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Old 21-03-2015, 17:31   #91
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Originally Posted by Hugh Howey View Post
I'm guessing I would take the flush hatches. Luckily, I don't have to decide.
Unless, of course, you choose NO topside hatches and NOTHING to trip over - instead with side opening ports and windows that don't admit any rain when at rest.

Dave
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Old 22-03-2015, 05:42   #92
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

I have 8 raised hatches per pontoon and never trip on them. Sometimes a guest might stub one but they learn quickly. Can't imagine not having hatches for airflow.


Hugh,
I'm modifying my 13' AB aluminum this summer to have a jockey console and 40hp Yamaha. Was going to do the exact same thing with the prop pitch. It's been interesting reading your thought process on the boat because it matches mine so closely. Thanks for all your efforts.
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Old 22-03-2015, 06:36   #93
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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I have 8 raised hatches per pontoon and never trip on them. Sometimes a guest might stub one but they learn quickly. Can't imagine not having hatches for airflow.


Hugh,
I'm modifying my 13' AB aluminum this summer to have a jockey console and 40hp Yamaha. Was going to do the exact same thing with the prop pitch. It's been interesting reading your thought process on the boat because it matches mine so closely. Thanks for all your efforts.
Nice! I was going to reply with "Great minds think alike," but I have a feeling idiots get very similar ideas.

Let me know how the re-propping goes and what prop you choose, if you don't mind. I'm going to take some notes on the stock prop and then the reduced pitch prop, and I'll share what I find. Probably won't be until closer to the boat show that I get that done.

Also: I'm with you on the hatches. Never tripped over one, and don't know that I could live without them. I don't like using AC (didn't have any AC on my monohull, and spent a summer in the Bahamas on the boat and several in Florida). I like having my hatches open. I'm working on an idea for hatch covers that allow them to stay open in the rain. Will share when I get something made.

And I know the St. Francis isn't the only boat that uses them, but all their hatches have these screen/cover combos that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. The screen slides out from one direction, and the cover from another. Works so great. Every boat should have them.
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Old 22-03-2015, 06:51   #94
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

I use Breeze Boosters with a screen that flops over the whole scoop. It works great, even for light rain.


I probably don't need to tell you this but the difference between a 30 and 40hp motor is two people. We currently have a 30hp and it will get about 800 lbs up on plane consistently, sometimes 900. But if you take 4 large guys with all the dive gear and put it in, we struggle to get on plane.
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Old 22-03-2015, 07:04   #95
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St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

I'd kind of compare Hugh's buying experience and mine with an iPhone and android customers some people want the ability to tweak and modify and don't want an out of the box unit they can't do anything with except press the on button. I'm definitely in the other (iPhone) category and apart from selecting the preferences from the standard lagoon order template, you get what you get.
This suited me as my cruising experience was and still is much less than Hugh's. I did work for a couple of years building high tech 60' racing yachts, so I know how boats should be put together, but it's only from experience on the water you decide what you really want, which can change over time.
I ordered our first lagoon (380) without spending any time aboard one except 5 mins at the La Rochelle boat show. No crawling around and checking under floors or systems analysis. A quick look on the other cats at the show confirmed it would do the job, we liked the layout, they had been building them long enough to sort out the bugs etc.
After a couple of years on that boat we sold and ordered a L400, which we also hadn't spent any time on except having visited friends on one for 10 minutes 6 months prior for the same reasons. We've been perfectly happy with both choices, coming up to 1 yr full time on the 400. There's nothing I would substantially change on either boat and the only aftermarket things we added to both boats were solar/batteries and WM so we can stay off the grid.
Performance is relative to length/size/space and $ and were happy with our selection in regards to those values.
Flush or raised hatches, we had raised on the 380 and they're flush on the 400. I preferred the look and perceived functionality of the flush, but in reality there's no substantial difference. I don't remember ever accidentally stubbing my toe on the raised hatch and I don't think I've ever stepped on the flush hatch. The mid hatch vent probably makes you avoid stepping there as well.

As a wise man once said

'What I realized at the end of a long hunt for the perfect boat is that there are many boats I'd be happy to own. And rather than let this feeling paralyze me, it freed me to make a choice with zero regrets.' ~ Hugh Howey
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Old 22-03-2015, 07:25   #96
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

In mild defense of no topside deck hatches, this doesn't mean no ventilation. In my case we get plenty of ventilation from the forward inboard escape hatches and large opening outboard windows - and they can be left open in anything other than a driving rain. Having no AC, this is a real bonus. Just imagine not needing to jump out of bed to close hatches every night when that brief tropical shower arrives! But I can see the benefit of deck hatches for boats frequently tied up in marinas when natural air flow from being oriented to the wind at anchor isn't likely.

