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  #21  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

Very exciting! Congratulations!

BTW, if you need some temporary crew at some point, I believe I could just berth in that big locker
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  #22  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

Congrats Mel!
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  #23  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
It is my pleasure to announce that we are getting a new boat, a brand new boat. We are ordering hull #90, a Catalina 445. Delivery should be sometime in Sept. This boat will be used to go full time cruising next year. It is a heavy semi-custom boat that Gerry Douglas of Catalina Yatchs is kindly building for us. Gerry and I have been talking about this build now for over 3 years. Today the stars aligned and the boat is going forward in the production line. Last Tuesday I toured the facility and shot over 1 hour of video and tons of picture of the build process. One day I will put it all together and post it on the internet.
But first I need to say something to this forum and others I have had the pleasure of participating over a number of years. The knowledge that I have gain by participating here and else where is what is making this dream of mine come true. I cannot Thank Sailnet and all those that write great wisdom and advice to all of us thirsty for knowledge. Thank You Thank You. Thank You
Social Media avenues are here to stay and are becoming more of our social life. The sailing community here on Sailnet has been outstanding over the many years that I have had the pleasure to be a part of. Great members have come and gone and come back, new members have stepped up to the plate to offer advise that is invaluable and not found in other endeveours. For those members that lurk, I encourage you all to particapate. You all have knowledge to share that others can use and/or more important the support that we all need as we try to better this great sport and lifestyle.
To the dreamers out there.. Dreams do come true. Hard work, baby steps in life, having the disipline to do what is necessary and thirst of knowledge makes events happen. Only you can make it happen. Dreams are there for us to move forward to our personal nirvanna.
For us the next 8 months will be very exciting as we prepare to retire to chase sunsets. While the sunsets are amazing it is really the people in this sailing community that we have met and the new sailors that we will continue to meet is what this this adventure is really about. It is a small tight knit community that is not found else where. I have met many here that I can safely say I call friends. Friendships that are everlasting.

Here is one of the videos I shot: New boat at Factory - YouTube

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Melissa
Moondance
Catalina 445 hull #90
You suck!
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  #24  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

Congratulations!! This sounds like the beginning of an awsome chapter in your lives, and I definetly look forward to hearing updates
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Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

Thanks everyone for the well wishes..
We cannot wait until Sept when the boat will be commissioned. I am just hoping that between than and March we can get all the rest of the gear installed before we cut the docklines. It is a very tight schedule and not sure we can get it all done. I will say at the Annapolis Boat show in Oct our credit card will take a major hit :>)
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. We still haven't made up our mind on light air sail; code 0 or asymetrical sail.
Dodger,bimini and connector. - Total redesigned made to withstand high winds, with welded handholds vs bolted/set screwed.
Salon cushions and cockpit cushions. I learned that there are 3 major grades of foam; A,B,C with A being the best. Most manufactures use either B or C. Since we will living on this boat for years to come we are going with grade A with two types of foam compreshion. Fabric is a whole different thing with most manufactures using lower grade to help keep cost down. Fabric is rated on many faucets: breath ability, abrasions and clean ability. On a sailboat with the harsh environment one needs good fabric to last. We are going with a fully redesigned interior cushions for the salon area and cockpit.
Fuel system. I want 500 NM range under power. The boat comes with only a 66 gal tank and I need another 40 gallons. Gerry and I went round and round on this on where we are we going to put additional 40 gal tank. In the end I am going to convert one of the water tanks which is 40 gals to fuel. My thoughts are I can always make water but I cannot make dinosaur fuel. I still have 125 gals of water capacity which is plenty for just the 2 of us. We will look at putting a watermaker after cruising around for a while. Dual Racor fuel system, similar to the Fuel Boss system.
Engine Room - Self discharging and autoshut off fire extinguish system. Night light too.
Refrigeration- We are putting in water cool vs air cool. Easier on the amp draw and keeps the salon a little cooler. Upgraded insulation on the freezer box and I will insulate the refrigerator.
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. When I put on the solar panels we will redesign this system. The boat comes with a standard 60 amp alternator and 40amp battery charger. I am thinking of leaving the engine alternator alone and putting in a 100 amp battery charger plus 350 watts solar panels. My thoughts are when cruising there are only 3 types of wind, on the nose, too little or too much. In my 5 years of cruising my current boat I motor 57% of the time for hours at end on all major crossings. The engine alternator will do here in charging the batteries. When anchored out, I do not want to run the engine to charge the batteries. Very in efficient and costly. 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.
Galley. Catalna 445 has one the best galley I have ever seen. Bob Perry would love this galley. Up until I saw this galley, I alway thought Bob's Valiant 42 galley was the best design and in most respects still is. We are adding a freshwater foot pump and seagull water filter. I am not a fan of saltwater washing but if I need too I can always fill one gallon jugs off the swim-platform to perform a saltwater rinse. Cheap and better this way.
Handholds. We are adding a handhold in the day head. Not sure why Catalina didn't add one here because there is one in the forward head. I think they forgot about this one. We are in a big discussion on an overhead rail in the salon. The ceiling is 6'4". A normal hand rail will not work for us short people. This one is stil not decided yet. In the video that is what the 3 of us were discussing.
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. 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.
Anchor system.. Deep secret..... I don't want 110 page thread on this subject. Lets just say I am carrying 3 anchors. I will probably upgrade the windlass later.. I want to see how this bare minimum power rated one will do. If it overheats I will change it out.
Bling.. Underwater lights, LED rope cockpit lights. Boat comes with LED mood lighting in the salon. The back side lifelines will be converted to SS pipe (safety and might put solar panels here. Also according to Brain, I need real estate for 4 grills. LOL
smackdaddy, capecodda and jimgo like this.
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Catalina 445, Hull #90
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  #26  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

