Retire Afloat © 2020
The main cabin seating has an infill which can be used to create a further double bed for visitors. The seating easily accommodate 6 people around a large table in the main salon. Outside seating on comfortable cushion seats provide additional seating for up to 10 people.
The partition dividing the traditional 2 front cabins has been removed to provide a super king sized bed accessible from both hulls. Both sides have a large wardrobe and storage lockers for clothing. The wardrobes and lockers are heated using electric tube heaters to prevent condensation and provide background warmth for the sleeping area.
The internal décor is renewed throughout with a grey felt finish with matching carpets & curtains and a cream padded head liner. The seating is covered in a contrasting blue fabric.
Three-quarter doors provide privacy to the 2 aft cabins that have been converted from their original specifications. The port side having located in it the electronics management console, a Sunmar marine composting toilet and wash hand basin. The starboard side is a wet room with shower, wash hand basin and small urinal with a small holding tank under the floor.
The Sunmar Marine Composting Toilet has been a great success and works extremely well without any toilet smells. It does however require a 12v supply 24/7 to provide power to its evaporator heater and filtered air extract system.
At just over £2000 it may seem an expensive item however environmentally with no discharge into the sea it provides convenience and practicality in the management of human waste. It provides toilet use in marinas and canals without holding tanks and the normal human waste disposal problems.
Ideal for 2 people and with an easy to empty composting drawer, the ability to use normal toilet paper and the lack of toilet smells gives it a Five Star rating from us.
GALLEY - Port Hull
The well-equipped port side all electric galley comprising of a full size sink unit, a small fridge, combination grill, oven and microwave, induction hob, toastie/griddle machine and toaster allows you to prepare meals without the worry of gas cooking with flames and fumes. Hot water is provided via an 80ltr electric water heater. All water is purified by a 25w UV UltraViolet Water Disinfection Treatment System Filter which Sterilises 22.7l/pm.
When in marina there is a water hose connection point with carbon and particle filters to allow the connection of the water system directly to the shore side mains water supply avoiding the need to constantly fill the two water tanks by hose. The water tanks have been fitted with float valves to allow them to fill automatically as needed. A collapsible 2 litre kettle for beverages and a Delonghi Bean to Cup coffee machine produces great coffee with the coffee grinding aroma! Storage lockers provide space for our provisions, china, cutlery and glassware.
SERVICES - Starboard Hull
The starboard hull houses a small freezer, washing machine, colour printer, Cold box, work bench and the lockers hold a wide range of engine spares, tools, wine and gin.
In the central raised part of the cabin to the right of the door we have installed a 1000w electric panel heater and a 800w heated electric towel rail.
The main battery bank is housed under the old starboard side berth. This comprises of 8 x 100 amp Gel leisure batteries. This bank is connected to a 4000w 230v Inverter charger.
Wifi is provided via the Skulker Router. This can be linked either to the marina wifi or or our 4G mobile hotspot. This is ideal for operating the 32” Smart TV which can provide a full range of tv channels to view. It also allows wireless use of the colour printer and the casting of navigation charts, GPS etc. from laptop/notebooks.
All 230v mains power sockets throughout the boat provide USB ports for charging accessories. A 12v circuit provides cabin lighting and power for navigation instruments and navigation lights. In addition to the 8x 100 amp gel batteries there are 3 100amp gel batteries located in outside lockers. One is for the composting toilet fan, one for the windlass and the third for the mooring winch. When attached to shore power additional 12v power is supplied via a 230v to 12v inverter ensuring the battery bank remains fully charged for off grid use. The 2 40w solar panels located on the the front deck hatches keep the windlass battery charged.
THE OUTSIDE COCKPIT
The 7 outside lockers contain the 2 Yanmar GM10 diesel engines, Mariner 3.5hp outboard, a 30ltr Cold box ideal for cold beer, wine, champagne and other drinks. These lockers provide space for our general storage, tool boxes and 2 offshore survival suits.
The radar gantry carries the wind turbine, VHF Aerial, AIS aerial, wireless security camera and has a bracket for holding the mast when lowered. The davits support the tender and the lifting ropes are secured using clamps. Between the arch pillars there is a storage box containing the watermaker and there are 2 additional boxes fitted to the diesel tank covers for ropes, electrical leads and other essential gear!