I'm not as sure footed as the rest of you guys. I tore up my toes really badly on a deck hatch on a charter cat years ago. Of course it wasn't my boat that I might otherwise have come to know better. Nonetheless, that event was the genesis of one of my boat rules: everyone wears shoes when we're underway.

Dave
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Old 22-03-2015, 07:41   #97
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Shoes! Mutiny!

Hugh, I'm enjoying reading your site updates and design ideas. Regarding the sup storage, I'm of the same mind. I hate having anything stored on deck and especially on the life lines. Our solution was inflatable sup and kayak, which works well for us. The sup lives on the davits above the dinghy and lashes down there pretty neatly when underway. Longer passages it can be deflated and stowed In a forward locker. The only real downside is performance which is probably outweighed by carrying capacity and stability anyway. We can have 3 on our 9' inflatable and paddle around pretty easily. To windward it's slower for sure but we get the same exercise in half the distance I have a shorter surfboard in the foreword locker for real surf.
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That's our solution and I appreciate yours and the thought you are putting into the design of it. I like the starboard side and I think the extended step will be better anyway. The port side in the galley, did you consider just raising the bench 6 inches where it needs, or in fact raising the whole bench, which may be better depending on your height. If you just raised the bench in the area needed, you would still have the space on top for dishes, drying rack or pot plant etc, so no lost space so long as it doesn't encroach on the sink. My reasoning is I prefer the squared oven style to the angled. Angled always has a lot of wasted space behind and beside the oven, as well as lost benchtop space, and I prefer squared asceticly.
Here's a pic of the older L400 with angled oven, and the newer version with squared as an example to give you an idea of the two layout options.
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Old 22-03-2015, 08:14   #98
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
In mild defense of no topside deck hatches, this doesn't mean no ventilation. In my case we get plenty of ventilation from the forward inboard escape hatches and large opening outboard windows - and they can be left open in anything other than a driving rain. Having no AC, this is a real bonus. Just imagine not needing to jump out of bed to close hatches every night when that brief tropical shower arrives! But I can see the benefit of deck hatches for boats frequently tied up in marinas when natural air flow from being oriented to the wind at anchor isn't likely.

I'm not as sure footed as the rest of you guys. I tore up my toes really badly on a deck hatch on a charter cat years ago. Of course it wasn't my boat that I might otherwise have come to know better. Nonetheless, that event was the genesis of one of my boat rules: everyone wears shoes when we're underway.

Dave
It's funny how opposite we are. We almost never open hatches when on a dock because typically your not facing into the wind. We also never open our escape hatchs - ever - because of the risk someone may leave it open when getting underway (and we don't need to). And the only time crew wears shoes underway is in the unlikely need to go up the mast or they have serious foot issues. Then they have to commit to not ever wearing those shoes shoreside. And really, we seldom actually open our port's because we don't need to and one time someone left one open when underway causing a lot of water to ingress right onto their bed. Berth's without hatches must be really dark.


Here's a picture of our dingy, kayak, and kiteboard storage. Also max occupancy of our dingy - 13 people plus one infant - with life jacket of course.
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Old 22-03-2015, 08:38   #99
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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It's funny how opposite we are.
Roger that. How boring the world would be if everyone - and every boat - was the same.

I presume you have AC and a generator aboard? We have neither and don't need them. I do temporarily install a household window AC unit when we come home from cruise and work on the boat tied up or hauled.

My recollection of the FP escape hatches is that they aren't of much use except when you need to "escape". Ours are far forward, pretty high off the water, and "face" forward, making them excellent wind scoops. In fact, some of our visitors don't realize they're escape hatches - "Wow, what a good idea to have a built-in wind scoop!" They seem just to be another set of hatches that are intended to be routinely open when not underway. And just like any other hatch or port that gets open at anchor, close them all before getting underway - either before or after you put on your shoes.....

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Old 22-03-2015, 09:34   #100
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Shoes! Mutiny!

The port side in the galley, did you consider just raising the bench 6 inches where it needs, or in fact raising the whole bench, which may be better depending on your height. If you just raised the bench in the area needed, you would still have the space on top for dishes, drying rack or pot plant etc, so no lost space so long as it doesn't encroach on the sink. My reasoning is I prefer the squared oven style to the angled. Angled always has a lot of wasted space behind and beside the oven, as well as lost benchtop space, and I prefer squared asceticly.
Here's a pic of the older L400 with angled oven, and the newer version with squared as an example to give you an idea of the two layout options.
Whoa. Brilliant. I love this. We may have to try this in the galley.

What they like to do at St. Francis is have you visit the yard when the hull and deck are joined, and then build the furniture out with cardboard. That way, you can move things around, see how the space flows, make any changes while you stand in the mock-up rather than look at renders, and then they build the interior according to that cardboard mock-up.

