Boat hacks for smoother cruising
Regina's are so beautifully built, it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to mess with the Swedish craftsmanship of any boat delivered from the yard. Below however are a few of the additions and modifications that we've carried out to enhance the onboard functionality of Arkyla when either on passage or at anchor.
Chart table bookcase
The Regina 43 chart table is great for size, access to instruments, and a clear view when navigating from inside. What it misses however is ready access to a bookshelf for the pilot guides, cruising companions and log book needed on passage. We have fixed this by screwing a small ready-made teak bookcase to the side of the drawer unit beneath the chart table. No more heavy books flying across the saloon in heavy weather on starboard tack!
Galley/lower saloon storage nets
There is good storage around the sides of the galley and snug saloon however, with only a low fiddle at the bottom, there is a danger of items flying around the boat in any significant seas.
We have lined the storage areas with netting, made very cheaply from a roll of mesh, bungee chord, and hook & eye fixings. For added security, we have added some metal kitchen organisers into which bottles are further restrained from moving around.
Cockpit helm step
Jenny, at 5'3", has always struggled for a clear view ahead when at the helm if the sprayhood is up. We therefore commissioned a bespoke teak latticed cockpit step to give her the extra inches needed for better visibility. Although solid teak and very sturdy, the step is still relatively light and can be easily moved/stored if we don't want the extra height at the helm. Being easily moved, it can also be used as a convenient pontoon step when moored in a marina (though I won't be leaving it unattended!).
[cost: £154 inc. delivery from http://taffhowells.co.uk/]
Bi-colour saloon LEDs
It was a no-brainer to replace all the internal halogen bulbs with low-power LED units. For the deck saloon and navigation area however, we spent a little bit more to replace the bulbs with bi-colour flat LEDs. Now, when on night passage, we can have the option of either white or red light in the areas below to save our night vision when moving between the cockpit and below decks.
Saloon table wine holder
Swedish wine and spirit bottles must be significantly smaller than those found in the UK as most of our alcohol stores wouldn't fit in the wine rack within the deck saloon table. Our solution is to template a new piece of marine ply and cut holes to fit our supplies (and other ancillaries such as sunscreen bottles).
Our insert (top) may not have the refined Regina (bottom) finish to it, but at least we are now confident that the booze will be secure on passage (and the insert is mostly hidden anyway)!
When fitting our solar and wind-generator arch, we took the opportunity to add LED down-lights to the frame; these give great light when sitting/eating/drinking in the cockpit once the sun has gone down.
The real bonus of these lights though is that they are operated by remote control; this means we can flash them on/off to easily identify Arkyla no matter how crowded an anchorage when returning to her in the dinghy after a run ashore!