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Old 24-10-2020, 13:08   #1
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accommodation design

its my novice opinion that boat interiors are designed with too many people in mind

i plan to buy a liveaboard soon. i was thinking about buying a fixer upper and gutting the interior. was sorta thinking mid 30s in length

i would make it suitable for 2 people to liveaboard and possible to entertain up to four people for a day sailing trip, but dont see the need to design an interior equipped to accommodate 8 people overnight.

my early inclination is to prioritize AC and DC power throughout, a front load refrigerator, proper heating and cooling, electric stove, shower stall, comfortable seating, and an aft master. being that i'll be building an all new interior i could change all electrical and mechanical systems to suit whatever configuration i choose.

i'm a general contractor and handyman. i also have more ambition and creativity than sense at times.

i just think i can design an interior better suited to my needs than any manufacturer provided one can.

anyone else think like me?
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Old 24-10-2020, 13:18   #2
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Re: accommodation design

Could not agree more!

Way too many berths and no utility room.

4 heads and not a decent shower.

Those awful pits to keep cold food in.

I guess things were designed to be charter boats, mostly and it just sort of stuck.
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Old 24-10-2020, 16:50   #3
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Re: accommodation design

Hello, Drcaptain,

A lot will depend on your sailing plans for the boat and what kind of a boat you start with. The reason most sailboats have drop bin fridges is that monohulls heel in seaways. I would not want a front opening fridge because I don't like having to chase escapees all over the cabin sole. I think, with your creativity, you might create retaining bars across the shelves at the door to corral the goods, and then, it might work okay. We have some Canadian friends who built their own monohull, and installed a normal front opening fridge in their boat, facing aft, near the companionway. That worked, well, for them for about 35 yrs, till they moved ashore. (I don't suppose today's fridges are made so well.)

If your plan is a multihull, there is still some motion, but I do not personally know if it would be so twitchy as to sail the mayo.

Although we have cruised a long time, and been some warm places (like the Solomon Is), we have never used air conditioning. If you meant alternating current, then yes, I think it would be convenient to run both from the beginning. If your battery banks and inverters or gen set are large enough, there are some things that would be easier.

Ann
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Old 24-10-2020, 17:37   #4
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Re: accommodation design

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Originally Posted by Drcaptain View Post
my early inclination is to prioritize AC and DC power throughout, a front load refrigerator, proper heating and cooling, electric stove
How big a generator and where do you put it in a 30 footer ?
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Old 24-10-2020, 18:06   #5
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Re: accommodation design

It sounds like it will be a dock queen. No genset required.
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Old 24-10-2020, 19:15   #6
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Re: accommodation design

Tom Hanks lived on a boat like that in Sleepless in Seattle?, no?
Gutting and rebuilding a boat interior takes a L O N G time. Nothing will be plumb, straight, or square. Especially in a fixer-upper. Some of the interior pieces you may want to remove will be structural (bearing). Stuff like the fore&aft bottoms of bunks or settees may be tabbed into the hull as stiffeners. Living on the boat for a while to see what works and what doesn't may help avoid having to re-do things twice.
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Old 24-10-2020, 20:05   #7
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Re: accommodation design

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drcaptain View Post
its my novice opinion that boat interiors are designed with too many people in mind.
i plan to buy a liveaboard soon. i was thinking about buying a fixer upper and gutting the interior. was sorta thinking mid 30s in length
...
anyone else think like me?
People do think like you, but so very often 2, 3 or 4 years down the track with their project, they become frustrated and despondent. Perhaps better to buy a boat that is more akin to what you want rather than spending years and lots of dollars building her in to what you want. Just saying.
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Old 24-10-2020, 23:36   #8
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Re: accommodation design

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Hello, Drcaptain,

A lot will depend on your sailing plans for the boat and what kind of a boat you start with. The reason most sailboats have drop bin fridges is that monohulls heel in seaways. I would not want a front opening fridge because I don't like having to chase escapees all over the cabin sole. I think, with your creativity, you might create retaining bars across the shelves at the door to corral the goods, and then, it might work okay. We have some Canadian friends who built their own monohull, and installed a normal front opening fridge in their boat, facing aft, near the companionway. That worked, well, for them for about 35 yrs, till they moved ashore. (I don't suppose today's fridges are made so well.)

