More Marine Trader Makeovers

We have been working fast and furious to get new projects finished for a possible trip north to the Chesapeake. One of the projects was to get the chartplotter installed at the flybridge, which we have had for months, and to reinstall the compass as well as replace the non-functioning amp gauge with a voltage meter. There are those that prefer an amp meter but we much prefer to know at a glance what the alternator is doing by the voltage it is putting out. The replacement was pretty straight forward with only a bit of rewiring. The compass had been mounted over on the centerline of the bridge so viewing it from the helm was a bit awkward. In addition I had built a box to mount the plotter rather than spend $300.00 for a navpod. The box was built from teak plywood, epoxied over and painted with Awlgrip. Since all of this needed to be mounted we decided to paint the helm area with Awlgrip before mounting the equipment rather than mounting it and removing it again later for painting. Both the compass and the plotter will be very helpful and important on the trip north. We choose the Standard Horizon CP300 plotter because we had used it extensively on our previous boat and were very pleased with the performance. We are not big fans of integrated systems so the stand alone plotter fit very nicely into our budget. IMO is the best bang for the buck, was very dependable for us in the past and is very user friendly with a simple menu set up. In addition it uses the C-Map navigation chip and again we do prefer that to other formats.

Transforming The Non Skid Decks

This is an article we wrote for the July/August 2009 issue of Good Old Boat.

Anyone that owns or is considering the purchase of an older boat that is in need of some renovations has wrestled with what to do with worn or faded non-skid surfaces on the decks. There are several options including artificial materials glued to the decks, paints and coatings. Our Mariner 40 ketch, Sea Trek, has just had the 30th anniversary of the laying of her keel. We have lived aboard and cruised her extensively since we purchased her 16 years ago and the repairs and renovations have been ongoing from the beginning. While she had not been abused, she had not been used and was allowed to simply sit at the dock uncared for. Simple cosmetics like redoing the extensive teak trim was easy although time consuming. Our plans were two fold; first to bring her back to like new condition and second to make her as safe and comfortable as possible for offshore and coastal cruising.

Anchor Washdown System

When we found our first serious cruising boat, Sea Trek, we did a shakedown cruise on the Chesapeake Bay on our first weekend of ownership. Upon our return to the dock that Sunday we put one project at the top of our to-do list. On our new boat, Beach House, we recently did a day trip with our visiting children and grandchildren. After a day of fishing and anchoring on the Beaufort River off Parris Island, and catching a few Shark and Redfish, that same project came to the top of our list once again. Nothing says you need a wash down system like hauling up an anchor and rode full of black goop that attaches itself to the anchor, rode, anchor platform, windlass, foredeck, anchor locker and anything else within a couple of feet of it. So once the kids were heading back north we began the project in earnest. Since all of the parts were already sitting on a shelf in the boat, starting it was easy. We always try to plan out each project and after careful study determine all of the main components ahead of time and gather them from whatever sources we know to be a dependable supplier. Many of the small items that make up the details are purchased as the project progresses.

A Hatch From Scratch

Our article from the May/June 2009 issue of Good Old Boat

Sometimes a simple solution to a problem is not always simple. Although our former boat, Sea Trek is a great cruising vessel, there are a few things we wanted to change. One draw back was the lack of good ventilation below. With six opening ports we thought it would not be a problem. But with ten-inch high bulwarks around the deck it left something wanting. The only deck hatch is forward over the vee-berth. This is great for sleeping but still not great for airflow thru out the main cabin. We added strategically placed solar vents and cabin fans but in the tropical areas we usually cruise it was still not enough.