2009/2010 Refit - The Big List

The 2009/2010 Refit turned into a very large refit. Each time we thought we were ready to stop and depart, something happended to delay us. So we kept working on the "nice to do" list and periodically uncovered a "oh, must do that now" activity in paralle. This page serves as my record of what was done so will be rather dry for most readers. Specific topics that may be of interest to other Challenge 72 owners are presented on their own pages.


The antifouling was repaired fromt the turtle "love stirkes" off Salina Cruz and then recoated. The topsides, apart from the center cockpit, were repainted with AWLGrip.  The non slip adhesive patches on the deck were removed and the deck painted with sand loaded paint to the same pattern.  The colors were maintained as before.

The bilges were cleaned and repaited throughout the forward half of the boat. The aft bilges (port and starboard) showed no signs of wear.

Minor rust in the stern compartment, under the sinks in the heads and on some of the stringers in the lateral bilges spaces was treated and repainted. 

The keel/hull joint was rebedded and painted.

Engines / Propeller / Zincs

The main engine was treated for surface rust and painted.

The alternator was rebuilt. 

The Auto Prop was disassembled and serviced.

Repeater engine instruments were installed in the NAVPOD display at the steering station (Tachometer, Oil Temperature and Oil Pressure).

The generator engine (Northern Lights) was treated for surface rust and painted. The lift pump was replaced and the jury-rigged lift pump, installed in San Lucia, disconnected.

The engine room blower fan and blower exhaust vent were replaced with new. The air damper channels into the engine room were removed, rust treated and the channels replaced.

The fuel lines and fuel tank air breather pipes were replaced with fire resistant piping that was to US Coast Guard standard.  In both cases, the US Coast Guard standard was to an higher level than that required for MCA Category 0.

April 2010 we motored up to San Diego and had all the hull zincs replaced. Two anode studs were replaced and the hull paint repaired around the weld site. We had the Auto-prop re-lubed and a new zinc applied at its end at the same time. The hull paint and the bowthruster tube were in good condition.

We had a kelp/rope cutter (Spurs) fitted at the same time.

Safety Gear

We maintain three Solas 1A life rafts. They were inspected during the refit - TWICE! The life vests, safety lines, EPIRB and other safety equipment were serviced as were all fire extinguishers.

The deck edge life lines were inspected.  One line was replaced. All the staunchions were removed, cleaned/straightened and rebedded with Tef-gel.

Fire / Flood / Gas Sensors & Fire Suppression
The gas sensor system was replaced. The unit that was fitted to the boat when purchased was used against the manufacturers specification. We were always testing and finding one of the sensors to be faulty.  it turns out that they were not. They were just the wrong sensors connected to the control box. The control box was no longer supported. So we bought two new sensors and a new control box. This was not compatable with the existing system (of course, and we could not find one that was) so it was installed as a fresh installation on the inboard side of the navigation station instrument console.

The heat, fire and bilge sensors were all serviced and repaired/replaced as indicated.

An HFV-227ea fire suppression system was added to the engine room.

The fire hose on the free standing pump was replaced and a polycarbonate nozzle purchased. We were not aware that these hoses have to be refolded with a new set of "crease" lines at least every twelve months to prevent them taking a set and bonding the inside surfaces. Many thanks to the Arnold Harner for the quick impromptu course on the care of fire hoses.

The diaphragm "fire pump" was corroded and not up to the task. It was replaced with a WICK 4-h watering pump from "One Stop Fire Products Inc" in Canada of all places. Floyd Selves was very helpful in making a standard unit more able to stand up to the marine environment. It is a great little fire engine red pump that can run from the outboard fuel tank.

Deck Hardware / Cordage
All the winches were fully disassembled, greased and remounted. The main powered winch forward showed signs of elliptical wear in the bezels for the outside gear wheels. These were drilled out and a bronze collect heat set into place. The inside bearing surface was lapped until the winch worked smoothly.

All deck fittings were removed and serviced. They were then rebedded onto the deck with silicone and/or Tef-Gel as appropriate.

All the Hercules jam cleats were replaced with new. They were corroded in place and were not able to be removed with out structural damage.

Our dock lines were replaced. Damage to ropes sustained during the delivery trip was minor and was repaired.

ABS plugs were machined and fitted to each of the deck edge bolt holes for pulleys that were not in use (we do not carry a spinnaker).

Additional and high test value blocks were added to the jib reefing lines. The blocks that supported the turning inboard of the lines to run to the winches were showing signs of being overloaded.

We added 6 custom built stainless steel samson posts. Two at the bow (port/stbd), two double posts at the midship fareleads (port/stbd) and two at the fairleads aft (port/stbd). They are through bolted and backed to the deck on a wide base. They improve the run of lines from the winches/fairleads, significantly reduce the chaffage on the dock lines and help silence the rope noise when docked in an high harbor with high surge.

Navigation / Communication Hardware

The navigation computers were replaced with new DELL computers.  We will continue to use Transas maps.  The KVH gyrotrack unit was serviced by KVH.

The Raymarine Radar was replaced with a Furuno. The radar has been moved to a secure location on the mast immediately above the baby forestay.  The other communication equipment remains.

The VHF unit failed and was replaced with a part equivalent SIMRAD unit.

We had all the components of the galley sink welded together into a single water tight unit! its brilliant!. No more leaks. The sink was a stainless steel top with two stainless steel basins dropped down into the top. There was a rather pretty wooden surround that was always leaking and showing rot.  

