The base boat does not come equipped with all you need to go blue water cruising, not even an anchor, according to the Helia Grand Large Inventory. You must fit out the boat to suit your needs. We chose the Comfort Version and these are the options we added.
The factory supplied 40 hp engines are fine if you don’t put much on the boat, we are going to live aboards so we upgraded to the 50 hp. We choose 3 blade-folding props as they produce less drag on the driveshaft of the boat and give approximately 1 knot boat speed more.Anti fouling of the hull and prop speed are essential for the smooth operation of the boat.
For electronics, we choose the Garmin pack 1 which includes the Autopilot, VHF, AIS, GPS 7410 and 2″ multi GM20. We chose a second AIS and VHF for the helm station, the radar, support and wiring and the autopilot remote. We decided we could use the iPad as the second screen. We will find a portable handheld VHF for use on the tender.
We after factory optioned solar panels- we chose the more expensive Sunpower panels as only three were needed to achieve at least 1000 w and provide much better efficiency.
In the living areas of the saloon and cockpit -we decided the PVC upholstery option would make for easy cleaning. We chose a cockpit tent as we will be living aboard all year and definitely need protection from the elements. Bimini tent at the helm for the same reason.
We chose transome protection, an additional mooring cleat and additional AGM battery. No reason- just seemed to make sense. We decided against the barbeque at 1302 euros and bought a weber Q that we will pack away after each use.
Electronics- We would have preferred lithium but it was not an option. We choose the 90 litre freezer because you can never have too much freezer space. A washing machine on board limits the need for accessing marinas. Having lived with rainwater on the farm we are great at water conservation, so deciding on the 12V watermaker made sense. It also means we don’t have to start the generator to run it if the batteries are full.We halved the price of a genset by choosing the smaller German brand Fischer Panda 4KW230 Volt / 50 Hz, made by the well-known manufacturer, Kubota. It is water cooled, has reserve for extra volts start up and is very quiet and weighs only 79 kg
Forepeak deck access is very convenient access to storage areas.
Saloon table options- we stayed with the coffee table – easier to get around than a dining table. We decided we didn’t need the extra bed so the table conversion was not needed.
Slatted bases for the beds we believe are necessary for air flow.
Gennaker and associated fittings – apparently acts an asymmetrical spinnaker which is ideal for a beam reach when the winds are light – it has the effect of a spinnaker with the handling properties of a genoa. It seems less work to set up than a spinnaker, but more work than a screecher. It comes in a sock/snuffer.
Parasailor- who doesn’t want a nice light sail for downwind sailing? We contacted Wingaker and Parasailor. We didn’t hear back from Wingaker for 4 months so we went with the Parasailor. This sail can cover 60 – 180 degrees without a spinnaker pole, bowsprit or furling system. The manufacturer claims the sail can be used on auto pilot or single handed.
Mainsail- according to the forums, the automatic mainsail hook and 4 extra intermediate cars on the mainsail will make it much easier to hoist and lower the mainsail. We chose one electric winch for mainsail and another for the davits.
Electric heads with freshwater flush.
6 fans- for times when there’s no cross breeze for ventilation. Air conditioning in the saloon only. If the fans don’t cut it in very hot climates it makes sense to have the day living areas airconditioned.
We choose a Mantus 39kg. We reduced the chain to 10 mls of better quality chain which required the gypsy to be changed to accommodate it. We have 70 metres of chain and 30 meters of 16mm rope.
We chose an Ocean Cruising Tender from NZ- it is made from
We decided to buy a 6 MP life raft – only 6 people on board from time to time. Mostly just the 2 of us.
The choosing of options can be a time consuming and confusing business, there are so many opinions but ultimately you have to decide what will work for you.