Once we had placed an order, we then had to decide which of the many options for the 365 model we should select. This was virgin territory for us as we had not bought new before. Feeling like the proverbial children in a sweet shop, but mindful of a tight budget, we spent many hours agonising over what to choose.
We were assisted in this slightly daunting but enjoyable task by Steven and Francine of North Sea Maritime, who steered us to the most practical plus most often requested features as a starting point.
Finally we agreed on the following:
Aluminium toe rail with more drain holes, no teak – less wood to look after and stronger
Welded handrails on transom – Something to grab hold of when boarding from the stern
Welded cockpit table – providing hand holds and something to lean on in the rather wide cockpit plus outdoor dining comfort
Welded, enclosed life raft storage locker with welded handle – seemed like a good idea at the time, to enable us to keep the liferaft there and lock it away in port, but it has been quite difficult to find a liferaft that will fit the space
Welded 8mm cheeks to stern anchor roller – seemed sensible, and we anchor a lot
Opening aft portholes on coach roof – The more ventilation the better
Welded tang for stowing stay sail stay – we plan to take full advantage of the staysail
Do not include welded Spinnaker pole mounts – when we chartered this model of boat, we kept tripping over the mounts, and figured if we ever added a spinnaker we would mount the pole on the mast
Additional Dorade vents on coachroof – more ventilation!
Anchor Locker Divider – we added this after reviewing the options while aboard a sister ship as it looked useful
Instrument Pod – this was another late addition, we were originally going to have the instruments by the main hatch, but again changed our minds after looking again at the other Ovni.
Aluminium shelf in stern locker – we decided to have the stern accommodation divider in the place it would be if this was a 3 cabin version, i.e. down the centreline to give us the maximum size stern locker. There was an aluminium shelf in the stern locker on the other Ovni, and we thought it was a good idea.
Battery upgrade to 90AH Batteries, – plus 1 extra battery 90Ah – cruising yachtsmen can never have too many big batteries….
Mount the battery charger, shore supply circuit breaker inside the dry locker storage area – better access for maintenance and repair
Position fuel filter toilet side on bulkhead – as above
Ambassador rope cutter stripper – Anyone who links this is optional has never tried to get a fishing net off their prop in mid channel
AM10-3 Featherstream folding propeller – Ovni’s have a bit of a rep for steering badly astern
Deck and Sails
Boarding gates – Ease of getting on board, especially now we’re a bit older….
S/s grab handles on teak at companion way – more things to grab on to
Part set mast steps 4 at bottom, 2 at top 4 – Looked useful for assisting with both starting to climb the mast and as something to stand on at the top while working
wichard pad eyes in cockpit – necessary to clip safety lines on, we will be adding jackstays as well
Primary winches – upgrade to 48AST – locate on cockpit coaming – the standard winches were at the limit of being recommended for this size of boat, and we preferred the coaming positioning having tried the default position on our charter
Lazy Jacks and Stack Pack – we opted for just this over the full sail upgrade pack to a fully battened main with all the trimmings partly due to cost, and partly as we prefer the old fashioned capability of being able to scandalise the main as an aid the manoeuvring under sail.
Main Halyard and Topping Lift led back to Cockpit with Jammers – this wasn’t offered, but enables handling the main for the above easier when short handed so we requested it
Standard (non LED) Tricolour and anchor light – an LED solution was offered, but having done a lot of research on LED nav lights we concluded that they are not yet good enough to shell out for – give it a few more years and they should have solved the reliability issues and then we’ll get some
Curved Helm Seat – personal preference
Reverse forehatch and intermediate hatch to hinged at front edge – as above
Raised Helm position grating – that’s for me – being a bit of a shortarse, I can’t see over the Instrument pod otherwise 🙂
Insulation inc Armacell on frames – expensive but necessary – along with ventilation, it keeps the condensation at bay
Staron solid resin work surface in galley & heads – had this on the etap and loved it, much nicer, longer lasting and practical than laminate, bit expensive though.
wooden grab rails in main cabin – x 2 – another thing to grab hold of….
Raise fwd and aft cabin bunk fiddles for retro fit of Bed Flex – wouldn’t have bunks without this now, added to the insulation and ventilation category in making the living space condensation free.
Wash board storage at companionway – looked like a good idea, no more washboards randomly stowed flying around the place in a heavy sea
Reading lights in main saloon, aft and Fore Cabins – another good idea
Deep sink and second half sink in centre island – I’m a big fan of second sinks on a boat to put the dirty items in while leaving the other clear for putting mugs in when making tea at sea, and for draining crocks when washing up. The standard is a single sink in the galley
Neon light in dry storage locker Forepeak head board one side – free of charge, so why not
General 60m x 10mm anchor chain – good value, and being supplied by them would definitely fit the windlass, we didn’t go for their anchor as it was rather overpriced, and we fancied a Manson anyway – as we mentioned before, we anchor a fair bit.
6 fenders – as cheap as we could get them so why carry them over there…
Double fuel filters – Oh yes, definitely, another one driven by experience!