price on these things.
When we had the cockpit enclosure installed, we also asked for one of the visors that Tony designed to keep some of the heat out of the cabin. This works really well! We asked for Pacific Blue Sunbrella instead of the standard white sailcloth.
The most recent creation from Celia's sewing machine is side window covers made from something called Phifertex... a reinforced plastic screen material. It keeps some of the direct sunlight out and allows us to see with minimal interference. Like the other window covers, I installed the snaps outside the window rather than risk damaging the seal of the window by replacing the window hold-down screws. Celia also made hatch covers that slip onto the hatch lens with no snaps and allow us to open any hatch without removing a deck-snapped cover. Very nice addition.
These photos show the side window covers, the visor, a couple of the hatch covers, the saloon window cover and the stateroom window cover. You can also see the awnings, furled for the down pour we just had. Notice the tent over the portable A/C? Our Bowmar hatches have no lower lip, so when it rains outside, it also rains inside. The plastic tarp steers the rain away, keeping the Admiral from flogging the Captain yet again for allowing water to drip onto her seat of authority! :-)
The TaylorMade Carry-on air conditioner (4,800 BTU) has worked fine for taking the edge off the Florida heat and keeping mildew at bay, but a larger unit is really needed to cool the boat properly. The Carry-on fits in the hatch (barely!), but because of the hatch installation (no lip), rain water can run in. So we rigged this tarp to shed rain and keep wind from driving anything under the edge of the supplied hood.
To complement the 25 Watt Uniden VHF radio Tony supplies, we added a hand held VHF from Garmin. The Uniden has worked well, though it's location inside the saloon isn't as useful as I'd like. The Garmin handheld has been OK, but I think I'd like to play with an Icom, Raymarine or Standard sometime to see how they compare. It's only "OK" because it picks up electrical noise from the Raymarine instruments. This disables the squelch and causes the handheld to receive intermittently with no signal present. Stepping back a foot or 2 allows it to work properly.
We installed an Icom
710RT SSB radio which has been absolutely wonderful! We bought the Icom
AT-130 auto tuner for it plus an SCS
PTC-IIpro modem PACTOR modem (SCS is in Germany). The modem allows us to
collect weather fax's plus we can also send and receive e-Mail. Our only regret
has been that we bought the RT (remote panel) version. We should have gotten
the fixed panel since our installation above the refrigerator lends itself to
convenient operation from the settee. Now the panel is located at a place that
is a long reach from the settee. Seemed like a good idea at the time!
[3/2003: Icom now has a model 802 which replaces the 710RT; slightly smaller, same performance, more $$$ and it supports GMDSS.]
Recently we bought the firmware upgrade for the SCS PTC-IIpro modem to allow us to use the new PACTOR-III transmission format. It has proven a great investment for $150US. We now get anywhere from 3 to 10 times faster downloads on those stations that support PACTOR-III.
We subscribe to SailMail
which is a commercial HF radio mail cooperative (we recommend it; there are
also others to investigate). Plus Celia and I both have our amateur
radio licenses (General class priveleges are sufficient) so we can use the
amateur radio Winlink 2000 system which takes care of all the non-business
2000 provides excellent weather information for cruisers in compressed
files which are easy to download. Winlink is an incredible resource for
Both of these systems support PACTOR-III, though SailMail isn't permitted to
enable it on their US stations until sometime in early 2003 when their
is revised to allow the greater bandwidth.
[3/2003: SailMail now has PACTOR-III on their Palo Alto, CA and Rock Hill, SC stations.]
[5/2003: SailMail now has PACTOR-III on all their stations.]
I've never used a radar before, but recommendations from friends sounded like it would be a good idea. We chose the Furuno 1712 based on its reputation for reliability. What an introduction to the value of radar we had! The first day of our cruise south saw us out of Herrington Harbour too late in the day. We ended up feeling our way into Solomons Island in the dark (not a smart thing to do your first time there!). I was an immediate convert. I couldn't believe what an incredible tool radar can be.
The radar antenna is mounted on the mast using KATO's radar mount (everything that KATO Marine builds is beautifully done!). We didn't think to ask if they could build the same thing in aluminum and should have inquired because this thing is pretty heavy.
