Hatteras Motoryacht Refit Update

I know that I haven’t posted for a while.  I have been very busy, and I didn’t want to do another post until certain projects were completely complete, which they aren’t quite, but I felt bad that several of you had to e-mail me to see what was going, so here it is.


I’m psyched to have my furniture aboard.  My kids say that now it “feels like home”.  I couldn’t agree more.  I also love the way the hardwood floors look in the salon.  I went with Brazilian Koa.  It compliments the teak walls nicely.  The only thing that kills the room is the wall valances and cornice boards and the grimy old 80’s wall light fixtures.  This project is next on the list.  My Mom and I are going to tackle it ourselves.  It will be interesting.


I dumped the old dining room table and went with a table half the size.  I think it works much better in the space.  Gaege has plenty of room to play on the floor and I am happy that I can walk around the table.  It does have a leaf so I could make it larger if needed, but we managed to make it through the holidays with lots of family visiting without having to add the leaf.

DSC_0005 The galley came together.  This is the wall that has a completed backsplash.  I went with a stainless peel-and-stick because I didn’t want to deal with removing the old formica.


I had an appliance garage custom fabricated by the cabinet people.  I wanted to utilize the dead corner space.  I had the garage made with 2 doors, so that it can be opened from both sides.  It makes great spice storage and I’m glad that I did it.


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This is where I have to finish the backsplash.  I also need to complete the refrigerator trim. DSC_0039

I couldn’t wait to have the ugly green dinette cushions re-upholstered.  I called about 4 upholstery companies.  3 of them said that they do not do on-sight work.  My dinette is not removable.  The 4th company said that they would come to the boat, but not only would I have to wait 8 weeks to have the job done, but the price was ridiculous.  I was really happy when I discovered Morency Marine Upholstery.  Patrick came out 3 days after I spoke to him, all the way from the Cape.  He had the job done in 2 weekends.  I was delighted that he charged me 1/3 of the other guy and had it done so quickly.  I chose a neutral, easy to clean vinyl, that plays off my cream leather sectional.  I was very happy to have that job done and it came out very nice.

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I bought this awesome nautical fabric and my Mom made curtains for the galley.  I ditched the blinds.  They were filthy and the clanking while underway is annoying.  I love the new curtains.  They’re super whimsical. DSC_0029 DSC_0055 The formica dinette table was removed and replaced with Corian.   I had them fabricate with a no-drip edging to keep that spilled milk off the floor. DSC_0033 Countertops were also changed to Corian. DSC_0034 My kids had their first boat Christmas. gaege xmas 2 These nasty valances are the next project.  Can’t wait to post finish photos.


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What do you think of the refit so far?  Love your feedback.  Leave a comment and your 2 cents!!!

A Trapezoid Is Not Square


This time it was not my fault. I wouldn’t mind, but when a company sends 2 different guys out to do a template, 2 different ways, you would expect that they would get it right…right?  Nope, not the case. Not only did they seam my countertop in the wrong place making it to wide to fit into the galley (kitchen), but they cut my head (bathroom) countertop as though it was a rectangle, when their measurements should have clearly indicated a trapezoid.  There are very few right angles on this boat.



I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel here folks. Lots of boat owners install Corian in their boats for the same reason that I decided to go with the material; it’s light.  This company has done boats in the past. I am not the first.  They are a reputable company that does all of the Corian fabrications for Lowes and Home Depot.  Not sure how they managed to screw up my order so bad, especially after having a laser template and a traditional constructed template, but they did.

The countertop that was too wide to fit in the galley.

The countertop that was too wide to fit in the galley.

On a brighter note, I had the cabinets refaced and I really like the way that they turned out. I went back and forth with wether to keep the old cabinets or get new ones, but honestly I have never seen more well-built, sturdy, hardy, solid cabinets in my life. I couldn’t see any point of removing such a strong product to replace with something of less quality.  So I gave them a facelift.





I made a couple of modifications, like discontinuing the dishwasher under the electric range.  I moved it to the opposite wall.  I also moved the microwave to over the range and bought a traditional double oven stove to replace the wall oven.  I brought the cabinet that is over the fridge out further to be flush with the fridge paneling and opened up the inside so it goes all the way back.  (You Hatteras folks should know what I mean) I don’t know why Hatteras closed  that off. I’m guessing because it’s not within easy reach, but I don’t mind standing on a chair.  That’s more good space, and you can never have enough storage on a boat.  I am not totally happy with the new fridge, but it’s good enough and at least I don’t have to worry about it randomly thawing my frozens.

