Rhapsody - the boat

Rhapsody is a 1993 Beneteau 510, hull number 243

LOA 50'3""
LWL 44'6"
Beam 15'7"
Draft 6'0"
Disp 32900 lbs
Net 40000 lbs
Engine 82 hp diesel
Fuel 100 gals original
Water 260 gals
Holding 3x12 gals

This is one big loaded boat. I don't even know where to start. Lets start with big.

4 bedrooms 3 baths.

32000 lbs

She's almost 16 feet wide by 51 feet long ... tho she draws only 6' of water.

Stepping down into the cabin, to either side aft are two double cabins, each with a hanging closet and an ensuite bathroom. To port is the dining salon which seats 4-6 adults and features storage behind and around. To starboard is the separate, forward facing Nav station, and in front of that, the huge galley which includes a three burner range, a front loading refridgerator, and a separate top loading freezer. There are many large deep cabinets in the galley and all cabinets on the boat come with secure sea-latches. Forward of the salon is the master suite with a centerline queen berth and desks and closets on each side. The master ensuite head has a separate shower area.

Note that these photos were taken when I first bought the boat. There have been many improvments to Rhapsody, notably, I replaced all the upholstery. Please see the Improvements Page for updated photographs!

As if that wasn't enough, totally separated from this whole interior by a water tight bulkhead (forward of the master suite) is a completely separate "crew" cabin which includes two single bunks, a closet and shelving. Tho this cabin can be said to sleep two, it is generally used for sail and utility storage, and is large enough to bring, I dunno, a drumset (?), a PA. and a keyboard lol. Forward of that is the chain locker and electric windlass bringing her up full to her 51' foot length. As far as other deck storage, there are also two very large lazerettes in the cockpit, as well as 3 or 4 good sized ones there and on the swim step.

As far as loaded, she came with a lot of very high quality equipment for cruising.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Brand New 8KW Fischer Panda Generator
  • Brand New Refridgeration
  • Brand New Village Marine 200 gpd Watermaker
  • Brand New Raymarine Radar and Chartplotter
  • Furuno SSB (Shortwave) Transciever
  • Handheld and Nav Station VHF with helm repeater
  • 120W Solar Panel and controller
  • Wind Generator
  • 1000 AH House Battery Bank (10 Golf Cart Batteries)
  • Autohelm 7000 Autopilot
  • Furling Main Sail
  • Furling 130% Genoa
  • Additional Stays and Storm Sail
  • Additional 100% Jib
  • Cruising Gennaker
  • Anchor Riding Sail
  • Electric Anchor Windlass with Helm Controls
  • Hydrostatically Mounted Offshore 6 Person Life Raft
  • Hydrostatically Mounted 406 EPIRB with GPS
  • Dodger and Bimini
  • Newer Rebuilt Engine
  • Deck Washdown Pump
  • Transom Swim Step

She has full air conditioning (three separate units for the master, salon, and back cabins), which I felt was necessary for the plan of summering over in the tropics. The air conditioning can be run at the dock (using "shore" power), or away from the dock using the Genset for power. The 8KW diesel Genset is brand new, installed in June of 2006, and is one of the highest quality brands made, Fischer Panda, which also happens to be among the quietest, and supplies plenty of power for the air conditioning or any other needs on the boat. The front loading refridgerator and top loading freezer also have brand new compressors and plates (November 2006).

Another thing I felt was important was a watermaker. The ability to produce drinking water on the boat means I wont be as likely to suffer "Montezumas Revenge" as I travel thru Mexico and Central America. Rhapsody came with a brand new, top quality, Village Marine watermaker. The previous owner just purchased it and installed in June of 2006. At about 8 gallons per hour, it should supply all my needs, allowing for plenty of potable drinking water and showers every other day (instead of once a week, yech!).

She came with a host of electronics, most of which are very expensive, top-of-the-line units.

