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Old 07-09-2010, 17:01   #1
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Custom Interior

Okay, so we've seen many horror stories as well as seen the horrifying pictures that accompany for sale listings. (Oh, the HORROR!)

What's so horrible? The insides. The guts, the heart and soul of the sanctum that is a living/working space aboard a cruiser.

Two questions, and I'm sure there are more options than what we can think of.


1- I imagine it would take a bit of work to refit a cruiser interior, but I'm not sure as to what methods are used in the existing attached fixtures in your typical boat. (Then again, it's probably as varied as there are boat designs.)

How easy is it to strip out and refit the interior of a monohull, ranging in the 30-40' range?

2- The other option is, how readily can a potential buyer find a solid boat for sale which is already stripped of dime store Macguyver hacks and hidden problems?


We eagerly await the sage like sea salt crusted advice of the great gurus.
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Old 07-09-2010, 18:09   #2
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many of the walls are structural bulkheads. cosmetic changes should be OK but be careful of structural changes
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Old 07-09-2010, 20:19   #3
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Rip out - easy, refit...

Fitting out the interior of a cruising yacht is a time consuming, big, expensive, risky project.

For a 40' yacht plan on 5,000+ hours, 1000+ sq. ft. (preferably covered), $100+k, with serious financial and health risks.

The interior is made up of many thousands of custom cut pieces, with many thousand more marine grade components being used.

With so many good secondhand boats on the market why would you bother?
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Old 07-09-2010, 22:35   #4
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Hi Firefly - I moved these posts out of you meet and greet thread into a more appropriate forum. Not all our members hangout in meets and greets and you may get a lot more response here.

One of our Mods JamesS has just completed an interior refit of his boat.

Beautiful work but I must say it's not for the faint of heart or shallow of pocket.

Arctic Lady Refit - Update
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Old 07-09-2010, 22:58   #5
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how much time and money ya got?

That plus some is usually the answer...
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Old 08-09-2010, 00:01   #6
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Never done a complete gut and rebuild...but several partial ones.

Think of it as trying to build a car from an auto parts store shelves...Each individual part is way more expensive then buying the parts already assembled in there usable form.

Buy the best condition boat you can afford...it is the cheapest boat you can buy.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:18   #7
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Have seen a few boats measured, designed and prefabed on the factory floor then installed in one hit by firms who do shop fitouts. I would choose that rather than DIY.I guess this is what many of the custom boatbuilders do in greater or lesser degree.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:59   #8
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If you don't take the deck off, everything must go in and out thru the deck openings.
I completely gutted Bluestocking, a Rhodes 41 Reliant, of her original Tri-cabin layout (1 of the first boats to have this back in '65) and built a Bermuda 40 type of layout.
Bulkheads have to be vertically segmented to fit down the companionway, with staggered joints, dry positioned for fit, screwed together to fit, dis assembled, removed from the boat, except for the hull fitted piece, and then epoxied together in sequence, in the correct place.
1 minute to type this, 6 weeks to do it 10 times in the boat.
And this was an easy part. Fit the trim pieces, screw, bung, and varnish all the teak after that.
All overheads may be replaced, not enough room for 2 people to work, so having an octopus in your gene pool helps.
Tanks, plumbing, wiring, access to underdeck edges for stanchion fastenings always fun.
Cost--afraid to tell the wife for fear of bringing out her dark side (although I have never seen it).
I have come to the conclusion that there are boat builders, and boat sailers, a combination of the two is not as common as one would think.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:15   #9
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Agree with Blue Stocking that it helps to not be an amateur at anything including fitout. Working space in the boat is not conducive to fast work. Prefab then glue it in place in the boat. Not suggesting that it is as easy as a room but a lot of modern building spaces like banks and offices have at least as many complications as a boat and get done very quickly. Nice to have a good entry space though.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:45   #10
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The vast majority of a sailboat interior, assuming your not trying for a fine cabinet finish, is good quality veenered ply and some hardword trim. If you are an acomplished woodworker, with the right equipment to handle this stuff then it will take twice as long as you think.

Fitting interior wiring and tanks etc, is a pain, but not impossible, for example Halberg Rassy, do all the fitout with the hull and deck together ( except the bulkheads).

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Old 08-09-2010, 08:05   #11
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Remember that on some boats most of the interior is a fiberglass structure that has been installed as a unit and glassed into the hull. That is, you cannot simply remove a wall here, a settee there. If you start with one of those boats you are pretty much stuck with the interior that you have.
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Old 08-09-2010, 14:34   #12
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Nothing an angle grinder can't shift
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Old 08-09-2010, 16:13   #13
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Ex-Calif,

Thanks for moving this to the proper area.
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Old 08-09-2010, 16:18   #14
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I've thought about it before. There are some areas on the boat that aren't used for space properly (for us), and I think every person on every boat would make some adjustments if it were feasible.

Instead we live with it, make the small adjustments we can (without using a wrecking bar), and make mental notes or diagrams in the notebook of what we'll do when we build our own boat and can completely control the interior layout.
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Old 08-09-2010, 20:22   #15
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One of my future projects I had planed is now toast , which was installing a wood stove...due the the space the new AC took away..

Another is all prepped for...I will be turning a full chart Port facing stand up Nav station into a half chart forward facing sit down one...All the wiring including the Panel which was mounted low below the current table...were moved to the bulk head to accommodate this change...It may be a couple years before I get to it.

It should not affect any strength of the boat...I will actually be tabbing in another Knee.
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