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Removing the old countertops was no easy task. Plywood is screwed down and glued and then 3 layers of a thin stone like laminate was installed over.  The countertops were originally installed under the back wall, so we had to cut along the wall before removal.  We ended up sawzalling the countertops and removing them in pieces.

Once you begin to open stuff up on a boat, it’s like a can of worms, all kinds of hidden things pop up. I discovered that there is a vinyl-like bag under the galley counter that supplies air to the salon. The bag was completely disgusting; coated with years of dust and mildew.  This was the perfect opportunity, while the countertop was off to replace the bag, not to mention it got damaged during the countertop demo.  I had to take a trip to a marine canvas shop to purchase a new piece of vinyl so my Mom can make a new bag.  Lucky for me, she’s a seamstress by trade.

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My carpenter has begun the lower level flooring. I decided to go with a vinyl plank flooring because it’s light, durable and waterproof. I also installed a moisture barrier underneath to protect the subfloor.

I took the opportunity while the countertops are off to have shut-off valves installed.  I’m not sure why boats don’t have shut-off valves, but in my opinion they are very important.  Especially in an emergency.


I still have lots to do like finish the flooring, the valances and curtains throughout the boat, re-upolster the galley dinette, new wall coverings and the heads still need to be finished.  But so far, except the countertop goof, things are going well.

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Moving Right Along

Things are going well on 45 Gaege. The refit (renovation) is moving along nicely.  I now know what they mean by “Hatteras screws”.  Every screw on this yacht has a square head.  I had to purchase the bits in every size.

After my uncle and I tore the salon carpet out of the boat,  I had the floor layers come in and install pre-finished Brazilian Koa.  It goes nicely with the teak and afromosia.  Originally, I had planned to go with cork flooring because it is good for insulation, sound, and is supposed to be good with moisture, but after talking with a friend who has used it and tore it up because of water damage, I decided that it wasn’t a good idea.  Also, the saleswoman warned me that my cat would use the floor as a scratching post.  My kids would be traumatized by Sassy overboard.

My biggest concerns that influence my product decisions on this yacht are: durability and weight.  Of course, I am also looking at the aesthetic impact, but I want to be sure that any product that I use will hold up in a moist marine environment and won’t add much weight to the yacht, impeding performance.  That being said, there are flooring choices that are much lighter than hardwood, but I love hardwood so I decided that I would do only the salon in wood.  I installed a moisture barrier with insulation under the new wood floor.


I have to say, that I have made a couple of stupid rookie mistakes.  I am actually a little embarrassed to admit it, because with my renovation background I really should have known better, but I guess we are all entitled to a bang your head moment every once in a while.  I had a couple of guys haul the new stove aboard using the davit.  As soon as we got the stove into the salon from the aft deck, I realized that it wouldn’t fit through the galley door. Should have measured that first, right? Yeah, pretty stupid…I know.  The bigger problem was that I had to wait for the fridge delivery (which is were I made my other stupid mistake, but I’ll get to that in a minute) before taking the range back off of the boat and putting it through the galley window.  When you remove the glass panels from the galley window, you have 27″ to play with, so most appliances will fit.  Refrigerators will fit as long as they are counter depth, which is 24″.  By the time the fridge arrived, I had moved to Yacht Haven. We docked starboard so that I could caulk my porthole windows, but the davit can only be used port side, so my guys had to lift by hand the 240 lb stove over the side of the aft deck and onto the dock in order to then get it back in through the window.

My other stupid mistake was that in all of my attentiveness to the counter depth measurement, I foolishly neglected the width measurement of the fridge.  The night before my fridge delivery, as I was looking everything over, I suddenly realized that the new fridge would be 3″ to wide.  Most appliance companies will make the counter depth refrigerators slightly wider than standard to compensate for the space loss in the depth.  I had to jump online and find a fridge that would fit.  I did find 1 fridge, a Fisher & Paykel that worked.  I ordered it immediately and cancelled the other.  I have done lots of renovations, but I have never once dealt with an existing kitchen.  I have always gutted and started fresh with my own design.  Working with a pre-exisiting layout was different for me.

The wonderful almighty sawzall.  I had my carpenter chop up the old fridge, because it was 28″ deep and would not fit through the galley window.



Getting the old range/oven/dishwasher combo unit was no easy task either.  It had to be dismantled piece by piece.