Navigation goodies consist of a couple GPS's: a Garmin
162 fixed mount primary and a Garmin III+ handheld for backup. We also use Nobeltec's
Visual Navigation Suite ver. 6.5 navigation software with their Passport
vector charts. We use the software and charts on our Sony laptop with 15"
screen (we have a Sony 16" for backup). Collectively this has been an excellent
combination. Yes, we carry paper charts as a backup, but have had nearly no
need to refer to them. Truthfully, a fancy GPS is unnecessay when using software
navigation: as long as the GPS and the computer each have a serial output, the
navigation software does all the work. However, if both computers die, having
internal chart display and routes in the GPS will be a big help. What convinced
us to use Nobeltec instead of Garmin for navigation was the cost of the charts:
$5,000 for Garmin modules displayed on a 7" diagonal window vs. $2,500
for Passport charts displayed on a 15" diagonal window.
[3/2003: I just finished installing the Raymarine SeaTalk-to-NMEA converter; the autopilot works fine and we get data from the WSI, but for some reason we don't have info from the Tri-data unit (speed, depth, temp, log).]
[5/2003: Nobeltec software (v/6.5) isn't able to decode anything from the SeaTalk-to-NMEA converter from Raymarine... the data is garbage. I presume the problem to be in the converter.]
On the entertainment side, the boat comes with a nice Sony AM/FM/CD radio +
a couple of decent speakers. We brought my old 10" TV/VCR for the occasional
program and to play video rentals. The reception was been poor and getting worse
as we head further south. When we were delayed in Ft. Myers for a couple months,
we opted for a satellite TV (we signed up with DirecTV through Radio Shack)
plus the FollowMeTV
tracking system to point the antenna at anchor. Not a perfect combination, but
it works well enough that I'm glad we have it. The real prize of all this is
that we should expect coverage through much of the Bahamas and that means we
can see the Weather Channel with all their updated satellite photos and Caribbean
weather reports. Cool!
[3/2003: we found the Follow Me TV tracker dead after a T-storm and assume we had a transient through the power line; Follow Me Company turned it around in a day. The problem was in the control box interface and could have happened while installing/handling the cable connectors. ESD is an insidious killer!]
[5/2003: we had satellite reception everywhere we went for all channels except the "local channels" which in our case were Miami stations. These stations leave the satellite via a very directional antenna and are only usable within a short range of the intended area. We could see them in Bimini, but everywhere else they were intermitent, especially after the sun set and if the dish was aimed off to the side with any rolling.
Also, the Weather Channel drops its tropical coverage after hurricane season, so it wasn't particularly helpful. We found winlink.org weather data indispensible!]
We still are using the 2 original sails, plus a new cruising spinnaker from Dave Bierig. After seeing SEA YA (a 1988 Gemini) sailing with their spinnaker nearly match our time as we motored, we decided there had to be one in our future! We ordered a spinnaker snuffer called a Chute Scoop from Dave. The spinnaker tacks to an adjustable bridle so that it can be set to port or to starboard depending on the wind & course.
We have most of the usual stuff: auto-inflatable life vests (which will inflate
not only if you fall in the drink but with enough rain you'll get a real surprise!),
West Marine's Life Sling, a Delta Drogue from Para-Tech
Engineering and a 12' sea anchor also from Para-Tech. Less usual are a pair
of immersion suits and a MOM-9
auto-inflating light pylon & floatation platform.
[5/2003: the utility of the MOM-9 is in question for our use on Goosebumps. With night passages there's normally no one on deck to release the MOM if the person on watch falls in the drink. Makes more sense to get a life raft in a soft pack and trade off other items for the weight.]
We also bought and registered a Pains-Wessex
Precision 406 GPS EPIRB. It's actually built by McMurdo in England. We bought
the fixed mount (vs. auto release) with the intention of taking it in the abandon
ship bag. Btw, we learned that the mount has a device to disable the EPIRB power
circuit so that it can't be inadvertently activated. When it goes in the bag
without the mount, excess moisture can activate it. Something to be guarded
[5/2003: I should have mentioned that we didn't get the auto release mount because it makes no sense on a catamaran. An auto release requires that the boat sink about 20 ft before the release activates and the EPIRB comes free. The most likely disaster scenario for a cat is to flip and, generally speaking, a cat won't sink but rather will float inverted indefinitely. That means the EPIRB won't activate automatically since the little magnet in the holder will keep the power circuit off. Auto release is intended for a boat headed for the bottom and which has a clear path for the EPIRB to float free when released.]
