Here is a top ten list (well, nine is pretty close) of what we did during the refit that we really like:
1. Our new Hall Spars carbon mast. The boat is stiffer, pitches less, and we have every confidence in the engineering and execution of this great spar from a great company.
2. The Treadmaster deck covering we installed. It was a huge amount of work, but we are truly nailed to the boat now and feel far safer than we did on the old non-skid painted deck or even on the teak we had before that.
3. The new rudder bearings perfectly installed and aligned by David, machinist at Billings Diesel and Marine. The steering is smoother and easier than it has ever been.
4. New running rigging and running back stays of rope. Much nicer to handle than our old rigging of wire, particularly since, being lighter and therefore having less momentum, loose halyards and runners don’t whip around in a seaway when we are changing sails. By using exotics specified, supplied and spliced by Jay Maloney, we got greater strength than wire with almost no stretch.
5. We completely rebuilt the forepeak to accommodate a newly designed chain locker so that all 330’ of our 7/16” chain will self-stow without any need for someone below to flake it down—not just a convenience, but safer too since both of us can now be on deck when hauling the anchor.
6. Our new electronic navigation system comprising a Dell laptop—out of harm’s way below—running Nobeltec software with C-Map MaxPro vector charts driving a waterproof screen, keyboard and mouse at the cockpit chart table; a powerful and flexible system that will be easily upgradable to take advantage of future advances in software and cartography.
7. The small changes we made to the deck running rigging and fittings including more clutches and improved leads—small stuff but a big improvement in sailing efficiency.
8. Ergonomic and technical improvements that we have made to my (John’s) office (the old chart table) and Phyllis’ work station (the salon table), that make them more comfortable and efficient for working on writing and photography.
9. The wood bezels we had built, fitted with removable Lexan covers that double glaze our ports so that they no longer drip condensation on us when it is cold.