The microwave had no upper cabinet for support, so we had to build a ceiling support and a wall brace.



I spent a day ripping out the old curtains in the master stateroom and getting rid of the old headboard.  Both were mildewed and gross.  The support bracket for the curtains, of course, was more difficult to remove than I anticipated. I had to use brute force, loosing a little blood in the process, but I was so happy to finally see them gone.  I will work on a replacement soon.  Be sure that whatever I put up, unlike what I took down, will be removable for occasional washing.


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Let the Refit Begin!!!


Folks I kid you not, the day after we arrived in Boston my oven crapped the bed.  The front burner on the electric stove only has one setting- Super hot. It sparks when you turn it on.  The dishwasher throws the plastic cups and tuper-ware around in the tub.  When the cycle is complete, half of them need to be re-washed because they are filled with dirty water.  I’m not sure why they placed the dishwasher under the electric stove on these boats, but it seems crazy to me.  The microwave takes 3 times the amount of time to heat then it should.  The freezer gets tempermental every now and again and thaws all of the frozen foods, despite the fact that I dropped $350 in repairs before we left Alabama.  I am ready to make some changes to this galley.  I am completely uninspired to cook anything.


I have already begun to bring the new appliances aboard.  The davit was a huge help with that.


The carpet in here is horrible.  We clean and clean, but it will be impossible to completely get rid of the stale musty odors until I dump this carpet.  I have never been a fan of carpet anyhow, just for this reason.  It gets dirty too easily, is difficult to clean, throws dust particles around and holds odors.  I cannot wait to tear it all up.  My uncle came by and helped me rip out the carpet in the salon.  What a great feeling that was.  It made a huge difference in the smell.


Two of the heads will also get a facelift.

This is going to be both interesting and challenging for me.  I have renovated many many homes, but I have never renovated a boat.  I know that I am going to have some things to learn in this process and hopefully will not make many costly mistakes.

Some of this refit (renovation) will happen now and unfortunately for me, some things will have to wait a couple of months.  My favorite carpenter is out of town.

I have a bunch of stuff to figure out, but I am excited, anxious and touch bit nervous to get rolling.  I do plan to document the process.  If you’re out there in blogland and have a good idea or notice something that I am doing incorrectly, stupidly or simply know a better way.  Please let me know.  I welcome feedback.


Let the refit begin…




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“The boat is sinking!”


I was on the way to pick up my truck. We had just arrived in Boston the night before and I was really tired, exhausted even.  A friend had driven down to the marina to give me a ride.

Since the purchase in June, my kids have been on the boat alone plenty, without any problem.  I explained to them as I always do before I leave to call me if there is a problem.  But this time I did something different. They are smart kids and I have been trying to teach them about the boats’ systems, just as I have been learning myself.

I always turn off the dock water when we leave the boat and when the kids are going to be alone on the boat, but, not this time. This time I pointed out the bilge alarm and explained to them that in the event the bilge alarm rings they should shut off the water at the hose on the dock and call me. I also explained that if a plumbing hose inside the boat were to break it could flood the bilge, and if there were a pump failure, theoretically the boat could eventually sink.  This is why it was important that they shut off the water if the alarm were ever to sound.

It was about 8pm and I get a call from Skyla, who is in tears and clearly very upset. “Mom, the boat is sinking!”  Just as I began to ask her if they shut off the dock water, and why she thought so,  the phone went dead.

I had my friend turn the car around and go back to the boat. We were 20 long miles away.  All the while I was calling the phone back, but straight to voicemail.

I arrived at the boat short of breath and sweating profusely from running through the parking lot, down the boardwalk, and down the dock.  As I stepped on the boat it was dark and I could see the red light, laughing in my face.  It was the a/c power alarm, not the bilge alarm.

The breaker tripped because I ran the the dishwasher, not realizing that my Mom had started the washing machine. With the air conditioners running, that is a definite no, no and the perfect recipe for a guaranteed breaker trip.  The mistake that I made was neglecting to be clear that there are 2 alarms that could potentially go off, not just one. I confused them, but it’s all a learning process for my kids and myself.   I am generally much more careful about overloading the power and have come to be quite good at managing the load and keeping the power alarm happy, but that night I was tired and careless.

