Hi, this thread is about an idea i been playing with for a while.
Over the last couple of years, i rescued and put hands to 4 different sailboats in different stages of dereliction. From complete oblivion to mildly molded. 😱
I ve got all my boats for free. And i love working on them and inversting my time there. I have tools and access to materials. I also like sailing them, and i live aboard most of the time, except when i am visiting family
Right now i am focused on a metal boat
, and going for a trip this spring for which i ve got really good and useful advice
on these forums
, from more experienced sailors. I describe that in another post.
This post is about a modification i plan to do at some point on the boat
You see, i m a tall guy, 192cm (about 6'4") and my first two boats where two very small boats (17 feet, 5,16 meters total) that had sitting height.
The second boat, i built a new cabin
as part of the modifications, an although i was using the same hull
than the first one (a Leisure 17) the inner space multiplied greatly, making it a very fine cruiser.
Being a short boat, it was easy to crawl everywhere, and sit for cooking
and eating, and it had enough space for sleeping two (i created a single
big "bed" space by enclosing the space between berths).
What i did, was to extend the cabin
to the sides, taking over the side decks. The feeling of space inside made then the boat very cozzy. And i lived aboard over a year, while cruising the european waterways.
Back to 2021, i am in posession of a bigger, heavier and longer steel
sailboat. This time, it has standing height, which i find a necesity for a live aboard (long enough that crawling your way is not an option anymore).
The "problem" is, that the roof still is a few centimeters lower than my height, making me feel not really comfortable when i move around.
To add to the situation, the slidding hatch leaks
, and the only deep rust spots on the boat, are precisely on the cabin trunk.
So i thought why not to cut that cabin off and simply extend the top a few centimeters and on the process also extend the cabin over the side decks?
It would be a conversion to a "raised deck" for the saloon
area, instead of the cabin trunk it has right now.
The linnings in the cabin roof need to be removed anyways due to water
damage and to inspect the electric wiring
I have a plasma cutter
and a welder, and acces to 3mm plate and steel
profiles. I also have a place i can work
away of other boats, maybe even in the water
I wont be increasing the weight that much to the point of making the boat "top heavy". There will be a little more windage, but i m not really concerned about it.
The nice portholes that are now on the side of the cabin, i will reuse two of them in the front of the new extended cabin, not on the sides, for the moment being.
I did that on my second boat and the portholes gave enough light and never leaked. I was very pleased with the result. No need for side portholes for me really.
My only concern is about the handling of the lines in a boat that now has an elevated deck
I wonder if anybody here made a similar modification to their boat, and if they found any complication with the handling of the foresail lines. I would like to avoid them being entangled due to the modifications.
I will certainly weld handholds on the new deck
and make the cabin top easy to move around in a seaway. I may even install some sort of baranda near the mast
at both sides, to clip and lean over while working the mast winch
The mast height will increase somewhere between 5 and 10 centimeters, 2 to 4 inches. I will add a few chain links to the standing rigging
to supplement it accordingly.
I dont pursuit a cruiser aestethics on my boats, but more like a working boat aestethics. I just care that they are dry and comfy inside, workable outside, and safe to move around in port and during a sea way.
There is a wooden boat out there "Badger", that has the cabin built in the lines of what i find satisfying for a liveabord. And then, there is the steel "Wylo 2", another boat i find inspiring.
By the way, i work
preety much in the lines of what i saw Nick Skeates works his boat.
Unlike him, who uses wood
for the deck, i want to give a try to metal sheet, since i already did a boat cabin on wood
and i find the process a little slow, needing special shelter to accomplish it, and requiring more maintenance
So, i m sure there are sailors who did similar modifications to their steel boats.
Any hints, tips, ideas and experiences are more than welcome.
I will see if i can upload a few pics of my previous works with derelict boats.
Also, i m not sure if i will do these modifications just now, since its a little too cold out there and i prefere to go cruising this year with the boat as it is now.
But you never know. If Corona lockdowns make cruising impossible, then i always have my tools on board and i can takle the proyect.
Did that before last year when a lockdown got me by surprise in Belgium, and it was super fun!
I check now for pics and upload them.
Thanks and greetings from cold Germany!