Mel, if you take delivery at Annapolis, can we call come for a tour?
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  #27  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Mel, if you take delivery at Annapolis, can we call come for a tour?
The boat is being commission in GA. We will make next summers Sailnet June party. Will be glad to have a sundowner party on the boat for anyone to see the boat.
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  #28  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

350w of solar?
I'm currently planning on a pair of 140's on my stern rails (keep in mind it's a center cockpit so my aft end isn't a working space underway) and a 315w on my davit's - almost 600w. I don't think you can make too much power.

Are you thinking about a air conditioner / cruisair etc. for taking the edge off in the evening? If so you might want to bump your Honda 2000 up to a 3000. I love my Ryobi 2800 as I can charge batteries make ice and run my a/c at the same time.
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  #29  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

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...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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.
Great ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
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.
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  #30  
Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Our New Boat

I will try to answer your questions.

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"?
Yes and No. Gerry has been very receptive to me over the years on my changes. It is just a matter of money. He will give you a credit, just might not be what you expect. We are still in most discussions about this. I am not happy camper on some things we have discussed. There has been a few flip flops and price gouging on Catalina's part over what JSI (they supply the sails, cushions and dodger/Bimini). Worse case , I will order the boat without and have it done elsewhere. I have quotes from other suppliers.

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?

Still researching this. I thought I wanted a asym on it's own roller but found out it doesn't work well. I don't want another asym in a ATN sock for two reasons; size it takes up to store it and the plastic bottom part of the ATN sock chews up the jib head tack

How does your design differ from Catalina's? Dodger/Bimini


JSI/Catalina current design sucks to put it mildly. JSI chief dodger engineer even admitted it to me.


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.


We are doing the same except the color.. We like the Golden Ultra leather. The backs to all the settees will be double rolled also.


What is it about the stock wiring that you feel isn't up to par?

No echo charger for the starting battery than switch to the house banks for starters. Has to be done manually right now.


Will the Honda be a permanant installation and exhaust through the transom?

That is the plan


Galley. Are you adding additional overhead lighting in the galley? I think most boats are lacking when it comes to interior lighting.

Not necessary in this boat. One for the good guys.


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?


No in a nut shell. I could order the boat without electronics but the cost becomes very expensive very fast. I thought about plotters at each helm but $$ and I don't like the look, plus when cruising I cannot see them from the cockpit settee. My chartplotter I will be able to swivel 360 degrees. Display down below will be my IPAD. No need to buy another one with the current bluetooth integration.



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.

Nice ideas.

I thought brian had one big 14' grill all the way across the transom He might!

Anyone else wants to ask questions please do. Love to hear thoughts from other sailors.
PS Not sure this post is coming out right,, My responses are suppose to be red.
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Melissa Renee
Moondance
Catalina 445, Hull #90

Last edited by Melrna; 07-12-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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