1. The dryer is part of the washer - it is an all-in-one unit, although I have heard from many people who have them that the dryer doesn't work too well, especially on heavy items like jeans and towels.
2. We bought the extra Lifeline batteries and extra solar panels
(we have 6) to keep them charged. Under normal conditions, I don't need to run my generator
for anything but air conditioning
, since the solar panels
keep the batteries happy. When we were the show boat in 2004, we were opening and closing the fridge and freezer
all day long, had lots of lights on, etc. and we weren't on shore power! That's how well the solar panels work. We don't have a wind generator
and have no plans to get one. The inverter
, however, gets used almost daily. Never had a problem with it.
3. I'll check with the captain
about the radar
. I'm not sure what we have and we're not aboard at this time.
4. We don't currently have a sea anchor
, but we are researching them. Based on your cruising plans, it is probably a good idea, but I don't have any personal experience using either them or with drogues.
5. The engines are very quiet up top, obviously a little noisier down below. The only time I have ever been in my bunk with the engines going is when we have been on a passage
. That means I am going to get 3-4 hours of sleep before I have to be on watch again, so I'm usually tired enough to crash regardless of noise
. And given the choice between engines under the bunks or accessed at the stern steps, give me the bunk set up. If you develop engine
trouble in a heavy sea, you don't want to be out on the stern steps trying to fix it.
6. With fresh water
heads and 4 women aboard, a watermaker
is essential. I know Manta
has switched from Spectra to Sea Recovery
, so I can't really comment except to say that we have had a bit of trouble with the Spectra this winter. I'm sure if you prefer Spectra that Manta will install it. I would absolutely have the factory install this piece of equipment
, as the cost of installation
is not that great compared to the cost of the unit, and you don't want to void the warranty because you made a mistake in the installation
7. There are other, little things that will make your life easier. For example, an extra overhead light above the fridge/freezer and a light over the dry locker (mounted under the cabinet). Look into different salon
table options (with a family
of 5, you need one that doesn't have that taper on the end).
Hope this helps.