If your plan is a multihull, there is still some motion, but I do not personally know if it would be so twitchy as to sail the mayo.

Although we have cruised a long time, and been some warm places (like the Solomon Is), we have never used air conditioning. If you meant alternating current, then yes, I think it would be convenient to run both from the beginning. If your battery banks and inverters or gen set are large enough, there are some things that would be easier.

Ann
hi ann

we can vouch for a front opening fridge on a cat. nothing spills of moves or escapes when you open...

for the OP : i agree with you. many boats are built with too many bunks and not enough living space

the consolation is that it's not that hard to convert cabins into other uses. our aft cabins (P+S) have become his + hers work spaces.

as regards power : we have a number of AC power points which are live when the gennie or shore power, but there is no need most of the time...everything runs on 12v DC these days

finally, if you are really after the sort of space and amenities you describe, you need a catamaran !

cheers,
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Old 25-10-2020, 02:00   #9
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Re: accommodation design

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
How big a generator and where do you put it in a 30 footer ?
That was eZACTly where my mind went, Boatpoker!

He's going to gut a 30' boat and "redesign" the interior by putting in more stuff that was in the boat in the first place. Also two electrical systems. Two separate electrics was a pain in the neck on my dad's Gulfstar 45' growing up. Can't imagine two separate systems on a 30' boat would be anything other than an unnecessary complication.

And an electric stove? On a boat?

Sorry to say, DrCap, you need to do a bit more research. Maybe actually live on a boat for a while.

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Old 25-10-2020, 17:31   #10
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Re: accommodation design

i plan to spend most of my time at the marina using shore power and then coastal cruising on weekends. the boat will function primarily as a living space first, sailboat second.

so my thinking was to prioritize shore power (AC) and have the DC (battery) system as a less used option when away from the marina. i wasn't planning on a generator, thought i'd charge batteries from shore power or possible add green charging systems if my coastal cruising habits aren't scratching my itch.

i'm thinking of an electric stove to run off AC when hooked to shore power as that will be where i spend most of my time. a practical, functioning kitchen is a must. AC electricity also doesn't involve switching tanks, or adding fuel.

i had already considered the boats movement on a front load fridge. i have several options in mind to mitigate.

i just outfitted a 16' enclosed work trailer with AC/DC systems and with hose and holding tank water. i hook up to water and power via RV water and 30amp hook ups when parked. i've got endless fresh water and ample power to run microwave, coffee maker, compressor, and whatever tools i'm using at the time. also have the option to switch my water supply from holding tank to hose supply when hooked up to it. i installed all this in 1" thick walls so i figure a sailboat will have more room than that. these two systems will share wire, i'll only need to flip a switch to change from shore to battery power, or maybe not at all. there may be something that switches automatically. Research and development currently under way.

i'm aware too of structural components. i don't intend to remove any. they will be built into my final configuration. i also know that boat interiors are irregular.

i was planning on a mid 30s to 40 foot monohull

littlewing77 i'm not gutting just to put everything back. i'm going to gut and reconfigure for 2 people to liveaboard, comfortably, and with proper amenities. think studio apartment. layout is easier without having to accommodate six adults. i think you missed the thesis of my argument.

the settee for 6, the first to get nixed. its a terrible space hog.
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Old 25-10-2020, 18:02   #11
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Re: accommodation design

I've got ac and dc systems on my boat. I used an industrial rotary switch to allow manual switching between inverter and shore power so all power outlets can work from either. There's enough poles on the switch to ensure that the battery charger has it's own circuit and will never try and run off the inverter. There is a second high powered inverter that has it's own dedicated power outlet in the galley and this is to run high demand stuff. The system works.


