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Old 22-01-2009, 09:50   #1
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Well designed - or wish it was different?

I have moved into the inside of my boat and I am beginning the interior refit. Just about finished with the new diesel tank, which I built in epoxy inside the bilge. I have demoed the both heads the salon, galley nav station and aft stateroom. I basically have a blank slate to work with.

I am looking for your experience with the design of your boats interior, what works well, what missed the mark, what did you have to change, what do you want to change and what do you wish that the designer had done better, from hand holds to cupboards and drawers any thing that would make life better at sea.
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Old 22-01-2009, 12:21   #2
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This thread has some great potential, and since I’m not finished with my refit, I’m looking forward to seeing other responses.

One thing I'm doing different in my refit is the set up of my heads.
I hate having to have vented loops everywhere and depending on some little rubber flapper that could sink my boat if it gets stuck.

Both of my heads go directly into holding tanks and both take their water from an onboard tank in the bilge.
There are no vented loops going to or from my heads.

Additionally when coastal cruising or leaving the boat for any period of time my flush water tank can be filled with fresh water or anything else for that matter.
With fresh water in the hoses I eliminate the rotten egg smell that’s common after not using the heads for a couple days....This was a mandate from the admiral.

I use my chart table for charts.
When underway I like it to be tilted, but when at rest I want to use it as a table and prefer it to be flat.
I made some heavy duty hinges so I can set it up as I like. Its also designed it to have a sacrificial surface on the top.

Proper ventilated battery box.

Hinged panel that the electrical panel and other related stuff mounts on so its easy to access the back.

Exhaust with extra high riser to prevent water logging the engine.

Bow thruster.

Deep sinks...all sinks and shower have p-traps or bottle traps and flow via gravity into a large grey water tank in the bilge...this also includes a drain from the anchor locker to avoid having that nasty water passing though the bilge.

I removed all the FG head liner and will replace it with something that can easily be taken down and put back.

I made lots of changes to allow access to previously difficult areas.
Any tanks not built-in should be able to be removed with out tearing out anything.

That’s some of the changes I made.
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Old 22-01-2009, 14:56   #3
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Thanks for the reply James you have already given me some new ideas.

Quote:
Additionally when coastal cruising or leaving the boat for any period of time my flush water tank can be filled with fresh water or anything else for that matter
I think I might do a variation of this with the option to change back and forth between fresh and salt water.

Quote:
I use my chart table for charts.
When underway I like it to be tilted, but when at rest I want to use it as a table and prefer it to be flat.
I had not thought of this great idea.

Quote:
Deep sinks...all sinks and shower have p-traps or bottle traps and flow via gravity into a large grey water tank in the bilge...
I just finished building a grey water tank for this very purpose.
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Old 22-01-2009, 15:51   #4
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Hi Stevens! James is dead-on, as usual. Please visit his photo gallery to see some of the best work imaginable. As for the drains, try to trap them, as the S will hold water and keep the odor from rising from the tank... Ideas? I collect books on boat interiors and construction...my guess is James does too. Let me know if ya need book ideas. Oh, and you are no where near alone here, here's my aft cabin;
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Old 22-01-2009, 16:04   #5
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I've always liked an aft head...

I also like " booth" style seating,.."Dinette" style ..what ever it's called on a boat...the table top..can drop to a berth..this might be old design..but I liked it..
The table gets used for so many things...I don't like my current fold up..

I did a Hinged electrical panel on my last boat....so nice to work in

At sea...you need a sea berth or two..something you won't fall out of...in rough weather.
.I don't think many of todays designs make a provision for that..
They sell lee cloths...but then where are the strong points to attach them?
I have a crib rail...for a salon sea berth...it's much stronger that a lee cloth..
But we had to make it ourselves..

There...I've cast my pearls...

Good luck...keep us posted..
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Old 22-01-2009, 16:38   #6
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The interior design depends on so many factors. First and foremost would be starting with the dimensions, the volume, and so forth. It's a good idea to understand ergonomic requirements for boats which is different from land.

And then of course the basic style of interiors that appeal to you. And I am not even talking finish or details.

As in architecture, you can hold an idea, like LED lighting in your mind and work on the broad strokes. You can't begin a design completely focused on the systems, but need to know how they fit in, mostly unseen bu accessible at the same time.

If the boat is meant for ocean passages, you want hand holds and place to grab throughout the boat and not wide open spaces. These are fine for vessels which do not heel typically - keel boats do.

Shiva has what has worked out well for us, though at first I thought it odd. We have a gelcoated one piece shower pan floor for the head with a removeable teak grate over top which is left unvarnished and cleaned every month with a good scrubbing. The head is obviously completely waterproof - with many coats of high gloss varinish. The sink faucet is a hand shower with a shut off so that you can mix the temp and shut it off with out losing the "setting" to save water of course. When we shower the entire head gets a bit of a wash. At when you are done showering, you wipe it down with your towel after using a squeegy to run the water down the walls into the sump. Our head never has any oders at all. It is washed completely sometimes twice a day! And we never get much accumlating because every surface get a once over when the showering is done. The only downside is that the grate remains wet for a while. We have a large hatch in the head which scoops airs and dries it out prett quick.