“But MOM, you didn’t tell us there are 2 alarms.” And they were right.  How foolish of me to show them one alarm and not the other.  Especially the power alarm that we have lots of experience tripping.  The alarm went off and they thought the boat was sinking causing a power loss. They ran outside and shut off the dock water as instructed. I was proud of them. I spent an hour showing them both alarms again. I also told them that from now on I would continue to shut off the dock water when I leave the boat, so they wouldn’t have to worry about it.  I also showed them how to turn on the breaker at the dock to restore power. We practiced different scenarios for both situations and they have a good handle on it now.  As do I.

And the learning continues…



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And finally……. BOSTON!!!!

Arriving in New York was a sure sign that we were finally on the last leg of a 2 month journey. We had been to New York many times, by train, plane and car, but never by boat. The view of New York from the water was amazing.


But it was Lady Liberty that we were in awe of, as she somehow served to remind us of this new way of life we had embarked upon, and the sense of freedom that before this was an imagined ideal. We, all of us, had contacted a case of wanderlust. The kids are already asking

“When we leave again” questions!


It’s busy, bustling harbor was a bit intimidating after Port Judith, a beautiful little port which typifies old New England, and the salty smell of the tide told us we were nearly home.



All the places we’d been and things we’d seen came flooding back.


The history and beauty of this great country we call home.



The long passage up the LIS, then the wait……


for signs of old Cape Cod and the familiar entrance to the canal.


And there it is, the Railroad bridge!



Ahhh….. finally!



The look out for Boston Light and then……


The Boston Lighthouse, otherwise known as “The Boston Light” which has guided mariners into Boston Harbor since it was built in 1716 and finally lit in 1783.


And then, finally! BOSTON HARBOR and home!!!

Onward to Boston!


Well folks,

I’m knocking on my door as I write this, but looks like we just might make it back before school starts. Our biggest obstacle because of the side effects of Cristobal was offshore at Cape May; traveling the Jersey Shore, and we did that today.

We landed at the Annapolis Public Piers the night before last (really hated leaving Annapolis) and last night at South Jersey Marina.

I woke up this morning not really knowing what would be, but it all worked out.  As we approached the exit to the inlet we were snatched up by the current as dolphins frolicked about. I could see swells on the horizon rolling into the beach, but no white water.  The swells at times were fairly large at 5-7′ giving a smooth rocking motion and plenty of sea spray on the deck, but very little slamming.

Capt. Al solved the sliding fridge problem with a couple of screws. When I do the galley refit, I’m going to have to be sure that all of the new appliances are well fastened.

I also discovered 2 leaking windows today with all the spray.  They are both fairly bad leaks that are wetting the mattress as water runs on the inside of the frame, behind the teak paneling and along the hull onto the bed. I will have to have them both re-sealed soon as I get home.

I’m very relieved that  we have arrive in New York without any delay, but still cautiously optimistic as we are not home yet.  Today, things are looking good.



Stuck in Virginia

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This is what my last two ship log entries have looked like:


  • 7am Departed Hampton Public Piers
  •  8am Returned to Hampton Public Piers – Too rough (swells 3-4′)


  • 7am Departed Hampton Public Piers
  • 8am Returned to Hampton Public Piers – Too rough (swells 3-4′)


You know it’s rough when the fridge, which is secured at the top with wood brackets, slides out from the wall.  Lots of slamming and stuff flying all over the place.  I was soaked taking photos from the bridge; had to hold the camera with one hand and and brace myself with the other.  Who needs an amusement park?  Ride em cowboy!

Yesterday, when we made our first attempt at heading out, Christian’s chair tipped back and he fell into the entertainment center.  He wasn’t hurt, but a bit surprised.  I had to have everyone sit on the coach while I scurried around securing loose items and continuously pushing the fridge back in place.  I’m sure that we could have kept on, crew would have gotten through the intense movement, jerking up and down and back and forth, but I really didn’t want to, as Capt. Al says, “beat up the boat”.  Doable, but not worth the risk.



We departed St. Augustine on the 17th.  So far, it has been a great run.  Seas have been relatively calm, all in all, a nice ride.  We mostly ran outside (offshore) and came into the ICW when we hit Cape Fear.  We run from 7am until as long as we can go, depending on the location of the next marina.  The goal is 100 nautical miles a day, but has been as few as 70 and as much as 120.  We try to avoid running after dark as much as possible.  My favorite time of day is early in the am.  The waters are quiet and calm and watching the sun come up is pretty.  It’s also nice and cool in the morning, and I love being on the bridge, so I usually sit up there running the boat until 9 or 10 when the sun starts heating me up, then it’s time to come back down.

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Passing through Norfolk was the most interesting.  Seeing the military ships was a lot of fun.

