Mel congratulations! We've been on the 445 a couple of times now at boat shows. I really like her layout both above and below and she's supposed to be fast. She seems like a very comfortable boat to cruise.
Thank you for posting some thoughts on your equipment choices. If you don't mind I'd like to ask you a few questions as we'll eventually go bigger. The question is when...
I thought I would share some of the things I have learned along the way on production boats.
OEM eqipment. Depending on the builder most of it is middle grade and some items are lower grade.
I knew most of this from my current boat and all the upgrades I did to her.
Sails - OEM Lower class of Dacron sails. Made for weekend and some coastal cruising. Not for serious cruising. We are going with a full set of Bainbridge's Challenge Sailcloth, made for blue water. Jib/Genoa Miter Cut 135% W/Cover&Foam:7.77 oz Challenge Marblehead Premium Dacron. Three reef patchs on the leech and foot sewed in for optimum chaff protection. The mainsail will be 8.62 oz ChallengenHigh Aspect Premium Dacron with SS clew block and clew cover, tripled stitched.
How much is Catalina working with you on upgrading these items. Is it a case where they have upgrades already priced out - say $X for a larger winch, a standard credit if you want to upgrade, or "this is what we build if you want something different change it out after commissioning"?
We still haven't made up our mind on light air sail; code 0 or asymetrical sail.
We've been kicking around the idea of the Seldon/Doyle gennaker setup as an upgrade for our boat. What are your thoughts on the gennaker vs. the asym?
Dodger,bimini and connector. - Total redesigned made to withstand high winds, with welded handholds vs bolted/set screwed.
How does your design differ from Catalina's?
We are going with a fully redesigned interior cushions for the salon area and cockpit.
We used Ultraleather Brisa in a celery color below, with a firm cushion and added lumbar support and they've been a BIG improvement over the stock cushions. I'm curious what upgrades/changes you're making to the interior.
Electrical system- Battery system. 3 battery banks. I don't like the way Catalina wires off the alternator. We talked at great lenght on this subject while I was at the factory. I will have to change it when I get the boat up to better standards plus put in a real battery monitor system.
What is it about the stock wiring that you feel isn't up to par?
My bullet proof Honda 2000 generator will charge the batteries here. We run this thing every morning to make coffee and sunset to make dinner for a total of around 2 hours a day. I am NOT putting in a diesel generator. To much money and too much maintenance (they are always broke). My Honda is the best piece of equpment that always works and cheap to buy and operate. I am having a special shelf in the starboard locker bulit to place the Honda.
Will the Honda be a permanant installation and exhaust through the transom?
Galley. Are you adding additional overhead lighting in the galley? I think most boats are lacking when it comes to interior lighting.
Electronics. Raymarine suite here. Not my first choice. Simrad is. Moving the chartplotter from Catalina's location to the top rear of the cockpit table. This way I can reach it from either helm and program/monitor while sitting on the cockpit settees.
Will Catalina not swap out Raymarine for Simrad? Have you given any thought a plotters at each helm for redundancy? How about a display down below at the chart table?
Where the charplotter was, we are putting in a Nightwatch box with locking door. Flashlight, horn, ERIP, and other safety equipment will occupy this space. The compass will move from the end of the cockpit table to the one at each helm station.
Bling.. Underwater lights, LED rope cockpit lights. Boat comes with LED mood lighting in the salon.
I'm adding an LED light under the dodger to make it easier to fiddle with the lock when boarding at night along with a key fob remote that kicks on the cockpit lights when you're coming up in the dinghy at night the same way the remote for you car can kick on the interior lights.
Also according to Brain, I need real estate for 4 grills. LOL
I thought brian had one big 14' grill all the way across the transom
I hope you don't mind so many questions but a lot of us will be buying a new boat vicariously through you the next few months.