Soon after buying Ocean Angel we both needed and wanted to make a number of changes. After those changes and a few months shake down, we took our first extended trip to the Bahamas in June 2002. Upon returning we decided to begin further upgrades and renovations. Right after we bought the boat we replaced the engine-driven refrigeration with a Frigoboat 12 volt keel-cooled system, but that didn’t keep the cabin very cool. So we added a 16,500 BTU ducted air conditioning system manufactured by Flagship Marine in Ft. Lauderdale.
Here it is below, tucked underneath the navigation desk. How in the world, you might say? Another story; it cools the entire boat, but it’s been a source of irritation with noise, vibration, and break downs. In 2008, Flagship took a look at the non-functioning unit when we returned from Guatemala to the States, but all the repairs were at my expense. With this latest repair, I’ve spent about $800 in repairs on a 6 year old unit. It is now quieter and cooler, but at a price.
I made improvements to both the 12 and 120 volt electrical systems. When we bought our Angel, shore power was European and all the 120 volt system was foreign to me, but with the help of Beneteau USA I was able to re-configure the system to US standards. I re-wired the boat, and added new 120 volt panels, breakers, and devices throughout the boat. I installed a Xantrex 2500 inverter/charger, a Link 2000 control, and new heavier wiring throughout. I now know the systems front to back, and thus far it has proven flawless.
When we bought the boat, the wiring and electronics were original, 16 years old, so we replaced everything while the boat was still on the hard and the mast on sawhorses. When lightning struck in the spring of 2008, I had the opportunity to do it all over again. What fun! Nearly all the wiring was replaced a second time, the keel bolts were replaced, the mast was re-wired (again), the navigation lights were all replaced, VHF radios, cables, antennas, the works, every single electrical component – again. Even the lightning ground system as that was also blown apart. The rigging was undamaged, thankfully, as we had replaced all the rigging only two years earlier.
In this photo above you notice the 16 year old upholstery. In 2005, we contracted JSI in St. Petersburg, FL to replace all the interior upholstery using new high density foam, tufted and buttoned material, and complementing window treatments and throw pillows. What a difference. You’ll also notice the original Navigation station with European shore power controls behind the binoculars. Below you see the system as of 2013 with Blue Seas 120 volt panels and all the new electronics which were installed after the 2008 lightning strike. When underway, the laptop computer is linked to the Garmin GPS to interface with the MaxSea software and the 2013 Globalstar fixed mount satellite phone system completes the communications link for weather and email. What you cannot see is all the work that went into changing the wiring behind the panels.