– It seems like a small thing, but it is amazing
what two little canvas panels can do. Our sleeping
arrangement put our 13 year old in the vee berth,
and the two younger kids in the aft berth. We used
the Dinette. A barrier of clothing bags runs down
the center of the aft berth in the low area. One
fabric panel snaps around the companionway entrance
in the rear and the other across the vee berth at
the forward seat back. This creates 3 private
staterooms and a salon at night. Each can
retire to their space, all had reading lights.
Having the kids tucked away made the trip much more
pleasent for my wife and I. We could read
late, had free access to the cockpit and dock.
A number of times we also would get up and get under
way early while the kids still slept in their
Air bed – With
the dinette table lowered a standard twin sized
airbed fits perfectly in the space. We were
skeptical at first, but found it wasn’t bad at all
for both Dawn and I to sleep on the twin sized bed.
You do have to roll in sync, but we quickly got the
hang of this and the comfort of the airbed far
exceeded even our new foam we added last year.
Setup was quick and easy each night. I don’t think
our backs would have survived so many nights on the
Full cockpit enclosure
– This yet again proves worth every penny it cost.
It adds a much needed extra room to the boat. With
so much sun during the trip we greatly appreciated
its shade. It also made the rough passages much
more pleasant with its excellent protection from
storage – We had a lot, and we added even more.
Everything had a place. We both commented when we
were all loaded that the boat seemed less crowded
and full than it ever has before. And boy did we
have a lot more stuff. You don’t really notice it
loading as things go in a bit at a time, but when we
got home and unloaded everything at once it was
amazing all the stuff we took along.
– We added this last summer and it has proved to be
a great addition. Surprisingly we don’t use that
much more water either.
Larger potty –
A must, even with the large tank it needs to be
emptied every 3 days. Canada does not have any pump
outs or potty dump stations. It is legal there to
discharge overboard everywhere except a few bays and
coves. For the most part we were able to use
restrooms but one time did have to make a dump over
the side. Not a pleasant event.
Larger dinghy with
motor – We upgraded to a 9’9” dinghy with a high
pressure air floor. It rolls very compactly for
storage on the bow yet has 1100lbs capacity to
easily carry all 5 of us. We added our 6 hp Yamaha
which we’ve owned for years. The motor easily can
plane out the boat. We had a 3 gallon tank that
straps in the dinghy and provided plenty of fuel.
The motor is stored on the starboard transom on a
trolling mount. In that position it can be lowered
as a backup motor
and it pushed the Mac at 5-6 knots without any
– We purchased a special 12v electric pump that
makes short work of the dinghy and the air bed. It
has an auto shut off pressure valve and has two
stages allowing it to reach the 10psi needed for the
air floor. It inflates each dinghy compartment in
less than 30 seconds.
24 gallons fuel
– The four tempo value 6 fuel tanks were great.
Their design, with the filler opening and the fuel
pickups at the end rather than on top is perfect for
the Mac fuel lockers once modified to let them fit. All that is required to fill
them is to unscrew the cap as it is completely
accessible without removing the tank. Switching
from one tank to another is quick and easy as the
connections are easy to see and reach.
Wide open galley
– This continues to be a great mod. It allows every
bit of space in the galley area to be used and
5 day cooler –
A must. With a block of ice we could count on 4 days
of cold food. After struggling a couple times
to remove the full coolers and dump the water from
the melted ice we hit on a great solution. We
pulled out the manual bilge pump and just pumped the
water into the galley sink. No more heavy
Multi mount table
– This proved to be a great idea. We have had a
Magma third mate BBQ table for a few years that we
mounted on the transom. I bought a couple more rod
holder mounts so we could put it to use inside the
cabin. I mounted one on the back of the forward
dinette seat. This lets us store the table in the
vee berth area out of the way yet it can still hold
things. It is offset back enough that you can still
sit at the seat without hitting it. I mounted
another on the forward side of the galley. This
lets the table become a galley extension over the
port setee. It adds a huge amount of additional
space to the galley area. It also serves in either
of the locations as a entertainment center with the
laptop strapped to it. The preferred space was the
galley location. From there all 5 of us can easily
sit around the dinette area and watch a movie.
Amp hour meter
– I was concerned that our two 4 year old group 24
dual purpose batteries (130Ah total) would not be
enough. I almost added a third, but decided to keep
a close eye on things using the Link 10 meter.
Having the meter proved that available power really
wasn’t an issue. I would check multiple times a day
and each day at bed. Our lowest reading, after 3
days out without shore power was –26.8 Ah. Most of
that was using the inverter to run the laptop for
movies. We did the three nights in Princess Louisa
and were only -18Ah down. Having the meter gave me
great peace of mind.
