We’ve been busy getting things rolling with refit projects for Vela. Our local sail loft, Banks Sails here in Kemah, is working on our new set of $ail$. So we’re looking forward to putting those to use pretty soon. As part of that project we’re still working on the design for the Asymetric spinnaker, stay tuned for that one.
As part of the new sail project, we’ll be removing the staysail boom to free-up some deck space.
According to the rigger who came by today, we’ll be able to keep the sail self tacking (with the new sail cut correctly) and get rid of the boom, so it feels like a big win. In the past, having a dinghy on deck has meant the staysail was out of commission, this will address that. What’s the use of a cutter rig if you can’t use your staysail offshore…when you need it most?
We’ve also been working with a local stainless shop to build an arch for our new solar panels and wind generator. It will also include a new set of davits. Vela came with a set of davits but they don’t really get the dinghy up high enough for our taste, and they’re not the most sturdy design. Moving them up to the arch and removing the stern ladder will allow us to open up the stern pulpit a bit. As part of the project we’re also planning to add a removable swim platform with it own ladder. We’ll also be replacing our existing stern rail seats, in an effort to get a more usable shape (deeper) and move them further back to gain some room. Last but not least, we’ll also be raising the back of bimini a bit to gain a bit of headroom when using the stern seats. It currently hits me about mid-forehead when sitting in the seats. It’s turning out to be MUCH more expensive than we where originally thinking, but it’s an important addition and we want to ensure it all works well and is solidly built.
It looks like we’ve also found someone to help us with the planning and installation of all the electronics upgrades. One of the things Kara and I are both adamant about is that we’re involved in the refit and know where EVERYTHING is. Every connection, component, wire, splice, etc… Someday, we know we’ll be out there when something stops working and we want to be able to troubleshoot it on our own. After talking with several other local sailors, we found Gary and he’s going to help us with the entire process. So there’s some big changes in place for Vela in the coming months. Our current ‘plan’ is:
- Arch – local custom
- Solar Panels – TBD
- Wind Generator – Silent Wind
- Chart Plotter – B&G Zeus 2
- B&G WiFi Module for phone/tablet control/visibility
- Move wind/depth/knot meter to companionway (from helm) – B&G Triton 41
- Charge controller – Battery monitor
- Radar – B&G 4G
- Water Maker – TBD, Likely Spectra 12v
- Much larger next-gen Anchor – TBD – Mantus or Rocna (73lb)
- Much larger Windlass – Lighthouse 1501
- Updated battery bank – Currently all lifeline
- AIS send/recieve – TBD
Essentially our plan is to hemorrhage as much $$$ as possible for the next year and if we survive that…do some cruising…or at least that’s what it feel like at this point 😉