Int Drifter commented on the switch panel access to the BB42, since I have first hand experience I can give you a bit more insight. The access is through the wardrobe (hanging locker) in the aft port cabin, the back of the wardrobe has another door that opens to give access to the space at the rear of the switch panel. Firstly it may be a bit of pain to empty a wardrobe to gain panel access but clothes will almost all be on hangers and can easily be lifted out in one go (probably much easier than having to strip a bunk for engine
Once the wardrobe is empty and the internal door open it is relatively easy to get into the void. This void is the space between the helm
moulding and the saloon
bulkhead and is a large enough space to stand up and turn around in (I am 6ft and 15st). The void gives good access to the rear of the main switch panel and all the radio
, and nav gear
that may be installed at the chart table, it also gives access to all the helm
mounted instruments, plotter, steering
etc. Practically all the wiring
is terminated at DIN rail terminals that are marked to match the wiring
diagram. AC nad DC terminals are separated to individual din rails. All in all I think the access and space are perfectly adequate and far better than the majority of boats.
One downside of the wiring installation
is the routing of the main battery cables
to the domestic isolator, windlass
breaker and electric winch
breaker - these are located behind a panel in the port hull passageway behind the chart table. Access to the terminal fixings on these items seems to be all but impossible without dismantling some of the furniture - not good for high current
switches, loose terminals will cause major problems and I would like to be able to check the terminals for integrity on a regular basis. Another minor issue is that BB do not fit a strip light in this void - easily rectified though because all the terminals are there!!!
There is also plenty of spare space in the void for installation
of additional equipment
. We have fitted an inverter
and transformer as well as a high current
fuse box, these are on the bulkhead beneath the helm seat (all part of the same void). Wiring is all in bonded in conduit and adding more wires is pretty easy since BB leave draw cords in all conduits.
No doubt some boats will make the access easier to the switch panel, but then you may have difficulty accessing other systems on these boats. The BB solution may not be perfect for everyone but it is a pretty good compromise.
Ventilation on the BB42 is not very good in my experience. (I think it has been improved a bit since our boat was built). The fixed ventilation is poor with only one vent under the chart table. Cabin hatches open onto the side decks but are hinged at the front not the rear so air is not blown through the hatches at anchor
. The two central saloon
windows open outwards which is good but this does not help much in ventilating the hull accommodation. Condensation
can be a problem, especially with all the single
glazed Glass windows - efficient heating
is a must in colder climes and improved ventilation almost essential in the tropics I would think.