Refitting S/V Sudden Stops Necessary

I spent 2 years refitting Stops to go cruising, a project I coined “wide blue yonder” to keep my motivation up, especially when I ran into many roadblocks installing American equipment on a French boat!  I tried to do most of the work myself to save on labor costs and also so that I would know all the systems intimately hopefully allowing me to complete repairs myself in the remote places I intend to visit. The only downside is that it took at least three times longer to do it myself which meant working every weekend for two years and nearly every night after work for the last four months to get the boat ready!

The best source for information I found was other cruiser’s blogs that described their refit projects in detail. I hope the posts below (which I am still writing as I get time) will be helpful for others embarking on similar projects.

Electrical and Energy Generation
Designing and building new electrical system with 450AH house battery bank and monitor – Jan 2010
Designing and building a 170W solar energy platform with MPPT controller – Jul 2010
Installing a KISS wind generator – May 2010
– Wiring and installing a 80W Balmar High Output Alternator with smart reg – post coming
– Installing a Inverter – post coming

Designing and installing a second diesel fuel tank – May 2010
Installing a Racor 500MA fuel filter – May 2009
Rebuilding the raw water pump – Aug 2008
Installing a Kiwiprop feathering propeller – Mar 2010
– New shaft, cutlass bearing and dripless seal – post coming

Self Steering
Installing a Monitor Windvane – Nov 2009
Installing a Raymarine wheelpilot – Jan 2009
– Installing a tillerpilot on my J/92 – post coming

Navigation and Instruments
Installing a Raymarine C80 Chartplotter and Radar – Nov 2008
– Installing new Raymarine ST60 wind, speed and depth instruments – post coming

Installing a new Lewmar H3 Windlass – June 2009
– New Ground tackle for offshore work – post coming

Standing Rigging
Replacing the rod standing rigging, furler and backstay adjuster – Mar 2010
– Installing a new LED masthead tricolor & anchor light – post coming
– Replacing all in mast wiring and masthead instruments – post coming
– DIY Installation of new standing rigging on my J/24 – post coming
– Building a new boom for my J/24 – post coming

Running Rigging
Rebuilding Lewmar winches – Jan 2009
– New “incockpit” reefing system – post coming
– Installing a Dutchman boombrake system – post coming

Installing an ICOM M802 SSB Radio with Pactor 3 Modem – Jul 2010
– Installing a Standard Horizon VHF Radio with AIS- post coming
– Installing a Brookehouse Multiplexer for sharing navigation data with a laptop – post coming
– Installing a Bullet wifi booster – post coming

New sail wardrobe – July 2010

– Installing all new below the waterline thruhulls – post coming
– Installing a larger bilge pump, automatic bilge switch and bilge monitor – post coming

Liferaft – Aug 2010
– Fire equipment overhaul – post coming
– Category 0 SOLAS flares – post coming

The bottom job – Jan 2009
– New Dinghy and Outboard motor – post coming
– New propane tanks and fittings – post coming
– Replacing the glass and seals in all hatches and ports – post coming
– Installing outside speakers for music system – post coming

The Sudden Stoppers

Friends and family that joined Sudden Stop Necessary on her epic sail from San Francisco to Australia.



Chet – SF to Sydney



Glenda – La Cruz to Sydney



Jonathan – SF to San Diego



Mark – SF to Cabo



Carl – SD to Cabo



Cyrille – Cabo to Tahiti



Bobby – Banderas Bay, Dec/Jan



Gregor – Banderas Bay, Dec/Jan



Corinne – Banderas Bay, Jan



Ben – SF to Cabo

Sudden Stops Necessary finishes first in class on the Baja Haha!

After sailing the whole way on leg 3, which involved lots of sudden stops due to lack on wind, Sudden Stops Necessary and crew were awarded first prize in our class! We sailed all 3 legs all the way without motoring which only 2 or 3 other boats did in the whole fleet. Must mean we are crazy or something…

The boys picking up the first prize at the awards ceremony

Haha_winNow I finally have something to decorate the wall with next to the chart table!

Some highlights of the Baja Haha:
– Fluorescent torpedos at night on leg 2 (dolphins swimming with the boat leaving a fluorescent wake)
– Ben's close encounter with a shark on leg 3.. at least we found out my makeshift swim ladder actually works in certain conditions 😉
– Carl miraculous recovery from a near death hangover to drink and party at the Bahia Santa Maria beach party.
– Ben catching a tuna on leg 2.. alas it was too small to eat 😉
– An aircraft carrier with planes landing and taking off crossing our bow at 1am in the morning..
– An amazing dinner on Liberty at Bahia Santa Maria
– Mark's love hate relationship with his girlfriend who was on the haha
– Sailing with a submarine at the start on leg 1
– Lots of leathery love to be had, but we ran out of oil 😉
– Chilling on Nikki beach in Cabo
– Jay-Z and Alicia Keys joining us every time we finished a leg..
– Found a good name for the monitor windvane.. Monty welcome to the crew!
– Some pure sailing ecstasy when Stops got into her groove and flew at 7-8 knots, sans spinnaker.
– Good times with Carl, Mark, Ben and Monty!