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The Lady Has a New Hat

No southern lady is properly presentable until she is wearing a hat. A sun tan would not only ruin the complexion, but might make a lady appear to be of the working class. And what, with all the hot sunshine down here, her makeup would simply melt without it. As Margaret Mitchell described Scarlett O’Hara in the opening paragraph of Gone with the Wind, she mentioned “her magnolia white skin — that skin so prized by Southern women and so carefully guarded with bonnets, veils and mittens against hot Georgia suns.” So to complete Steel Magnolia’s makeover, she has gotten a new hat, as shown in the picture above. It’s a white canvas top stretched over an aluminum frame covering the upper part of the flybridge. It not only guards her against “hot Georgia suns”, but it makes it tolerable to drive the boat from the flybridge in hot sunshine, and it also seems to have dressed up the boat properly and changed her appearance for the better.

Now that Steel Magnolia is almost finished and getting ready for a trip to the Bahamas this winter, it seems a good time to list the improvements that have been made to her since her purchase almost a year ago. Not counting repairs and maintenance, here are the major projects completed or in progress:

1. A rub rail was added all around to make docking possible without scratching up the boat.

2. The proper amount of ballast was added to the chain locker area of the boat and the anchor chain was increased from 200 to 400 feet.

3. The shore power system was changed out from 110 volt/30 amp service to 220 volt/50 amp service with Glendinning Cablemaster system added to electrically roll the shore power cord in and out.

4. The forward guest cabin shower was enlarged so that an adult can actually use the shower now.

5. Window shades are being added throughout the boat for privacy and sun protection.

6. The air conditioning system was upgraded with properly-sized ductwork and new grills to dispense air better, and the plumbing to the air conditioning units was upgraded to supply adequate water flow.

7. The toilets were upgraded to Headhunter water jet models.

8. A new and vastly better GPS chart plotter is being installed including an “AIS” receiver to show the position of nearby ships.

9. A new ham/marine sideband radio is being installed.

10. A satellite tv dish and receiver were installed.

11. Stabilizers were added to give the boat a smooth ride at sea.

12. A fuel polishing system was installed.

13. The “day head” off the galley is being replaced by a wet bar with icemaker.

14. We have a new powerful horn that actually works and a new spotlight. 

When all of this is completed, the boat will be taken to the boat yard for a haulout and routine maintenance this fall. All in all, she should be in magnificent shape for a trip to the Bahamas starting in January.

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Reader Comments (2)

Didn't get notice of Sept 8 posting. Have to agree, the bimini looks great on Steel Magnolia!

John, what yard are you in? Looks as though I have a delivery in early November to Ft. Lauderdale. Last time we stopped in Savannah at Thunderbolt, which used to be Palmer-Johnson's southern yard.

October 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Jacobs

Hello John,

I still am interested in talking further about a piece on STEEL MAGNOLIA for PassageMaker. Please contact me if you are still interested.


January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBill Jacobs

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