15. That Day

There is a saying among boat owners. The three happiest days in your boating life are the day that you buy your boat, the day you sell it and the day that everything works. Todays is that day. The day that every little thing on Saoirse actually works. August 12, 2020. And I am finally leaving Tropea, playing with all my new toys as I am motoring through the calm Tyrrhenian Sea towards Stromboli.

Saoirse has been on the hard at Cantiere di Tropea for over a year now and I have used this time to let her go through quite an extensive refit. A boat spa with some actual plastic surgery for a ten year old!

Apart from regular maintenance, waxing, polishing, antifouling and engine and sail drive service, I have had the following upgrades done during my year in Tropea:

  • A stainless steel arch with davits for a dinghy and an outboard, cockpit lighting, supports for two fishing rods, a flag pole and new antennae for GPS and AIS.
  • A completely new electrical installation including 600 Ah of lithium batteries, a new AGM starter battery, 3000 W inverter/charger, 600 W of solar panels on the stainless steel arch and all the stuff needed to protect, control and monitor this equipment.
  • New teak in cockpit, on swimming platform and coach roof.
  • Changed seal for sail drive and exhaust elbow on engine.
  • Cleaning of the diesel tank to remove growth of microbial bacteria.
  • Repair and washing of sails.
  • Construction of a new sun cover set up for the cockpit.
  • Installation of a satellite communication router.
  • Repair work on companionway stairs and saloon table.
  • Cleaning of all cushion and mattress covers.
  • Repair work on coach roof hatches
  • New Guard Rails
  • Changed Sprayhood (to be delivered)

These upgrades obviously came at considerable expense but I am very happy with the professionalism and expertise shown by the companies and individuals involved. After all, you will get over a hefty invoice but a poor installation will annoy you forever. Saoirse truly is in considerably better shape than when she was new and I really want to extend my gratitude to Signore Balzano and his team at Cantiere di Tropea, Florian at Edelstahl Haese, Fabrizio the Electrician, Giovanni at North Sails in Fiumicino and Alwin at Ferropilot (Victron) in Berlin. But most of all I want to thank Rosy at the yard who helped me coordinate the whole thing and assist with translations on numerous occasions. Always above and beyond expectations and she actually rejected my attempt to slip her a tip on my final day in Tropea.

Stainless steel arch with removable sun cover in front. The bar above the sprayhood folds down when not in use
600 Ah
Tons of new cables. Controls for the inverter/charger shown bottom left
Fully charged and 265 W and nearly 20 A from solar panels before 10 am
Fabrizio, the electrical guru!
Engine removed
Sail drive seal. Impossible to tell the old one from the new.

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