CD: Have C400 #251 "Magic" on the Chesapeake Bay. Watched your posts with my good friend Jorgen a bit over a year ago and was pleased when he purchased a 400 last March and is now cruising the Bahamas. Our cruising plan is to head south in 2012. After a visit with Querencia in the Bahamas early in Feb, we are convinced that either davits or an arch /w davits is going to be a requirement (I store my Walker Bay RIB on bow and use a 7:1 block and tackle to launch/retrieve) since the wind would play havoc on getting the dingy in/out of the water. Putting together ideas now and see you have both an arch AND separate davits. Wondering why your went with separate systems rather than include davits with your arch. Also, who did your arch and davits and (if you don't mind) how much did you pay?
My wife, who has followed this site far longer than I (I tend to "hang around" the C400 official site and the model site on Yahoo) and enjoys your posts. Until today, we even thought Jorgen on Querencia had the idea for mounting their knife block next to the companionway? He obviously got it from the photo with your wife in the galley holding up the makings for some good adult beverages! FYI, my companionway rail on that side must be further outboard than both yours and Querencia since the Wustof knife/block set (same as yours) doesn't fit. Go figure.
In any case, if you could give me some details on you arch/davits, I'd be very appreciative.
Thanks, Tim Leighton
The davits are Kato and the arch is custom Aluminum. I am convinced now that Aluminum is the way to go for a solar arch.
First on the davits:
Kato makes a very top notch (and top price) davit system. It has been probably 4-5 years since I purchased, but I want to say we dropped about 3500 in them. They know the 400 well and use it in their advertising, so a quick call would certainly get you immediate pricing. Pleaes note that with the davits you will want to install extra supports - and I do not mean the supports that are on either side of the ladder. You need extra supports behind the seats. In a sea, you just flat get too much motion and you can 'bend' the seats down if not careful. For the $100 or so it costs, it is worth it.
The arch was custom fabricated in Texas. I paid $3,750 installed. I am a big fan of avoiding Stainless steel on this because I like the large diameter tubing for wire runs and to connect things to. That same diameter tubing (in additio nto costing a small fortune) would be wayyyy too heavy. I lifted the bar off myself before shipping her to the coast (weighs about 80-85 lbs). In addition to my panels (all four weigh about 120 lbs) I can stand on the arch without worry.
Because I already had davits, I elected not to have the arch engineered for a tender too. It could lift it right now, but in order to have the right angle for the tender, it would have to hang over the stern a lot more and would need modifications a that would put more sheer load on it. A simple support would probably do it, but again, I did not need it and did not want it like that so didd not bother.
I can see no great benefit of having both davits and a seperate arch. I would have my arch engineered for it and forget the davits (keep for beer money in the abacos!!). I think the last Mainsheet had a writeup on solar if you have that copy. If not, and you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
I have made MANY, MANY other mods to the 400. She is awesome and has performed beyond our expectation. We rocked across the gulf at 9.3-9.5 kts and weathered a gale blowing steady 25-35 with gusts to 50kts. The boat did flawlessly. My only dissapointment is the "BOOM" when jumping off tall seas. The flat bottom of our boats does not sperate the water as well as rounder boats. However, this gives us speed and more stability so I would not trade it. If you run into this also, I found that throttling back so we are not jumping off the swells helped reduce/eliminate this issue. However, then you are in the storms longer, so it is a tradeoff.
I will do a writeup this time on converting half your fridge to a fridge/freezer. We also have some other submissions we will try and include from other members.
We are heading to the Tortugas in a few weeks. We will come back afterwards and may be in SW Florida a little longer. I am not sure. We are looking into heading across to the Bahamas and south to the carribean before long. Maybe we will see you there!
Again, feel free to write with any questions. Great to hear from you!
PS Any kids on your boat? We are looking for more kids boats.