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Old 15-09-2010, 05:42   #1
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Saloon Layout for Living Comfort

There seems to be 2 main saloon layouts. The "traditional" one with the settees being either a "C" on one side and a straight on the other, or both being straight. There's there's the layout you see on a lot of the Beneteaus and some Hunters where the gallery is on 1 side and the other has a dining table arrangement.

From a living on the boat view point, which of these seems better? I would think that only having a curved settee around a dining table wouldn't be all that comfortable and usable below overall when in port.

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Old 15-09-2010, 05:56   #2
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We have the separate C shaped galley and like not having it opposite the salon. Nav station is opposite the salon with 2 bucket seats and a small bar between them.

We have the C shaped settee in the salon also, but the large table is removable, it drops to make another berth. I made a smaller (17" x 25") coffee table that we use most of the time, either with the short post as a coffee table, or with the tall post as a bistro table. Much easier to get around the settee, and still room for the two of us to eat a meal.

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Old 15-09-2010, 06:00   #3
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I prefer two straight settees. My CS36M has that and it is much better for me as I prefer to lie down most of the time, especially when I'm reading. My B393 has a curved settee on one side and storage cupboards and a "sideboard" (that's what it looks like, a dining room sideboard without the glass china cabinet to display the family heirlooms ). I've not found a comfortable position for lying down with this configuration.

The worst set-up is the one with one settee and the galley on the other side. Too much traffic through the galley and not a good spot for cooking when at sea. Boats are usually configured this way because there is no room aft due to having two aft cabins. This is the so-called charter configuration. Alright for two weeks in the BVI but not for living aboard and cruising.

B393 "sideboard".

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Old 15-09-2010, 06:08   #4
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Depends on the size of the boat and the intended number of diners.

I like a boat big enough to do the "diner" layout. 2 benches transverse on one side of the salon facing each other with a table between. You give up a salon berth unless you design the table to be a drop down to make a "double" berth.

I hate my current fold down table around the compression post.

No matter what layout I'd want the aisle to be totally clear going forward.

I periodically troll the internet searching for ideas for my eventual interior redo. It's nice to be able to see what other have done with the same space.
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Old 15-09-2010, 06:18   #5
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Old 15-09-2010, 06:22   #6
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We stripped out the entire hull, and started again. Well, not quite. We kept the single stbd berth, and made the double port berth bigger. Then we put a large chart table/storage thing between then big berth and the quarter berth. (The galley went on the other side, where the chart table used to be). This means we can use the main double berth and the quarter berth as seating around the chart table.

It sounds weird, but it works!
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Old 15-09-2010, 06:43   #7
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We have 2 slightly curved settees on either side of the salon with a folding table in the middle. Since our mast is keel stepped, the curved settees make a huge difference in accessibility to the fore cabin. We aren't big people, so sleeping on the settes has been no issue. I'm a hair under 5' 7, husband is just under 5'10 and we can sleep very comfortably on the settees with the back cushions removed. I would not change this layout on this boat. On a beamier boat, I'd probably skip the curve but not on this one.
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Old 15-09-2010, 10:20   #8
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I think the most important part of any layout is accessibility. I have a C shaped dinette on my Roberts 38, but with the mast compression post being where it is, one leg of the C is blocked off. Its about 12 inches aft of the main bulkhead. You can see thru it but only a child can get in and out via that slot. So if large 4 people are using the table, then they all have to climb in one at a time, and its hell if the first one in decides he/she needs to visit the head.

With the compression post there, the walkway is offset to starboard and I have a single settee on the stbd side which will expand out to a double. On that side, the table top folds down against the table legs when not in use so access is aok fore and aft. But that C-dinette is driving me nuts. There has to be a better use of that space.

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Old 15-09-2010, 11:50   #9
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The saloon on mine is somewhat simlar to the lower left in Dan's posting, with a single settee berth to port and starboard of the folding table. Forward is the companion way leading to two double berths, the V-berth, head, and lavatory/shower. Aft of the saloon is a U-shaped galley to port of the companionway leading to the cockpit and a navigation station to starboard. With the table folded down, the way forward is fairly clear. At sea I generally use of the settee's to sleep on in order to get topside quickly if needed. Still the arrangement makes getting from forward to the aft companion way easier than the booth type settee and table.
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Old 15-09-2010, 17:09   #10
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The 'C' layout is great on any boat that is beamy enough. Otherwise what else to do with all the space. In some boats, it is no longer a 'C' it is a full 'O' and the galley is on the opposite side.

I hate beamy tubs but I would pick one exactly this if we are talking living in the boat, not sailing her.

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Old 15-09-2010, 18:02   #11
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one of the reasons for the C layout is that you can drop the table, insert a cushion and then sleep another couple there. It's an attractive option for the charter market.

this was the original plan on my boat, which the brochure claimed could sleep nine. The result was a dinette that wasn't all that great a place to congregate. I rebuilt it and am now happy to insist that my boat can only sleep six.

cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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