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Old 21-03-2018, 17:36   #1
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V-Berth total refit plan.

Greetings everyone. I am new here, and I am planning on purchasing a liveaboard boat by next fall (2019). I am mostly interest in 37-40í, I will be purchasing used (~2001 - >). There are a few brands that I am interested in but I am captivated by Beneteau. Having attended the boat show">Miami boat show in Feb, the 38.1 is absolutely gorgeous and a perfect size for me. Enough background.

The PLAN: Upon purchasing the boat, I plan on converting the V-berth into an office/workstation, Complete with wall to wall shelves and a large workbench for working on various projects (mostly electronics). This would involve gutting the compartment down to the hull and rebuilding it from the floor up.

I would be extending the floor as far forward as possible. And wall shelves and floor lockers for storing tools, supplies and projects (such as drones and small wood working supplies.)

FINALLY! THE QUESTION:

1. Is there anything typically in a V-berth that would prevent me from doing this? In all my research, I canít for the life of me, find out what is under that damed V-bed! Is there any sort of system (i.e. water tank,) under there that would hinder me in converting this into an open office space with storage?

-How many 110v outlets are in that berth, if any? Is there anything that would prevent me from running 15a AC outlets in there? I would need to be able to run a soldering station, and perhaps, scroll saw, and tabletop drill press.


Again, I am mostly interested in Beneteau models from 37í - 40í, 2001-2013. Even though I donít have a boat, YET, I am currently working on building a 1:10 scale model of that the V-berth, from 38.1 floorplan drawings, so that I can figure out what I want in there. I would like to know what to expect when I begin the refit. The model will give me a rough idea, in 3D, of how I want to lay out that space.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 21-03-2018, 18:03   #2
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Usually a water tank and maybe part of the anchor locker under V-berth. Regardless of the number of outlets it's typical for boats to have every outlet on a single 10/15 amp circuit. For a boat with a 30 amp shorepower service it is divided into 3 circuits, 10 amp for water heater, 10 for charger/inverter and 10 for all the outlets. You can't run a space heater and a coffee pot at the same time.
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Old 21-03-2018, 18:20   #3
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

There was a similar thread, not long ago, about building a v-berth workshop. Though I can't immediately find it.

I did have such thoughts last year when I was shopping for 40-footers, though I did not consider Beneteau. I would really like to have a workshop on board.

Obviously this varies with the geometry of particular designs. But one thing of note was that many larger boats do not have standing headroom in the V-berth. That is, it is entirely forward of the deckhouse. Most have at least one spot to stand with your head under the deckhouse, then you have to crawl into the berth. My 29er is actually more spacious! The pointy end is still the pointy end...
Second, underneath the cabinetry, the hull drastically narrows and rises. There is not actually much room under there. The berth is often high because that's the level at which the hull becomes wide enough for a bunk. Removing cabinetry is not going to produce more "floor space."
If there is a cut-out in the berth, that is all the floor space that's available. Perhaps room to perch on a stool in the center with work surfaces surrounding you. Boats with pullman-style berths are perhaps more amenable to workshop conversions. Not many in the 40-foot range though.
One boat that seemed to offer some possibilities was a Corbin 39. But I thought that the space, and much of the rest of the boat, was impossibly awkward.
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Old 21-03-2018, 18:32   #4
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
Usually a water tank and maybe part of the anchor locker under V-berth. Regardless of the number of outlets it's typical for boats to have every outlet on a single 10/15 amp circuit. For a boat with a 30 amp shorepower service it is divided into 3 circuits, 10 amp for water heater, 10 for charger/inverter and 10 for all the outlets. You can't run a space heater and a coffee pot at the same time.
Thanks for the prompt reply. I assume that a water tank would eat up a lot of space under there... Not a deal breaker, but good to know for planning. I am surprised they would design the boat to store so much weight, so far forward of CG! Unless there is some advantage to having the bow weighted down.

10a should be enough for my needs, I hope. My soldering station can go as high as 1800w, but typically I only use around 1000 to 1200. That should work with 10a. I haven't 'live' tested my drill press under a typicial load, but in my crappily built townhome, currently my garage is connected to a single 15a breaker! I have used a grinder, various power tools, a table saw, a bandsaw, drill press or and soldering station (obviously not at the same time). But! I also typically run 2 box fans, as well as lights and a radio. I have never tripped the breaker out there. So I think I could manage with 10a. I assume fans and lighting would be run from a 12v DC circuit, so that would free up the entire AC circuit to run ONLY a drill, scroll saw or solder station. Naturally I wouldn't be running any power tools in there (except maybe a hand drill), but I would like to store them there.

Could I perhaps set up a separate circuit that plugged into 120v shore power outlet separately? Acting as a hidden extension cord? Or does some 'code' prevent that?
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Old 21-03-2018, 18:43   #5
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

The sum of the branch circuits can be more than 30 amps. You just can't use more than 30 amps at one time.
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Old 21-03-2018, 18:46   #6
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
There was a similar thread, not long ago, about building a v-berth workshop. Though I can't immediately find it.

I did have such thoughts last year when I was shopping for 40-footers, though I did not consider Beneteau. I would really like to have a workshop on board.