So we will really be able to play around with options in there. It's easy to fall into the trap of modifying a previous design rather than do what you're suggesting, which is rethink the entire space based on the constraints caused by the paddleboard. Thanks for breaking me out of that space.
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Old 22-03-2015, 16:11   #101
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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. Many of the options don't cost a thing. Since the furniture is hand-built, rather than popped out of molds, you can travel to the yard in St. Francis Bay, South Africa and lay the boat out how you choose at no extra charge.




Looking at your design, I notice you are having extra freezer storage in the port hull.. I noticed another SF50 had opted to have a "workbench" with a flip over lid to contain a vice.. not mechanically minded myself but I liked the idea, especially because it flipped over, any work that marked the top would be immediately hidden once it was flipped back..
Anyway, I never noticed anything like this on yours... and wondered.. if the freezers were the drawer type there would still be enough space above to make storage for tools and a flip over worktop/vice setup... not trying to complicate things.. just an idea (of course it depends just how much freezer space you think you'll need... )
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Old 22-03-2015, 16:24   #102
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Looking at your design, I notice you are having extra freezer storage in the port hull.. I noticed another SF50 had opted to have a "workbench" with a flip over lid to contain a vice.. not mechanically minded myself but I liked the idea, especially because it flipped over, any work that marked the top would be immediately hidden once it was flipped back..
Anyway, I never noticed anything like this on yours... and wondered.. if the freezers were the drawer type there would still be enough space above to make storage for tools and a flip over worktop/vice setup... not trying to complicate things.. just an idea (of course it depends just how much freezer space you think you'll need... )
That drop-in freezer is the only freezer onboard. The galley has two refrigerator drawers. I won't be using the fridge in the cockpit much at all.

Across from the freezer, there's a pantry that's intended for food storage. There's already so much food storage, that I'm going to use that area for tools, spares, and a workbench. I'll have a vise on that counter and use it for little projects. For bigger projects, where you have to sit down and disassemble a pump or take apart a laptop or something like that, I'll do it in the cockpit.

I developed this habit on a 74' Sunseeker that I lived on and ran for a year. We had a padded cover that fit the table in the cockpit, to protect it while underway or while the owner wasn't onboard. I would do projects on that cover, since it could get greasy, and the padding protected the table. So that'll be my big-project workbench. But across from that freezer, I'll have a dedicated place for tools and small projects (loosening a fitting or running a tap or die).

I'm hoping I can convince St. Francis to put in a rack of drawers there lined with felt, so my wrenches and sockets and what-not can be near to hand. That would be dreamy. And having the weight of the tools and spares centerline and down low makes me happy.
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Old 22-03-2015, 17:14   #103
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Yeah a vice to me means iron fillings, sawdust etc. not the sort of mess I'd like to clean up down below. A portable one you can mount outside would seem more practical. I was going to suggest on the railing but that would probably prove disastrous.
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Old 22-03-2015, 18:22   #104
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Hugh,

A thought about squaring off the cockpit settee- I'm writing this as I'm sitting in my favorite seat on my older Leopard 45'...my favorite seat has about an 8' radius, so it's not a long radius, but not quite square, either. The reason it's my favorite seat is that I'm braced from two sides. I'm able to rest my elbows on both sides, too ( along with my beer in easy reach on one side). If it was a 90 degree angle I wouldn't be able to really rest in the sharp corner.

D
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Old 22-03-2015, 19:48   #105
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Hugh,

A thought about squaring off the cockpit settee- I'm writing this as I'm sitting in my favorite seat on my older Leopard 45'...my favorite seat has about an 8' radius, so it's not a long radius, but not quite square, either. The reason it's my favorite seat is that I'm braced from two sides. I'm able to rest my elbows on both sides, too ( along with my beer in easy reach on one side). If it was a 90 degree angle I wouldn't be able to really rest in the sharp corner.

D
Sounds lovely.

I'm more of a lounger than a sitter. I do all my writing with my feet kicked back, my laptop on my lap, my fingers on the keys. On my monohull, I glassed the entire cockpit over. Left a long opening hatch behind the binnacle so I could get in the space and store lines, fenders, etc. But it left a flat deck for kicking back. Been sitting like that on boats ever since.

Two weeks on a St. Francis 50, plus all the time at several boat shows, and the biggest fault for me personally was no place to lounge. All the curved seating made it impossible to kick my feet up and rest my back against something. Hard to explain without a photo of me trying it. My solution was going to have enough throw pillows there to form a backrest. But seriously, two weeks on a friend's Fountaine Pajot, and I almost bought one of those cats just because of how comfortable the cockpit was for me. That's where I'm going to spend 4 or more hours a day, writing.

But I promise you this: You ever visit me on my boat, we'll find someplace to make you comfortable. I'll arrange those throw pillows on either side of you and even hold your beer. Promise.
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