Bossa Nova, as she was when I bought her, was improved from the way she'd been built at the factory. The previous
owner added a VHF radio, a pressure water system, a fishfinder, and some other niceties - most of which still worked.
However, I have my own ideas of "what makes a boat right for me." And some of the things I added felt like "major
surgery" on the vessel. They really weren't, but opening (or making) access plates ... pulling out flotation-foam to
get at the underside of the deck ... fishing cables through tight spaces ... it can become hot, sweaty work even in wintertime.
Here's a look at some of the more important things I've done.
Ground Tackle - anchors, cleats and chocks
Bossa Nova came with a small Danforth anchor that was maybe big enough to hold her for a couple of hours in a sheltered
cove - what most boaters call a "lunch hook". Since I wanted to anchor out night after night, I needed to have enough
anchor to hold me safe if a thunderstorm blew up ... and deck hardware strong enough to hold up with it. The title
links to what I've done.
"Otto" - Adding an Autopilot
Sailing single-handed means that oftentimes I have to be in two places at once: raising the mainsail, for instance,
while keeping Bossa Nova pointed into the wind. My "electronic helmsman" can save the day, but it took a lot of work
to install "Otto".
Mainsail handling, stowing, and reefing
The mainsail of a sloop like Bossa Nova is a beautiful thing when it's filled and drawing the boat through the sea -
but it's awkward to handle and stow, and it can be dangerous when the wind pipes up and you have to "shorten sail" for safety's
sake. Here are some of the things I use to make it easier and safer.