Monday, May 30, 2011

Guest cabin updated #3 - Storage

For the cabinetry I've built on the boat prior to building the guest cabin, I've used frame and panel construction. The cabinets I've built in the guest cabin are what I would call frame less construction.

There are four bunks in the guest cabin. Each bunk is 6' 6" long with a minimum width of 24". The overall average ceiling height in the cabin is 6' 8". Underneath the lower bunks are two cubby hole frame less storage spaces. Underneath the port side bunk I've added a large drawer, and one more not so large cubby. The 45 gallon gray water holding tank is underneath the starboard lower bunk so no cabinets were able to be built in that space. Between the port and starboard bunks is another cubby on the same elevation as the other lower cubbies. Each set of bunks has a bulkhead. Because of the the standard bunk length and the left over space I had after laying out the bunks, I created a large blanket chest forward of the two lower bunks. The blanket chest is a huge storage space, and all the linens for the cabin will easily fit in this space. All the linens for the rest of the boat could also go in this space. The lid of the blanket chest serves as a step to gain access to the anchor chain locker when one needs to get in to that area. Since I'm using a deck winch, I see the anchor chain locker becoming storage for one thing or another. To both port and starboard of the anchor chain locker, I created four more cubbies that are behind the bulkhead of each of the upper bunks.

For the drawer and not so large cubby, I stuck with the frame construction method. I could have probably made a frame less unit, but the framed method seems to work best for drawers. I've not yet built the drawer, and this will probably be the last major wood working project I will do in the guest cabin.

It seems like a battle is being waged to gain every inch of storage space on the boat. In all honesty, there is a tremendous amount of storage space, and it is kind of fun to develop it. Once I get finished with the cabinetry in the engine room, the salon, the wheel house, the companion way from above , and the lazzerette, I see us having to develop a chart or map to inventory where we store all the "stuff" we are going to stash on board.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Guest Cabin update #2

There are a few things that could be changed in the guest cabin's wood work; some things that I can change, somethings that are not worth changing. One thing that has bothered me and that I was able to change without too much difficulty was the shape of the lower cubby. Just to keep readers oriented, these cubby bins are under the two lower bunks.

The lower center cubby was the first cubby I built, and I was never happy with how it looked, but I pushed on. I had an idea to give the cubby a cover, and I was intending on the cover dropping in to place and being held fast by a wedge screwed on the back of the cover, hence the shape. The more I looked at it the more it bothered me. The shape was wrong, and the wood grain was running the wrong way. With the shape of the drawers, the race track shaped cubbies, and the trapezoid cubby, the room was beginning to look like a pre-school "guess the shape game".

Changing the shape required building another panel. After consulting with the design team, I fired off a memo to the design team and their response was immediate and firm. The design team felt since the length of the new cubby was shorter than the other two cubbies, the design team insisted that us minions here in the fabricating department should use a coffee can to shape the radius corners vs the five gallon bucket we used for the longer cubby. Not any old coffee can mind you, rather we should use the jumbo size favored by large families and insomniacs.

The cubbies are actually pretty large in regard to how much a person could stow in them. The port and starboard cubbies each have a shelf with a two inch fiddle to help keep things in place, and the space goes back under the bunk a good arms length. The cubby is not as convenient as a drawer, but it was a sensible solution to the space needed. The cubbies were also fast and economical to build, and they look damn good from the view of my well equipped, palatial cabin.

I find it easier to move forward once I get the nagging problems off of my plate.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Guest cabin update #1

I've found that one of the problems with my plan is that I really have no plan other than making the boat look like the picture ( for the most part). It seems that every time I get going on finishing a wood project, I have to stop and attend to a metal project I've been blowing off. One of my biggest goals has been to build the boat so I can always easily get back to critical systems for future maintenance. Since I don't want to bury some things behind wood work, I wait until I'm doing the wood work before I finalize some of the metal work decisions.

The bow thruster resides under the sole of the guest cabin in the bow of the boat. Because of the extreme hull shape in the bow and me wanting to get the most space out of this area, I waited until now to install the bow thruster and finalize how the sole interacts with the bow thruster compartment. I'm using a hydraulic thruster ( Key Power Inc. ) and from the start of the build, I knew I wanted the thruster in a water tight compartment so that is what I framed. I cut the hole int the thruster tube to accept the thruster saddle, and once I saw the saddle installed I felt the water tight compartment I had framed was too large for the hydraulic thruster. This are of the boat is where my ballast gets installed so I decided to re work this water tight box and give some of the box area back to it's original purpose of holding ballast. I cut the box lid in half, and welded in a bulkhead to create a bow thruster box alongside the ballast box. This ballast compartment is one of seven ballast compartments ( the bow thruster occupies the eight ballast compartment). I have a gut feeling that the boat is going to trim heavy on the port side, so I decided to put the thruster on the port side and re activate the starboard side ballast compartment.

