Echo is an Islander Freeport 41’. Built in California in 1977, she is a full keel, center cockpit, ketch rig (two masts). Echo is all fiberglass, weighing 22,000 lbs dry and roughly 30,000lbs fully loaded. She has a beam of 13.5 feet and drafts 5 feet. She is outfitted with 200 gallon tanks for diesel and fresh water, and has a 2004 Yanmar 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine that produces 92hp.
Over the first year we’ve had Echo, we’ve made some big additions. We got a hard-top dodger made for more comfort and protection. We’ve added an energy-efficient water maker, wind generator and more solar panels, and replaced the battery bank to provide increased storage, all with the intention of living off the grid and more sustainably. We also added a Single Side Band Radio (SSB) and Iridium Go/ Predict Wind Satellite services for redundancy in weather forecasts and tracking.
Echo’s course can be set on the chart plotter with autopilot and radar, keeping us aware of our surroundings at all times. Other instruments on board keep an eye on our depth, wind speed, and direction, insuring Echo can sail to any destination with confidence.
Echo prefers to spend most of her time “on the hook”, anchor down in some beautiful place. When we are at anchorage, we are protected with a 55lb Rocna anchor attached to 300’ of 3/8” chain. We also have a 45lb CQR on 200’ of 3/8” chain as a secondary anchor and an 18lb Fortress on 75’ of 3/8” chain for a stern anchor.
Belowdecks, she opens up to a spacious and cozy tinyhome. With two separate quarters with heads, we don’t struggle finding comfort or personal space. Echo has a 3-burner gimbaled stove/oven and grill that runs on propane, allowing us to do most of our cooking on the boat, which we prefer. We even have a little garden that produces all sorts of herbs, lettuce and cherry tomatoes. Echo has the rare convenience of a 3/4-size fridge/freezer that draws very little power. She has a lot of hidden storage that makes it easy to have an encompassing array of tools, a sewing machine, extra sails, lines, safety and emergency gear and provisions for a month or more.
For getting off our little island, we take “Little Pudge”, a 9.5’ aluminum hull inflatable dinghy with a 15hp Honda 4-stroke. Needless to say, we can get to shore or the nearest bait ball in a flash. For exercise and water fun, we have a pair of paddle boards and snorkeling stuff. Once ashore, we have two collapsible bicycles which allow us to get a good feel for life and grab provisions in the smaller towns and villages.
The best part about Echo is whenever we are ready, we can pick up and move locations, taking all of our comforts with us.
First year (and a half) projects
*Completely cleaned out and painted bilge.
*Replaced old refrigerator with same footprint but bigger and more energy efficient.
*Replaced all running rigging
*Added solar panels and wind generator, which required more stainless and a big wiring project.
*Hard top dodger made
*We had a bigger propane box made
*Replaced main cabin windows
*Pulled up floor to inspect/clean water tank
*Replaced all lights with LED
*Added LED strip lights in into cupboards
*Bought new secondary anchor with 25 feet of G3- 3/8 chain & 125 feet of line.
*Replaced lifelines with stainless steel and got them raised by 8 inches
*Installed Dyneema wire rope replacement in lower lifelines
*Custom “granny bars” and a variety of other stainless hand holds made
*Bought & installed water maker, which also required adding a through hull
*Replaced cutlass bearing/packing gland
*Hull project (is explained in another post)
*Installed three hatches in galley
*Sanded and painted toe rail
*Replaced bowsprit wood
*Added stainless steel mast steps to both main & mizzen masts
*Flipped our main anchor chain, spliced bitter end to boat and painted chain locker
*Many sewing projects, including all new curtains, cushion covers, paddle board covers, two boom covers for shade on decks, fender covers, wheel and outboard cover, sheets, etc.
*Installed new and improved shower head
*Flipped back hatch for increased wind flow
*Bought and installed SSB radio and required licensing, allowing regular testing via local nets
*Bought and installed Iridium Go/Predictwind Package for even more weather (and Emails from you!!)
*Made custom rod holders to house the array of fishing tools
*Performed 1000hrs engine inspection
*Replaced raw water inlet filter assembly and hose
*Replaced cockpit drain hoses in the engine room
*Replace bobstay chainplate