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Thread: How To Upgrade Your Vessel For Serious Offshore Cruising/Fishing

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    How To Upgrade Your Vessel For Serious Offshore Cruising/Fishing

    I'll be updating this thread with regular tips and insights as we complete our modifications on our 2013 - 60' Spencer. As you will see, just because a factory or manufacturer builds a boat to fish/cruise offshore, there's still PLENTY of things that we can do as owners and captains to improve on original instillations and make sure things are as safe as possible, durable, and perform as they should over time.

    To give you some background information, we purchased this boat with 150 hours of relatively light use on it. Manufacturer specs were as follows when we purchased it from the original owner -

    LOA: 60’
    Beam: 17’
    2013 60’ SPENCER YACHTS INC.
    Fuel: (2) Aft Tanks (600 gallons each) and (1) Forward Tank (350 gallons)
    Water: 250 gallons
    Engines: Twin CAT C18s @ 1150 Hp with ZF Gears and CAT Controls
    Generator: (1) CAT C 2.2 @ 21 KW
    Interior: Teak Laminate
    Salon/Galley:
    • Port Side Salon Entrance: Teak door and trim (manual slide w/ dampener)
    • Teak and Holly Entry Floor
    • Bank of 4 Drawers on Port Side of Salon Door with Corian Counter Top
    • L-Shaped Sofa with Storage Under
    • Peninsula off Starboard Side with Corian Counter Top, 50 Bar Amp Electrical Panel on End Of Bar
    • (1) SubZero Refrigerator (2 drawer) with Stainless Steel Front • (1) SubZero Freezer (2 drawer) with Stainless Steel Front
    • Port Side 5’ Sofa with Storage Under
    • Boot Style Dinette with Corian Table

    1  SPENCER YACHTS BROKERAGE, LLC OFFICE: 252-423-1686 FAX: 772-343-9055
    • Large Flat Screen TV over top of Dinette on Cabinet Face (port)
    • Starboard Side Dash Cabinet with Microwave; Remaining Storage Upper with Recessed
    Coffee Maker
    • Corian D-Shaped Sink
    • Faucet
    • Carpet Salon Floor
    • Teak and Holly Flooring in Galley and Dinette • Padded Panel Walls with Teak Window Trim • Blinds and Lambrequins
    • (2) 16,000 BTU A/C Units
    • Removable Padded Panel Headliner
    • Flat Panel Cabinetry
    • Recessed LED Lighting on Dimmers
    • U-Line Salon Ice Maker
    Companion Way:
    • Teak Steps
    • Storage Under
    • Central Vacuum
    • Carpet Flooring
    • Recessed LED Lighting on Dimmers
    • Rod Storage Closet
    Starboard Side Stateroom:
    • Large Double Bunk Low; Athwart Ship
    • Storage Under Lower Bunk
    • Attic Access
    • Single Bunk High on Hull Side
    2  SPENCER YACHTS BROKERAGE, LLC OFFICE: 252-423-1686 FAX: 772-343-9055
    
    • Hanging Locker with Automatic Lighting • Carpet Flooring
    • Removable Padded Panel Headliner
    • Padded Panel Walls
    • Recessed LED Lighting on Dimmers • Teak Door and Trim
    • Teak C-Rails on Bunks
    Starboard Side Head:
    • Accesses: Companion Way and Stateroom
    • Vanity with Corian Top and Sink
    • Mirrored Upper Vanity
    • Built In Custom Fiberglass Shower with Seating • Teak and Holly Floor
    • Removable Padded Panel Headliner
    • Recessed LED Lighting on Dimmers
    • Exhaust Fan
    • Raritan Atlantes Toilet - Freshwater Flush • Padded Panel Walls
    • Towel Racks
    Port Side Stateroom:
    • Over/Under Bunks with Teak C-Rails
    • Lower Bunk Lifts up for Storage
    • Hanging Locker with Automatic Lighting • Carpet Flooring
    • Removable Padded Panel Ceiling
    3  SPENCER YACHTS BROKERAGE, LLC OFFICE: 252-423-1686 FAX: 772-343-9055
    
