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My use has evolved. We use it for weekends now and a short cruise now and again. The most important upgrade was auto pilot and roller furling. and electric windlass. After that it would be the refer/frig and perhaps espar heat. Battery and wiring upgade were important but don't change use of the boat much. Small solar was an early add and it keeps batts up at the mooring.

Watermaker and AC are not really needed the way we sail these days.
 

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New boat, old boat, cheap boat or expensive, big boat or small, weekender or full time live aboard. All these things change how you use the boat and What is important.

we have an old, cheap, 44’ cutter we live aboard for 6 months a year in the Eastern Carib. Our best upgrade was our big ass anchor because we frequently anchor on narrow sloping bottoms. Our boat came with a sizable windlass courtesy of the PO which made the big anchor possible.

I also added a substantial arch to hold the solar, wind, radar, and outboard. It also makes a very secure work platform on the aft deck of our center cockpit and we store too much stuff on it. Much comes off for a passage.

The AP is a must. There are a variety of ways to approach this now. Not all budget busters.

Oh yeah, mast steps. Nearly forgot them. Saves money and hives you independence.
 
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Ice maker...... :)

Mostly kidding, but it is a very homey luxury.
 

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In order
spectra Cape Horn extreme water maker
swapping a lombardini generator for a northern lights
hydrovane
swapping 2 stroke for a fuel efficient 4 stroke with fuel injection.

most bang for the buck on initial specs. Two D400 wind generators, Rocna, hard dodger, hard Bimini, and upgrade sails out of Dacron into low stretch fabric.
 

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Autopilot isn't really an upgrade - it is a requirement! Like not counting the mast as an upgrade...

Mark
It is an upgrade and it is a requirement. Mfgs don't normally sell new sailboats with APs as far as I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
In order
spectra Cape Horn extreme water maker
swapping a lombardini generator for a northern lights
hydrovane
swapping 2 stroke for a fuel efficient 4 stroke with fuel injection.

most bang for the buck on initial specs. Two D400 wind generators, Rocna, hard dodger, hard Bimini, and upgrade sails out of Dacron into low stretch fabric.
Sounds like some great upgrades to your Outbound 46 (nice boat!). I've considered adding a D400 and it sounds like it's been a great addition. Did you buy a kit for installation or what was that like?
 

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Autopilot isn't really an upgrade - it is a requirement! Like not counting the mast as an upgrade...

Mark
Perspective I suppose... Most boats I am exposed to, Autopilot is not/was not a standard feature and therefore an upgrade in my perspective. Now if the OP had phrased the question with more specific criteria I may have posted something different...
 

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Yes, the autopilot! A major upgrade for us as well. What autopilot do you use?
I am an advocate of not using a GPS driven AP. Of course I am using a plotter for navigation and it "tells" me the heading to a desired waypoint and I then set the course on the AP. My AP has a dial for course input and it's like a mini steering wheel. I can "steer" with this dial as easy as I can with the helm. But helm is used for dock and slip "work".. sometimes mooring. But 99% of steering is done with the AP dial.
136436
 

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Had the the support posts done as part of hard Bimini. This was done initial build. The devices come with good directions and assembly isn’t hard. Hardest part is putting on the actual blades into the central hub and snapping on the center protective cone. Found out using dishwasher liquid as a lubricant works great. In fact now use Dawn whenever I need to assemble or disassemble plastic parts. Do use bowling alley floor wax or equivalent on the blades once a year to keep them nice and smooth.
 

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Hey,

I was going to add autopilot and refrigeration but many people beat me to it.

Believe it or not my 2002 C&C (bought in 2013) did not have an autopilot when I bought it. That was the first 'upgrade' I did.

My boat also came with refrigeration, which I didn't think I would appreciate as I mostly day sail or weekend. Now, if I'm going to be on boat for more than 4 hours the fridge goes on. It's nice not to buy ice on a daily basis and I drink more ice than melts. I just completed a 4 day trip. I bought 8 lbs of ice on day one, turned on the fridge, and when I unloaded the boat yesterday I still had over a pound of ice left. Items in the fridge stay dry, the butter stays hard, and the beer is cold, and I have nice cubes for the gin and tonics.

Barry
 

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Hmm,

- Solar with a good MPPT (victron), basically self-sufficient for power without running main engine or generator.

- New efficient fridge/freezer. Cold beer!

- Composting head. No limit for how long we can remain remote, enclosed anchorages.

- Salt water tap. Greatly extends our fresh water.

- Bimini (made of solar panels).

- Bigger Rocna anchor. Way better than the old CQR.
 

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bell ringer
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While I consider autopilot a "must have", because I have had mine die and know the difference of a passage with and without, I guess it is an upgrade.
 

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Autopilot isn't really an upgrade - it is a requirement! Like not counting the mast as an upgrade...

Mark
Beleive it not most sailboats and maybe even posters here are not using 40 fters.. I had no autopilot till a
10 years ago. To me like Chef, it was an upgrade.
 

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Rocna
Rocna
Rocna
 
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