I’ve been hard at work upgrading my Montgomery 15 sailboat to enable comfortable inland cruising year round.

I never liked the look of the stainless (passive) mushroom vent the previous owner installed on the cabin. If the boat capsized, this hole could be a big problem. I decided to remove this vent and patch the hole. The finished repair is indistinguishable from the outside thanks to a very expensive small can of EZpoxy Mediterranean white paint .

Next, I began work on the electrical system. I beefed everything up with heavy duty Blue Sea switches and panels. These didn’t stick out as much as the switches that came with the boat. This is desirable since the original switches were often accidently toggled. A battery selector switch allows me to access a new 2nd battery and creates a quick and childproof way to kill all electronics. Finally, an Autotiller was added. This tool automatically holds the boat on a compass bearing. Next, I will install shore power, a small 12v heater, and in-boat AC powered battery chargers.

Outside, I mounted a gimbled stove that can swing freely for cooking at sea. I also crafted new walnut hatch boards that provide active ventilation through a powerful and waterproof computer fan. This will plug into a thermostat controlled 12v socket inside the boat (to automatically turn the fan off when it gets too cool). I also installed new gudgeons to hold the mast crutch and lowered mast off center. This was done so we won’t bonk our heads when camping in the boat with the mast down. The new gudgeons (and mast crutch) can also hold the lowered mast when the rudder is attached (useful for traveling under a low bridge).

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