    • Recessed LED Lighting on Dimmers
    • Padded Panel Walls
    Forward Master Stateroom:
    • Queen Size Walk Around Bunk on Starboard with Teak C-Rail • Forward Bilge Access under Bunk
    • Under Deck Sump Pump
    • Under Deck Holding Tank with Y Valve
    • (2) End Tables with Corian Tops, Storage Under
    • (2) Port Side Hanging Lockers with Teak Laminate Columns • Corian Counter Top in between
    • Hull Side Cabinet over Bunk
    • Bomar Hatch with Privacy Screen
    • Removable Padded Panel Headliner
    • Recessed LED Lighting on Dimmers
    • Padded Panel Walls
    • Recessed Artwork
    • Carpet Flooring
    • Flat Screen TV
    • (1) 16,000 BTU A/C Unit
    En Suite Master Head:
    • Vanity with Corian Top and Sink
    • Mirrored Vanity
    • Built In Fiberglass Shower with Seating
    • Teak and Holly Flooring
    • Removable Padded Panel Headliner
    • Recessed LED Lighting on Dimmers
    4  SPENCER YACHTS BROKERAGE, LLC OFFICE: 252-423-1686 FAX: 772-343-9055
    
    • Padded Panel Walls
    • Exhaust Fan
    • Raritan Atlantes Toilet - Freshwater Flush
    • Padded Panel Walls
    • Towel Racks
    Bridge:
    • Port Side Peninsula Helm
    • Teak Helm Pod
    • Palm Beach Style Controls with Integrated Bow Thruster Buttons
    • (2) Release Marine Trillion Helm Chairs
    • Seating Forward of Helm on Port Side
    • Long Seat with Storage Beneath and Jump Seat on Starboard Side
    • Console: (2) Plexiglas Lift Up Lids
    • Pipewelders Hard Top
    • Recessed Tri Color LED Light
    • (2) Stand Off Antennas
    • (6) Rod Holders in Belly Band
    • Radar Box for Radar, Dome and Fold Down Instrument Box
    • Recessed Instrument Box
    • Teaser Reels
    • Five Panel Eisenglass Enclosure
    • Freshwater Wash Down
    Electronics:
    • (1) Furuno FR8252 12” Color LCD 25 KW Radar with 6ft Open Antenna • (2) Garmin GPSMAP 7212 GPS/Plotter
    5  SPENCER YACHTS BROKERAGE, LLC OFFICE: 252-423-1686 FAX: 772-343-9055
    
    • (1) Garmin 740 GPS/Plotter
    • (1) Garmin GSD 26 Sounder Module
    • (1) Airmar B265LH Bronze Dual Frequency Transducer
    • (2) Garmin GMI-10 Digital Data Display
    • (1) Airmar DT800 Bronze Temp/Depth Transducer
    • (2) Garmin GC 10 Cameras
    • (1) Garmin GPH-10 Pilot with 1.2 Ltr Pump Kit
    • (1) KVH M5 Satellite TV Antenna
    Bow Deck:
    • Non Skid Deck Surface
    • Forward Anchor Locker
    • Freshwater Wash Down
    • (4) Stainless Steel 12” Cleats
    • Glass Teak Toe Rail
    • Bomar Hatch
    Exterior:
    • Fighting Lady Yellow Hull
    • Teak Drip Molding
    • Tinted and Tempered Salon Windows
    • Hidden Hand Rail
    • 1” Stainless Steel Rub Rail on all Outer and Lower Guards • (2) Underwater Lights
    • Pipewelders 43’ 3-Spreader Outriggers
    Electrical:
    • 50 Amp Shore Power Hook Up – Starboard
    • Battery Parallel System
    6  SPENCER YACHTS BROKERAGE, LLC OFFICE: 252-423-1686 FAX: 772-343-9055
    
    • (3) Automatic Master Volt Battery Chargers (2-engine, 1-generator) • Bonding Strap Throughout
    • Galvanic Isolators
    • Transom Zinc
    • GFI Protection
    Engine Room:
    • Reversible Oil Change Pump with Quick Connects • Livos Moisture Eliminator System
    • AC/DC Lighting
    • Water Heater
    • (3) Master Volt Battery Banks (2-engine, 1-ship service) • IsoBoost
    • Headhunter Freshwater Pump
    • Main A/C Pump
    • FireBoy Extinguishing System
    • (4) Bilge Pumps with High Water Alarms
    • Fuel Tank Sight Tubes
    • Triple Can Racors for each Engine
    • 500MA30 Racor for Generator
    • Bronze Seacocks for Main Engine, Generator, A/C • Eskimo Ice Maker - 600 gpd
    • Spot Zero Water Polishing System - 3000 gpd
    • Main Engine Thru Hulls with Crash Valves
    • Water maker
    • Freshwater Wash Down
    7  SPENCER YACHTS BROKERAGE, LLC OFFICE: 252-423-1686 FAX: 772-343-9055
    