We had the surround repaired and revarnished.

Alejandro welded a 1 inch surround vertically around the sink top. He took both basin units and welded to the bottom of the sink top. All welds were circumfirential and full water tight. The was minimal distortion of any of the shapes.

Sergio had a matching rebate routed into the original wooden surround. this then fitted over and outside the 1" vertical sink surround.

The leaks are gone. Spillage automatically goes down into the basins. Rot in the surround will no longer be an issue.

We added shallow in height but deep in length and wide drawers to the underside of the outboard cupboards.  The faces of the drawers are varnished teak and form a continuous line - latches are underneath. It looks like a bright work edging to the cupboards. Very nice and very functional. How to store sharp knives safely, and keeping them sharp in doing so, was an issue on the trip over. In addition, Clare designed a very sweet teak drawer inlet for cutlery. It is the little things that make a galley useful.

For the deck, we had two demountable wooden tables made. 0ne small that sits on top of the railings around the art hatch and one large one for dining in the main center cockpit.  The large one folds length wise into three sections using piano hinges.

In addition to the smaller Engel MT27 24vDC refrigerator that did all we asked of it us in our first year or so, we built , under one of the new bunks, a retaining space for an Engel MT80 24vDC refrigerator/freezer. Its funny, in the house and in the boat the cry is the same:  "Who forgot to close the freezer door?".


All through hull and between bilge valves were tested.  The outlet valve on the exhaust was replace with a similar high temperature bronze/SS valve (beautiful to look at and wickedly expensive).  We replaced the metal valves for maralon valves between the crash chamber and the sail locker, between the sail locker and the forward bilge, and between the aft bilges and the lazarette chamber.  We had to treat rust in and around the pipes that carried them

Central Heating and Air Coniditoning

The Mikuni heater failed and could not be repaired.  We replaced it with an MXA110 unit.  Mikuni provided us with adaptor kits so the part was a drop in replacement. The radiator lines were flushed and repaired/replaced as indicated. The metal exhaust hose was replaced with new from Mikuni and lagged to insulate it. The exhaust outlet was remade in stainless steel with a slight bend in the outlet to chanel hot gases away from the side of the snake pit. Prior to fitting the new exhaust outlet, rot around the opening was cut away and the coming wall repaired.

Two DC Breeze 5k Btu/hr 23v DC air conditioning units (Glacier Bay) were added. one to the main cabin and one in the stern quarters. They act independently. Heat waste is via the sea water outlet.  We put in muffin fans in the aft sleeping areas to move the air.

Electrical Systems / Batteries
The input shore power transformers have been replaced and upgraded.  We now have separate shore line input receptacles and transformers for 110 and 220 volts.  A galvanic isolatore (UL approved) was added. Access to 110v is provided at shore by direct connection. 

The boat initially had two charger units. Charger 1 was rebuilt. Charger 2 was working within specification.  A third charger was added. We have redundant charging capacity.  The battery capacity of the boat has been doubled ( we added the equivalent of 4 x 8 D size house batteries).   Additional standard cells were added to the bow sail locker to support the start-up loads of the bow thruster. The main battery bank already had a battery monitor on it. We added circuits to isolate and check the resting voltage of each of the three main battey banks. We had a new panel made to house all this.

The 12v outlets were all upgraded to 5 amp sockets. Four additional 12v outlets were fitted in the main salon to support the use of school laptops.

A new 24v DC to 110v AC inverter (1KW) was purchased along with the LCD large screen TV that it was intended to power. I know, I know, I know - that is not really in the cruising ethos, is it. Tell that to my four kids! We have rigged up the speakers from my old office PC (the set comes with a sub-woofer). I baulked at paying for satellite TV. However we have an every growing library of DVDs. Movie nights afloat are now great fun.

The stereo system was replaced with one that supports auxillary inputs. The deck and in main cabin speakers were replaced along with the above deck wiring which was badly corroded. The boat is Bach friendly.

Water Marker
The AquaFresh was rebuilt at 298.27 hours. The unit was disassembled and all metal work cleaned. It was all in good condition. We replaced the membranes because the salt level in the output water was > 800 ppm. We replaced any O rings that were thinned or lacking elasticity.
We converted some of the pipe berths into bunks. In the port forward cabin we took out three pipe berths and put into a single upper berth and a twin lower birth. Moving from three to two berths in the virtical stack freed up a lot of storage space under the twin birth. .

The first bank of three pipe berths in the port and starboard rear cabins were converted into bunks. As in the port forward cabin, there is a single upper berth and a twin lower birth.

For all the bunks, the greater heigth of the lower bunk opens up significant storage space. We have pad eye fitted that allow us to tie down the storage material. The bunks have finished wooden lee board and we have retained the original pipe berths with the intention of fitting the lee cloths.  Each bunk has two layers of low emission water barrier carpet underlay and two layers of memory foam matress.

In the starboard forward cabin we took out three pipe berths and put in two twin width shelves. The top shelf serves as a bunk. The bottom shelf is where we store our spare sails. The space below this shelf is for other storage.

We left the rear bank of two pipe berths to port and stanboard unchanged.

The two inboard pipe berths over the engine/propeller shaft tunnel on the port side are unchanged as is the matching upper pipe berth on the starboard side. The lower starboard berth has been removed to take the storage box for the solar panels.