When the mast is lowered using the mast lowering pole it sits in the cradle on the top of the arch. The roller within this cradle assists with the sliding of the mast to centralise it. A 12 volt winch system has been created to allow for the easy lowering and raising of the mast single handed.
The pilot house top has been replaced with a new design allowing a 360 degree view from the steering position. Forward opening windows allow ventilation and the roof provides housing for the solar panel. Electronic signal/fog horns and the 2 LCD remote controlled 360 degree search/fog lights are accommodated in the design.
To provide additional insulation and allow the main sliding hatch to remain open a removable glazed panel has been added above the door allowing you to stand in the main cabin area to observe your surroundings.
Outside equipment includes 2 telescopic grab poles, emergency steering tiller, spinnaker pole and the mast lowering pole. There is a zipped cockpit curtain to protect the driving position and electronics displays when not in use. A waterproof cover for the cockpit is available for covering the area when boat not in use.
The electric windlass makes anchor management easy and with it having its own dedicated 100 amp battery with solar charging it is always ready to use with the deck mounted foot controls and wireless remote.
A floating home from home, able of crossing the Atlantic and going where few have gone before!
For those interested in boat specs I have detailed below some details of those on board our Catamaran Skulker.
Length Over All 9.00m (29'6")
Length Water Line 7.72m (25'4")
Beam 4.19m (13'9")
Draft 0.80m (2'7")
Displacement 4,000kg (8,820.0lbs)
Mast Aluminium stepped in a tabernacle enabling the lowering of the mast by one person
Mast Height 12.19m (40’0”)
Construction Solid fiberglass, chined hulls with lots of rocker and deep "V" sections forward which flatten out at the stern
Headroom in the hulls 1.90m (6' 3”)
Rig Sloop rigged Aluminium spars with stainless steel standing rigging
Mainsail North Sails Laminate – Slab, Fully Battened, 3 Reefs
Diesel Engines 2 x 9Hp Yanmar 1GM10 marine engines (Winter engine bay tube heaters)
Diesel 2 x 45 ltr steel Tanks. 5 x 10ltr spare diesel in plastic tanks
Petrol 2 x 10 ltr plastic tanks, 1 x 5 ltr plastic tank
Electric Windlass (Anchor Winch) 40m of 8x24 Grade 40 Galvanised Chain Spliced to 30m of 12mm Multiplait Nylon attached to a 20kg Bruce Pattern Anchor. Powered by independent 12v 120amp battery charged by 2 40w solar panels and mains powered drip charger unit. Spare Anchor Bruce Danforth 20m (65'7") of chain 30m (98'5") of warp
Engine Batteries 2 x 120 amp Lead acid batteries
Domestic Batteries 8 x 100 amp AGM Leisure batteries
Inverter - Power Sinus 4000W 12V Low Frequency Inverter
Transformer - DC/230V AC LCD/UPS/Charger - AC230V To DC 12V Power Supply Transformer
Battery Charging Sterling power advanced alternator charger fed from 2 40amp alternators
1 Wind Vertical 750 watt wind turbines on radar arch - Bright Yellow!
Solar 250 watt panel on coach roof
2 x 40 watt solar panels on front deck for windlass
Water Tanks 2 x 100 ltr Stainless steel Water tanks
Master Cabin Super King size berth accessed from both hulls - Each with wardrobe and storage
Starboard wet room full sized Shower cubicle with basin and urinal
Port Head ( Berth Removed) Sun Mar Marine Composting Toilet and wash hand basin
Port Galley - Sink, Fridge, Sandwich toaster, Induction hob, toaster, Combination convection Microwave with oven and grill, 80 ltr electric Water heater. Bean to cup coffee machine, Instant water boiler
(Berth Removed) Freezer, Washing machine, work bench and wireless printer.
Smart TV, dining table and seating for 6. Converts to double berth.
Electric panel heater, electric towel rail and 12V 5000W Air diesel Fuel Heater PLANAR style.
