Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: On the boat cruising
Thanked 104 Times in 99 Posts
Rep Power: 16
Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't
For us, the single best thing we ever put on the boat for cruising was lithium batteries. An absolute game-changer in many more ways than obvious, or than we expected. The ripple effect is great - get rid of the generator, switch to a 30-40gph AC-powered watermaker, power the water heater through the inverter, etc. A modest amount of solar keeps them going, and engine run times (if needed) are shortened to a fraction of before.
The second best thing we added was the 30gph watermaker. A watermaker of any type is a game-changer, and a high output one steps that up considerably - allowing for regular and frequent washing down the boat and its equipment, washing the anchor chain with fresh water as it goes into the locker, laundry any time and any size loads, regular washing of all the cockpit cushions and canvas, washing the dinghy down after each use, regular flushing of the outboard, frequent showers after swimming or just when hot. Most of all, as a catamaran, we drop 500lbs of dead water weight, because we can just push a button and refill the bottom half of the tank quickly.
The third best thing we added was full shades for the cockpit and cabin top. The cockpit is always cool and dark with a nice breeze blowing through, and the shades over the cabin top cut the heat below by 20F.
On the boat setup, I can't praise high enough running all lines to an electric winch in the cockpit. We raise/lower sails, reef, and trim without leaving the helm seat. One person is all that is needed to fully operate all aspects of sailing the boat - the off watch person gets to sleep.
Manta 40 Catamaran "Reach"
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