The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

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Fotoman

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It could be fun to list the 5 most useful improvements you did on your boat. With a little explanation if you feel like it. Here's my short list.

1. Accumulator tank - couldn't stand to hear the water pump all the time
2. A good sound system with a sub-woofer and remote control - I love music too much!
3. Autopilot
4. A blue courtesy light in the cockpit - brings a*nice atmosphere at night and makes the boat look really cool
5. New batteries - I just need to know I have enough power when I need it
 
Ok, here's mine.

1. Diesel hydronic heat, including outlets on the flybridge. In the PNW, a warm Admiral is a happy Admiral!

2. Autopilot. Especially for the Astoria to Neah Bay offshore run.

3. Laptop with remote monitor/nobeltec for navigation.

4. Satellite TV, I know this is controversial, but my wife is handicapped with very limited mobility. She is also the sports nut of the two of us, so this keeps her happy and entertained while I'm on the docks, up on the bridge, etc. In this case, a happy Admiral is a"warm" Admiral, if you get my drift. It is a Track It TV, or a 90% solution - for the other (stormy) 10% of the time, we shouldn't be trying to watch anyway.

5. 2 Ghz VOX headsets. Great for docking, particularly with the Wife's mobility issues, and sometimes limited sightlines from the bridge.
 
My fab 5, done for the PNW are:

Diesel hydronic heat
Fly bridge enclosure
Instruments - Headsets, Nobeltec and AIS
Bow thruster
Fuel transfer system to allow pumping to or from any of 4 tanks


-- Edited by sunchaser on Tuesday 16th of March 2010 05:52:45 PM
 
all DC fridge
diesel galley stove
extended swimgrid
sturdy boarding ladder
three stage regulator on alternator
 
Solar charge system

Autopilot

Hydraulic windlass

Head galley and shower

Propane fridge / freezer .

Commercial grade rub rail

Queen bed with overheads hatch.

Home couch cushions for pilot house sitting.

Already had dry stack & keel cooling.
 
Bow Thruster
Computer navigation system
Really good Alpine stereo with Bose speakers
Leather couch with fold out bed in the saloon
Satellite TV
 
Autopilot seems to come up quite a bit.* Which is an addition I'd like to have.* But I can't seem to sort out an installation for less than $4k - $5K.* Is that in the ballpark or am I completely off base?

It would be for a 34' Marine Trader, mechanical steering.


Thanks
 
4-5k sounds about right if you can't do any of it yourself. The installation is really quite easy except for the mounting of the hydraulic drive. On my MT the PO had a wood shelf built saturated in epoxy and then glassed to hold the drive not really rocket science but life with out the auto sucks (I know mine was down for a couple of months last year).

My list in no particular order:

re-design of salon
outlet and fridge on flybridge
underwater fish lights
big battery bank
genset

-- Edited by Daddyo on Wednesday 17th of March 2010 07:59:36 AM

-- Edited by Daddyo on Wednesday 17th of March 2010 08:05:59 AM
 

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1. Draft beer Tap
2. Nuclear engine
3.Auto anchor system
4. Auto docking system.
5. Anti-rain switch.*

Were we being serious here?
*

SD
 
Gen set
iota battery chargers
led cabin lights
speakers on the flybridge
new garmin gps on flybridge

-- Edited by motion30 on Wednesday 17th of March 2010 08:53:54 AM
 
So how did the forward looking sonar work out?*
wink.gif
 
skipperdude wrote:



1. Draft beer Tap
2. Nuclear engine
3.Auto anchor system
4. Auto docking system.
5. Anti-rain switch.*

Were we being serious here?
*

SD
I don't know how serious we are but I sure like the draft beer tap idea! In fact, it is such a cool idea I now feel compelled to do it!

*
 
Yeah me to. I have the gear. I am a home brewer. I use the cornelius kegs.
I run sea water for coolant 45 deg run it off my washdown pump. have a small bilge pump to circulate and change the water.
Just need to permanently install the tap. Now it justs hangs off the back deck. I want a real tap with an oosik for the handle.
SD




-- Edited by skipperdude on Wednesday 17th of March 2010 04:30:26 PM
 
it is cool to see that people like their music on here like i do. another thing i was considering is a permanently installed margarita machine.
 