Unless I had a very large yacht I would always have this arrangement and NOT have a separate shower. These are left to air dry, don't have hatches usually and become mildwed. The head itself is only cleaned when you do a "clean up" of the boat... on whatever schedule that is... and it's not once a day. And why waste MORE water cleaning the head?

Solutions which kill two birds with one stone are nautical ones.
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Old 22-01-2009, 16:54   #7
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Hey guys, post some example pics...lets turn this into a great posting!
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Old 22-01-2009, 17:09   #8
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Hey! I too have a Stevens 47 and I am also planning on extensive interior refit projects. PLEASE... post lots of pictures and/or email me!

Keep us updated on progress!


Terry
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Old 22-01-2009, 17:16   #9
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Interior

Live with the empty space for a while. Spend time with mock ups, even if they're just cardboard. 1/4" luan 4" strips, and the hot glue gun, are your friends.

Access... at least for every thing system related. If all the head hoses, thru hull, etc. are under the head sink in the vanity cabinet, as many are, don't just put an access door in the front of the cabinet... make the whole front removable... much easier to service stuff. And as Christian said, try to trap all drains.

Gray water sump tanks are really nice. Eliminates thru hulls and helps keep the bilges clean.

I like James' separate tank for head water in.

Hinged electrical panels, preferably with back planes behind them, are a must.

Dedicated chart table and nav area, of course. Likewise sea berths.

Galley stowage is always a problem, especially for larger pots and pans.

Handholds, grab rails, and as many radii as you can do. Why make it straight when it could curve?

Google Whitchapel, in Montana, for hinges and other stuff.

The list could go on for days. But the work you've done so far looks first rate, from your posts, and you'll figure it out. And you live in one of the garden spots of this country... it doesn't get much nicer than Encinitas.

Best, Bob S/V Restless
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Old 22-01-2009, 17:37   #10
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I bought a Columbia 41 two years ago. A previous owner had installed a small holding tank in an aft compartment. For some reason the fellow did not install a Y valve so that the head could be pumped overboard - leagally - out past the 12 mile limit. The thru-hull is still in place but capped off. This was a mistake. The holding tank is too small for anything but a long weekend.

I built a new nav station. The chart table extends over the battery box. I installed two teak drawer units leaving knee space to one side. The drawer units are normally right over the batteries. BUT, they hang on aluminum L shaped extrusions and so can slide into the knee space when I have to get at the batteries. This works very well.
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Old 22-01-2009, 17:45   #11
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Is someone on this thread an architect? I am too. Most cutting machines are run by computer these days. I sent a CAD drawing to a fabricator in North Carolina and got back a stainless steel galley top that fit perfectly. The same can be done for large trim rings on cabin windows or even with wood parts. There is a company in Annapolis called Chesapeak Small Craft. They can cut plywood for you per your CAD drawings. This can work for bulkheads, doors or anything that will be in sight and have to look good.
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Old 22-01-2009, 18:56   #12
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But not everyone does CAD.
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Old 22-01-2009, 19:24   #13
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I wish I had used double holding tanks...

I installed a single holding tank ( about 150l) using KIS and Lavac.

I now wish that I had used two holding tanks. A lower one, as large as possible, and an upper one that can be filled from the lower one.

Possible advantages:-
1) Constant indicators as to how full the holding tank is.
2) Near elimination of back flow through the pump.
3) Reduced possibility of overfilling the tank.

It would cost more but (hopefully) it would eliminate much of the the mess and smell that I get from my present system.
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Old 22-01-2009, 20:35   #14
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Here's some design features I have admired...
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Old 23-01-2009, 04:22   #15
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Thanks for the pics Chris...and the compliments.

I agree with Bob about doing mock-ups….I do them for almost everything.

If you haven’t sorted out the rest of the system or details of something else that’s near by or related, try not to commit or go to far down a path until you’ve sorted the other details.
I know that this is not always easy or practical, but it may help you not to redo new work.

I also dry fit everything ...that is, fit everything without adhesives but all screws or bolts, gaskets (or whatever) completely.
You’ll be surprised what you learn and mistakes that can be avoided.

Its sometimes hard to resist the temptation to finish a particular piece or area when you know its premature...I know finishing these things can be incredibly motivational, and therefore sometimes worth while, but try and be patient.

I may be preaching to the choir here.

I have looked but didn’t find any pics of your boat.

Something else Bob said on a previous thread goes something like this…just because its functional doesn’t mean it cant be beautiful as well….Something like that!

I’ll spend days building or modifying a simple bracket, or handle, or hinge.
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