2015 upgrades

It seems there is a never ending list of little things I can do to the boat. From maintenance issues, to “wouldn’t it be nice” projects or “why did they build it like that?” modifications.
Here’s a round up of spring 2015 projects:

Cockpit Stereo

JBL_PRV175_hunter_340The cockpit speakers were controlled from the head unit at the nav station. The main problem with this setup was that in order to adjust the volume you have to do a steeple-chase down to the nav station!

I chose the JBL PRV 175 as it is a marine unit (waterproof!), accepts Bluetooth, USB for MP3 and of course am/fm. I wired it directly to the cockpit speakers and ran a line-out to the head unit at the nav station so we will hear the same music inside and out. (I will run another set of lines from the head unit to the cockpit so I can use the cd player – but that’s a low priority.)

Ground Loop Isolator

With this configuration I can have dual zone listening zones, which might be handy if I am stuck out side sailing while the family is below. The nice thing about controlling the music from the cockpit is I can turn off the music inside the boat as well – handy for communicating with those indoors.

Using the long RCA line-in cables picked up lots of signal noise. It is almost impossible to isolate audio cables from power cables on a boat, and in this installation it was impossible – the head unit in installed above the power panel! I used a PAC-Audio SNI-1, a ground loop isolator and it worked perfectly!
I used a spare breaker for the stereo and USB socket. It was a pain running the cables as the route up to the pedastal is on the port side, but all the electrical is on starboard, so everything needs an extra 8 feet of cable to make the trip across the boat.

It’s not in the manual but I found on the web, the USB stick needs to be formatted as FAT. It recognizes other formats but won’t play any songs. Oh, and it needs to be 128kbps…?! So I need to re rip any song I want to put on a usb?!

USB sockets

Last summer I used Navionics on my cell phone for navigation, the GPS drained my cellphones quickly. I had the usb cable plugged into an AC charger pluged into an extension cord, pluged into the inverter… not the most elegant solution. This year I plan to run Navionics on an iPad at the helm, and combined with streaming Bluetooth to the stereo, I figured I needed a charging point on the pedestal. I installed Bluesea Dual USB 5v socket just below the stereo.

I installed another socket at the nav station to keep phones and devices charged. I wanted it to be out of the way, so I put it beside the AC socket. The only down side with this installation is it required me to be a thin contortionist inside the hanging locker.

Kitchen Garbage reconfiguration

Seems like a trivial issue, but the garbage really irked me. There is a huge space for the garbage and inside the previous owner had wedged a huge can. Sure it’s nice to only have to empty the garbage once a month – but we really don’t generate that much garbage on the boat.

I put in a shelf, a $3 bamboo cutting board from the dollar store, and bought a smaller can. Now we have additional storage and a garbage can that fits up into the insert, so garbage doesn’t miss the can.

I moved the hinges to the bottom of the door, thereby increasing the size of the opening, it also makes a nice shelf when changing the garbage or stowing items in the storage space created below the garbage can.

Not sure why they put the garbage lid in the middle of the counter….

While I had the aircraft cable out, I replaced the bathroom mirror chain with plastic covered cable. The chain almost always got caught in the door, and the previous owner cracked the side mirror when the chain got pinched.


A new Magma barbecue showed up under the Christmas tree this year – onto the rail it goes!

Magma bbq rail mounted

Whisker pole brackets

I was in Canadian Tire when I spotted these bicycle cup holders (I didn’t know bicycles needed cup holders…). They are welded aluminum and fit my stanchions perfectly (1″) and very well made for $8 and change. They are perfect for getting the whisker pole off the deck, the inside is padded foam so the pole is quiet.

I just need to find a better solution to my mangy bungee cords.

Pole out your Head sail for more power downwind.


 Compass bezel

Suunto_compass_bezelWhen I bought Tortuga, it didn’t have a compass, but I had the compass bezel. Then I cleaned out my shop and threw out the bezel. Then I got the compass from the previous owner….
I’ve tried reviving salvaged compasses, but with limited success. Of course I could just buy a new compass, but there is no fun in that and I like the OEM compass with Hunter on it. It is interesting to note that Suunto has gone out of the marine compass business.
I drained the Suunto fluid through a cheese  cloth as it was full of white stuff. I think it is paint off the card and presumably the reason the previous owner removed the compass in the first place. Now get a bubble when it’s cold, so I will refill it again after a chilling in the fridge. I can live with a bubble for the summer.

I had a bezel turned out of mahogany,  it looks fabulous both raw and varnished.







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