Obviously this varies with the geometry of particular designs. But one thing of note was that many larger boats do not have standing headroom in the V-berth. That is, it is entirely forward of the deckhouse. Most have at least one spot to stand with your head under the deckhouse, then you have to crawl into the berth. My 29er is actually more spacious! The pointy end is still the pointy end...
Second, underneath the cabinetry, the hull drastically narrows and rises. There is not actually much room under there. The berth is often high because that's the level at which the hull becomes wide enough for a bunk. Removing cabinetry is not going to produce more "floor space."
If there is a cut-out in the berth, that is all the floor space that's available. Perhaps room to perch on a stool in the center with work surfaces surrounding you. Boats with pullman-style berths are perhaps more amenable to workshop conversions. Not many in the 40-foot range though.
One boat that seemed to offer some possibilities was a Corbin 39. But I thought that the space, and much of the rest of the boat, was impossibly awkward.
Wow! If I had a V-berth like that, I would sleep there and convert an aft cabin! Your boat makes excellent use of the confining V-berth space!

The beneteau has 6'5" clearance in the forward berth, and the boat widens out quickly to a 13' beam! The front V-berth (from my own scaled measurements is ~11'3"w X 10'3"l. The forward wall (that separates it from the anchor locker) is ~4'4". The area above the water tank could be made into a work table, with a small workbench off to one side or the other. The other side, I would a large locker for power tool storage.

I'm new here so I don't know how to upload photos from my computer here, but I am drawing this out currently but don't know how to share them.
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Old 21-03-2018, 19:02   #7
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Is it this one? Sailboat data seems to indicate that one version comes with a pullman. Though I like the other version better.


Note that the headroom ends where the coach house ends in the top picture. You can draw a line straight down to the plan drawings. This drawing doesn't show the hull below the waterline, but that's getting shallower too. We're missing the crucial cutaway section drawing. Man, that's a big fat boat.
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Old 21-03-2018, 19:19   #8
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

One other crucial function that the compartments under the V-berth often serve is as crash boxes. If they don't seem to have any way to drain to the bilge, and they have bulkheads that rise above the waterline - they are probably designed to prevent a front-end collision from sinking the boat. You probably want to keep that sort of thing intact.
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Old 21-03-2018, 19:38   #9
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
Is it this one? Sailboat data seems to indicate that one version comes with a pullman. Though I like the other version better.


Note that the headroom ends where the coach house ends in the top picture. You can draw a line straight down to the plan drawings. This drawing doesn't show the hull below the waterline, but that's getting shallower too. We're missing the crucial cutaway section drawing. Man, that's a big fat boat.
After much work, i opened up an album. I took a photo with my I phone, xfered it to my computer, downsized it and added it to the album... whew!

No, not sure what model that is, but here is what I'm working with:



These are the drawings that I'm using for the 1:10 scale hull mockup that I am going to be building in my spare time, over the next couple of months.

The head room of the more modern Beneteaus is 6'5". I assume that it is less toward the bow, but not by much. It appears that I won't need standing room in the forward part of the cabin anyway, as I will have to work around the water tank.
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Old 21-03-2018, 19:41   #10
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
Is it this one? Sailboat data seems to indicate that one version comes with a pullman. Though I like the other version better.


Note that the headroom ends where the coach house ends in the top picture. You can draw a line straight down to the plan drawings. This drawing doesn't show the hull below the waterline, but that's getting shallower too. We're missing the crucial cutaway section drawing. Man, that's a big fat boat.


This is the drawing I am working from. It's a 2018 B-38.1, but the interior hasn't changed much from the 38. So this it the floor plan I'm using for my 1:10 scale model.
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Old 21-03-2018, 19:44   #11
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

I think the shape of the hull might make your plan a little harder than you think.

You speak of "extending the floor", I think you'll find after taking a crowbar to your once-functional interior that there's surprisingly little room to do that. Boats aren't cube-shaped, after all.

On top of this, a lot of the elements of a boat interior are also serving as stringers and bulkheads, structural stuff.

Not to say it can't be done, and an office instead of an uncomfortable v-berth is certainly a nice idea.
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Old 21-03-2018, 19:45   #12
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
One other crucial function that the compartments under the V-berth often serve is as crash boxes. If they don't seem to have any way to drain to the bilge, and they have bulkheads that rise above the waterline - they are probably designed to prevent a front-end collision from sinking the boat. You probably want to keep that sort of thing intact.
I have no plans to go beyond the anchor locker bulkhead, or any structure below the floor.
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Old 21-03-2018, 19:48   #13
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
The sum of the branch circuits can be more than 30 amps. You just can't use more than 30 amps at one time.
So you can switch all of the shore power to the outlet circuit? Or do you do that by merely shutting off the Heater and DC circuit? Is that something typical or is that something I would have to install? I am trying to find a Beneteau Service Manual online, but having very little success.
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Old 21-03-2018, 19:59   #14
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Well, that's not really even a V-berth. I'd be surprised if there isn't something structural under there, though. Have to pull up the mattress and have a look. Looks like there's a bow thruster in there, for one thing.
This photo is kind of appealing, though I think that's in a big power boat with enormous freeboard.

Note that he's arranged it so that it can still be used as a bunk, if needed:
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Old 21-03-2018, 20:18   #15
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Re: V-Berth total refit plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
Well, that's not really even a V-berth. I'd be surprised if there isn't something structural under there, though. Have to pull up the mattress and have a look. Looks like there's a bow thruster in there, for one thing.
This photo is kind of appealing, though I think that's in a big power boat with enormous freeboard.

Note that he's arranged it so that it can still be used as a bunk, if needed:
I agree, looks like a power boat, just judging from the concave angle of the hull (is that called the 'deadrise' I'm still learning). That's pretty much what I'm going for! But I intend to use the whole space, it looks like he cut his in half. I'm assuming he has another berth on the port side. BTW, the bow thruster is an option, a $10000 upgrade that I'm going to have to learn to live without! lol. Most likely, any boat I buy, won't have one.

EDIT: Notice the Hull is practically vertical all the way to the anchor locker. Would make it fairly easy to hang some wall cabinets up there.

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