The chartplotters and radar are very recent top of the line "E-Series" units from Raymarine. These displays allow you to overlay the radar and electronic chart (with your gps position, of course) onto a single display, and much more. The displays can also integrate other instrumentation including wind speed & direction, depth and fishfinders, and can even be networked to display other inputs like dvd players, computers, or remote cameras. There is one display at the helm (starboard) and another display at the nav station, which is really really handy so you can see what is going on in either place. The output of these can also be routed to be displayed on either of the two flat screen TV's that came with Rhapsody (one in the salon and one in the master cabin).

As far as communications, in addition to the usual VHF radios (one handheld, and one mounted at nav station with a repeater at the helm), Rhapsody came with a Furuno Single Sideband Shortwave Radio and Antenna (insulated backstay). These radios are a necessity for cruising, as VHF is only good for 20 miles or so, whereas the shortwave allows communications around the world. The SSB also allows for limited data communications (downloading weather charts) and email which will be very important on the trip. Rhapsody also came with a dedicated "WeatherFax" unit which duplicates the SSB-weather functionality, printing to thermal paper, but it's an old unit and I may remove it from the boat.

Rounding out the electrical system, Rhapsody came with a newer 120W solar panel and controller, a brand new Wind Generator (still in the box, it was never installed), and a huge battery bank consisting of ten golf cart batteries. Although the actual batteries will need to be replaced, having the storage and wiring in place for all those batteries, about 1000 amp hours, along with the alternative supply sources, means that I will always have enough energy to run the refrigerator, watermaker, radios, lights, and so on.

Regarding her sails, she has an in-mast furling system for the main sail, and a roller furled 130% genoa on the headstay. She is also rigged with an inner stay, running backstays, and a storm sail for really heavy weather. This inner stay may be able to be used as a cutter rig (to fly two head sails at the same time). There was also a 100% jib and a "gennaker" sail included in Rhapsody's inventory when we purchased her. Heck, she even came with an "anchor riding sail", which is a little sail, about as big as a table cloth, that you fly off of the backstay to orient the boat into the wind while at anchor!

Did I mention the Autopilot? Oh. She also came with an Autohelm 7000 Sutopilot. This hydraulic unit is much heavier duty, and yet quieter, than the one I had on Mandala. There are dual controllers at the helm and the Nav Station, so that's good, and I'm pretty sure the system can be integrated into the chartplotter, if it is not already, if I ever wanted to. That would, ahem, allow Rhapsody to follow a fully programmed course if so desired :-) ...

As far as safety, Rhapsody came with a number of fairly expensive safety features when I got her, especially including a nearly new off-shore Life Raft and top of the line EPIRB (satellite beacon), which were both purchased in 2005, and are both "hydrostatically mounted" so that they automatically deploy if the boat should sink suddenly and catastrophically. Of course, I hope that never happens, but it's nice to know they're there if you need them.

Finally she comes with a bimini and dodger, and the usual assortment of ground tackle (anchors and what not). There is a deck washdown pump in the anchor locker (nice for washing the anchor mud off as you weigh), and, uhm, the engine is in really good shape. It was essentially new in 2002, when the previous owner had a full longblock remanufactures Perkins installed. It runs like a top, very smooth and quiet, and is not the least of the reasons that I liked Rhapsdody so much.

I also like the rear boarding transom swim step. Makes diving off the boat into clear warm tropical waters that much easier :-)

Of course, I'm still learning about and getting to know Rhapsody. Even just figuring out what features she has, and how to use them, will take a bunch of time. Fortunately, she had a good set of surveys, before Ie purchased her, to help me along in my understanding. And already, of course, I'm planning a number of improvements to her, but this is pretty much how Rhapsody came.

If you'd like, you can find out more about what I've learned about Rhapsody before buying her, and what I plan to do to her, in the way of improvements, by clicking on the links below.

Haulout and Survey ...

Improvments to Rhapsody ...