31 January 2008

My brain hurts

I had what counts as an epiphany for a refit project two days ago, I realised what was wrong with the thought process behind the galley layout. Eureka! My original plan was based around the fact that you went to the bottom of the companionway, turned left and you were into the galley. If that isn't mandatory, the galley entrance could be moved forward and the whole area opens up to provide the space we seemed to be lacking.

I have mocked up the settee berth arrangements and it all seems to fit, I have been hassling the boatbuilder about a start date (not that it makes any difference but it makes you feel like you are doing something...) and obtained a quote for the new Lewmar hatches and portlights. I will probably order them tomorrow as there is a bit of lead time required for delivery.

Other news is that my Beta 75hp engine is approaching the country. This doesn't make any difference to me (apart from having to find more money to pay for it) but apparently it will be on display at the upcoming Auckland Boat Show. Somehow it doesn't feel like 15 minutes of fame...

15 January 2008

New saloon layout

So, the standing around and talking about it phase is almost finished and I will confess that it has been quite a challenge. I have run the new design past quite a few people and taken on board a lot of input, mostly favourable but some quite challenging viewpoints as well.
The not-so-great photo shows my scale drawing of the new layout. Effectively, the head moves aft and to starboard while the galley pushes forward. In front of the galley and head, a 2m settee berth on each side, forward to a bulkhead that is about 80 mm forward of the existing one (with the door to the forward cabin). The v-berth remains, moved slightly higher to provide more storage. The bulkhead at the front of the v-berth becomes watertight, with access to the self-draining chain locker through a deck hatch. The chart table faces outboard and the aft end is the existing bulkhead where the starboard fuel tank rests - ie. bye-bye to that silly little hanging locker which has aways irritated me!

The bulkhead at the forward end of the engine room will continue unbroken to the port side (I still can't work out why they have that kink in it...). The stove will face forward and I will fabricate a gimbal to accommodate this. This idea really appeals as it utilises the space which is so difficult to get to - outboard and aft of the present stove. There will be a double sink on the midships island and a dedicated (as in no locker lids) benchtop facing forward.

Galley removal

The idea has been to clear out the interior to enable me to mock up the new saloon layout. I had an attempt but worked out that I needed to remove the rest of the galley so I could figure out where the stove would fit.

Removing the fridge box in the corner was the most disgusting job I have done for a few years. Once I had dismantled the surrounding woodwork I took the 2 cold plates out and dragged the box out. There was no way that it was going to fit out of the companionway so I needed to cut it up. Now every tool I have is blunt - I finally worked out the best way of cutting was a cutting disk on my angle grinder. That nuked it.

Then the worst bit, dealing with 30 years of cockroach life under the fridge box. It was about 25 mm (1 inch) thick, probably enough said.

09 January 2008

There is money in boats

I read somewhere recently the US has something like 13 (or 17 or 30) trillion dollars in cash money floating around the world. Well I know where some of it is - in my boat. I am up to 27 cents and counting. At this rate the refit will pay for itself in a few thousand years, which is a very heartening factoid when you are up to your armpits in rotten plywood and 30 years of filth.

With time off for good behaviour (well I thought it was good) I have only managed a few days since Christmas, but lots of talking with friends and a good few beers under the waistband have helped the project. I have removed some saloon furniture in preparation for the creation of a mockup of the proposed new layout. I should be able to get that together in the next few days and send some photos out for comment.