Falcon Upgrades and Enhancements
Fitting an AUTOPROP
This was upgrade is highly recommended described by a Falcon Owner as "one of the best moves I have ever made". The feathering prop may be expensive, but it is a far cheaper option than changing the boat for one with a greater waterline length just in order to increase passage times. The other tangible advantage is greater prop efficiency under motor with a commensurate fuel saving. The advertising blurb maintains that the prop alters its pitch to obtain the maximum thrust at the chosen throttle setting, and this does appear to be the case. If I fall into a windless hole on an ocean crossing, the range of my Falcon is greatly increased (using low revs to save fuel). However it is under sail that the benefit is most apparent. Allow the prop to rotate and we are doing 4.5kts, stop the prop turning and the speed instantly increases by up to a whole knot. So a provable advantage. Possibly other folding/furling props are as good, but I do have the experience of an Autoprop having had one for 14 years.
Hydrovane self steering
If you are contemplating ocean passages, then no other self steering comes close to the Hydrovane. (Based on a Falcon Owners experience of two Atlantic crossings). Other systems self steer, but the Hydrovane has the added advantage of doubling as a spare rudder in the unlikely event of rudder failure. The unit is beautifully engineered, the after sales service is superb and the unit will even sail you down wind for miles without ever having to touch the wheel! You can surf down wind in the Trades with just a jib up in 50kts of wind - safe in the hands of the Hydrovane. Please do not buy one for a channel crossing though! It is expensive!
Duo Gen wind and water generator
This unit is a must for ocean crossings. The unit can be used upright to harness the wind, or sloping down into the water from the back of the boat. Depending on which mode you are using one fits either a propellor or a fan. In water mode the output is very high and will run a fridge and all electrical systems non stop across the Atlantic.
Replacing a Volvo 2003 with a Beta 35
After 26 years of good service a Falcon Owner chose a Beta 35 to replace existing Volvo 2003. The reasons are - 4 cylinder so smoother, little difference in weight, no more expensive than the smaller powered Volvo equivalent and good experience of these engines and Beta after sales service. Old Volvo can be sold on Ebay. To fit the Beta the only major need is for the engine bearers to be a little higher, two metal bars can be made up to compensate for the height and bolted then to the existing bearers. Lowered the Beta on to the bearers, mark up, slip the beta back out, drill and tapp the bearers and put it all together. Very successful, and not too onerous!