* Greetings all:
Hereís an update from ile de Grace, Orana 44 #21. Sorry for the long delay, but Iím just now catching up to this thread.
First, I apologize for the pornsters having overrun the Yahoo group Ė I shut it down last year
Second, having taken delivery
in La Rochelle in April 2008, we are presently in Tahiti
, en route
to Oz, the Indian Ocean
, the Red Sea, the Med, and then back home to Annapolis
, MD (USA). Weíve put a lot of work and a lot of miles on our boat
, and here are some thoughts on our common vessel:
All things considered, the boat is handling well, but we havenít really been in a blow to speak of; max winds have been in the 30-40 knot
range; max seas in the 10-15 foot range. We have the gennaker
rig, and use it a fair amount. I leave a reef in the main at all times, sinece the last bit of sail doesnít add that much, and as cruisers, Iím not that interested in hyper-performance. I can sail up to about 45-50 degrees apparent, but it's hard work getting closer, and we usually end up motor
sailing in anything closer that 50 degrees. We've been weighted down with extra fuel
for some of our longer passages, but we're still slower than, say, a Francis 44, which was running a full knot
faster over a four-day period of varying winds with each of us having similar canvas
. No matter; we each got there!
We re-rigged the reefing gear
to allow us to reef the luff points at the steering wheel
. We put blocks into the cringles, and ran the luff and leach lines around blocks at the base of the mast
back to Spinlock jammers just forward of the winches. That way, we can reef without leaving the cockpit
. Chafe is an issue under either our approach or the original factory approach, and I often go up when the weather
settles or my wife is on deck
and tie off the cringles and release the tension on the jammers.
We have added a lot of safety equipment
, including stainless handrails around the length of the cabin
top. I think the factory arrangement of having the scuppers serve as handrails is unsafe in most any kind of weather
, and we feel very secure now knowing that the handholds are large and obvious.
We added a large stern stainless archway, where we have 4 x 135w solar panels
and a KISS wind generator
, as well as our GPS antenna
. We can also raise our dinghy
much higher than the original davits
allow (we kept them in place for harbor use). We also added a swiveling block-and-pulley system for our 20hp outboard
We installed a deck
box immediately aft of the cockpit
seat, and store our SNUBA compressor
and airlines, as well as our drogue/parachute line and chain. We werenít going to be lounging there often on our circumnavigation
, and the space fills in nicely.
We installed backing plates
for all our deck cleats
; strangely, these were not backed, and they slip and slide without that essential support.
We added another support column for our cockpit roof; on the Atlantic passage
, the original stanchion (roughly centerline on the starboard side of the settee) pulled free, victim of a poor design/weld job at its base. In addition to backplating this in Bermuda
, we added a second stanchion on the starboard side of the aft exit from the cockpit table area, at the aft inboard corner of the roof over the master bedroomís roof . We feel much more secure, since these in effect hold the main halyard
We added an insulator (just one) to the top of our starboard shroud
, and installed a HF radio
above the desk in the master cabin
, running the antenna
behind the wall, forward to the head
, and then attached to the chainplate. We get excellent reception
We have Furuno
instruments, and after an initial issue where the factoryís installation
contractor apparently used non-Furuno junction boxes and connectors, weíve had no issues; quite the contrary, I love my Furuno gear
, and we use the autopilot
99% of the time, linked into the easy-to-use and to-date failsafe Navnet
3D system. I installed an autopilot
repeater at the nav station, so I can drive from inside or out.
Our D1-30 Volvo
engines have worked great, but recently, we fell victim to what I gather is a common issue: failure of the saildrive clutch
assembly. At present, with 800 hours on the engine
, we are in Tahiti
; itís an intermittent problem Ė more often than not, when we engage the gear, we get RPMs but no prop rotation. Itís a relatively easy fix, but annoying, and here in the hinterlands, a bit pricey for parts
I replaced the Volvo fuel
pre-filters with Racor
filters, so I can see whatís going on. In addition, I never put fuel straight from a land hose into my tank; I always pass through a Baja
filter. That way, I have three filters before it hits my engine. Weíve seen some skanky fuel in these parts!
I replaced the plastic thru-hulls with bronze thru-hulls.
I added an electric
toilet for the master head
I installed a Spectra Cape Horn watermaker
on the inside of the starboard bow compartment; easy to access, service
, and monitor
. It pushes out 18 liters/hour at about 14 amps on both pumps; 9 liters/7 amps on one pump. Aside from user error, flawless high-quality water production for washing
, showering, etc. We run it for 4 hours about every third or fourth day (I have the optional Z-Brane, which prevents scaling & biogrowth with a high voltage, low amperage current
running thru the membrane.
We have the Maestro version (early layout), and have reconfigured the forward part of the starboard hull considerably. First, we took the shallow inboard locker just forward of the escape hatch
and pulled it outboard
about 8 inches, installed proper shelves, and now have a wonderful deep and commodious pantry. Second, we ripped out the flat bunk top, and re-configured the forward space to accommodate a washing
machine (aft against the dook/bulkhead), and just forward, inboard, a portable 12V Engle freezer
that draws virtually nothing, and keeps us loaded with frozen fish
from our generally successful trolling efforts. If you install a washing machine, make sure you can cap off the water drain tube; ours is located about 3 feet above the water line, but in the proper seas, water is forced up and over. I plug
the top before passages.
We experienced minor but annoying finishing issues with production Ė a loose vent tube on a port head holding tank
and an improperly caulked cockpit sliding door combined to create a two-source leak issue into our port hull. That took a while to diagnose!
Our Xatrex battery monitor
(still) cannot register amperage coming to the batteries from our 9.5kW genset; I havenít had time or expertise to diagnose this yet, but Iím sure itís a quick fix. As it stands, I have to intuit my way to managing my batteries, since for some reason, the folks that installed my solar
provided only a stand-alone metric for their contribution.
FP came through on all significant warranty issues, so no quarrels there; I do wish theyíd have spent a bit more time on the little finishing details, but all in all, no complaints.
Things We Still Have To Do:
We need some kind of dodger
for the helm
station; we purchased the so-called bimini
top, but itís too small for real sun protection, and offers no protection against rain and wind
in the open ocean. Still noodling that design in my head.
I need to consolidate our battery
monitors, so I can see at one glance where we are.
Thatís it; if anyone wants more info or pics or details, feel free to email
me directly, as I have limited access to the internet
per se, and easier access to email
. I can also speak to vendors who have almost uniformly been outstanding in their support as we undertake our journey.
Lastly, our blog is at: http://sv-grace.blogspot.com
Best to all!