The Best Improvements for your boat

A while back we hosted the Grand Banks Discussion Board on our site, which was very popular. One particular thread (back in 2001) caught my attention and I had the fore site to save it. This was a thread with board users offering their ideas of the best improvements they have made on their boats. I would like to share this with you at this time. We would comments with additions to the list.
Author Topic:   5 Best “THINGS” on your boat
Mike Negley Member posted 02-01-01 04:22 PM
I would like to see all the folks who read and post to this forum give a list (not to exceed 5) of the best or most useful things they have (or the previous owner had) added to their boat. It can be very simple and inexpensive, assuming there is such a thing on a boat, or something big and/or expensive with a brief explanation of why they think it is to so good or useful. Mayby later we will do the worst or stupidist too. Anyway, I think we might all learn something.
Elliott McConnell Member posted 02-01-01 06:48 PM
1. Vacuflush toilet 2. Frigibar refrigerator/freezer on flybridge. 3. Solar screens on windows. 4. Dual Racor unit.
Andrew Sherlock Member posted 02-01-01 07:20 PM
For the Pacific Northwesters in particular:1) Heat!-Dickinson Oil Furnace (draws no power, provides a clean, silent, continuous, source of dry heat)(We also have a Bus Heater and Webasto for heat when underway) 2) HD Storage Bag (Vinyl) for Anchor chain/rode (Suspended/Mounted in the bow locker, prevents all muck and water from entering the bilge when stowing your ground tackle) 3) Sunbrella Window Coverings, with aluminum “C” Tracking at top edge of window frame (stops all water from running inside the window covering-a must for woodies!) 4) Full Aft Deck enclosure-A must in rainy areas for 32’s. (our boat seems twice as big now when the weather is lousy) 5) Force 10 Double Burner Propane Stove-Mounted in Custom Wood cabinet on aft deck (Eliminates all condensation and cooking smells from the Cabin area-great for crab/prawns etc etc.) Good idea Mike, I look forward to other “Top Five’s”. —————— Andrew Sherlock Vancouver BC GB 32-77 “Toba River”
bobkohm Member posted 02-01-01 08:14 PM
In order of significance 1) Lectra/San wastewater treatment for head discharge. – Avoids need for holding tank usage except in zero discharge zones.2) Rainfall shower head for shower. Super shower with low pressure and small water consumption. Very popular in Australia where water is always in short supply, like on a boat. $20 at Wallmart or $150 in mail order catalogs. 10 minute job – super results. 3)Spurs – unfortunately for me one rope pick up too late. (see other posting this site) 4)Deck/Anchor washdown pump 5) Lots of 12V lighting in Holy Place. Bob Kohm GB36-266 Vagabond [This message has been edited by bobkohm (edited 02-01-01).]
K Dowling Member posted 02-01-01 11:14 PM
1. Vacuflush – it’s easy to explain to guests. 2. Handheld GPS with itty bitty screen that shows NavAids and has a 12 volt plug adaptor. 3. Gel batteries, modern charger, temp indicator and charge indicators. 4. Automatic bilge pumps 5. Wall Mart clip on 5″ fan.
Arnold Member posted 02-02-01 01:17 AM
1. Hurricane 45000 btu circulating hot water diesel furnace with 4 zone heating. 2. (Simple and inexpensive)4 inch cleats mounted vertically on the aft side of each hand rail stantion where I want fenders place for docking. 3. Double stainless rails around the front of the trunk cabin which allow 6 fenders to stow vertically across the front of the trunk cabin. Also good for dock line stowage when draped neatly over the standing fenders. (Some of the 42s have a storage box in this location.) 4. Link 20 digital 2 bank battery monitor. 5. Electronic suite including laptop computer,gps,autopilot and radar.Mike, it’s not that we don’t get enough good ideas from you, but where is your list?
Norm Freedman unregistered posted 02-02-01 07:58 AM
#1 (by far) Adding split AC unit with compressor in engine room and air handler in brow. Blows down in galley (galley down GB46) adding much needed cooling. When turning on AC in a hot boat, salon cools down using both units in 5 minutes (in Florida). But best of all, the duct is split so about 2/3 of air can be aimed aft towards the owner’s stateroom. The cold air spills down and we almost never need to run the aft stateroom AC at night.2. A 20 ft 50 amp power cord. Much lighter than 50 ft and usable 99% of the time. 3. Awlgrip exterior paint. Just keep it clean and the boat always looks fantastic. Never need to wax. 4. Adding a subwoofer under the seat in the main salon. It’s a small thing but greatly adds to our enjoyment of the music every day. 5. Charles C phone. Shore phone, intercom, hailer and cell phone in four locations through a central control unit. Norm Freedman GB 46 #12 Double Nickel
Jim Peters New Member posted 02-02-01 02:11 PM
Boating area – Pacific Northwest: 1) Dual Racor 500 manifold with vacum gauges using 10 micron primary elements followed by a Detroit diesel spin on secondary (single 120 Lehman). 2) Bosch Instant Hot water system (vented version) for domestic water. 3) DC electrical upgrade – 12 x 6 volt house bank, 1 x 8D start bank, Freedom 2000 inverter/charger managed by Link 2000R through an Eliminator/Isolator (i.e. no switching & allows start battery to be charged at safe rate), 210 Amp Powermax alternator (100 Amp idle). No generator required – silent – sit @ anchor 4/5 nights & still have in excess of 1/2 house battery capacity – quick recharge underway or @ dock. 4) Faball (Sigmar) 180 balanced draft stove oil heat from a gravity feed tank. 5) Ground tackle – Horizon 1500 windlass w/ 44 lb Delta anchor & 325 ft. of 5/16 grade 40 chain followed by 200 ft. 5/8 nylon (on a 36 classic) An excellent forum – look forward to other replies.