The boat designer calls for about 5200 lbs of ballast ( increased by 900 lbs due to increased fuel tank size). The cubic footage in my seven compartments is more than enough to accommodate all of my ballast.

I welded a tab on to the bow thruster lid and ballast compartment lid so I could bolt on cleats for attachment points for the sole. I also held the hull liner up off of the sole by 1.25" in this area to allow me to remove the sole in this area to access the bow thruster. This was a tricky part of the boat in regard to having a removable sole, but it did work out nicely. I've been holding all the wood 1/2" off of the sole so I can have a place to tuck the carpet vs having to add base board later.

I'll install the thruster later this summer once I'm back into the mechanical systems mode. All the cutting and welding is finished regarding this area so I re painted the compartments and lids before I screwed down the plywood sole.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kids cabin/guest cabin

I'm well into the finishing the wood work in the guest cabin ( kids cabin ), and I'm feeling good regarding my schedule of having the wood work finished before the end of Spring. Since I do not need to do any welding regarding the pilot house install above this area of the boat, I'm going to go ahead and install the ceiling, doors, and light fixtures before I start a new area on the boat. The pilot house is directly above the master cabin and bathroom, so I have to wait to install those ceilings until after I weld the pilot house to the boat deck.

The guest cabin has four permanent bunks with two being on the port side, and two on the starboard side. The bunks are 24" wide, and 6' 6" long. The framing is steel wrapped in wood with a 3/4" plywood deck. The clearance between the lower and upper bunks after the 4" mattresses are installed will be 23". Each bunk will have it's own reading light. I wired the guest cabin with an AC receptacle along with a coaxial receptacle on the bathroom wall so a TV could be installed. There will be three ceiling light fixtures in the guest cabin that will be controlled by one switch. Each of the reading lights for the bunks will have their own switch. All off the lights on the boat, along with the guest cabin lights, will be LED type fixtures.

Because of the way the bunks had to be installed, I created a divider between the two lower bunks. This is a fairly good sized room in terms of a bunk room on a mid sized yacht, but I am cramming a lot of function into a relatively compact space and I have to pay attention to make sure the occupants have their "own space". The divider walls off about 16" of bunk, and goes a long way towards helping those in the lower bunks feel as if they have some privacy. If I were going to sleep on one of the lower bunks, without the divider, I'd be in a constant state of bad attitude given the closeness. The divider will also serve as a point to locate the ladder that will be needed to access the upper bunks. The divider also ( some more dumb luck) acts as a vent for the blanket chest which in turns will allow ventilation into the bilge. A small fan placed in the open bottom end of the divider has the potential to provide air flow all the way down the bilge to station #9 which is the water tight steel bulkhead of the engine room.

The guest cabin area of the boat is a pretty complex room given the extreme curvature of the hull, the odd shapes I've created, and the obvious challenge of getting so much sleeping and storage area into a tight space. To be honest with you , a 55 footer would have suited us a little better, but that was not in the budget. The maximized space of the bunk room works well in my opinion now that I created the guest cabin dressing room. These two rooms compliment each other extremely well and one room now relies upon the other. With the future installations of bunk curtains, privacy, might be a little easier by all on our little trawler yacht.

This room is going to take a few posts to work through, so being the creative guy that I am, I decided to start at the beginning. Breaking the bunk room down to a basic level, the room is sheathed with 1/2" birch plywood, then all the bunks and cabinetry are being built out of the air dried Cherry.

We will be using a deck winch to handle our anchor gear, so the huge anchor chain locker in the guest cabin will not be used for the anchor chain. I'm acting like the locker will be used for anchor chain ( possible future use), so I installed the drain in the bottom of the locker along with the water tight door I fabricated. The water tight door kind of ruins the ambiance of the wood work, so I built a wood door to cover the steel door. The wood door is held in place by a wedge and some Velcro, and takes about two seconds to remove. One heavy duty door dog along with a heavy 1 1/2" rubber gasket is what creates the seal for the steel door. The door dog came from the water tight door I cut down in order to make a door for the rear of the engine room.