Charisma’s “To Do” List

This is a listing of stuff we need to fix, buy, install or complete before leaving on our adventure.  I’ve categorized it into “Fix”, “Buy” and “Big Ticket” with the assumption that in all cases, we’ll need to install/complete.  When something is completed, I’ll line it out so we can follow the progress and still have a list for others to see.


  • Remove and re-bed main traveller to fix leak  May, 2013-After procrastinating on this one I finally had to take a hard look at it when the leak got severe.  What I found was that it was the aft end of the hand rail on both sides of the boat.  The bolt on each side corroded and broke and once loose, water was leaking in underneath.  New bolts, new bedding.  Problem solved
  • Remove and replace foredeck washdown (I’ve given up on this one.  The fixture is no longer made and all the new ones I might replace it with are much smaller.  I’d have to cut it out, fiberglass the hole, match the non-skid paint color, etc-so we’ll just do without a functioning saltwater washdown)
  • Repair and paint cowl vent.  (found spare from another owner who replaced his)
  • Remove inop water heater (eventually, we’ll use this space for watermaker and/or reefer 8/11-Had to remove the sink drain pipe to get the water heater out.  What a beast, but now done and lots of room.  Put the fridge compressor in the space.
  • Fix propane tank gasket (spare tank gasket doesn’t seal properly.  Tank is mfg’d by Worthington) Took the tank to a repair shop.  They said it was fine, just moisten the gasket a bit.  Put some silicon lube on it and it works.
  • Lube steering gear (remove compass, inspect binnacle, lube chain) Note: 9/11-I partly crossed this one out since I haven’t pulled the binnacle, but DID do a visual check and found the main bearing on the ruddershaft was rusting and totally out of lube.  I cleaned it, sprayed with Corrosion X and pumped grease into the zirc fitting.  It took a lot of grease.  Result: steering is much, much improved.  Glad I caught that.
  • Tack system for Asym spinnaker.  Need block, and line for downhaul (and lead to cleat?) and something to hold it to jibstay with protection for furled jib.


  • Spare main traveler car (our Nicro-Fico traveler has been discontinued and if the car breaks, we’ll have to put on a new track)
  • New mainsheet blocks (one double, four single and single with beckett)
  • New mainsheet (downsize to 9/16″)
  • New Stays’l blocks (two single and one single with beckett)
  • New Stays’l sheet (downsize to 1/2″ x )
  • New Jib fairlead blocks
  • New Jib sheet (downsize to 9/16″ x 55′ each)
  • New  boom vang line (need to get size).  Still haven’t replaced and it’s actually working fine.
  • Roller reef spinlock.  Need to sidemount on scupper.  Will need wooden spacer to shim out and angle properly to reduce friction.
  • Engine start battery (includes new battery controlling switch).  This will free up our four battery, 440 amp hour system for “house” use  Did this and put the new battery on an “echo charger”.  It only charges when the main bank is at least 13V.  Works great!
  • Replace cockpit light.  Put on backstay and label on panel Same as below.  Antenna backstay issues.
  • Replace backstay flag halyard and cleat Going to pass on this one now that the SSB antenna is the backstay.  Update mid-2013-Bought an LED light (Bebi light made in Fiji) with a cable that now goes up through the zipper on the dodger and hangs over the companionway.  Works great!

