Mirasol Liveaboard

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S/V Mirasol is a 2008 Lagoon 420 Diesel Catamaran (hull #126) which we ordered in October of 2007 after spending a few days at the Annapolis Boat Show. We spent months trying to figure out a name for the boat – we came up with Mirasol while we were in Miami in February of ’08 for the boat show. Mirasol is a type of chile pepper and also translates roughly to “in view of the sun”. We decided to call the auto-pilot “Fran├žois” in honor of Mirasol’s delivery captain.


LOA: 41′ 4″
LWL: 40′ 4″
Beam: 24′ 7″
Mast Height above water: 64′ 9″ (plus stuff – VHF & TV Antennas, wind instruments, Tri-color nav light)
Draft: 4′ 2″
Displacement: 26,800 lbs
Engines: 2 x 40hp sail drive diesel


Helm Station

We added E120 Chart plotter and RayMic VHF remote. The E120 was the first big addition to Mirasol and also the first BIG hole Gregg had to cut in her. Needless to say, he did a lot of double checking on the layout of the hole before he started drilling! A SeaTalk Express communications cable is run between this E120 and the E120 at the navigation station inside. This cable allows both units to display chart and radar independently.

We’re also very happy with the RayMic. It’s a great improvement over a handheld VHF radio at the helm. The speaker on the unit is very good and can be heard above the wind and motors without picking it up. We thought we’d need an external speaker, but it’s not needed. One less hole to drill in the boat!

Nav Station

We added an E120 Chart Plotter and SmartController remote control for the autopilot. The extra cost to have a chart plotter at the navigation station proved well worth the investment during the trip down the east coast this winter. We used the split screen mode to display both the chart and the radar. This, along with our wrap-around salon windows, enabled us to stand watch from inside during the worst of the cold and wet weather. It’s also nice to be able to lay in routes without going out to the helm station.

Radar Antenna

We installed the radar just under the spreader supports. The installation required drilling holes for the mount, riveting the mount to the mast and then hoisting and fastening the radar to the mount. Easily accomplished, just very nerve-wracking doing it at 35′ in the air. Gregg’s biggest worry was dropping a tool… or the radar.

Electronics Panel

Here we’ve added the remote control panel for the water maker as well as a Blue Sky IPN Remote display for the solar panel charge controller (lower right).

The IPN Pro Remote is a very handy addition as it gives us detailed information on the charging and load patterns for our 560 AHr battery bank in its various screens. It also allows us to customize the charging process to match our battery size and type. The display that comes standard with the Lagoon 420 doesn’t show charging information and the amperage load it displays does not include loads from the windlass or electric winches. The water maker is showing the countdown to the next fresh water flush of the filters and membrane which helps keep the system from getting fouled during periods of inactivity. Without this flush feature, we’d need to pickle the system any time we stop using it for more than a few days.

Starboard Solar Panels

We installed four Kyocera 135 watt panels. Each can supply up to 7.5 amps.

Port Solar Panels

We ran the wires through the bimini into the traveller track, and down the inside of the aft bimini support posts. We chose to use 10 AWG marine grade wire instead of the wires offered by the manufacturer, which are untinned, and have only 7 strands in the 10 AWG wire. The manufacturer’s wire’s resistance is 4 times the fine-stranded marine grade wire we chose, and would have resulted in at least a 10% power loss over the 60′ round trip cable run on the port panels.

Blue Sky MPPT Charge controller and circuit protection for the solar panels installed by the AC Pump Control Module under the aft starboard berth’s drawer. We used 15 amp fuses in the combiner box (bottom right) for each of the four panels, and a 50 amp thermal magnetic breaker (top right) to isolate the charge controller from the battery bank. The charge controller will put out up to 34 amps on a sunny day with discharged batteries to charge up. It’s an MPPT charge controller, so it converts excess voltage above 14 volts into current. Since the panels are often putting out power at 18 to 20 volts, this means we get about 20 to 25% more current out of the charge controller than the solar panels are capable of producing. It’s like having a 5th solar panel up on the roof. Well worth the extra cost over a traditional charge controller.

The 500 amp shunt used by the Solar Boost’s IPN Pro Remote to monitor current loads. We installed it in series with the main negative cable running to the battery bank so that it would measure all loads and charging activity. Cutting this 2/0 AWG cable was a little intimidating!

While on the subject of electricity, in an effort to reduce power consumption and improve visibility to other boats we installed an LED Tri-Color nav light / anchor light on the top of the mast. This saves us 3 amps when sailing at night and one amp when the anchor light is turned on.

Spectra Newport 400 Mark 2 water maker.

We mounted the water maker in the center hold just forward of the salon bulkhead (right next to the mast support). The boost pump is mounted next to the A/C pump under the forward starboard cabin’s floor. Rather than drill a new through-hull, we installed a T in wash-down pump’s through hull and will install a scoop on the mushroom fitting when we get to the Bahamas. Gregg picked up a little hand powered drill he can use to drill the holes underwater to install the scoop if we need it (should be an interesting project). The manufacturer states that a scoop is required on the through hull fitting for the water maker to work efficiently when underway.

Our latest addition is a shade screen. We had the back screen made in two sections that zipper in the middle. We had one side screen made, but after having it installed, we ordered a second one so we wouldn’t have to move it back and forth between the sides.

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