Burley Creek, Annapolis, MD
Well it has certainly been a busy summer of improvements to Matsu, apart from the engine we have got through a huge list of upgrades either as part of the engine project or since returning from Canada.
We have replaced the old manual pump heads (toilets) with new electric flush ones, future visitors will no doubt appreciate this as much as the crew do, no more playing the Las Vegas slots every time you want to flush, just push a button. As they are still boat heads I am sure they will require regular unblocking and all the usual unpleasantness but at a day to day level the improvement is huge.
The old 110v generator powered fridge system has been replaced. This was a bit like the engine in that we thought it would be nice to do before the old system died, and then during the removal of the old system it became clear that we were very lucky it still worked! The old compressor turned out not to be attached to the boat in any way at all after several things have broken over the years, the only thing holding it down were the refrigerant lines and some good luck. Similarly one of the holding plates ruptured when I lifted it out!
The new Sea Frost system is superb, it runs on 12v so no need to run the generator twice a day and with digital temperature controllers we can keep ice cream frozen and other such luxuries. The solar panels and wind generator should provide most of the power we need. While doing this we have custom built interior shelving and boxes so that the fridge and freezer are more like a home set up than a very large cooler bin.
On top of these flag ship projects we have completely replaced the fresh water plumbing, plus we have new taps and shower heads. We have installed reversing up and down switches on the anchor windlass, a fresh water wash down so we can clean the salt off the varnish and all the usual day to day maintenance required. Linda has not exactly been idle either having done all the exterior varnishing and quite a bit of the interior, painted all the lockers and cupboard interiors, new cockpit cushions, clean and polish of the hull so she shines like new.
So Matsu is now shinier and better equipped than ever, we are obviously a bit poorer but doing the work ourselves has saved us a lot. The plan is to head south to the Caribbean for a few years, basing ourselves there so leaving with the boat in top shape is a huge bonus.
Hopefully this means we can enjoy the rum cocktail and sunbathing side of cruising a bit more with the marine engineering side covered off! However, cleaning, polishing, varnishing, etc will always be on the list … at least we’ll be lucky enough to do this in tropical paradise…