Fitting-out Wooden Cabin
Cruisers come in numerous
Whether you are building one from scratch, renovating an old
buying one, there are also numerous ways in which the layout will
determine her comfort and efficiency.
many advantages to building cabin cruisers from
- Condensation is much less of a problem than
it is in a
- They are much easier repair and alter.
And they feel and smell so much more pleasant than
there are as many reasons for
wanting a cabin on your boat.
Basic living amenities are built in.
Perhaps like me you’re getting too old to rough it.
The shelter it will provide for the crew especially
It can be locked up when you want to go ashore.
size of boat should you go
Well that very much depends on you, but remember that the cost of
maintaining her will increase exponentially with her size.
My first cabin cruiser was 17foot 6inches LOA (length over all).
Back then, when I was young I spent most of my weekends and holidays on
Now, I’m old I’m happier when I can stand upright in the
I bought that ‘micro cruiser’ from a family, husband, wife, two
sons and a huge dog.
Yet they all enjoyed many years cruising together on her.
I’m not quite sure how they all fitted in but they did. And they did it
in style and had tremendous fun into the bargain.
you are building,
restoring, or rebuilding the main consideration must be the integrity
going to be a boat,
not a country cottage, so it will need float and stay afloat.
right from the start
you will need to consider how the interior is to be laid out.
where you are going
to put the bulkheads.
These are important structural elements.
They will determine the shape and size of the living
They may need to be installed before the decks are laid.
Designing a boat involves a considerable amount of compromise between,
below for more
deal of creativity has been
expended on fitting sleeping accommodation into cabin cruisers,
sizes for bunks are
these are based on some mythical average person.
My bunk on Mignonne is as long as I am tall plus a bit.
it’s much wider at one end
than the other
because of where it is situated within the shape of the boat.
If you are going to have a foam mattress then it
a mattress isn’t necessary for comfort.
A well designed pipe-cot can be just as comfortable.
saving bunk building
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Plastic boat manufacturers spend hours designing cabin cruisers around
aim is to please the ‘little woman’.
If you are a ‘little woman’ then I suggest you stop reading this
and go buy a plastic bath tub.
For those with a practical appreciation for the need to eat
how many people are you going to cater for?
do you need to create complicated dishes?
do you intend to cook while under way?
how much space is there available?
and don’t forget the cook, will this be a safe comfortable
Once you have a reasonable idea of your needs and desires you can begin
consider the components of you galley.
sizes for galleys.
and Grab Rails.
What sot of galley stove will you need?
And what fuel will you use to run it?
How will you store water and how will you supply this to
How will you store food and utensils?
Will you need and have you space for refrigeration?
Remember to allow adequate ventilation.
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For those of us boating
in colder climes a
cabin heart can be a godsend at times.
There are several very efficient compact heaters specially made for
installation on cabin cruisers.
It is also possible to make your own wood burning stove or charcoal
More about that coming later.
Everyone is going to
need to use the heads at
some time, regardless of how 'blue' their blood may be.
In the ‘good old days’ everything went overboard.
Being a member of the ‘bucket and chuck it’ brigade used to be
something to boast about.
These days there are many areas where it is not only undesirable but
illegal to just dump your waste.
The simplest solution is to fit a chemical/cassette toilet.
For the men on board, if you do insist on peeing over the side remember
hand for yourself and one for the ship.
Apparently the American Coast Guards have an acronym used to describe a
type of body found at sea. FWFO,
Found With Flies Open.
sizes for heads.
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on board a cabin
cruiser, unlike storage at home will have to cope with being within a
Keep the cabin tidy
Keep your possessions safe and prevent breakages.
Store stuff like safety equipment, binoculars and such
can be grabbed quickly.
Keep the cabin a clear safe space while under way.
are innumerable nooks and crannies within a boat cabin which can be
used for storage.
You must also consider the trim of your boat when deciding where stuff
is to be
When planning the storage space try to place most of the weight
Use the fore peak and stern lockers for lighter objects.
And spread the weight evenly either side of the centreline.
you intend using you cabin cruiser at night, and of course that is
whole point, then you will need to think about lighting.
Weems & Plath Atlantic Gimbaled Lamp
which comply with the COLREGs (Convention on the International
for Preventing Collisions at Sea) for your own safety as much as anyone
light so you can read your charts at night without unduly
These are ideal for use by boat owners, and they are becoming
But there is nothing to compare with the soft warm glow of a gambled
a nice polished brass one, swaying with the boat, casting flickering
the light reflecting from glowing, polished wood.
Ok, so maybe I am a silly old romantic I don’t care, I know what gives
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Electrical systems are
not essential on board cabin cruisers.
But, by golly they do make life
so much more convenient and above all
When they are working that is.
Apart from the items we run on dry cell batteries such as torches moat
electrical equipment runs on 12 volts.
Most boat systems have two batteries.
course the batteries will need to be charged
Normally, for cabin
cruisers at sea, this is
done by the engine powering an alternator.
How complex your systems and how much you rely on electrical power
governed by how much of an electrical geek you are.
The less you know the less you should rely on it.
And the more electrics on board the greater will be your need for
protect all the metal fastenings etc.
importance of and how to
build a Battery Box for cabin cruisers.