Board Life’s TraVails onto a spacious teak-decked sundeck. The flybridge is up a few steps to the upper helm covered by a three-quarters-enclosed custom bimini. The dinghy deck is aft over the sundeck. The main salon is entered from the sundeck down a short flight of stairs. Aft of the salon down 5 stairs is the master stateroom with a queen-size walk-around bed and en suite head with walk-in shower. The fully equipped galley is at the port aft in the main salon. An indoor lower helm is forward in the salon. Two side access doors provide ventilation and access to the side decks from the main salon. The guest stateroom and head are forward down a short flight of steps from the salon with access to the full-height engine room through a door in the guest stateroom. See the basic layout diagram here.
Details and Photos
The aft sundeck is, at least for us, the key to the outdoor lifestyle we live onboard Life’s TraVails. Spreading across the full beam of the boat, it is where we eat most of our meals and watch sunsets (and an occasional sunrise). It is the perfect place to entertain, play games, or relax with a good book. The sundeck is floored with teak and has a Winchester 4′ bi-fold teak table and 4 teak folding armchairs with Sunbrella cushions, two deck lounge chairs, a recycle-storing end table, Magma Newport gas grill, a pass-through window from the galley, a U-line ice maker, and filtered water tap – everything you need. Roll down sunscreens provide shade from the late afternoon sun.
Access to the teak swim platform is by way of an aft gate and ladder from the sundeck. The swim platform has a recessed transom with a hot and cold shower system. See more photos of the aft sundeck.
The large air-conditioned salon offers a comfortable, L-shaped settee (with storage underneath) and a compass rose inlaid teak table that can comfortably seat six. To starboard is counter space with additional storage underneath plus two under-counter refrigerators. On starboard forward of the counter is a 2-person custom wall-hugger recliner loveseat. There is a foldable director chair at the lower helm. To forward port is a custom removable teak computer desk and a charging station for radios and other electronics.
Aft of the computer desk is a wall-mounted HD 32″ flatscreen TV above the settee, and two ottoman-type seats. There is a wall-mounted bookcase toward aft. Mounted in the forward bulkhead is a Sony stereo receiver connected to Bose Acoustimass 3-speaker system in the salon with additional Bose weatherproof speakers on the flybridge. The sole is teak parquet. See more photos of the Main Salon.
The galley is located to port at the aft end of the salon. Laminate countertops and a dual stainless-steel sink make for easy cleanup and a sparkling appearance. An aft drop-down window provides pass-through access to the sundeck while providing plenty of light and a nice breeze. The galley is equipped with a 3-burner Princess electric cooktop and oven, Magic Chef microwave, Black & Decker toaster oven mounted under the cabinet, under-cabinet lighting, and a full-height pantry.
Under-counter space is used for storage and is accessed through a removable hatch as well as cabinet doors and drawers. Two Danby 2.6 cu. ft. under-counter refrigerators are mounted to starboard of the galley for easy access. The galley is well equipped with dishes, silverware, glasses, mixing bowls, nonstick pot and pans, and utensils. See more photos of the Galley.
The full-beam master stateroom is located aft for maximum privacy and has a queen-size centerline walk-around bed with a “wave” mirrored headboard to provide an inviting atmosphere. Six opening portlights and two large transom hatches, all screened, give lots of light and ventilation. The aft hatches also serve as emergency evacuation hatches. Reading lights and fans for each side of the bed, together with overhead lights, offer plenty of light and air. The master stateroom has teak parquet floors and 3 hanging lockers and drawer space. To port, a vanity with storable stool and sliding mirrored doors provide a comfortable space for makeup application and personal grooming. The entire stateroom is finished in Burmese golden teak. The en suite master head is forward of the master stateroom with a walk-in shower and a composting toilet to port. To starboard in the master stateroom is a laundry room with a Splendide combo washer/dryer, along with storage for cleaning and other supplies. See more photos of the Master Stateroom.
The guest stateroom is forward and down a short flight of steps from the salon, with an en suite head to starboard. The guest stateroom offers a V-berth, 4 opening port lights with screens, an overhead deck hatch with screen and windscoop, and a fan on each side to provide plenty of natural light and ventilation. Each berth has a reading light plus a central overhead light. The sole is teak parquet and walls are golden Burmese teak. A hanging locker and several drawers, as well as side storage over each berth, provide stowage space.
The en suite guest head offers an overhead rain-type shower, Raritan Crown electric head, opening port light with screen and teak medicine cabinet. Additional storage space is found over and under the sink. Waste is processed by a Raritan Electro Scan Type 1 MSD and may be diverted overboard or sent to the 20-gallon holding tank, which is monitored by a Fireboy Holding Tank Monitoring System. See more photos of the Guest Stateroom.
