Bryttne, May I offer some suggestions? Before hiring a carpenter
, you need to plan all the things that the carpentry will cover up, first. For example, first decide what habitation needs you will have. How many beds (sea berths and harbor berths) for how many people you choose to have accompany you on overnight, or longer, passages. Then, ask yourself what degree of comfort you need. Will you have a main salon
capable of entertaining a number of people, or would the space be better used for storage
space, a workshop, more storage
, larger and more luxurious shower
accomodations, etc.? Will you be carrying a variety of watercraft (inflateable boat, sailing dinghy
, windsurfer, surfboard, etc.? Those things require space inside the boat for storage of accessories and spare parts
Once you've got a general idea of the use of space, then start making a wish list of the equipment
you wish to fulfill those needs. How big a refrigerator
, how sophisticated an electronic navigation
system, or computer system, or entertainment needs such as stereo, tv, etc. How many toilets and bathing facilities? How accessible do you need the engine
and other systems to be?
The next stage is to consider the infrastructure needed to support all of those needs. For example, how much water
will you carry, how much fuel
, gasoline for the outboards? How much electricity will you use in a three day period, and how will you recharge the batteries in that period? That establishes how many batteries you will need to carry, how many circuits you will need to plan on installing, how much wire (and what size they will be) will be needed to turn on the lights, etc. Will you have both electrical
and manual backups for water
pumps? Non-electric lights? How large the holding tanks
will need to be. All of these things get covered up with pretty pieces of wood, but they generally go in first, or else things get very expensive and challenging.
Not all of the decisions need to be made immediatly, but they need to be lingering in the back of your mind whenever you start dreaming about a nice galley
, an efficient chart area, a safe and comfortable toilet that can be used when the ocean is not treating you nicely.
Dream a lot. Imagine the good times and the bad, and how they will affect your use of space. Consider how you will access each item and system in order to fix them when (not if) they break. Where will you store the tools and materials (and manuals) to repair things? How easy will it be to clean up vomit, mud, broken glass and seawater from every conceivable space, from the bilge
to the overhead?
Will you have space for backup systems such as spare anchors and rode
? How will people get aboard in good weather
and bad? How will people stay relatively warm and dry when waves are crashing over the bow, or stern?
I think that if you plan from the needs you have, the interior design will become self-evident. Trust yourself, and read the stories of those who have actually gone cruising. Figure out your own solutions, then discuss them with folks who actually know what they are talking about. Mistrust those who offer you advice such as mine, at least as far as questioning their motives, your own needs, and what your dreams demand. Learn how to use a spreadsheet program to keep track of electrical
planning, inventories of supplies and resources. Make a very good drawing of the outline of the hull
, make many copies and draw lots of possible configurations.