The Gemini is delivered with a standard 20# Danforth style anchor with 6' of 5/16" proof coil chain and 100' of 1/2" 3-strand nylon rode. We brought with us an old H-20 Danforth... one of the old Hi-Tensile hooks that made Danforth famous. Sadly this later just doesn't set as well as the new one Tony supplied with the boat. It's not even worth keeping around as a backup, but the one that Tony supplied will definitely stay until it can be replaced with a Fortress aluminum anchor.
Before we left San Francisco we bought a 27#
Bulwagga anchor with 35' of 5/16" HT chain and 500' of 11/16"
double-braid nylon rode cut into 4 lengths with eyes spliced in. It's been a
great anchor and has set instantly in mud, sand, weed or rock. It usually resets
with a tidal current change if the current doesn't cause the boat to hover over
the anchor as happened to us in St. Augustine. The drawback is that it's a bugger
to stow the Bulwagga on the Gemini. The earlier 105s had the bow roller set
forward of the headstay on top of the bowsprit. The 105Mc has the roller set
in an opening through the bowsprit which makes it impossible to seat the Bulwagga
properly without the anchor looking like a broken battering ram on a Roman galley.
I've been wrestling it aboard and stowing it in the chain locker each time I
[3/2003: we added a new bow roller to the forward end of the bow sprit; the Bulwagga stows there OK, though it's at a slight angle to the deck. We'll add another update on whether it is really workable there since it interferes with the roller furler retrieval line.]
[5/2003: the new sprit-mounted bow roller worked well with one issue... because of the big blades on the Bulwagga we had to remove the bail that keeps the anchor from falling off the roller. There's a reason they put the bail there in the first place and I proved they were right. I had the rode fall off at the most inconvenient times like when hauling in the rode or while underway. Not good! If anyone has a solution for the stowing and releasing the Bulwagga I'd love to hear about it!]
So we bought a 15#
alloy SPADE which so far has done OK. We had a problem at Ft. Myers Beach
in a soft bottom on a tidal current change where it didn't reset (naturally
this always happens in the middle of the night!), though it did set without
fuss initially. Subsequently we've had no problem. We use 75' of 5/16"
HT chain + 250' 5/8" 3-strand nylon spliced directly to the chain so that
it will run over the chain gypsy of the windlass. The 15# SPADE fits nicely
on the roller. In fact, I think the 19.5# alloy SPADE would fit equally well
though I haven't seen one in place.
[5/2003: contrary to the experience of at least 3 other Geminis, the SPADE has been a disappointment for us. We've plowed the ground over half the time we use it. We recently learned that we were improperly setting the anchor, i.e. we should be setting out only 3:1 scope then leave the anchor to work down with surge. After it has been deployed for a time we can then back down on it and/or let out more scope. We tried that and had better success, but it still drags frequently. We've set the 20# Danforth back in its original place.]
Our last addition was a vertical shaft manual windlass from Simpson-Lawrence
which they call the Anchorman. We chose it because they have an electric version
that fits the same footprint should the need arise. Unfortunately the Windlass
installs too far forward to provide enough fall for the chain. It works, but
I have to keep pushing the chain aft so that I can retrieve more. Still, it's
a lot easier on the back! You have to make sure you buy the hooded chain pipe
that is used with the Anchorman (ordered separately from West Marine). We moved
the 10" Shaeffer aluminum anchor cleat onto the centerline to make room
for the windlass. Turns out the hole pattern for that cleat is the same as the
windlass requires, so all I had to do was fuss with the chain pipe. Then Murphy
showed his ugly head: the location of the cleat forced the hole for the chain
pipe to align with the bulkhead inside the chain locker. I ended up installing
some sheet metal to direct the chain away from the bulkhead and into the locker.
[5/2003: the Anchorman comes with a 8.5" handle with a lock. After a couple weeks the lock was frozen with corrosion. Fortunately I bought one of the plastic 8" winch handles made by Titan (made in Australia) as a backup. Both of the handles proved to be too short to get good leverage for retrieving the anchor and I think a 10" handle would help immensely.]
The stove supplied with our boat is made in England and has been something of a nice surprise. Only a 2-burner top will fit in the shallow space of the Gemini, but it has a grill and an oven. We make sure we have a pot or pan on the top burners before lighting the stove because it looks like the foam-back vinyl liner could easily get too hot if heat from an un-covered burner were to hit it for very long.