In this modern age, you can't have enough USB outlets. I've got over twenty scattered throughout my boat and even that doesn't seem enough at times. As for running an electric stove, you can easily use a bench top induction stove and microwave oven off shore power when at dock but this may not be practical when away from shore power without using a genset of some kind. Even with lot's of solar, you'll be eating sushi whenever it's been overcast for a day or two.
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Old 25-10-2020, 19:01   #12
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Re: accommodation design

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Originally Posted by Drcaptain View Post
LittleWing77 I'm not gutting just to put everything back. I'm going to gut and reconfigure for 2 people to liveaboard, comfortably, and with proper amenities. think studio apartment. layout is easier without having to accommodate six adults.

I think you missed the thesis of my argument.

The settee for 6, the first to get nixed. Its a terrible space hog.
Sorry to say, DrCap but I didn't miss any part of your thesis. Unfortunately, you don't know what you don't know.

But you will certainly be finding out!

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Old 25-10-2020, 19:21   #13
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Re: accommodation design

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Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Sorry to say, DrCap but I didn't miss any part of your thesis. Unfortunately, you don't know what you don't know.

But you will certainly be finding out!

LittleWing77

Aint that the truth. It took me around 7 months working weekends and the odd weekday to rebuild my saloon from stripped down condition. Every last piece of wood has to be custom shaped to fit and that usually involves a curve. You can't even mirror components between port and starboard because these are never the same dimension. I had a fairly basic layout and still used about 400 screws in the construction.



It all adds up.
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Old 25-10-2020, 20:32   #14
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Re: accommodation design

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drcaptain View Post
its my novice opinion that boat interiors are designed with too many people in mind

i plan to buy a liveaboard soon. i was thinking about buying a fixer upper and gutting the interior. was sorta thinking mid 30s in length

i would make it suitable for 2 people to liveaboard and possible to entertain up to four people for a day sailing trip, but dont see the need to design an interior equipped to accommodate 8 people overnight.

my early inclination is to prioritize AC and DC power throughout, a front load refrigerator, proper heating and cooling, electric stove, shower stall, comfortable seating, and an aft master. being that i'll be building an all new interior i could change all electrical and mechanical systems to suit whatever configuration i choose.

i'm a general contractor and handyman. i also have more ambition and creativity than sense at times.

i just think i can design an interior better suited to my needs than any manufacturer provided one can.

anyone else think like me?
Four points:
  1. You don't need to rip EVERYTHING out to make it into a two person boat and it need not take months and months. We did that to our boat in two months and then moved onto an unfinished boat and continued to work on it.
  2. It is a mistake to convert your future boat into a dock queen which cannot go to sea for a weekend or a month or a year. You'll destroy the boat's value. Why buy a boat? Just keep your RV trailer.
  3. The front load refer is a mistake unless you'll never go to sea. It's a boat dammit.
  4. There are automatic switching on most Inverter/chargers. You hook the shore power to the device and it uses shore power if that is available, and automatically switches to the batteries when it is not.
  5. Try to do less, rather than more.
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Old 25-10-2020, 21:27   #15
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Re: accommodation design

I don't know if you can use 3D cad but I would suggest you model it in CAD with all the structural stuff in place before doing anything. I've 3D modeled a boat for the exact same purpose and once you put in the engine, bulkheads and all the structural stuff it becomes apparent why things are designed the way they are. Chances are if the layout you want doesn't exist it probably doesn't work.

If you want an aft stateroom you are probably looking at a 38-39 foot center cockpit. Which are not cheap and you probably don't want to destroy a 200k boat.

It's only the new charter boats that have this obsession with 3 heads and 3 rooms. Look at the earlier halberg rassy, Najad, nauticats.

Actually a nauticat 331 is probably what you need, or the older cheaper 33, 36 and 38s. In fact they are pretty much the perfect live aboard coastal cruisers.
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