Lobster Styled Boat - "Margaret"

Lyle bought his 32-foot gas-engine lobster-style boat 25 years ago. Apart from a few owner-installed changes, the electrical system was still the original—outdated, undocumented, and very basic.

Lyle had done a fair bit of research. He had a pretty good idea of what he wanted and knew he could do a lot of the work himself. But he wanted to make sure he was doing things properly and safely. "Based on our past electrical usage and projected increases, the new battery bank would be approximately tripled in capacity—a wonderful convenience if handled properly, but a serious safety hazard if the system was poorly designed."

"What I really appreciate about the system Jeff designed," said Lyle, "was its simplicity - not only could I install it, but it is also really simple to operate, diagnose, and maintain."

So Lyle worked collaboratively with Pacific Yacht Systems' Jeff Cote to determine what was needed. "Jeff doesn't take a cookie-cutter approach to a job. He really listened to how we used the boat and made recommendations that were tailored to our needs." Lyle wanted to be able to run more lights at night, sit at anchor longer, and reduce the time spent running the engine for recharging. He also didn't want a lot of "toys".

Jeff designed a system to meet Lyle's needs and provided detailed system diagrams to work from. Then Lyle got busy laying cables and installing components. Once he was done, Jeff came back to hook up the system, label every cable clearly, and test everything to ensure the work was done to design.

For somebody who spends two to three weeks at a time in Desolation Sound and points north, this simplicity is a decided advantage.

"I like the long-term thinking that Jeff brings to his work—he designs to your current wants, but also anticipates future needs. If I want to expand the system in a few years, I'm going to be grateful for Jeff's clear, well-documented design all over again."