We brought a pressure cooker with us, but experiments showed that steaming veggies used less total time than using the pressure cooker (heating to pressure + cooking + cool down). Now we use a sauce pan with a folding steamer tray. In the current hot climate, minimizing the time a burner is lighted is important. If we were cooking legumes, the math would favor the pressure cooker.
MIKI G found a griddle that fit atop the fiddle rails of the stove. We liked the looks of it and eventually found one made by Coleman to use on the Goose... It was a big improvement over our earlier griddle that sat directly on the burner.
Galley stores are in the starboard aft cabin. We copied the shallow wire shelving that we saw on RIKI, attached to the inboard wall. Works very well for spices and small items.
We originally used open crates for food storage because they nest, their open
sides allow good ventilation and they keep things from sliding around. The fact
is that they are a bugger to handle because, stacked 2 layers deep, you have
to pick them up constantly to get to what's in the lower level. Easy in the
forward row but very difficult as you crawl further aft. We needed a better
method and had seen solutions on SEA YA (removable, modular compartment
system) and TAJ MUHA (open metal shelving from Lowe's or ???) that
are both appealing. Solutions would be a lot easier if the watermaker weren't
in the way!
[8/2002: what Celia ended up doing was to lay the crates on their side, tie them together with tie-wraps and then add bungy cords across the front to retain the contents. Works very well!]
[5/2003: this system of pantry storage has been great! Celia's approach of using clear plastic screw-top cannisters allows her to eliminate most of the packaging before we leave the dock. Duplicating the design in plywood that takes advantage of the full depth of the compartment and allows a couple more inches access down the middle will help. High in the priority list.]
There's very little to do here in the way of mods, but we did add an electric
oil change pump to make oil changes quicker and easier. We haven't done it yet,
but we will add a SpeedSeal (?) to make raw water pump impeller inspection and
replacement easier. As mentioned above, we replaced the standard alternator
with a 75 amp small-frame BalMar alternator with dual-foot mount. Btw, you have
to get a version from BalMar sized for a 5/16" mounting bolt; apparently
3/8" is the BalMar standard.
[5/2003: we bought a SpeedSeal from True Marine in England and installed it when we replaced the impeller at anchor in Bimini. A couple weeks later we got to see how well it works when we lost another impeller. I think what happened is I installed the impeller with the blades preset in the wrong direction. Btw, a neat way to get the greased impeller blades all preset is to use a couple plastic wire ties tightened enough to fit the impeller inside the pump housing. Takes a little fussing, but it avoids tearing a blade.]
The stock boat has 2-18 gal US diesel tanks which are fine for weekend or vacation cruising. Of course, you can't really get 36 gal into these tanks because of the fit of the filler on the top of the tank. We think we can get only 16 or 17 gal into each tank. For longer distances, more tankage is helpful and the easiest way to do it is with jerry jugs. Unfortunately, deck storage of the jugs has a few problems: they're in the way, even sub-tropical sun kills the plastic in no time and the heat kills the fuel. Each lazarette can accommodate about 4 of the 5-gal size jugs. If you can make covers for them as Celia did for ours, you can also fit 2 more jugs on the aft deck which are protected fromt he sun. These 6-5 gal jerry jugs stored in one or divided between both of the lazarettes nearly doubles our tankage.
We have a large plastic fuel funnel with integral fine-mesh screen for filtering
fuel from the jerry jugs plus a siphon hose with a little mechanical starting
pump (about $10 for the siphon at West Marine and the large plastic fuel funnel
was about $15). We also treat all the fuel with Bio-Gard, though I don't know
if this is the best choice of treatment. We also have one of the original aluminum
Baja filters but don't find it very easy to use because of the messy cleanup
afterward. We keep a gallon jug to collect the dregs that are rejected by the
[3/2003: we built a fuel polishing system consisting of a solenoid fuel pump and a Racor filter; what we found was that the fuel was in pretty good shape after sitting for months. Looks like the BioGard works very well.]
This list is getting pretty short, but there are a few things we're thinking about or have in the works:
You can tell from the list that, other than the A/C and wind generator, we're down to less expensive but very useful mods. Many of these ought to have been done already, but so far we haven't seen a solution we'll really be happy with.
We also got some great ideas from Hans Muller of BOOMERANG. Check out his ideas. Hans is really clever and thinks things through very well.