When we bought our sailboat, Blue Tale in 2011, we realized like every boat of her age (1977) she would need some upgrades and improvements. We have completed some of these improvements since buying with most being minor (e.g., new LED lights, replacing hatches) and some being major (e.g., replacing winches, replacing electrical panel). Of course, there will be more projects and improvements to come.
So far, we replaced our forward hatch with a Lewmar hatch. It is modern and more importantly, doesn’t leak!
We also installed a submarine hatch into our cockpit sole. The reason for the replacement is that the cockpit sole is one of two access areas to our engine room where our Beta 37.5 hp engine is. The original was a pain to lift out and put a lot of wear-n-tear on the sole every time we wanted to inspect the engine because we have to lift the whole sole out. The sub hatch is flush with the sole and far easier to deal with and to open up.
We also decided to up-grade our sheet winches from the traditional Barlow (24 & 16’s) non-self tailing to Hutton (40 & 30’s) self tailing winches. This will make it easier to bring in and release the sails.
Our first and probably most expensive upgrade to date was the re-doing of our electrical panel. The old panel was the original from 1977 and the wiring was not good, so we had it re-done by a marine electrician. It looks so much nicer now!
The person who did all the above projects to date on our boat was Steve Martlin, a shipwright who we met through our broker Jim Young in Cowichen Bay. Because of where we live/work (high Canadian arctic) and where our boat is (waaaay south) we made the decision to hirer a shipwright to do some of the projects instead of us spending our short holidays doing them ourselves. This gave us the opportunity to sailing during our holidays. Steve and Jim have become invaluable as friends for their advice and the work they have done for us. – Rob