If I had me a 12 volt margarita mixer. I'd be listening to tunes too

A little Buffet goes a long way.
SD
 
You've got it all wrong. Aged rum and tonic with a lime wedge, no electricity needed! It's all good Mon!
 
I'm still looking to install a "Dial a Wind",

powered by a single D cell it lets one dial in the current wind speed and direction.
 
"But I can't seem to sort out an AUTOPILOT installation for less than $4k - $5K.* Is that in the ballpark or am I completely off base?

An autopilot can be about a grand IF you have mechanical steering , a sail boat wheel system will work just fine.

If you are stuck with a wheel is the pump hyd setup , the sail system MAY work.

The hassle is the "cenerered " position on the wheel moves depending on internal leaks in the system.

WE have installed them on boats and the only downside is every "so often" the unit needs to be re centered.If its every hour or* half hour , its no big deal.

IF ITS EVERY 10 MIN ITS A PAIN !
 
FF wrote:

An autopilot can be about a grand IF you have mechanical steering , a sail boat wheel system will work just fine.
FF - Are you talking about the "Wheelpilots"?* I was hoping to go that route.* I love the simplicity.* But the ones I've seen are for boats of displacement only up to 16k - 18K pounds.* My boat is more like 24k.* Do you know of any wheel pilots that will handle larger boats?

Thanks

*
 
"Are you talking about the "Wheelpilots"?* I was hoping to go that route.* I love the simplicity.* But the ones I've seen are for boats of displacement only up to 16k - 18K pounds.* My boat is more like 24k.* Do you know of any wheel pilots that will handle larger boats?"

We had a WP4000 on our GB36 years ago....it worked just fine. On a sail boat the system needs more power as is needs to be able to compensate for larger fluctuating* loads due to the wind/swell action. You just have to put up with the thing mounted at the helm.

*
 
hollywood8118 wrote:We had a WP4000 on our GB36 years ago....it worked just fine. On a sail boat the system needs more power as is needs to be able to compensate for larger fluctuating* loads due to the wind/swell action. You just have to put up with the thing mounted at the helm.
Well, now I'm re-energized!* Nothing like a little real world experience to clarify things.

Thanks!

*
 
if you like simplicity. If you can find one. *A Woodfreeman most likely*the last thing still working on an old fish boat when it gives up the ghost.

SD
 
Lurker, I sent a msg to you last night regarding my installation. Yes, wheel pilots do work. By the way, if your MT34 weights 24k it's 'way over the original spec of ~17k#: I have no idea what mine weighs now, but with genset, etc I know I'm probably about the same configuration/weight as you.

Since the helm of a trawler is going to be far less responsive that that of a sailboat, you'll need to make allowances for heavier weather. My prior experience was a similar unit mounted on a Catalina 34, and they ain't the same animal.

My belt-drive wheelpilot is fine for relatively calm seas, and I doubt you'd want to depend on it in much of a following sea, but the motor having the muscle to move the wheel/rudder hasn't been a problem.

A casual look around on the net shows units in the $600k or so on Ebay. I cannot speak to the newer units for ease of installation, since they are direct-drive units with the motor right up by the wheel. My belt-drive rig allows a lot more flexibility for installation, with the drive motor mounted all the way to the deck against the stbd bulkhead of the flybridge.
 
skipperdude wrote:

I want a real tap with an oosik for the handle.

That's just wrong on so many levels.................Arctic Traveller

*
 
Daddyo wrote:

So how did the forward looking sonar work out?*
wink.gif
We won't leave home without it.* Better than any depthsounder, and it keeps you out of trouble.....................Arctic Traveller

*
 
1) Auto pilot
2) ER Camera
3) Combo Plotter, Radar and Sounder
4) Innerspring mattress
5) Deionized Water at my Slip (I have a blue hull and
this removes all water spotting after coming off an outing.)
 
Lurker, here are a couple of pics of the installation of my wheel pilot. When not in use, the control head can be unclipped and stowed in the forward laz. under the bridge.* I'm not sure of the vintage, but... it works.
 

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