On this page I'm trying to keep track of the various major projects that we have done on the boat. Unfortunately, Blogger isn't the easiest thing to search for a specific project (imagine that...owned by Google and having a search issue).  So below is an overview of the various projects and one or more links to the relevant posts.

Fiberglass Bimini Replacement

Having been on a couple Leopards with hardtops, I knew I wanted one.  They provide better forward visibility, better headroom, you can walk on them to access the boom, it makes a nice platform for mounting solar panels, and they don't require restitching or replacement like the soft top variety.

The hardtop is constructed of polyester fiberglass with a 1 inch Divinycell foam core.  It mounts to the front face of the arch with supports to hold it off of the salon cabin roof.  A sail viewing window was added a bit forward of the original location to allow for enough space for a larger solar panel mounted behind it.  The edges are finished as a handrail with a slit at the bottom to accommodate bolt ropes for a dodger set.

I won't kid you, this is a huge undertaking. We had hoped to get it done in a month, but thought it might take two.  5 months later and we finally have it on the boat.  Working under a canopy in a boatyard, we fought high summer temperatures, rain, the threat of a hurricane, cold fall temperatures, and wind.  In the end, we are happy with the results, but if you asked us to build one again, I'm pretty sure the answer would be NO.

You can find all the posts here:

LED Lighting


In order to help reduce power consumption due to lighting, many of the lights on the boat have been convered to LED.  Being a...ahem, frugal...person, I didn't really appreciate the cost of the various LED replacement bulbs for the average marine fixture.  In some cases, there really isn't an option except to use the replacement bulb or replace the entire fixture and I generally found the most reasonably priced bulb for those cases.  In many other cases though, I found a much more economical option (as little as a couple dollars a fixture) was to use the stick-on LED light strips.  They can often be placed in existing fixtures and produce the same amount or even more light than the original.  And you even have options for colors.

Iv'e found bulbs for navigation lights, deck lights, and some of the salon lights.  I've made bulbs for other salon lights using a broken household decorative LED bulb, and used strip lights for fluorescent fixtures and other interior fixtures.

One of the most comprehensive tutorial posts on converting a fluorescent fixture can be found here:

For all the LED related posts, use this link:

Salon Window/Portlight Rebed/Replacement

Anyone who owns an older Leopard catamaran knows that the factory seal used on the large salon windows has a high failure rate.  A number of Leopard owners have taken on the project of rebedding their windows.  I decided if I was going to go to all the hassle of rebedding the windows, I might as well replace the glass. So, starting with a full sheet of tinted acrylic (Plexiglass), two windows were cut out, finished, and installed to replace the existing windows.  It is a tedious and messy task, but is certainly do-able by most handy boat owners.

You can find the posts on the replacement project at this link:

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