Center Pull for Dink
To make it simpler to tow our whaler or dink, we had the flag pole mount removed and replaced it with a center pull. The glass behind this mount must be reinforced otherwise it will pull out. We now have over one inch of glass across the back.
Drop Board Entry Into Cockpit
The swinging cockpit door was always in the way. We had it removed and replaced with a drop board. The board drops in the tracks when needed.
Additional Supports on the Sports Rack
The more I pulled the Kayak up to the top, the more the sports rack began to give. In order to strengthen it, I added these additional supports on all four corners.
We enjoy sitting in the cockpit sipping a glass of wine and listening to music. This is now easily accomplished with the addition of two water proof speakers mounted on each side of the door.
Rear view camera monitor
To make it easier to see who was coming up behind you, we purchased a backup camera from Sam's Club.We mounted the screen above the windshield. This gives you a view of whats behind you whether you are backing or motoring.
Rear view camera
The camera was mounted on a three inch PVC cap. This cap is dropped into one of the two cup holders on the stern.
Padded Windshield Cover
Since we do trailer our boat, we were worried about a rock hitting the windshield. To help protect the windshield, we had our canvas maker produce this padded cover. We used the original canvas cover as a pattern. We also had a solar screen made that helps block the sun yet allows you to see out. It also is black.
In order to keep the battery's topped off while at anchor, we have installed two solar panels to the sports rack. These are the Sunsei Solar Panels. These were purchased at West Marine along with the mounting brackets. The socket is left on the Sports Rack. The Panels are stored below for trailering and until needed.
The panels are linked via a cable supplied with each panel. The panels are connected to the battery via the 12v outlet at the helm. The cable is lead through the roof hatch above the helm.
The panels can be swiveled to give them as much exposure to direct sunlight as possible.
Expanded Interior Storage
Storage in Galley Cabinets
Storage in the galley was tough. We went to our local Lowes Home Improvement center and found these small racks that offer a pull out drawer. We had to cut down the height of the legs to get them to fit.
Additional Counter Space
We choose not to have the stove installed. We opted instead to use a small single burner butane stove. This gives us additional counter space when needed. The stove is stored under the counter when not in use.
Stove in Place Ready to Use
When it comes time to make a pot of coffee, the stove is placed on the counter until it is no needed any longer.
Custom Teak Drawers
With the cave being gone, this allowed for additional storage under the dinette. We made these drawer to go under the floor of the dinette. They are made out of teak and teak plywood. A template was made and thent taped into place. I used a sharpie to outline it prior to cutting the opening. Blocks of wood were epoxied to the plywood floor to support the drawers in the back. The front was attached using liquid nail and SS screws.
To store magazines and books, we made this magazine rack. This was mounted in the wall to the aft of the dinette. A cutout was made. Attachment was with liquid nails.
Under V-Berth Storage
To gain additional storage space, I attached this plywood wall under the v-berth. This area allows storage of additional water, provisions, etc. It is a two tiered storage with a lift up shelf.
Additional Storage Under the V-Berth
Since it seemed like everything without a home landed under the v-berth in the well, we decided we needed a way to conceal it. I purchased a four by four piece of teak and holly from a marine store in Marina Del Rey California and cut it to fit over the well. I had to install 1x2 solid oak as a frame to hold it in place. The forward (or aft depending on how you look at it) had to be reinforced with support that ran to the step. This enables you to stand on it without the risk of the frame pulling out.
No More Cave!
Since we had no need for the cave, we went to Ikea and purchased this chest of drawers. (Malm 31 1/2" x 30 3/4" Catalog page #173) We assembled it, moved it onto the boat, and then disassemble it to put it in place. It is bolted to the plywood floor using L-brackets. We put child safety stops on the drawers to keep them from opening. The floor was finished with rubber flooring from home depot.
Another view of the non existant cave
The trash can was purchased at Target. The white cylinder hanging behind it is one of two fire extinguishers. The other is mounted next to the helm. You can also see the mag light in the lower left corner of the picture.
Since we mainly cruise in sunny climates, we choose to have the fish finder and our compass mounted on the dash. The compass has been with us for over twenty years as it started its life on our Catalina 22.
Clock and Barometer
Like the compass, the clock and barometer were originally installed on our Catalina 22 over 20 years ago. We have moved them from boat to boat as we progress. They fit perfect on the overhead and are visible through out most of the boat.
The original Upholstery on the "Navigators" seat did not lend itself well to the amount of wear and tear it was sure to receive.
We contacted Jeff and asked if it were possible to have two new cushions made to replace the existing. We had the new cushions made of the same material as the helm seat. This material will wear and clean much better than the original. When you flip the seat forward for dinette use, it matches the original seats.
New Soft Screens for Overhead Hatches
The overhead hatches all came with hard frame screens. These needed to be stored out of the way when not in use. We had our canvas maker make these screens. They attach to the hatches with velcro. I placed self sticking velcro all the way around the frame.
Sunshades for Overhead Hatches
At times you need to block the sun from shining through the overhead hatches. To do this, the soft screens are replaced with this sunbrella cover.
To allow us to leave the door open in the evening, we had our canvas maker make us this screen door. It attaches to the door frame with self sticking Velcro. When not in use, it can be rolled up and held in place with the nylon straps.
Screen Door in Use
It is difficult to see, but it is there. The screen door is rolled down and zipped on both sides. As you can see, it allows you to still see out.
New Opening Window in the Head and cockpit
Being we do most of our boating in the desert, I am always looking for way to increase ventilation. The fixed window in the head lent itself to this. I ordered a new window from the Ranger factory and installed it myself. It was a very simple swap out taking 15 minutes. I also replaced the window facing the cockpit with the same type window as in the head.
The new window slides up and locks into place.
Turning the Forward Hatches
Anchoring and Docking
Stern Anchor Storage
Since we anchor in very small coves, we must use multiple anchors. The stern anchor is stored in the lazzarette in the floor in the cockpit. I keep it in a rubber made container to keep as much water and mud out of the bilge as possible.
Secondary Bow Anchor Storage
We store the secondary bow anchor in the compartment where the built in generator would have gone. It too is kept in a rubber made container. It is simple to deploy simply by dropping it over the side as you reverse.
Docking and anchoring can become difficult when you are unsure of which way the wind is going to take you. Being ex sailors, we knew the benefits of having a windex for these maneuvers. We mounted one at the top of the mast. It is visible from the helm through the overhead hatch. (this photo was taken through the hatch)
Exterior Storage of Fishing Rods
Ski Racks are for more than Ski's!
Where do you store those fishing rods while under way? Simple, mount a ski rack on your sports rack. This also doubles to store your kayak paddles!
"Solitude" in Her Berth
Stored and Locked Away Until Next Weekend!
We stored "Solitude" in a very large Garage within sight of our home. It is nice to bring her home, plug her in, close down the door, and know she will be ready to take us on our next adventure!