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Old 29-04-2015, 16:19   #1
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Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

We have an Athena 38 and would like to "pick other owners brains"for ideas on upgrades and improvements etc.
One question is what size battery bank do you have and where? We have 4 6v deep cycle and 1 start batt. Would like 2 add 2 more deep cycle, not quote sure where.
Maybe use this thread as a place to share ideas etc as theres not alot out there on the web which is odd, given the number of these cats made.


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Old 29-04-2015, 16:55   #2
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

Sounds like a lot of lead for a 38' cat. We ran a split box fridge and freezer and all other house loads on 2 6v gels all winter in the Bahamas on just 190 watts of solar as the only charging. Will replace with 280 watts for the next cruise to power a small watermaker.
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Old 29-04-2015, 18:54   #3
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

The thing that has gotten me thinking is that after 2 days of overcast or clouds wed need to start an engine or run the Honda. With good sun our banks are normally topped off by noon and the outback 80 is in float mode. We have a large fridge freezer set up w a bd50 compressor, and about to get. Engel or edgestar for extra drinks etc. (Wife commands it) 😒 had thought of ditching the start batt and just adding 2 more house batteries for a net increase of 1 batt but more resv. Cap, amd using the house bank 2 smart the diesels (small and easy to start so not too worried) hows your trip.going and hows the new boat? Everything you hoped for?

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Old 29-04-2015, 19:39   #4
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

I guess I'd rather run the Honda than carry the extra lead if you're going to carry a generator anyway. The Vardo is an amazing boat. Really hard to compare to any other cruising boatt in terms of joy to sail. The only problem is that sailing any speed bursts less than 12-13 knots feel a bit slow now. The best speed we saw cruising with the kids (playing happily in the saloon) was 16.5 knots and in the Georgetown regatta we were faster than all other cats except a custom Crowther 42 with daggerboards. They only beat us by 9 min elasped on a 18 mile course with 8 miles of beating into 5-6' seas.
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Old 30-04-2015, 01:54   #5
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

We have 3 off 115 Ahr house batteries which are ok with the standard fridge, led lights etc. Intend to put 480W solar on a frame over davits when the boat comes out of charter this winter.
We also will probably get a second fridge freezer, probably a Waco portable plus an inverter to allow us to boost water temp without running engine.
Have looked at adding a 4th house battery and the easiest seems to be to put the starter battery under the port aft bunk in the mostly empty space in front of the engine compartment. Use a sealed starter battery type should prevent gases and cable lengths increased by only about 1m.
We have considered using the Sterling Wildside to replace the existing voltage sensitive relay which combines the starter and house batteries. This fools the port engne alternator into delivering more charge to the house battery, allegedly improving charge rates 5x.
We have changed the main anchor to a 16 kg Kobra which has radically reduced dragging compared to the standard Brittany, may go up to 20kg Kobra or Manson, Rocna, Mantus.
Folding props are high on our list to improve sailing performane, probably the Radice which were a factory option and I have had good reports of durability in charter service.
We love our Athena which my wife and I sail mainly with nobody else, and find it easy to handle, especially compared to the high freeboard modern alternatives, for stern to mooring on lazylines. I guess the reason there is very little about the Athena on CF is that most owners have sorted their boats.
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Old 30-04-2015, 03:17   #6
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

We have a 45lb delta with a lot of chain. Seems to work great, we have a spectra watermaker and our dive gear in the storage space in front of the port engine but may just mount a start battery in the actual eng compartment. We built a hard top and put 2 250 watt, 55volt panels up there, thinking of installing a 12v water heater element and using the diversion load to heat water once the batteries are full, for grins we tried to run the water heater (700 watt isotherm) off our 2kw psw xantrex and it powered it but sucks down an incredible amount of power. Other mods we did are new sunshades that look great, an isinglass enclosure and, converted the strbrd forward stateroom into a pantry. Wife did all the work! Would love to go with folding props someday,,,

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Old 30-04-2015, 10:57   #7
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

I'm not saying this thread needs to be over there but I thought I would mention there is a separate category here on CF that is devoted to Fontaine Pajot, (and Lagoon, etc,). Its under the "Fleets" sub category. Maybe you already know this and are looking for the wider audience here to gather ideas.

With my rudimentary search skills I entered Athena in the "Thread Titles Only" field and found lots of stuff for you to peruse.

Cheers
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Old 30-04-2015, 13:56   #8
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

No I didn't realize that, thanks

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Old 20-05-2015, 14:05   #9
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

After reading Calder etal., and doing a bit of math, I would find it weird to hear of a boat that has less than 400 AH@21hrs of storage, regardless of solar, wind and gen. I'm not writing any books as an expert, just looking at it for myself.
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Old 20-05-2015, 15:40   #10
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

More is better if you can fit them, and have the capacity. Im going to remove the start batt and add 2 more house batts

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Old 21-05-2015, 02:34   #11
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

Our 3 house batteries are about 345 Ahr, probably a bit more at 21 hr rate. Our Athena, with the standard fridge manages really well for at least 2 days at anchor with no charging in Croatia high summer before yout hit 50% charge. Sailing, the consumption with instruments, plotter, VHF, CD radio and autopilot is about 3A, which seems pretty modest. I put this down to the fact that the Athena is a simple boat with very few power consumers. More storage is always useful, but not essential in my view unless you fit high power users such as a large inverter or a freezer. We have netbooks, tablets, 3g wifi and smartphones but all are powered by 12 chargers which works well.

One improvement which we have done but I did not mention before is replacing all the 12V G4 cabin light halogen capsules (16off 10W = 160W) in the standard light fittings with warm white G4 LED capsules. Not only has the lighting improved, but the consumption has gone right down to less than 2A all on.

I find the standard fridge really efficient, which I put down to the factory installation. In the hottest weather it averages about 1.5A, generally around 1A. The fridge organisation is another matter, on the list for this winter!
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Old 21-05-2015, 08:36   #12
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Re: Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 owners upgrades

Those boats and a lot of other FP's have expanded foam filled flotation compartments in the stern steps behind the rudder posts. The foam in there always seems to be waterlogged. The culprit is the screw holes where the rubrail attaches and sometimes where the boarding ladder attaches. The solution is to add inspection ports on the steps and dig out all of the wet, heavy foam. You don't want your cat to be a stern dragger. I found out about this issue on a friends boat last year and since have verified it on two other FP's. Open cell foam below the waterline is not your friend, You are better off with just air in the space.
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