Laptop computer /
DVD player – We took along my eMachines laptop
for occasional chart planning and tides and current
use, but mainly for movies. It’s WXGA 15” wide
screen makes a great movie playing machine. Its
speakers need some help when under way with the motor
higher rpms, so I added a FM modulator that plugs in
the headphone jack and transmits the audio to the
stereo/CD player with it’s big speakers. This can
turn the cabin into decent little home theater.
electronic charts – Having accurate easy to read
color charts right at the helm ready for reference
with your position displayed is really great. It
takes a lot of the apprehension out of traveling new
territory. The charts and the GPS feed proved to be
very accurate, right down to the slip in the
harbor. The Otter case For the PPC did a excellent
job of protecting the Pocket PC yet keeping all it’s
controls and it’s touch screen completely useable.
The Ozi Explorer software worked flawlessly on both
the Laptop and the Pocket PC. It also seamlessly
handled uploading the waypoints and routes to our
old Lowrance GPS. It’s feature of scanning for and
automatically selecting the highest detail chart for
your position is great as you move into harbors and
off the edge of one chart to another.
Auto Pilot –
The SportPilot+ autopilot we installed did a great
job. It is particularly good at following a route
using the GPS autopilot commands. Just being able
to let go of the wheel briefly to go take care of
something is great, having the boat drive itself to
the next destination on it’s own is really a treat.
It also lets you move forward in the cockpit
underway. It’s very surprising how just a few feet
forward can reduce the noise from the outboard
Game Boy SP’s
– For kids like ours who spend quite a bit of time
gaming having the gameboys, 3 of them, along was
great. The SP model folds compactly, has a backlit
easy to use screen and best of all has a very long
lasting rechargeable Li-Ion battery.
Book racks –
we had two book racks at the starboard end of each
dinette seat, but we needed more space for the long
trip. I added a rack using a wood strip and shock
cord that runs the entire width of the dinette
footwell on the starboard side. This gave us space
for all our books, magazines, and logs and doesn’t
get in the way of lowering the table at all.
120v power –
We’ve always had a charger wired to a 15 amp inlet
on the transom, but I re-wired and brought the feed
line to a set of breakers, then fed back to the
charger and a GFCI outlet just forward of the
galley. This now let’s us easily plug in chargers,
the computer, the vacuum, and occasionally the small
fan we brought. I’d like to also wire in a 120v
light or two for use at the docks.
120v vacuum –
We were going to get a 12v shop vac style vacuum but
couldn’t find one. Originally we left without one
but we stopped on the third day in Port Townsend as
it became obvious we needed something. Dawn ended
up with a small 120v dirt devil. It has good
suction and a spinning brush. We were plugged in
often enough it served well on both the
carpets/upholstery and on the hard surfaces. It’s
motor is small enough even our small inverter can
run it if needed.
Extra lights –
Having 11 hard wired lights scattered through out
the boat made evenings and nights much better. Up
in the vee berth we have a halogen light on a
flexible stalk which takes care of reading in the
forward stateroom. Above the table we have the
standard factory light. On the forward wall of the
head at the dinette we have a halogen pivoting
reading light that worked well in bed. On the port
side I moved the forward factory light back centered
directly above the galley to get more light on work
there. I filled it’s old spot with a LED fixture
that gives adequate low current draw light in the
salon late at night. Another factory light is in
the usual place above the battery area aft of the
galley but it doesn’t get used much. In the head is
a fourth factory light. Mounted in this light with
a separate switch is a single LED. This uses so
little power the amp meter can’t even tell it’s on.
We leave this on all night as a night light for any
middle of the night trips to the head. It is plenty
of light and it makes it so the kids don’t go back
to bed with the main head light on. On each side of
the aft berth is a two way white/red light for the
boys. They like having battle mode. And finally,
in the cockpit I have a 4 LED strip light that
velcros up to the bottom of the bimini and can be
aimed anywhere in the cockpit that light is needed.
It also can be hand held. We also have 2 LED
headlamps that are always useful.
– We found a coleman griddle / grill that is almost
the perfect fit to drop in our 2 burner Origo
stove. I have to cut 3/8” off one long edge and it
now sits in flush. This is great for breakfasts.
– Having a permanent easy to use set of slots for
the hatchboards at the rear completely under the
back of the helm seat was a big help. It also cut
down on the engine noise and eliminated a place for
bugs to come in. It can even be used in conjunction
with the fabric panel we have for there.