Big Ticket

  • Wind Vane (Bought at Oakland boat show 4/09.  Need to install this summer) Done and in use.  Works great!
  • Tillerpilot  Just bought one for Baja trip.  Cross fingers that it works!  NOTE from 9/2011-As you might see from the blog, I bought one and used it all the way back from Cabo.  Made a plexiglass “stub” for the Monitor wind vane that I rig when we’re motoring.  The tillerpilot steers the wind vane.  Works great!   New Note from 12/2012-Tillerpilot broke due to a cheap plastic part inside that is the oversteer stop.  I took it to a Raymarine dealer in New Zealand-They sent to Raymarine and the answer back was repair was to replace the whole drive unit-$469.  That’s almost as much as a new tillerpilot.  Since I already knew what the real problem was, I bought some superglue and glue the broken plastic part back in.  Works fine.  Another example of poor customer service from a major company.  I understand it’s expensive to provide good support, but it’s also expensive to buy their stuff when it costs so much and is built so cheap.  This part should have been made from something stronger.
  • Radar
  • Radar tower (ended up mounting on mast just below spreaders.  Much nicer/cleaner)
  • Chartplotter for nav station and repeater for under dodger (w/GPS or link to current Garmin 396?)
  • AIS  (Bought and installed Furuno 1723 C/NT, 7 inch with AIS, GPS and radar overlay.  No repeater)
  • Single Sideband Radio.  Have insulated backstay.  Will need: grounding apparatus and associated modem equipment, sailmail subscription, etc   Complete as of 8/31/10.  Still need to configure modem though Modem up and running and sending successfully to servers as far away (so far) as Hawaii (from Berkeley Marina)
  • New sails (stay with tanbark for classic look, or go with better fabric/white?).  Sails needed: Main, Stays’l on hanks, Yankee Jib on furler, Storm Jib on hanks, Storm Trys’l (w/ dedicated track)–or maybe just get the Stays’l recut?  Update: 12/2012-I bought storm sails on eBay before leaving from Mexico.  We used then a LOT and they are great.  We blew a seam on the main on our last leg into Tonga, which we subsequently fixed on the sewing machine, but that was a wake up call, so I have now ordered new Main, Stays’l and Jib (in tanbark) from Doyle Sails in NZ.  Our existing Asym and 130% jib are fine and almost new.  We’ll take delivery in March 2013 (cross fingers)
  • Solar
    • Two panels w/ mounts to go on stanctions
    • Electronic controllers   9/2011  Just received two Kyocera 135 watt panels and a Blue Sky regulator.  We’ll see how the install goes.  Update 12/2012:  This comination worked great all the way across the Pacific.  But-as you get into the tropics it gets cloudier more of the time.  Less power from solar.  While underway we used a Ferris-Hamilton hydro gen.  It trails behind the boat and delivers 6-8 amps most of the time.  Or-we’d run the engine for an hour to augment the charge.  I think a wind gen would be a good add if you were starting from scratch.  December 2013: Update on Ferris Hamilton hydro gen-I’ve had to repair it due to internal corrosion issues.  These things work well, but are poorly engineered for extensive marine use.  Apparently a known issue is that condensed air forms inside unit and then rusts from inside out.  Also the external coating is pathetically thin.  I have heard they are re-engineering the unit, maybe by mid 2014.  I bought new bearings and will try to rebuilt ours but am not optimistic.  Very frustrated with their customer service.  Buyer beware.
  • Life raft.  Probably a four person in cannister.  Will need mounting gear between forward dorades. (Bought Viking four person)
  • Refrigerator.  A “nice to have”.  Turn one of our ice boxes into a reefer.  The other can remain as “cool” storage.  Well, after the Baja trip, I decided that we were too “tethered” to marinas to get ice, so I just finished (8/11) installing a Frigoboat reefer with digital themostat.  Works great.  Update 12/2012:  From New Zealand-It worked great all the way across the Pacific, but as you get into warm, tropical water it pretty much runs all the time.  Plan on a fairly constant 3-6 amp draw in these conditions.
  • Watermaker.  A “nice to have”.  We’ll see.  Ditto to the reefer comment.  Spent too much time sourcing questionable water from Marinas in Baja and ended up putting clorox in the water “just in case”.  Bought a Spectra watermaker and installed this summer (6/11)  Works great.  6 to 7 gallons per hour on about 9 amps/hour.  Update 12/2012: From NZ.  Works great in the tropics, but we had to run it a long time to make 20 or 30 gallons or more.  I would probably spend more to buy a larger capacity model and not have to run it as long, especially since it uses enough energy that you either have to have a lot of sun for the solar, or shut everything else off, or run the engine while filling the tank.  The reality is you can run it for three hours using just solar since you need to rest of the day to charge the batteries for other stuff, or you run the engine, or we found we could run it pretty well if we were under way and used the hydro gen-but since this is dragged behind the boat, you can’t drag a fishing line.  Everything’s a trade off…

5 thoughts on “Charisma’s “To Do” List

  1. Hi,

    I was wondering if you could post some pics of your solar panel configuration. We are looking at a Tayana 37 that does not have solar but would like to add it. We have seen some configs where the panels were on the davit and others where they were on the top of the bimini. Both of those locations would be preferable to mounting them on the rails.



  2. Also, we were wondering if you had done some calculations on the max dimensions of the panels that would fit.

    Thanks Again,


  3. Hi Alex, see today’s link. I took some pics of our panels and added a few specs. The general recommendation is to go with the max size you can possibly fit on the boat. These were the biggest we could find 18 months ago. They may have more powerful ones now, but the Kyoceras are the biggest that would fit. You can go online and search them to find the dimensions. I bolted on polycarbonate backing that you can see in the pictures to strengthen the panels and hold the hinges. If I had more time, I might have done these with aluminum, but it was easier for me to source and cut the polycarb, so I went with that. It has worked great.

  4. Hi Bob and Ann, Jolanda & Tod here (and our almost 1 year old daughter Tessa) from the BYC. We are prepping for our cruise next year, and are wondering what size Spectra watermaker you have? Any thoughts of “I wish we had installed that…” are welcome:-). Happy to read you two having a great time!

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