2 2kw Main cabin fan heaters
12v lighting system throughout and 230v lamps in main cabin
Entertainment Bush 32” Smart TV, Spotify, Amazon Fire Stick, NOW TV, Sky TV
Wireless Canon Printer
Apex twin tub washing machine with pump
30 Litre Capacity Electrical Coolbox 240V & 12V
1 Spot Light and 1Fog Spot Light both LED Remote Controlled 360 degree Magnetic Base Spot Search Lights,50W high power led light produces up to 4,000 lumens of light.
Mounted on the front deck is a Forties 6 person Life raft in canister.
Navigation / Safety
CO2 Detector, smoke detector, fire blanket, VHF DSC radio, Cobra VHF handheld radio, Garmin GPS 158i & GA38, MLR DGPS FX412, AIS transponder, Radar reflector, Nasa Marine Target 2 Depth Sounder System, Clipper wireless wind and speed indicator, Ocean Signal EDF1 Electronic Distress Flare - Ultra Bright LED, 2 Offshore Immersion emergency suits. 2 Dry powder fire extinquishers, 1 Automatic fire extinguisher , Emergency horseshoe with light, throw line, 4 man liferaft (requires service), 4 Man Dinghy With Floor & Oars 320 X 150cm held on Davits, Outboard Mariner 3.5 hp 4 stroke
Pumps 4 automatic Bilge Pumps, Hot water circulating pump, 2 Cold water booster pumps
The SOANAR Ultrasonic Antifouling System is designed to largely replace the messy, expensive and dangerous antifouling chemical paints that you have had to use in the past to prevent marine growth.
• Helps keep the hull of your boat clean and free from most marine growth
• Reduces drag and increases your fuel economy
• Frequency of slipping for antifouling treatment is reduced enormously
• Typically cheaper than a slip, clean and antifouling paint job
• Safe for the environment, no harsh chemicals involved
The Kit that we purchased for Skulker was a Jaycar KC5535 Ultrasonic Antifouling Kit with a second transducer so each hull would have a transducer. We decided to locate the transducers just behind each engine which were secured to the hull using the provided adhesive. Whilst buying as a kit saves a good deal of cash, you will need patience and reasonable soldering skills to complete the build! To see construction pictures please click HERE
One of the benefits of the Catalac is the ability to lower the mast yourself in the tabernacle. Skulker’s radar arch was designed to provide support for the lowered mast with a built in roller to allow the mast to be easily moved along to centralise it. I have had a lowering pole made in 2 sections which allows easy storage on the deck behind the mast. To avoid “twisting off” during lowering I have also made stanchions. An electric winch system has been devised for single handed lowering and raising of the mast. For lowering details -
Skulker is a 9 metre Catalac Catamaran which was Tom Lack's first venture into catamaran design. He commissioned John Winterbotham of MG Duff LTD to design the Catalac 9M in 1968, forming part of a range of cruising catamarans which eventually ranged from 8m to 12m. All were built at Lack's yard in Christchurch.
This design was envisioned as the successor to Bill O'Briens venerable Bobcat Catamaran. They would be safe cruisers, aimed squarely at the family marketplace. Thought of as motor sailors because of the boxy design, these boats actually sail very well, don't heel while sailing and with the 6' 3 inches of headroom in the hulls, no one feels boxed in or forced to go 'camping'.
The Catalac 9M was constructed with solid fiberglass, chined hulls with lots of rocker and deep "V" sections forward which flattened out at the stern. The combination of "V" hulls and rocker, eliminated the need of keels while providing what was thought to be enough grip for windward performance.
Skulker is the twin Yanmar GM10 engined model and we have upgraded her and reconfigured her to suit our needs for 2 retired people, wishing for basic comforts along with a safe environment able to allow us to travel around the UK, the European Canals, the Mediterranean and beyond.
So to sum up to provide the comforts of home “Off Grid” Skulker has a bank of 11 leisure Gel batteries providing 1100 amps at 12 volts. These are charged from the 2 engine alternators. Additional charging is provided by the 750w vertical wind turbine and the 250w solar panel mounted on the cabin roof. When attached to shore power all 12v systems can be powered via a 230v to 12v inverter. The battery bank is also charged from shore power via the Power Sinus inverter.
|Wind & Solar|