We have been working with our dealer and Andy at Bluewater Rigging to plan out the major system upgrades for Lagu when he arrives in Vancouver next month. Krisalyn and I have spent hours researching and creating Visio diagrams to make sense of it all!
Here is a summary of what we have been planning:
1. The Rat – our dinghy!
We are going with a 2012 AB 11ALX inflatable dinghy with a 30HP Honda. It should arrive just in time for us to set off on our first voyage. Since we will be living aboard, the Rat will serve as our car for the most part, allowing us to explore areas and commute between ship and dock when at anchor. It’s comfy, fast and built solid. Krislayn is looking forward to wake boarding!
We are notorious for cranking the heat wherever we go, so heating has been of particular interest to us as the climate here isn’t exactly what it is in the Bahamas. We are going with an Espar Hydronic MII D12 with 5 separate zones including hot water. Each zone has a separate thermostat and multiple blowers. We are getting Vimar thermostats and switches from Italy to match the rest of the light switches already on board. We are getting heat exchangers installed on both engines so that when motoring, we can give the furnace some assistance and take advantage of all the engine waste heat.
Fortunately we won’t have to worry about running out of water or finding a place to fill up, as Lagu will create his own water using the Sea Recovery 700-1 Aquamatic Watermaker. Output is 29 gal/110 L per hour (700 gal/2,650 L per day). We are also getting the touch screen remote control installed.
Someone told me that their wife doubted the potability of the watermaker, so they did a blind test with tap water and boat water to see the difference. After trying both, she said one was disgusting, and it was the tap water!
After much research, we are convinced that a complete Mastervolt system will be ideal for our needs as live-aboards. We will be using Mastervolt Lithium Ion batteries, since they provide much more capacity, allow for more cycles over a longer period of time, and charge faster than all the other options. We will be getting a Mastervolt Combi Inverter/Charger, higher output alternators and regulators, and a Mastervolt Solar Chargemaster for the 3 solar panels. We have a factory-installed Onan Generator producing 13.5kW, which we will run hopefully once a week to do laundry, make water, and charge the batteries. The entire Mastervolt system will be monitored via a touch screen and also on our main ship computer.
Planning the navigation equipment, audio/video systems and computers onboard has been the most fun and what we are most excited about!
We will have 15 speakers (split into 5 zones), 3 subs, 2 TVs, a couple laptops, and a main ship computer. In order to make the distribution of audio and video easy, we are setting up a Control 4 system, which will integrate everything and allow us to control many aspects of the boat, including lighting, using a remote control or our iPad. It’s going to be really slick! The only dreams Krisalyn ever has these days are about speakers.
The new Furuno TZ Touch products look amazing and are the first muli-touch displays for marine use. We are going to remove most of the factory Raymarine system and replace it with Furuno, including a TZT14 (14” display) on the Flybridge for chartplotting and radar. We are also installing cameras on the back for greater visibility while docking.
At the nav station we will be setting up a dedicated ship computer (likely a modified Mac Mini running Windows), which will have all the systems patched into it including the Furuno software.
For internet, we are getting a Wifi 3G/4G router with Rogue Wave antenna and cell lanyard amplifier. When we can’t get a Wifi signal, our 3G/4G stick will take over.
6. Comfort Stuff
We are getting an additional fridge installed in the cockpit along with an ice maker.
Our 3 factory toilets are getting replaced with whisper-quiet Tecma EasyFits.
All of our cushions are being custom made so that they'll be thicker and better constructed than the factory ones, which are a bit thin for our bony asses. We're also getting a washer/dryer and dishwasher installed.
Hopefully this information is useful for others planning the commissioning of their boat, and we welcome feedback and questions!
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Lagu is a state-of-the-art Lagoon 450 catamaran. I live aboard spending my days sailing the seas, exploring nature, and dancing to sweet beats. Lagu is self-sufficient, off the grid, and eco-friendly as much as possible. Of course, I also work remotely to support my lifestyle. Come along, let's have a laugh and enjoy the world together!
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