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So for now, I’m stuck in Virginia, and quickly running out of time.  Feeling stressed that my kids are starting school the first week in September.  Might have to figure something out to get them home.  They say that Cristobal won’t directly impact the Eastern coast, but may effect the wave action, swells and current.  The wind out there this morning is at 20 knots.  Not looking like good travel days ahead for a small pleasure craft, like me.



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Relaxing In St. Augustine

Well, most of the time I was relaxing.  But, first order of business, an oil change.  The oil in the engines is supposed to be changed every 100 hours.  We were getting pretty close to that.

I  have never changed motor oil in my life and certainly not on these big babies, so I called in a company called “First Mate Yacht Services”.  Boe arrived to the boat with Mike.  I had them change the oil on both engines, the generator oil, and all of my fuel and oil filters.  The oil change system makes this task much easier.


I watched these guys closely and took notes and pictures of what they did. They were very helpful and explained every step of the process in detail. It’s actually fairly easy.  The only step that I could potentially have difficulty with is removing the oil filters from the side of the engines.  Seems that you may need a bit of strength to turn the canister. Other than that,  I’m sure that I will be able to do it myself next time, which shouldn’t be until we arrive in Boston.



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Captain Al, who got us across the Gulf from Carabelle and down to Miami was scheduled to meet us in St. Augustine to help us get up the coast to Boston. We had a few days of fun and relaxation before we would head out.




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We had a lot of fun in the Nation’s oldest city and I wish I could have stayed longer.  Unfortunately, I have to rush up the coast to get back to Boston by the start of school.


Next…Up the Coast to Boston


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“Leaving Miami” or Reprovisioning/feeding 8 souls

The one thing that amazed me about provisioning to feed 8 people, (which we thought would

be a nightmare on a boat) is the amount of space for stores on this 63″ Hatteras.


Three compartments like this under dinette bench provides ample storage. We thought we would be busting at the seams, but as it turned out, we have plenty of space in the galley with lots of extra space below should we need it. Because we were having problems with our fridge upon arriving, which we did resolve, we had opted to buy a 3.5 cu.ft. small freezer for the aft deck, just in case.


As it turned out that freezer was a necessity we didn’t know we needed, but it has been the lifesaver and has made all the difference at the end of the day between shopping once a week and having enough to go 2 weeks without shopping for meat, frozen foods, etc…


A big boost for space saving is removing all boxes, and packaging, thereby also eliminating much excess trash while underway. Another challenge was where to put grease from cooking. That problem was solved with an empty paint can, purchased from Home Depot, which is strong, with a good lid, and has lots of room, should last a few months 🙂


The only thing I have to admit, that I really miss is not recycling, it is just too difficult to try and find another ‘spot’ for recycles. All food scraps go directly into the sink garbage disposal, and the old, original trash compactor still works like a charm.

When traveling daily, unless we dock early, cooking is a challenge, I have been making a homemade red sauce, with pasta and sausages and that feeds for a few days. As well, we have what is called a “free-for-all”; frozen foods such as chicken nuggets, fries, and pizza that the kids cook on their own, thereby, taking the burden of preparing while underway away from the cook, freeing up time (and energy) for handling lines, hooking up to the dock, and just enjoying the whole experience.


So far, all the old, mostly original appliances, have held up beautifully, which is just another testament to  the quality of these old Hatts! Well, at least they’ll do until our galley refit. Course, not sure we’ll ever get used to having a dishwasher under a cooktop, but for now it works!

Purchasing new pots & pans, tailor fit to our needs, has made a great difference in storage as we only have what we absolutely need, then add here and there as the need arises.

Dry goods such as pasta, cake, brownie and muffin mixes have found a nice home in the dry bar in the salon, just steps from the galley, having those items rounds out the homey feel our our new home.


Of course, I have to mention our beautiful new corelle wear dishes, besides fitting a set of twelve in one cabinet, they are just a pretty pattern, a gift to myself that I am thoroughly enjoying 🙂


Now to our hands down favorite purchase and a welcome addition to preparing meals, this got everyone’s vote! Our new Coleman Grill, it is portable, so it goes down to the dock in a cinch, has tons of real estate for cooking all our meat in one round, (and that’s alot). The grills are a heavy cast iron and cook evenly, all in all, we couldn’t be happier with this addition! Almost forgot, stores very conveniently by our boarding ladder for convenience! Highly recommend this grill for anyone who has a bigger family than most of the marine grills cater too!




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