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Old 06-01-2019, 16:16   #1
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What upgrades for production boats?

I know the topic of production boats for bluewater sailing has been done ad nauseam. This is not what I'm asking here. Let's get past that for a moment. Let's say a used production 40' coastal cruiser has been inspected and checks all the boxes for its price and is safe to be used for what is was built for. The new prospective owner loves the boat but intends to use it for the ARC. What upgrades are recommended? What does the new owner spend money on to make a more capable ocean going ship? I'm not referring to crew experience here. Purely equipment. Thank you all.
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Old 06-01-2019, 18:22   #2
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

As I recall the ARC requires certain equipment and has another list of recommended equipment. This would be a good place to start. Both lists fall in the general safety category, and this stuff is not wrong to have on board. For ocean transits suchbas ARC I would then take a hard look at my downwind sailing gear, probably carrying a light wind assymetrical and maybe another suited for more energetic winds. Then I would consider a water maker, depending on intended cruising grounds and budget.

Think also about the galley, and equipping it so that much joy comes from there. Evaluating the mattress is also worthwhile. Make sure there are tools and knowhow to troubleshoot every system on board, and a thought out set of spares. Clean the entire boat, and add touches to make it into YOUR home.

Best thing to do is use the boat enough to know it's idiosyncrasies, then only add stuff that improves your enjoyment and confidence in your ship.
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Old 06-01-2019, 23:31   #3
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

Well, it would help to know which 40' coastal cruiser we're talking about, but there's always rigging and chainplates of course, perhaps rudder, bulkhead tabbing, many other things... But really, if the boat was not designed and built with rigorous conditions in mind, maybe it's not necessarily the best choice to begin with.
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Old 07-01-2019, 00:40   #4
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

Anchor and windlass would be one on my list. Usually the standard offering on a production boat is a little on the light side. If the boat didn't get the upgrade then I would look at this.(bigger anchor, heavier and longer chain etc)

Batteries/alternator/charger (same as anchor). Depends on your needs.


Water/fuel - are they big enough? Can you increase if not (usually a bigger job). Again depends on your needs.


Emergency rudder solution.



There's all the other usual stuff (sails, safety gear, interior, cooling/ventilation) but that applies to all boats, not just a stock production one. The ARC checklist is a great starting point for this stuff.
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Old 07-01-2019, 00:50   #5
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

Having just returned from doing the ARC on a friends newly acquired 40' monohull, I would recommend the following items to make it more enjoyable:

Spin or whisker pole. Most sailing is dead down wind. Advantageous for wing on wing sailing.

Extra freezer space depending on size of standard icebox

Ventilation: It will get hot and stuffy on the crossing if hatches will not be opened. Recommend lots of multispeed fans. Multispeed allows regulation of power use.

All I can think of now. May edit as I think about it.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:40   #6
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

The electrical system will not likely be up to any real cruising life, let alone serious ocean crossing. It will need larger battery capacity and the means of charging it: solar, wind, gen set, bigger alternator on the propulsion engine and the means to control and monitor the system. I suspect that this aspect causes the most overall trouble for newbie cruisers of all the suspects, and has the greatest variety of potential solutions. The dozens of threads on electrical systems here on CF bear silent testimony to the elusiveness of the solution!

Most of the other shortcomings of a simple production boat are simple purchase and install issues: bigger anchor, more chain, a good dink, renew rigging, service engine, ensure that sails are in good nick, get some light air canvas... all pretty simple (just expensive). But the electrics require a good deal of thought and insight into usage patterns and energy supplies, and full of technical stuff that many folks are unsure about. Good fun sorting it out for nerds and techos, but intimidating to many.

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Old 07-01-2019, 05:47   #7
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

WORLD CRUISING CLUB (ARC) RALLY HANDBOOK

5. BOAT PREPARATIONS (Begins page 02-47)
This section will consider how to prepare the boat for the rally, including suggestions for equipment that may be bought specially for long-distance cruising. It also includes top tips for making the boat comfortable at sea.

Donít forget that Section 2, Safety, covers all of the mandatory and recommended safety equipment that the boat should carry. See pages 11-30.

https://www.worldcruising.com/CMS/CM...b_Complete.pdf

https://www.worldcruising.com/arc/safety.aspx
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:28   #8
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

I would give the standing rigging a good look and consider strengthening it where necessary. A lot of rigs for coastal cruisers are not deseigned for extended and heavy offshore work. Upgraded running rigging is not a bad idea either or at least carrying enough rope for replacement lines.

