Friday, 14 October 2011

Interior planning.

So, amidst all the welding things that need to be done it was time to see if the interior layout was going to work.  As this was going to be a liveaboard home and we were going to use domestic appliances then of course they had to fit in.  I am sure you will all agree it is not an unrealistic thing to ask.  Trouble is with boats is that the walls aren't always straight and sometimes they are not very straight at all.

Now take this bit for example, if the washing machine sits on the floor against the side it will have two feet behind it at the top.  This space is 10 feet wide at deck level but only 6 feet at floor level.  Designers and Marine Architects may cheat a little and, unless one asks otherwise, only give the accommodation plan at deck level.

Once the hull arrived I soon got the sense that things were not going to be as straight forward as I had first thought.  I had delivered numerous sheets of hardboard and I cut up yards of 2x1 batten and proceeded to mock up the inside as per the plan.  I had asked the layout to enable me to walk round the sides of the bed.  This was not to be, having the bed in the front pointy end was not going to make changing the bed very easy at all.  I am thinking about my dotage here, dodgy hips and all that, no no no.

The galley (kitchen) was also not going to allow the appliances to fit in because of the hull shape and this meant the heads (bathroom) would need to be squeezed up, but that meant the shower tray wouldn't fit and......

That £50 spent on mocking up the inside saved thousands and really got me understanding boat interiors a bit better.  The front section is really like a V with the floor at the bottom - very narrow.  If you raise the floor 8 inches the floor width gets wider so by careful juggling of floor heights one could gain precious floor space to enable things to fit.

I made extensive use of Autodesk's QuickCad for the drawing and the amending of plans.  I used it to send working drawings when having things made too.  It has all the tools and features and cost very little but sadly I can't yet find a way to put them in here yet, give me another year or two.  Well may be an hour or two, hey.

So we have now finalised (nearly) the inside arrangements, the windows and ports have been played with and what works on the inside has now been passed as OK on the outside (green on the plan).  This is a critical bit as what works on the inside can look hideous on the outside.  I did get halfway through cutting a porthole in the cabin side and had to weld it up again as it just "didn't look right".

Now you see on this one (rejected) the wheelhouse steps to the aft (back) cabin are in the centre, thus bisecting the dining table but does make a nice entrance to the bedroom.  The shower and heads are on separate sides and make two small spaces instead of one large one.  The doors at the front, heads,shower and office all get in the way of each other and are too busy.  You don't always notice things on paper but when mocked up in real life things become apparent.  The inside black line in the aft cabin and the dotted line in the front section is the real space available not the outside perimeter line.  Shows you just how much space you can loose at floor level.  It's not to say that space is totally lost but that it may only be a few inches at floor level but a couple of feet at deck level, ideal for cupboards and shelved storage or just part of the quirky interior.

See how this awkward space in the corner behind the radiator and beside the steps is transformed into an excellent aired cupboard for linen.

You can clearly see the sloping sides of the hull on this one and the woodstove is into its third incarnation having been moved sideways and turned to face the room more.


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