    • Engine Room Stereo Speakers
    Cockpit:
    • Spencer Style Mezzanine Seating Starboard Side with Large Storage Box Upper • Teak Mezzanine
    • (1) Release Marine Teak Contour Fighting Chair
    • Mezzanine A/C (blower fan)
    • Engine Room Access Center
    • (2) Insulated Stainless Fridge/Freezer Boxes Lower
    • Port Side Ice Dump Upper with Insulated Box Lower
    • Teak Covering Boards
    • Teak Combing
    • Teak Deck/Mezzanine
    • Freshwater Wash Down
    • (1) 50 Amp Shore Power Hook Up – Starboard
    • (6) Stainless Steel Rod Holders
    • Transom Style Fish Box with Rounded Corners for Live Well • Tuna Door
    • (2) 12” Stainless Steel Cleats
    • Oval Hawse Pipes in Transom
    • Ladder to bridge; Starboard Side Cut Out
    • Stainless Steel Scuppers
    • Recessed Cockpit Cover Track
    • Cabin Overhang Lighting
    • Cabin Overhang Speakers
    • (2) DISH Network HD Receivers
    • (2) GX5000S Quantum VHF
    8  SPENCER YACHTS BROKERAGE, LLC OFFICE: 252-423-1686 FAX: 772-343-9055
    
    • (1) GX1600S Explorer VHF for Tower
    • (1) Garmin 541 5” Color LCD GPS/Plotter for Tower • (1) Garmin AIS 600 T/R Unit
    • (1) Garmin GXM51 XM Weather Module
    • (2) Polyplanar MB-41B Speakers for VHF Radios Exhaust System:
    • Marine Exhaust Risers
    • 12” Oval Transom Tubes
    • 12” Linear Mufflers
    Running Gear:
    • (2) Stainless Steel 2-3/4” Spline Shafts
    • (1) pair VEEM Spline Propellers
    • (2) Southeastern Foundries Cast Bronze “I” Struts
    • Shaft Tubes
    • Bronze Nickel Plated 2-3/4” Stuffing Boxes
    • (2) Stainless Steel High Speed Rudders
    • Fiberglass Rudder Tubes with Dripless Seals
    • Spencer Yachts Custom Stainless Steel Trim Tabs • (2) 2000 Pound Trim Tab Actuators
    • Seastar Power Steering with Redundant Pump
    • Bow Thruster
    Last edited by Capt Josh; 12-18-2012 at 09:13 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Here are some pics of the vessel as she was when we purchased her.
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  4. #3
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    Here are a couple of the big jobs that we have underway at this point, and why.

    1.) ADDING AN ADDITIONAL 21KW CATERPILLAR GENERATOR -

    Given our itineraries and our preference to make multi-day voyages offshore to locations like the Rev's, Marias, Cocos, etc we need reliable, redundant power, and lots of it. We have to run 110V and 220V systems like bait pumps, ice machines, water makers, gyro stabilizers, AC compressors, blowers, refrigeration and freezer compressors, lights, Nav equipment, etc etc etc 24hrs p/day and galley equipment, washer/dryers, underwater lights, and subsequent Nav equipment etc etc etc intermittently throughout the day. This requires substantial power and a redundant source of this power should something go wrong. In my opinion CAT power should be your #1 choice for both main engines and generator power if you intend to operate anywhere outside of the continental US. CAT seems to have more locations and better service centers than any other manufacturer world-wide, particularly in remote locations where there is usually only one choice, and that choice is CAT more often than not. If you rely on your generator as much as we do during our multi-day and long distance voyages, then you need to have two generators. It always strikes me as strange that a building owner or manufacturer would consider building a boat of this size, and particularly with this range, without redundant generators in the first place. One of our first decisions was to install an additional generator, but (as you will see in the progression of this thread) this is not easily accomplished nor is it particularly cost effective when compared to installing two generators during the initial construction process. Builders and owners should really make the instillation of a secondary, smaller auxiliary generator, or better yet a duplicate redundant generator mandatory on boats of this size. In our particular situation, we are going to be faced with several hurdles to overcome as the engine room, and the subsequent equipment that was later installed within it, was not designed or installed with any thought to adding a second generator at all. Water making systems, spot-zero systems, access panels/hatches, fuel transfer pumps, ISO-boost units, etc were all installed around the existing generator with little consideration for future additions or modifications. Again, something that I feel should have been planned for more appropriately during initial construction.

