I noted as part of your refit
that you now have AGM
batteries and just wanted to mention that they need a slightly charging
regimen than wet or gel cells. It's very close to what wet cells need but not exactly the same, so to get the max life out of them, if you haven't already, get your voltage regulator
set up for AGM's.
If you're still looking for a good surveyor
, I can recommend the one who did the prepurchase survey
on the boat I just bought. He's an older guy but still sharp as a tack, knows boats, and he's very conscientious. He came back to my boat a total of 4 or 5 times to double check things, and even took the trouble to bend on the jib
on a cold day so he could get a really good look at it. He got the final report to me within 3 or 4 days of finishing the survey
. Very dry sense of humor
but not in a negative, sarcastic way at all. I enjoyed being in touch with him and watching him work. If you want to contact him, just PM me and I'll be happy to forward his contact info.
It sounds like you and your wife have got things pretty well covered and I'm envious you get to go now and I still have a 4 1/2 years to wait to live aboard full time! Others have alluded to it also, but it's super important that you and your wife are on the same wavelength about undertaking this cruising lifestyle and it sounds like you've more than got that covered. You're gonna have SO much fun together!
I also agree with others that the sailing you do prior to getting an autopilot
fitted is going to serve as autopilot
appreciation days that you'll remember for a long, long time! I fly airplanes for a living and we spend 90%+ of our time on autopilot, not so much because hand flying is particularly tough, but because it's monotonous and occupies a large portion of the brain cells you have available for thinking. It almost seems like when you engage the autopilot your IQ jumps up about 25 points and it allows you to prepare yourself for the next portion of the flight. I understand why you are waiting and I'm sure you'll be fine for a week or so without one, but you're going to REALLY love it once you get it installed! Good luck!