I suspect a lot of dismastings that occur offshore are the result of rigs stressed beyond their capabilities. You see a lot of flimsy booms and vangs on coastal cruisers.

Relatedly make sure your sail inventory gives you options. Coastal sails are significantly lighter than offshore sails. The main rarely has three reefs. Full battens are good for longevity. Get a blade jib. For more brisk conditions. A storm jib and storm trysail can make the difference between riding a storm out without incident and having shredded canvas that canít get you home.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:42   #9
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

I fail to see what this thread has to do with "production" boats. There are so many articles etc. that cover what equipment a sailboat "should" have for various things that would be so much faster and thorough in answering the question than waiting weeks as a forum battles it out. Regardless if the OP wants to try to sort out forum "answers" or some book/article writers "answers", they will need to try to determine their comfort level answer.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:41   #10
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What upgrades for production boats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I fail to see what this thread has to do with "production" boats. There are so many articles etc. that cover what equipment a sailboat "should" have for various things that would be so much faster and thorough in answering the question than waiting weeks as a forum battles it out. Regardless if the OP wants to try to sort out forum "answers" or some book/article writers "answers", they will need to try to determine their comfort level answer.


I donít think theyíre not asking about adding equipment so much as upgrading and more fundamental modifications. Perfectly reasonable question to ask here as the topic is generally covered only tangentially in
most books, if at all. As for their comfort level thatís their filter not ours.
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Old 08-01-2019, 07:36   #11
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Well, it would help to know which 40' coastal cruiser we're talking about, but there's always rigging and chainplates of course, perhaps rudder, bulkhead tabbing, many other things... But really, if the boat was not designed and built with rigorous conditions in mind, maybe it's not necessarily the best choice to begin with.
And then get the boat you like and can afford. As far as I know just about everything made by for the market could do these runs. Will it be perfect? No. But then the ones often recommended by this forum will be old and uncomfortable and you will want to sell it and fly home.
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Old 08-01-2019, 13:39   #12
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

A couple of thoughts,

Hand holds and grab rails. A lot of newer production boats are pretty wide and have limited hand holds. Adding a few of these could make life much easier.

On the refrigeration system, if it's one of the fancy new drawer ones, consider some sort of arrester to prevent it from flying out when your on a heel, probably good to do even if your not doing blue water.

Bilge pump location, with a lot of the flatter hulls on modern boats, make sure your bilge pump can get at incoming water when the boat is healed, if it's needed you don't want to have to drop your sails and flatten the boat to evacuate any water that's gotten in the boat.
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Old 10-01-2019, 18:17   #13
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

Thank you for all the responses. I guess I should have mentioned at the start that this was just information gathering. I didnt name a specific boat because there isnt one yet. I apologize if I wasted anyone's time. I start my sailing lessons this summer and am already looking forward to finding myself a smaller craft for the lakes around here to learn on. But I never do anything half way. I set my goals pretty high. So this is part of information gathering for a possible future. Thank you again for all the opinions and advice. Believe me it will be remembered.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:53   #14
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

Upgrades? Most new boats have sails, a propane stove and ST winches so I would say
A really good anchor and windless. Most ( including me) cruisers have too much stuff
On their boat. I made a circumnavigation on a 29 ft boat with a handheld GPS
And a FHF radio thatís it. I had no problems because I had nothing to break down. Go as simple as you can. I think AIS would be a good thing.
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Old 11-01-2019, 17:55   #15
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Re: What upgrades for production boats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southpaw72 View Post
Thank you for all the responses. I guess I should have mentioned at the start that this was just information gathering. I didnt name a specific boat because there isnt one yet. I apologize if I wasted anyone's time. I start my sailing lessons this summer and am already looking forward to finding myself a smaller craft for the lakes around here to learn on. But I never do anything half way. I set my goals pretty high. So this is part of information gathering for a possible future. Thank you again for all the opinions and advice. Believe me it will be remembered.
No time wasted. It does help to know which production boat we are talking about because the build quality varies. A bunch of us here love talking about boats! Good luck in your new sailing ventures, get out there and get wet! Get yerself a Laser and go out every afternoon after work (if you can) and have a blast and after a couple weeks YOU will be teaching the sailing class!
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