We've changed a lot …

Summary of changes (Hover over a red dot for details)

Even although we bought a brand new boat and had many options factory fitted, we knew from day one that we wanted to go quickly to personalise our boat even further. In particular we wanted our boat to be ready for cruising now as well as the planning ahead for longer passages rather than wait to do it later.

Practicle

Mounted the chartplotter above the portside wheel

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I wanted to put the chart plotter right above the wheel, as opposed to sitting on a swivel under the cockpit table where Beneteau supply it. Only problem is the starboard storage hatch that swings up right next to the wheel. The only solution that VicSail could come up with was to build a swivelling unit in Inox and mount the plotter inside a Navpod.

Navpod (final) solution, including grab rail

Finally, a good solution to the problem. Solid. Incorporates a grab rail (so people don’t keep leaning on the Navpod)and still allows the hatch to open (just). It’s a fine piece of work though, since on the wheel side you need to allow knuckle room for a hand to spin the wheel. I’ve also had a grab bar made for the starboard side.
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New arch made for stern including new Pushpits

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Making new, stronger, pushpins (thicker steel and one section longer) also gave me the chance to design in a supporting structure for the solar panels and solve a problem we’d had with sagging davits.

The result also provided a great place for the helmsman to be protected at all times (from the sun at leas).
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Modified the Davits with special brackets and strengthened them

The factory fitted davits had sagged up to 2 cm. on the starboard side. So, with the new Inox work for the bimini/solar panel frame, I was able to push the davits back into place and weld connecting rods - you can see three of them in the picture.

To hold the ‘Highfield Ultra 2.9’ dinghy away from the stern ladder, and also to strengthen the whole system fro safer cruising, a special bracket was made for the starboard side and a flat bar that clips on and off for the port side (see photo’s).

These changes, together with high quality straps and buckles have secured the dinghy in place, even going to windward in lumpy seas.
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Completely new Bimini made - one without sags!

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The key features of the new one (apart from a sexy colour) are:
1. Two part design. The rear section sits over the wheels and provides permanent shade for the helmsman.
2. The rear section also houses the four flexible solar panels.
3. The middle section is stretched between the roll bar of the stern Inox work and the sail arch. The cut of the panels are like a sail to accomodate stretch and leave a tight finish (no more sagging ‘as supplied’}
4. The middle section has a large zip out panel (our ‘cabriolet’) that can be opened up when sailing, so you can see the mainsail easier and also to allow access to the end of the boom when the bimini is up.
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Had a new boom tent made that rolls up and zipps to the boom

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We are super well shaded now, as a cruising boat, through a highly effective boom tent.

The bow section is made up from the old grey bimini recut and sewn for the shape.

The new tent is made of the same Sunbrella fabric as the bimini and provides a double layer at the back as well as effective shading over the saloon decking.

Once everything is up, the temperature inside the cabins is significantly lower and the airflow increases as well.

The boom tent is zippered down the middle of both sides to make it easier for two people to roll up and it conveniently zippers into bags attached either side of the boom.

When rolled up (see below) the bags hardly show on either side of the boom. They are fitted into small profile aluminium sliders riveted to the boom. So, the whole lot can also be taken off and stowed for longer cruises offshore.

Not cheap, but extremely effective and highly recommended if you cruise through the hot summer months like we do.
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Protector bar at base of mast

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A very simple one … a bar at the base of the mast serves three functions:
1. Stops accidentally standing on the electrical connections when working at the mast
2. Provides somewhere to hitch a spare halyard while working
3. Can be used for the spinnaker pole when stored.

Safety

Extra grabrails in the cockpit

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The cockpit table is built over a moulded section thats attached to the cockpit sole. Frankly speaking it doesn’t feel solid enough to take the full weight of an adult body being slammed across it in anger. Considering how wide the cockpit is, which is great for entertaining in harbours … it’s also a long way down when the boats heeled over. Let’s face it we’re a sailing boat and with a name like ‘Océanis’ we’re planning some pretty serious stuff. Problem solved! I’ve had the team in Finike, Turkey at Setur Marina, build me the framework above. Now it’s solid!
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Made a stronger pullpit as well - extra length and thicker steel

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Not only has this made it safer working at the bow, but it also solved a problem that had already developed after just one sailing season - the navigation lights were on the blink due to corrosion already!

The new design includes a base plate at the front next to the anchor plate and a comfy place to sit :)
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Making it possible to get to the Liferaft in an emergency

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When the swim ladder and transom are closed together with the dinghy on it’s davits, then bench seat cannot be easily opened to gain quick access to the lazaretto locker with the ships liferaft. I plan to solve this as shown in the drawings above (this year 2016).
This will allow the bechseat and transom to be lowered UNDER the dinghy and therefore access to the locker.
Note: the ladder in the middle swings on hinges so will get out of the way. The new lower grab rails allows the bench seat to lift and lower outwards under the tube of the dinghy when in the stowed position.

Added an Australian Sarca Excel No.6 and 100M chain

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We used the Ex-Cel on our last boat and found it’s performance exceptional. So, even with the costs associated with shipping to Europe, we still consider it a valuable investment to have a good anchor and bought another one.
The Sarca Excel No. 6 weighs in at 30kg and is designed for boats 15-21T and 15-17M … We’re just under 15M and fully loaded most likely about 14T or more.

