From reading this blog you may or may not have picked on a few things about us so I will tell you: 1) We like finding deals 2) We like building things on our own.
These are both done in an effort to save money. If I did not do it this way I would not be able to afford the boat I have.
As our dream is to one day voyage to distant places, I plan on upgrading our boat to a live-aboard blue-water cruiser. Many of the items sold to make boats blue-water worthy, such as ocean capable hatches and portlights are extremely expensive. Because I want to build a capable cruiser and will not sacrifice safety I look for parts, used and new on Craigslist. Many times there are very good deals to be found. You just have to be patient and know what you are looking for.
One of the upgrades we wanted for our Sal was more light and ventilation below. She is quite dark and stuffy down below when all closed up. This was something that I have been thinking about and preparing for as we start the upcoming refit.
Here is a picture of the existing forward hatch.
It's small and does not let much light in at all. The other thing it does not offer is an escape from the boat should there be an emergency situation, such as galley fire. We need a larger hatch. I had been thinking about making a wooden hatch but scrapped that idea. I was looking at buying a hatch like a Lewmar 60 such as James Baldwin of Atomvoyages.com installed in an Alberg 30 but at near $650 it was just too cost prohibitive for us. So I turned to scouring Craiglist for a suitable unit.
Here's what I found yesterday:
Bomar 1000 series hatch measuring 18.5" x 18.5". There was no price, the ad said "make offer". I never like to insult anyone and always try to gauge what they have in mind. When I asked what he had in mind...he replied $50....not wanting to show much emotion I looked it over for a minute asked where he had gotten it from, and then said I'd take it.
Poor picture but as you can see from the photo this hatch is in great shape, even the lens! I will buy a new gasket and put levers to open it from outside like the newer Bomar units sold. Even then I believe I will have less than $150 in a hatch that cost $550+ new.
Another item I found on craigslist a while back was this 6" ABI portlight, NEW. These units were $450 when they were available, and they are no longer made. I found this one an hour away for $75 with screen. This will be added to the cockpit bulkhead near the galley to provide ventilation when cooking and another source of light over the galley. A great find!
Here is the video that James Baldwin of atomvoyages.com posted on YouTube showing the install of a similar hatch on an Alberg 30 like Salacia. He makes it look easy....not sure it will be that easy for me.
Looks like Salacia will be in the water for 1 more month. The trailer is nearly complete, just wiring left. It will probably take me one afternoon to finish it. With my vigorous work schedule this past few weeks I have not been able to get the mast removed from boat. Oh well, we'll go sailing for a few more weeks....horrible alternative!