Fall Projects

I started ordering boat stuff today. 700 watts of flexible solar panels that will almost cover the top of the pilothouse, and a fancy Victron controller. Exciting. I really want to be self-sufficient and comfortable off the dock, and solar is part of that. It should easily keep the fridge and lights on. More work to follow on batteries and charging systems. The seller bought four new 6 volt FLA batteries at closing, and I’ll likely build on that for the house battery bank. Not my first choice, but inexpensive and practical.

I brought the Westerbeke 5 kw generator with me from Mazurka, and it fits nicely under the cockpit. The old generator had a double isolation mounting system and I’m going to mimic that for the newer generator. It should be quiet and smooth when running.

Heat is coming along. I’ve pretty much settled on a 50,000 btu marine hot water system by ITR that will have individually controlled heaters in each cabin. Found a local sales and service rep and will try to finalize the order this week. The furnace will also live in the stern under the cockpit and vent through the transom. There is a huge amount of equipment space on this boat, and installing heaters and running pipes and cables should be very easy. I’m debating whether to incorporate a heat exchanger that would allow me to capture waste heat from the motor for some heat when underway. It can be added later, but I’m inclined to do it now as part of capital improvements. There’s a recent discussion on Trawler Forum that has helped guide my thoughts on this capability. I have a small new Espar forced air heater that I had considered installing in the pilothouse, but the fully integrated hot water system makes more sense. Maybe I’ll install the Espar on Tin Lizzie.

There are no other big projects imminent. I’ve been slowly going through the inside, and all is good. Replaced a bunch of halogen bulbs and swapped the old incandescent to LED. Got CO and smoke detectors up. Will order shrink wrap also this week, to make sure I get the size I need. Things are moving along at a nice pace.

Escapade is getting lots of positive attention here. It’s a big unusual boat, and the finishes inside and out are very nice. I’m feeling fortunate to have the boat and the time and money to make it pretty perfect for me.

I suppose I should start taking some interior pics. This one is from my favourite lounging position in the salon looking aft. The door leads to a lovely deep covered cockpit. Headroom here is almost 8 feet.

More to follow…

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