Hello fellow sailors,
been a long-time lurker and love this forum for the wealth of knowledge as well as opinions
As I've just joined, maybe I should first quickly introduce myself. I grew up on the German Baltic
coast and been sailing all my life though I never had the privilege
(or burden) to own a boat apart from the little skiff that I keep for weekend fun sailing on the Baltic
. So I am basically stuck to sail with friends and tried to cure the remaining sailing fever with chartering mainly in the Med and Northern Europe
. A couple years ago, I got lucky to find a girlfriend who shares the sailing passion and to introduce her to my circumnavigation
dream we chartered mostly cats, eg Seychelles
, BVI, etc. That worked out pretty well and so when I just recently proposed to her on Sandy Cay, I combined the question whether she wanted to marry me with the question whether she would sail with me and our family
around the world (I guess that left her little choice
) and got a yes.
We are still in the dreaming phase as our idea is to start our circumnavigation
in about 7 years, basically we want to use the time of the elementary school
for that. As you can see from the timeline, as regards kids
we have now entered the production phase
The boat of choice will definitely be a cat and if I were to buy it now, I would probably go for the FP Helia 44 as I fell a little in love with the lines of her.
Enough said, as this is all certainly of no interest to you. Why I started this thread is that whenever I read something on this forum I instantly imagine whether I would need this adjustment too and how I would design and implement it on my boat, ie right now the Helia. This does not only help my learning
curve but also makes much more fun and I assume this is true for most of the other dreamers (just look at Noelex's thread about anchors setting in real life conditions, which puts the great number of rather theoretical anchor
wars in a great practical perspective). So I was hoping that the real cruisers can share pictures and some explanations of any kind of improvements that you have done to your floating home and how they worked out or whether you would do it differently now, etc. I know that there are a number of threads out here and I read them all but they are mostly either limited to specific equipment
arrays) or to a certain model, so maybe in here we can collect and discuss any great ideas that can be fitted to basically any cat. Stuff I am thinking about, e.g.:
- attachments for towing warps, drogues, parachutes...So far, I have only seen the sea anchor chainplates used by Maxingout and I was thinking of installing something similar at the stern (for the drogues) and the bow (for the parachute and also for the anchor bridle). What have you done or are you just using the winches or cleats for that purpose? I was thinking to combine these with extra cleats and also whether they could be used to provide for attachment points for lifelines, etc.
- security systems...what have you come up with except for closing the door at night? I was thinking of installing motion detectors that point at the transoms which would trigger strobe light and/or sounds, but am unsure if that works out well and does not lead to constant false alarms
- solar...here I've seen great solar arrays that extend over the bimini, but they seem kind a heavy to me and are not always pleasant to the eye. Others use flexible panels but bimini space appears to be too limited to fit 1500 watts or the like. So what I was wondering is if anyone had thought about using semi-flexibles for that, as they are much lighter the frame could be a lot lighter and they would not only be adjustable but in bad weather you could just fold them together. So for the Helia, which has some space at the end of the Bimini behind the traveller for solar panels to be attached to the Bimini, I was thinking whether it would make sense to add another set of flexible panels on a frame that extends over the bimini, and which could, if necessary, be folded onto the first set fixed to the Bimini.
- fuel intake... The standard fuel tank on the Helia would seem to small, so I would like to exchange one water tank next to the anchor locker for an additional fuel tank. Together with filters and pumps, it should be possible to transfer the fuel and polish it at the same time. Also, this set-up could be used to fill the tanks, where I thought I would park the dinghy under the boat and then pump the fuel out of the dinghy through the extra filters into the tank. Is that feasible and has anyone done this?
I could go on and on, but as I am only reading and dreaming I should not waste any more space and would be delighted to see what you have come up with so that we can all learn, discuss or just keep on dreaming
PS: please excuse any mistakes
but I am not a native speaker