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  • andrewmorrisey

It's the little extras that make our sailboat unique.

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

Having our boat built and customized was quite a learning experience to say the least. From picking out the colors of the fabrics to the more complicated design of our 2000 watt solar system. Most of this was a first time learning experience for us. As soon as we signed the sales order we joined the Elba45 Owner's Facebook page that is administered by the brilliant Pavel Riha who was a pioneer for some of our design choices. Here are some of the more novel upgrades we selected.

Installed last week were the inside window curtains as well as Textilene sun shades. With the sun shades in place. we can easily see through them looking from inside to outside but anybody outside can't see into the boat during daylight. This also gives a clean look from the outside.

We upgraded the color chart plotter to as large a unit that would fit. Here is our 12" Garmin 8412XSV at the helm station. We put the 10" that came with our package at the nav station. We also added a helm wheel lock which will come in handy at anchorages.

Our power system is a 2000watt system with three victron inverters. We had a custom rack system designed to let us carry the extra panels as only 3x400 watt solar would fit the deck.

We went with 5 x 400 watt Sunpower Solar Panels on a stainless steel custom frame. We also upgraded to Lithium batteries with 1650 Amps total from 5x330 amp batteries. 2 x 3000 watt Victron Inverter Charger (one dedicated for the air conditioning), BMS, and Combiner. There was a 2000 watt Victron Inverter that came with the boat from the factory. Our power usage calculations came out to be about 550 amp hours at anchor and about 700 amp hours under sail (to run all the electronics, autohelm and keep the beers cold for when we arrive). Many of the cruisers get by with only 1200 watts but when they need to run their air-conditioner or water maker when they need to power these off their generator. Oh ya we have an Aquabase 12V 105 liters per hour water maker on board and hope not to spend a cent on diesel running the Cummings generator. The water tanks hold 700 liters.

Speaking about anchorages we went with the Mantus 85lb anchor, swivel connector and 300 feet of 3/8" HT chain. We also have a 3/8" Gypsy that we will need to learn how to use.

We added the Swivel so that the chain does not get all twisted. We also have fresh and salt water run to the anchor locker for to either wash down the anchor with seawater or wash down the decks with fresh water. We have an electric windlass and the remote control has a chain counter that will make it easy to get the right scope 5:1, 7:1 or on the rough weather days 10:1 scope.

Finally we will have spreader lights that WORK. Lumitech Caprera blue/white with two pointing up and two pointing down on the deck. The Garmon radar was an option on the factory order. Another thing to learn how to use, but it will be very beneficial in watching the weather, ships traffic and land masses.

For our need for speed we have the three blade folding props (2 of them). But if you look closely towards the drive shaft you can see the rope & fishing net cutters. Even though we plan to keep a careful watch where we are going but it will be the piece of mind if you do get a snag it will be easier to get free again.

We added an extra starboard aft spinnaker winch and two jammer clutch cleats. This should be standard issue as there is a spinnaker winch on the port side. We had to add two jammers on the port side too. This year we have a Code-D asymmetrical kite and next year we will add a downwind para-sailer to our inventory.

Black Textilene Sunscreen on Port, Starboard and the transom to keep the sun and heat down on those hot Mediterranean/Caribbean days. We think this will also give a very cool look.

Custom made (in Czech Republic) is our hard top bimini. Designed by Pavel Riha and made and installed by Sea Concepts. It is also lit with blue/white LED's. The glass top, shown on the right side of the picture, slides over so that we can go up the steps to the upper lounging deck. We are still waiting for the helm enclosure which is going in just before we arrive the first week of Feb. We will need to pick up new "colored" tech-halyards sometime soon to differentiate which line does what.

Note that the FP mainsail design has the ability to reef from the helm station. You can see the three reefing lines at the back-side of the boom. There is a unique design on the cars that become the TACK point for the reef. This will definitely be on the training plan for our sea trials to see how well that works. We also had the after market team put in stand up blocks for the spinnaker guy lines.

A popular high end brand is the AEG (another recommendation from Pavel). This is a combo washer and dryer.

AND Finally for tradition and mariner's "good luck" sake we have a new Canadian Silver Dollar under the mast. Not just "a" silver dollar but the 100th year anniversary edition of the Nova Scotia Bluenose.

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