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Old 13-03-2018, 12:18   #1
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Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

I recently read online about a couple that purchased a 4 berth/4 head previous charter catamaran... and were planning on an extensive remodel of the heads from 4 to 2.

Their plan was to remodel a head within each hull and make it a shower only.

I have searched the forum here and did not find any previous posts...
(perhaps I did not use the correct keywords to search?)

In any case, I am curious if anyone has done this.

Most sites state that owners version costs about 25% higher than charter version. So in the end, it may or maynot be worth the time, money, effort...

But my question is to anybody who has done this or seen it?

Please don't hijack the thread and spin it into some other debate. If you have no experience either completing this project or been on a boat that has had this done... then please don't post. (sorry I just want the thread to stay on topic and not drift into some other topic).

It just struck me as a somewhat intriguing idea to convert a head in each hull to a dedicated shower (and thus get rid of the wet bath concept).

BTW brand of boat is irrelevant to me... I am just curious about the pros and cons for those that have done this.

Any takers?
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Old 13-03-2018, 12:44   #2
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

On any boat you can remove the physical head. What you may find problematic is that the sink, head base, holding tank, etc. have all been contoured into custom fiberglass panels, so that "removing" them and truly regaining all of the space may mean cutting up some panels and doing some carpentry work. Or, installing new shower surrounds that you have modified.

How feasible that is, depends on exactly how that boat is built, and your skills or budget. If the boat was still in production, it is remotely possible that the factory could sell you new panels. Either way, would just having two extra showers really improve the boat? And would you have a Frankenboat when it came to resale time, i.e. a boat with 4 showers but only 2 heads? Something to consider.
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Old 13-03-2018, 13:50   #3
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

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........... And would you have a Frankenboat when it came to resale time, i.e. a boat with 4 showers but only 2 heads? Something to consider.
I guess OP means one former room as just *chair"/sink and the other former room same hull just shower,! I guess
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Old 13-03-2018, 14:04   #4
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

My bad...

They are converting 4 heads to 2 heads by combining the two heads in each hull into one large head.

Similar to what you find in an owners version hull.

Obviously a lot of fiberglass and refit/redesign. Again not sure it is worth it, but was curious if anyone had ever done it.
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Old 13-03-2018, 14:09   #5
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

Well, it's all about the boat and how it's built. But I wouldnt think removing two heads and then using that space as a separate shower would be too difficult! You've been hijacked.
Even if you found someone who did it, unless it was your specific boat it may mean nothing. Some key questions:
-does the head to be modded have shower facilities and drain now?
-Is the toilet just an unbolt and remove?
-Can you use the toilet mounting platform in another way ?
-etc.
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Old 13-03-2018, 14:13   #6
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

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Originally Posted by Gr8Jeepin View Post
My bad...

They are converting 4 heads to 2 heads by combining the two heads in each hull into one large head.

Similar to what you find in an owners version hull.

Obviously a lot of fiberglass and refit/redesign. Again not sure it is worth it, but was curious if anyone had ever done it.
Got it. But thing is IF separation between two former heads has structural function. If it has, you are bound likely to keep 2 separated rooms, even if they are different by use (and removal of redundant gear) which to me seems the easier and most cost effective conversion. And very convenient indeed!

On the other hand, owners hull does not have the separation between 2 heads, so the structural function it might have should be possibly achieved with an after removal workaround. At a cost.

Feel hijacked i guess!
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Old 13-03-2018, 14:22   #7
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

HEY! A fellow Kansas City sailor!

My boat was built this way from the factory. It's an owners version, but instead of the usual very large head that occupies what would be the forward cabin, I have a single mid-ship head on starboard. The head is about 3/4 the size of the two heads on the port side, and pushed a little forward. The forward "cabin" is simply a storage room with shelves. It's nice to ooh and aah over the huge head in most owner's versions, but how much time do you really plan on spending in that room? We like having less head to clean and more storage for tools and spares and "stuff".
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Old 13-03-2018, 15:33   #8
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

This idea is something we discussed and investigated at great length. An owners version was too expensive and we wanted a separate shower. We ultimately went with a large mono and are still very happy. The problem we found on the charter cats was, just like a few others have pointed out, everything is built in and part of the boat. Very hard to remove modify etc. we finally concentrated only on the few models that had separate showers. Trust me the list is not very long. Lagoon 410 Sunsail 382, at least those were the only ones we could find. In any case the lagoons and leopards have pretty flat floor so you could remove the head make a nice teak floor and voila separate shower.
Good luck!
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Old 13-03-2018, 15:58   #9
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

It looks like these folks are doing exactly what you are asking about.

https://youtu.be/-1ewgcZ-Syg
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Old 14-03-2018, 08:21   #10
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

big open spaces on boats look great at the dock, but are dangerous if you are sailing much. Consider how you will use the boat.

