The editors at Cruising World have teamed up with the experts at Imtra to bring you advice on how to keep your boat in Bristol condition and get the most from your hours spent out on the water. For more great tips, see Smoother Sailing with Imtra »
Anyone who goes cruising for extended periods of time knows that the two most important factors to having a fun and fulfilling adventure are safety and comfort. Whether you’re cruising with family or with friends, making sure everyone on board is safe and comfortable are the top priorities for any cruiser, and these four upgrades to your boat can provide both. After all, when you’re off cruising, your boat becomes your primary home, and it should be treated as such.
Most sailboats over 30 feet are equipped with some sort of anchor windlass system, but many are out of date or under-powered. Having a properly-sized electric anchor windlass installed on your boat can vastly improve your cruising experience and give you the confidence to explore more remote anchorages. Having confidence in a reliable anchoring system means you can spend time anchored in deeper waters or in uninhabited anchorages without having to worry about a laborious process of deploying and retrieving the anchor off the seabed floor. An electric anchor windlass also allows you to use a heavier anchor and larger diameter or more chain than you are willing to lift with a manual or under-sized windlass, which makes resting at anchor safer and more secure, and provides peace of mind when you leave the boat anchored to go ashore and explore.
Having the proper lighting in the living areas of your boat is crucial to making it feel like home when you’re cruising for weeks at a time. Whether it’s having the right light in your favorite reading nook, under-cabinet lights in the galley so you can see what you’re chopping while preparing dinner, or a bright utility light in the engine compartment so you can do maintenance without holding a flashlight in your teeth, having the proper lighting specific to each area of the boat is an important part of having a safe and enjoyable time while living aboard and cruising.
Imtra carries a vast selection of interior marine lighting, offering solutions for all areas of your boat and can be tailored to fit your boat’s exact needs. With various different types of fixtures, including downlights, courtesy lights, reading lights, wall lights, chart table lights, flexible rope or tape lighting and more, Imtra is a one-stop supplier for all the lighting needs on any sailboat.
Battery Monitoring & Charging
When you’re cruising for weeks at a time, moving around to different anchorages, moorings and slips, managing the different power sources on board is crucial to making your trip run smoothly. Imtra offers the complete range of battery chargers, solar chargers, inverters, converters and monitoring systems from the experts at Victron Energy. Victron’s systems can help you maintain 12VDC, 24VDC and AC-powered systems so that you are not limited in what type of electrical equipment you can run on board, and you can charge from a variety of sources like shore-power, solar or wind power and an alternator, all in one system. Whenever you leave the boat, you can keep an eye on all of your onboard electrical systems from anywhere in the world with Victron’s Bluetooth Smart Monitoring and the Victron Connect app on your smartphone or tablet.
Bow & Stern Thrusters
If you’ve ever maneuvered a sailboat in a tight anchorage or marina, you know that bow and stern thrusters to spin the boat any way you need to can be a highly valuable asset to have onboard, particularly in windy conditions or areas with strong currents. Sleipner offers a full range of over 170 different thruster models in electrical power or hydraulic power including traditional tunnel thrusters, external thrusters and retractable thrusters. With such a wide range they offer a solution for virtually every size and type of sailboat. Sleipner also offers a full range of proportional speed DC-powered thrusters. The advantage to using a proportional speed thruster is that it allows you to oversize the thruster for your boat to have the necessary thrust to maneuver in high-wind or high-current conditions, but you don’t have to use all of that power all of the time when using the proportional control.
If you have any questions about any of these systems please reach out to the experts at Imtra. Also be sure to check out all the additional products and systems that Imtra offers for sailboats on our website!