Dave Griffith Member posted 02-02-01 04:01 PM
1. Vacuflush – high spousal approval factor 2. GPS with electronic chart – how did I ever get by without one? 3. Dripless shafts (and a clean, dry bilge) 4. Ocean Marine dinghy davits (see their ad in Passagemaker for picture) 5. A CD changer with (don’t laugh) a remote that works from the flybridge.“Fuzzy Logic” Seattle
Chamonix82 unregistered posted 02-02-01 05:52 PM
1. I replaced the original heads with Raritan Atlantis heads. They are amazing. 2. I hooked these heads up to the fresh water supply. (They now stay tidy bowl clean.) 3. I replaced the original equipment 1982 Onan Generator, which ran like a thrashing machine, with a 8kw Northern Lights and sound box that can barley be heard. 4. I replaced the original equipment 82 Ice maker with a new U line Ice maker. It uses about 1/2 the power of the old one and at night at anchor it runs through the inverter with hardly a noticable loss of battery power. 5. I put on a Simpson Lawrence Horizan windlass with 200 ft of chain and 50 ft of rope that prevents me from dumping the chain in the ocean. Stainless steel chain hooks and good snubers have let me ride out 50-80 knot winds with no problem. This is a good question that you have posed
R.Goodman New Member posted 02-02-01 08:53 PM
1)bow thruster.Like 4wheel drive,comes in real handy when you need it on a single engine boat. 2)vacuflush.Tidy-bowl clean and no smell. 3)Link 2000.Easy to monitor battery banks. 4)Dripless shaft. 5)Drop down dish cabinet above sink.Holds dishs and cups out of site,yet convenient,was a grand banks option.
Jamie Berry Member posted 02-03-01 12:51 PM
1. Discreet deck lighting – looks stunning at night when entertaining. 2. Extra beer fridge in forward port cabin of 42MY. 3. Vacuflush loos with varnished wooden seats. 4. Intercom to flybridge. 5. Shortly to be installed: 12v car size DVD player and 7 inch screen in side of forward cabin wardrobe to keep kids happy. ——————
bjones Member posted 02-03-01 01:05 PM
These posts are definately extending my “wish list”. Our top 5 presently in place would be: 1. non-obtrusive, permantly mounted, fold down 36GB lower station helm seat. (e-mail for details) 2. solar window screens -cooling and daytime privacy 3. oil change pumps permantly plumbed to bottom of oil pan -simplifies job and insures getting all the old oil removed 4. Battery monitor -amps, volts, Ampere-hours! 5. GPS -don’t leave home without one! —————— Brian Jones Soo Valley 36′ #255 Vancouver, B.C.
Don Stoulil Member posted 02-03-01 08:17 PM
Mike, another great thread!1. Lots of AC/DC Power-10 Trojan T-125 (house) Batts.,Balmar 91-100 Hi output Alts, Heart Interface Link 20 Batt. Monitor, Interface Incharge Volt Reg’s, Interface Pathmaker200/3 bank. 2. HRO Water Maker 3. PC with Nobeltec Nav. System 4. Auto-Pilot 5. Trim Tabs You Da Man Jamie!!! Varnished Toilet Seats and Lots of Beer!! These are new additions to my upgrade list.
Andrew Sherlock Member posted 02-03-01 09:50 PM
Hi Jamie, You might want to consider a Laptop with DVD instead of your proposed installation. The new TFT screens are awesome, and you will then have a mobile system with 10 gigabytes to boot. (add NavTrack etc for additional justification of your investment.) Thats how I got away with my purchase I give two thumbs up to the Toshiba machines (Satellite 2800C3 in particular) Andrew
bill Member posted 02-03-01 10:41 PM
Not in any order…A fuel polishing system, described elsewhere on this forum. Bypass oil filters, plus on-board oil analyzer. Slide-out extension on the inboard side of the stbd berth, widening it by about 18″; mattress folds (lengthwise) so I can slide it back in to get to underneath storage. Cold filtered coffee syrup maker; lets us make up batches of coffee syrup. Once made, we get the convenience of instant coffee and better taste than most brewed coffee. We use a laptop with DVD player, as Andrew mentioned. I also added, for $80 retail at Comp-USA, a product called “WIN-TV” which plugs into the laptop’s USB port. You connect a TV antenna/cable/vcr to it, and watch regular TV on the laptop. Bill Sholar DORY, GB36-252
ronkazmar New Member posted 02-04-01 05:44 PM
Cruising grounds are the Great Lakes aboard a GB42′ Europa. Best five things are: 1. Bow and stern thrusters with a single screw 2.Vacuflush,easy for the guests 3. Norscot Shaft Seal 4. Auto oil change pump for engine and genset 5. Two refrigs