If you are going cruising and passagemaking then having small spaces, narrow companionways, lots of handholds are good. believe me, people fall down while sailing and break various bones leading to an early abandonment of cruising dreams and possible loss of vessel.

delivering FP catamarans with owner version giant head forward - a huge space to fall down, no handholds, slippery FRP everything. the shower space is large enough for 4 people (bad design) so you will fall while trying to shower in a passage.

delivering Bali charter model with 4 heads, all with nice shower stall and tiny head - much safer but all of the shower enclosure doors had fallen off their hanger hardware within 24 hours. we had to re-torque the doors daily.

consider your specific use. there's no perfect boat.
storage space is really nice to have. giant wide open decks and salons look nice but are just more empty floor space to clean and fall in unless you are strictly day-sailing or chartering to huge groups of people for very short sailing adventures. then the wide open spaces are awesome for parties (and someone else to clean : } )
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Old 14-03-2018, 08:35   #11
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pirate Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

In my ex charter Bene 51.4 after converting the two forward cabins to a single king size stateroom, I was left with two heads forward. Sooo I converted one to my fishing rod and portable fuel can storage with not much hullabaloo. Works great for me. Ernie on the Mary Jane
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Old 14-03-2018, 09:01   #12
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

It will depend a lot on the particular cat. When we sold our Voyage 430 charter version and purchased a new owners version, the new owners converted the two side by side heads on the starboard side. They removed the bulkhead (nonstructural) between the two heads, removed the toilet from the forward head and converted that to a large shower. I think they just used a shower curtain where the removed bulkhead was located. You could use either of the two original doors to access the new larger head. I think anyone with a bit of fiberglass experience could tackle it.
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Old 14-03-2018, 09:11   #13
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

Finally a thread I can contribute to!

We have a 2005 Leopard 43 charter version that we're currently remodeling. One of the goals was to convert two heads in one hull into a single, large, usable head.

As others have mentioned, each design is unique and poses unique challenges. One other response discussed the value of having small spaces for the head while underway. I completely agree but we're going to be living on our boat for a few years and we have two very compact heads in the other hull we can use while underway. I'm all for having a large shower with lots of elbow room when you are anchored.

Our original idea was to knock out the wall between the two heads and make one large head. To get the most space we were going to remove the holding tank from that hull (tank is mounted high up between the two heads on the outboard wall of the heads) and use a composting toilet. By doing this we could eliminate the holding tank (lots of space) and the thru-hull that drains the holding tank which also takes up space. We also decided to remove the sink drain thru-hulls and have the one sink we'll keep drain into the shower sump pump. So far we've removed three thru-hulls which seems like a good idea in general. We're also eliminating all the hoses used by the toilets and holding tank. The plumbing on our boat is pretty simple but those hoses take up a lot of space.

We started exploring how to remove the wall that separates the heads. In an owners version there is no wall so the assumption is that it's not structural. We did discover that the fuel filler hose and fuel vent hose are routed through that wall. This was disappointing and became the "final roadblock". We could relocate the hoses but we also realized that once the wall was removed the head was still probably too narrow to allow the toilet to be anywhere but against the aft wall. Relocating the fuel hose and vent seems like a big job and without a huge payoff.

The alternative we decided to go with is to keep the wall between the heads. We're cutting out the fiberglass liner in both heads that is on the outboard wall. It has the molded in sinks, counter tops, vanities, and space for the holding tank and hoses. We're then going to build a new liner, countertop and vanity in the forward head. With the holding tank, hoses and thru-hulls removed we've regained a lot of space in both the forward head and what will be the aft dedicated shower.

If I had unlimited time I'd probably remove the wall between the heads but we're also gutting the bridge deck area and that's where most of our energy and time is focused.

We're doing 90% of the work ourselves so the cost is actually pretty low. We did get a quote for having the work done by a reputable boat yard and they wanted about $50K remove the wall between the heads and make one large head. That was way out of our budget.

For those who say "just buy an owner's version"... When we were shopping there was only one owner's version on the market and it was $100K over the charter version. It was out of our budget.
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Old 14-03-2018, 11:12   #14
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Re: Convert charter to owners version? 4 head to 2 head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr8Jeepin View Post
My bad...

They are converting 4 heads to 2 heads by combining the two heads in each hull into one large head.

Similar to what you find in an owners version hull.

Obviously a lot of fiberglass and refit/redesign. Again not sure it is worth it, but was curious if anyone had ever done it.
While in Miami recently I toured a Cat, I believe it was a Leopard 44, with Larry Shaffer of Just Catamarans. The owner was having JustCats convert the starboard hull from 2 cabins, 2 heads to an owner's version 1 cabin, 1 big head. Larry explained that it's not really that complicated as the hull design from the factory is set up to go either way so it's just a matter of removing panels, fixtures and furniture and re-installing what you want. The estimate he gave me for them to do the work was about US$25,000.
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