    2.) GYRO STABILIZER -

    Considering the effectiveness of these new Gyro-stabilizers, and their relative cost with regards to a new build, or the serious modification of an existing vessel - if you have room in the budget and space in the vessel, you should consider the addition of a SeaKeeper gyro mandatory. I've experienced the effectiveness of these units on several vessels of various sizes and design and there is no denying the effectiveness of these units in reducing motion while underway, and while at anchor or drifting. 60 - 80% of pitch and roll motion is eliminated. This not only makes the vessel safer to operate and maneuver in challenging sea conditions, but considerably more enjoyable for all parties aboard. In our circumstance, we are limited due to the available space in our vessel and will be installing the gyro just forward of the engines in the centerline of the boat. If i were to have built this boat from scratch, I would have likely chosen a different location either forward of the engine room, or aft in the stern lazarette that would not have interfered with valuable engine room space. It is important to note that these units do not have to be mounted in the centerline of the vessel, they can be located just about anywhere including outboard of either engine as long as there is sufficient strength in the surrounding hull to accommodate the torque requirements as dictated by the size of the gyro installed.

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    One of the most important safety projects we are undertaking is the replacement of almost all of the raw water lines on the boat. The manufacturer elected to install what basically amounts to food and beverage hose instead of what I would consider to be proper marine hose rated for heavy duty marine use. The original hose is Kuir Tec Polywire, and is certainly not what I would consider to be sufficient, particularly between thru-hull fittings and AC, raw water, livewell, and compressor supply pumps. This hose is susceptible to corrosion and collapse. If one of these hoses should fail, it would not take long for thousands of gallons of seawater to penetrate our engine room and cause catastrophic problems to equipment and endanger people's lives. Failures can happen even with the best equipment, but in my opinion not utilizing the best hose material on the market from the beginning increases the chance of failure exponentially.

    Subsequently, the manufacture did not finish surfaces where holes were drilled out to run hoses through bulkheads etc, nor install chafe guards to protect hoses against the sharp, unfinished edges of these holes. In the pictures below both raw water hoses and high-pressure hydraulic lines are already dangerously worn. This is absolutely unacceptable from a manufacturing standpoint, and a problem that will certainly cause several failures in the imminent future. I've found this to be a common problem on this particular vessel and something that will require a substantial amount of time, material, attention and money to properly address and correct.

    Make sure that you inspect your vessel thoroughly for this potential problem. Simple preventative or corrective measures such as this will save you from catastrophic failure in the future.
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    Here are some shots of the way the water lines were run from the pump room to the manifolds stbd of the generator. Since we are replacing all of this hose we are going to correct this jumble of hoses and clean things up.

    Also, notice how hoses and their respective hose clamps are laid against one another without proper separation or chafe protection. This shot below shows where one water line is getting excessively chafed from the hose clamps rubbing up on it from another water line.

    Finally, we have found that there are several hoses that do not have secondary hose clamps installed. The one pictured below is coming from one of the raw water pumps. Also note that there is a plastic fitting coming out of the pump, we will be changing this for a proper brass fitting.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0821.jpg  

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    Here is another major safety concern that we are immediately addressing. Once again, unfinished drilled holes and no chafe protection is the culprit. This is the fuel line that connects the two tanks in the stern lazarrette. It's already chafed in 4 places where it passes through both holes that the manufacturer drilled in the partition. Obviously if this hose were to fail our hull would quickly fill with diesel fuel. We intend to replace this hose and finish out these holes properly and further protect this from happening again by installing chafe protection where the hose passes through the hole.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0817.jpg  

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  8. #7
    I think Admin is going to let me have this space canyongear's Avatar
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    There is a God...........wouldn't expect anything less. Great Job JT.

  9. #8
    If Ignorance is bliss, Why aren't more people happy? clt_capt's Avatar
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    Great thread - and some great tips. Keep em coming

    Pretty ride
    "There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." --STEVEN WRIGHT

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  10. #9
    Keep the updates coming.....

  11. #10
    Administrator

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    Great thread!!





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