The flybridge is accessed by teak steps from the sundeck and is very spacious. A four-foot dock box holds the propane bottle for the sundeck grill and provides storage and seating. There is also storage under the starboard built-in seating and under the brow. A small fold-up inlaid teak table provides a handy place for drinks, snacks, or a computer. Forward bench seats (starboard and port) provide seating with a great view all around as well as storage underneath. A custom full-length bimini with O’Sea glass (improved Strataglass-like material) is mounted on a welded aluminum frame (new in 2016) and provides protection from the sun and rain. It has a two-foot overhang in the front to ease sun glare and allow the front side windows, which zip from the top, to be partially opened even in the rain for ventilation. A full forward helm has a complete electronics package, communications, and engine controls. A new Simrad RS35 radio with AIS was installed in 2019. Outdoor Bose weatherproof speakers mounted on the radar arch pipe music from the entertainment system in the salon. Two deck chairs with cushions provide additional flybridge seating. The flybridge also houses the 7 cf. freezer and provides access to the dinghy deck, bicycles, and scooter. See more photos of the flybridge.
Life’s TraVails’ engine room is accessed through a soundproof door in the guest stateroom, or through removable flooring in the main salon. The engine room has 5′ 6″ headroom and accommodates the two Ford Lehman SP 135 HP diesel engines with plenty of access for maintenance. The port engine drives the PTO for the Naid stabilizers (6 sq foot fins) w/controls at both driving stations. Historical engine oil analysis for both engines and generator is available. A wall-mounted 6-drawer Craftsman toolbox, work surface, and a vise provide both storage and workspace. The sea chest accommodates all intake through-hulls and has been extended by three inches to allow for safe in-water access. A 12.5 KW Westerbeke generator provides AC power at anchor or underway, as does the Freedom 2500-watt inverter/charger. Each engine has a separate starter battery which may be easily switched to the house bank. The house bank is outboard of each engine in 2 enclosed battery boxes, with four 6-volt deep-cycle golf cart batteries per side. Additional equipment includes an ESI fuel polishing system, dual Racor 500 fuel filters for each engine and a Racor 500 fuel filter for the generator, a dual Reverso 3-valve oil change system, Halon fire suppression system with engine shutdown, plus an additional inline raw water filter on each engine. See photos of the engine room and the equipment list for a more complete list of equipment.
Tools and Spares
Life’s TraVails come with a complete complement of tools. From maintaining the woodwork (electric sanders, saws, drills, etc.) to rebuilding an engine (sockets, drivers, end wrenches, torque wrench, electronic tach, etc.), most every tool needed for any repair is already on board. Along with the tools is a supply of spare fasteners (SS nuts, bolts, and screws), spare engine parts (water pump, fuel pump, alternator, heat exchangers, V-belts, and impellers), electrical parts (solenoids, switches, wire crimp fittings, circuit breakers, and battery charger), as well as spares for the dinghy and Honda engine, Raritan heads, and Groco strainers. Most spares are inventoried in an Excel file, which includes not only spares but other supplies as well. Click on this link to download a sample of the inventory Excel file. (The items on the inventory are just examples and not intended to reflect the exact inventory.)
One of the best things on the boat is only used off the boat – a 150CC Piaggio Fly scooter, which mounts on the wing of the port dinghy deck. Raised and lowered with the electric winch on the dinghy davit, from start to finish it can be on the dock in 15 minutes, ready to take you to the grocery store or sightseeing. With 2 matching full-face helmets, this little scooter gives tandem riders the freedom to see the sights beyond biking distance without the hassle and expense of renting a car. See more photos of the scooter.
Under Bed Storage
Originally configured with a fuel tank under the queen master bed, the tank was removed and converted to storage. Divided into two sections, the aft section holds an extensive supply of storm lines (many never used), and 2 of the 3 spare anchors. The forward section holds a full set of charts and guidebooks for the Great Loop plus other regions, along with additional supplies like oil and fuel filters. Even after the tank removal, she still holds 650 gal of fuel.
The Little Things
Here are some of the little things which make life on board Life’s TraVails just a little nicer.
Did you let the house batteries get too low?
No worry – both engines and the generator have dedicated batteries, but they can be combined with the house bank with the turn of a switch.
Away from the boat and want to know her battery levels, inside temperature, get a Google map of her location, or be alerted if the shore power goes off?
The Siren Marine remote monitoring system will give you all that plus more. It can also be programmed to send you a daily report.
Do you and your first mate have difficulty communicating between the foredeck and the flybridge, especially while anchoring, docking, or locking in the wind?
Problem solved with 2 sets of “marriage saver” wireless headsets.
Time to change the oil?
Just flip a switch and let the Reverso oil change system pump the oil out of the engine, transmission, or generator. Flip the switch the other way, and pump fresh oil back in.
Does your boat list to one side or the other due to uneven fuel and water usage?
On Life’s TraVails, simply turn a small valve or 2 to allow transfer of water from one tank to the other to rebalance. See water balancing manifold.
Got a bit of dirt in the fuel supply?
No problem; just turn the lever to the other side of the duel Racor 500FG fuel filters on either engine to isolate the dirty filter while you continue on.
Want to wash down the deck, but not use up your valuable freshwater?
You can hook up the hose to the saltwater washdown pump on the bow and spray away (also useful for cleaning the anchor rode during retrieval).
Some yahoo cut you off when you clearly had the right-of-way?
Just hit the Kahlenberg dual chrome marine air horn and you’ll sound like a tanker (extremely useful when caught in fog as well).
Not enough storage space on your boat?
Life’s TraVails, with storage under the main stateroom bed and the addition of dock boxes on the bow and dinghy deck, has more storage than any DeFever 44 we know.