We use 100M of 12mm chain and keep the original Delta plus 20M chain and 100M warp in the anchor well as our spare anchor.

To improve ease of storage and deploying, the anchor locker was divided with glassed in ply on it’s centre line with the port side for the main anchor and starboard for spare.

Iridium Go! with Predictwind - an awesome combo …

We use Predictwind as our preferred weather information provider. Not only do they provide excellent information, which is after all the most important, but their level of customer service is outstanding and they are constantly updating and developing their tools.

Their service now includes a Predictwind Offshore software that works seamlessly with Iridium Go! to provide 24/7 weather information - anytime, anywhere!

The Iridium Go! is a wi-fi device that turns your iPhone into a SatePhone and also allows up to 5 connections. Not only can we then get the forecasts, we also receive and send SMS and mail and phone calls - and all for a fixed monthly price.
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Mounted a 1,000M range spotlight on spreaders

You only need it when you ‘wish you had one’. Putting up this expensive piece of equipment is not an indulgence, it’s a safety feature. With a range of just over 1,000 metres and fully controlled via a handheld remote controller, it’s super flexible.
Obvious uses include assisting in Man Over Board at night time. It’s also great for spotting objects, rocks or land in difficult approaches at night.
During one night when a thunderstorm kicked up our anchorage, everyone around us quickly found themselves in some sort of difficulty in a small ‘locked in’ bay. We held fast, but spent over an hour on the light helping other boats avid rocks and each other as they reset their anchors.
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Comfort/Other

Water filtration system

We already have a water desalinator onboard and 620 Litres of water storage tanks. However, one thing we really appreciate now is having installed a standard (under the sink) water filtration system.

Now, no matter where the water comes from we know we can drink it!

The BIG BONUS though … it saves all that lugging of bottled water in shrink wraps and plastic bottles. No more heavy carrying and less plastic pollution.
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Remodelled the owners head (wc not mine :)

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I simply don’t understand why Beneteau designers insisted on making a cramped toilet for the owners cabin by including a second wash basin in the corner of the room. There is a bigger one immediately outside the door. By putting in the basin, they also had to swivel the loo so you end up with your need touch bits and in a cramped position.

I simply removed the hand basin and made the cupboard flat which enabled me to turn the loo so it sits squarely in the room. Now I have a ‘proper’ owners throne!

Had to we fit in a BBQ

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Can’t have an Aussie boat without a BBQ. Problem was, where to put it! We have the dinghy and davits at the stern, and anyway the whole stern folds out to make a swim platform. That only left each rear corners or the pushpits, but they too were well occupied with safety gear. So, the solution was to make a special bracket fitted diagonally out from the port side pushpint and the davits. Works great.

Samsung Smart TV hidden by ‘Fish’ painting

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Yep, under that fish painting (oil on stretched canvas with a simple pine frame) there hides a Samsung LCD TV. It’s firmly bolted to the bulkhead (no swivel) and behind it in the owners cabin there is a cupboard with a USB connection and an Apple TV.

Since it’s a ‘smart’ TV it also connects to wi-fi and we can watch YouTube as well.

Note: the TV is not as big as this painting! It’s a simple 23”.

Cushions for all occassions …

It’s a toss up between ‘Comfort’ and ‘Indulgence’ … but here they are, my specially made ‘angle’ cushions so I can sit on a flat seat when heeled over :)
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The long bench seat that stretches across the transom is extremely clever. It folds down and becomes a swim platform! Our previous boat, the SENSE 43, had superb bench seats behind each wheel that we missed so much on night passages I decided to try and recreate the look and feel of. So, in Corfu I had a sailmaker create these amazing cushions. They clip onto the bench with studs and use velcro closures over the stern lifelines. Now it’s super comfy at night plus we have more comfort room in harbour as well.
Later, I had a sailmaker make the long cushions half sized for easier storage.

Decent 12 volt fans in every room

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We changed all our cabin fans to th white 12 volt SIROCCO fans. We’ve found these to be the best available - quieter, good looking and able to point in nearly any direction.

Glomax WebBoat 4G - Coastal internet and Wi-Fi

We installed a Glomex weBBoat, the new 4G/Wi-Fi Coastal antenna system. Inside the ASA radome there are two diversity antennas 4G, Wi-Fi antenna, a router and an access point that, protected by external elements, allow you to have an easily and affordably high speed internet connection on your boat in a few minutes: just insert one SIM card (not supplied) in the external slot and connect by Wi-Fi or by Ethernet cable all your devices (iPhone, Smartphone, iPad, tablet, PC..) at internet without complications through the Wi-Fi network from harbour or the 3G network. Moreover, the router, inside the compact radome (25mm/10”  diam. – 300mm/12” h.), automatically switches from 4G to Wi-Fi and vice versa to ensure you an uninterrupted and cheaper internet connection. Finally, weBBoat has also a Control App (for iOS and Android) for a very easy system setting and status.
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Can’t live without my Nestlé Dulce Gusto machine

There’s nothing better than a hot brew exactly when you want it and always consistent. Great on night watch or at anchor. Better still, the milk capsules are part of the system, so Café Laté no worries or a hot cup of Chocolate (Nesquik) at any time. So, we have our Nestlé Dulce Gusto and I’ve even made a special teak unit for it to sit on permanently in the galley that includes a capsule rack.
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