Preparing to Go

News flash: Your own boat may be perfect for your cruising needs. This couple made their 34-footer into a cozy home. "Makeovers and Refits" from our May 2008 issue

Goodfellow Refit 368
Such additions as a heater and new upholstery make the interior of this C&C; racer/cruiser ready to live aboard.Chris Goodfellow

My wife, Penny, and I hail from Winnipeg, Manitoba, in central Canada, and are at the tail end of an eight-year project to convert an older boat-our 1981 C&C 34, Carpe Diem-from a spartan racer into a comfortable cruiser. This is the boat that'll help us fulfill our cruising dreams. We hope to retire from our jobs, cast off our lines this spring, and get a firsthand taste of the cruising life that, until now, has been confined to a decade-long subscription to Cruising World complemented by two-week vacations on an inland lake.

Along with the many standard refits and upgrades that have come to be the minimum required gear on today's cruising boats, we've also tried to effect a good level of creature comfort below. Our boat is going to be our home, and Carpe Diem's interior received as much attention as her sails, windlass, solar panels, self-steering gear, and radar.

We installed a new cabin sole, stove, microwave, refrigeration, and bulkhead diesel heater, and we upgraded the upholstery. Penny sewed a mast cover, curtains, and V-berth storage nets-those are really handy-and she's been involved in everything else we've done that related to layout, aesthetics, and function. It's truly been a team effort.
We feel that we've created the optimum environment in a 34-foot boat in which to enjoy a long cruise in safety. Two retirements and one yacht-carrier ride to the Great Lakes, and we'll be ocean-bound!

Chris and Penny Goodfellow plan to have Carpe Diem trucked to Lake Superior and start their cruise later this month.