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Amazing Grace II
Beneteau 50

Improvements we Did

I was asked what we did that improved the boat. At the time I did not just have the set of things on the top of my mind. It is actually a long list.
  1. Replaced all the incandescent bulbs with LEDs or fluorescent bulbs.
  2. Added some interior lights to the boat
  3. Added a life raft
  4. Added a 3rd reef to the main
  5. Added a spinnaker (whisker) poll
  6. Added an electronic wind speed indicator
  7. Added an arch for solar panels and radar mount. Solar charging system often produces 30 amp peek and 150 amp hours in a day.
  8. Replaced the 45psi fresh water pumps that took 10A with 35psi pumps that take 3A.
  9. Added an under-the-sink fresh water filter on just the cold water
  10. Cleaned out the fuel tanks and designed and built a fuel polishing system with dual fuel filters
  11. Added Class B AIS - transmitting AIS system.
  12. Added a chart plotter, Garmen GPS 545S color daylight visible.
  13. Replaced the canopy with a full enclosure - with "Easy2cy" ( Easy Too Sea Why ) really clear front.
  14. Added a high output (3700 GPH) bilge pump. This bilge pump can be run from both the house battery bank, the motor start battery or directly from the solar panels. Also it is mounted 1 inch above the bottom of the bilge so that it is never left sitting in the water. The regular bilge pump is a "high output" 1500 GPH pump that is designed to be sitting in water and not have problems with that - but I still replace it every other year. (Don't take this to mean that we have had problems with water in the bilge. I was just told a very scary story and then went and checked the pumps. To my horror 2 of the 3 did not actually pump any water. So now I check and replace frequently! A new pump is so cheap compared to a sunken boat. Why keep using the same old pump?)
  15. Added a stern anchor and anchor rode (300 ft)
  16. Added hand holds to the stern to make it safer getting into and out of the dinghy
  17. Added hand holds inside cabins to improve safety
  18. Added fans in aft cabins
  19. Added jibe preventer.
  20. Replaced the stack pack that didn't work with one that is designed different and works.
  21. Added shelves to lots of lockers. We have been able to provision for 6 months of food for 4 people including two growing teenagers without difficulty.
  22. Added a salt water wash down to the stern (I have a long hose that I use with the wash down for the anchor at the bow)
  23. Added a large 84LB delta as our primary anchor.
  24. Built a bridle for the anchor that keeps the boat from dancing at anchor.
  25. Added 2 large solar panels - enough to carry all of our needs for months at a time without running the generator.
  26. Added a pressure-overflow for the fresh water cooling on engine.
  27. Added coat hooks in a bunch of places.
  28. Added hammocks for gear in the cabins. (Currently stored in an aft locker.)
  29. Added tie-downs for books and other stuff.
  30. Added a 2nd 40 A Alternator the motor, one for the house batteries, one for the engine starter battery.
  31. Added shut off valves to the water system so that you can turn off the hot water and work on the hot water without turning off the pressure on the cold water. Same for the accumulator and the fresh water wash down at the stern.
  32. Changed the refrigerator discharge pump so that it can be hooked to a hose and used to pump out water from other locations in the boat. Also changed it so that the discharge on this pump is into the sink instead of into a non-ABYC compliant Y fitting under the sink. The T fitting kept clogging up the sink. The new system is safer, ABYC compliant and works.
  33. Added a bilge high-water alarm system.
  34. Electrical bonding of the entire boat.
  35. Added a bookshelf behind the door to the forward cabin.

Fixed Stuff

Then there is the list of stuff that got fixed.
  1. The goose-neck corroded and would not adjust properly. The roller furler was giving us problems. We replaced the entire standing rigging, new furler, new goose-neck, new spar ends, completely rewired the mast, new VHF antenna and added an electronic wind direction indicator.
  2. Replaced the brackets holding the alternators. The old brackets were made of a very, very, hard and brittle steel that kept cracking. I had a complete set of new brackets built that is slightly thicker and of a softer steel. No more broken brackets.
  3. A cockpit light that is bright enough to eat dinner by.
  4. A new autopilot. The old Type 300 12 volt brain still works and is on the boat but we replaced the entire autopilot. New control head, new "brain", new Type 2 linear drive, new ruder sensor. Of all the things that I don't want to fail on a long ocean passage this hits near the top of my list.
  5. 9 new through hulls and shut off valves.
  6. Replaced the Jabsco toilets aft with nicer Raratan PH2 ones.
  7. Replaced the control unit on the bow-thruster when it failed.
  8. A myriad of new hatch handles and fixed all the locking mechanisms on all of the hatches so that they work.
  9. Re-insulated the refrigerator doors and fixed the seals on the refrigerator doors. The insulation in the doors is the Glacer Bay R50 panels and they really work!
  10. Fixed all the doors, latches, hinges. The doors had latches with springs that broke - finally I just replaced all of the old springs with new ones and I have not had a broken spring since.
  11. Replaced the seals on 4 of the Lewmar deck hatches so that they do not leak.
  12. Fixed the ground plane for the SSB radio so that it will transmit properly.
  13. Replaced the hot water heater. Replaced it with a new one that is much more efficient and has additional safety features.
  14. Replaced the pressure water accumulator with a new one.
  15. Replaced all the bilge pumps with new ones. I just feel better knowing that the bilge pumps are new, not 15+ years old.
  16. Replaced all the batteries. House, Engine Starter, Bow-Thruster and Generator starter battery.
  17. New raw water pump on the generator.
  18. New hose clamps throughout the boat.
  19. New exhaust hose on the generator.
The Engine Overhaul List:
  1. Replaced on alternator, overhauled the other.
  2. All new hoses.
  3. All new belts.
  4. New Transmission.
  5. New vibration dampener between engine and transmission.
  6. Added a vibration dampening between transmission and prop shaft.
  7. New shifter cable.
  8. New exhaust hose.
  9. New exhaust elbow.
  10. Overhauled and cleaned the heat exchanger.
  11. New air filter/air-cleaner.
  12. New raw water pump and saved the old one as spare with a new impeller in it.
  13. New fresh water pump.
  14. New transmission oil cooler.
  15. New motor mounts.