Building Logs

Aft Bedroom Furniture Almost Finished

The finishing touch to the cupboards on the outside of the hull in the small room in front of the aft bedroom (it is actually 2 rooms, one is the bed itself, the other in front of the bulkhead is now part of the bedroom by the addiction of a dividing wall and doorway) was to glass front panels onto the cupboard to provide edges against which the doors will be hung. Because the cupboard goes up against and then over the seat/step cupboard already in place a panel front shaped to the step with a plumb straight edge formed on panel and on the other end there is 2 plumbing pipes (in and out) and there is no point having the doors open that far and expose the pipes to risk of damage so a small panel from the wall edge to past the pipe or at least past the more vulnerable pipe, the water in hose, made sense. With the size decided on, leaving a 600mm opening, the panels were shaped and the front and top edges de-cored and filled. The side edges are self explanatory but the top edges were filled because the panel will match the height of the doors so will be exposed, the bottom edge will glue to the shelf so will not be exposed. All that is left in that cupboard now is to coat the inside with the white epoxy I use to finish the internal surfaces (I have already sanded the tapes to remove sharp shards). The external finishes and door hanging will come at the very end of the build.

With the outside hull side cabinet finished attention could turn to the inside hull cabinet. Potentially this cupboard could have been much deeper and have more usable storage space because of the chamfer panel but as I have mentioned previously, space is a compromise, more cupboard space in a room like the aft bedroom means less standing room, and in this case the room is so small that the cupboard space would encroach too much on the comfortable use of the room. The idea of the room is to give the occupants of the back bunk a private area to get changed, the original plans and many boats of this style dont have this room, they just have the bulkhead with the bed opening and a curtain across the opening providing the only privacy for the occupants of that bunk from people in the saloon. This means getting changed lying down on the bunk, most uncivilized. The angled wall of the bedroom also provides the stairwell rear wall so is a much better solution, but for that change area to be usable there needs to be enough space to get out of the way of the door swing (the bottom step of the stairwell makes swinging the door into the hallway impossible) in order to shut the door from inside the room. This space is the space that a cupboard on the inside hull could have used. I kept the cupboard on the outside hull uniform with the rest of the boat as it provides continuity and also strengthening to the hull walls and also because there will still be room for some cupboard area over the chamfer panel as opposed to no cupboard at all if I left the space on the outside hull open. So with the outside hull cupboard in place the inside hull cupboard position or more appropriately the size of the open floor area could be decided.

The starting point was the available floor space, which is dictated by the hull side, at the point where the floor meets the hull panel. From there the hull panel goes up at an angle not square to the floor but that is the point where the maximum flat floor space is available, and essentially it is floor space more than anything else that dictates the footfall and therefore standing room in the room, you cannot stand on any space saved by starting the cupboard further up the hull panel so the cupboard may as well start at the edge of the floor hull join and go up square to the floor from there. Which is what I did. I got the front panel of the cupboard to end so that it met the hull at the height of a kickboard and so that a kickboard would not be needed, the hull panel can be the kickboard. Because of the depth of the space between a plumb cupboard front and the angled hull panel is so shallow there is no point having a door on the front or a shelf inside, the space is only 100mm at its widest, it is nearly unusable. I have a use for it however. I have mentioned that the sail handling lines will now run down the hull panels just below the chamfer and access will be needed to them, so having a cupboard with no front door and a fixed top does not allow for access, so the answer to a number of problems is solved by having the top hinged rather than fixed and the front fixed rather than hinged.

aft bedroom insiide hull cabinetaft bedroom insiide hull cabinet 2

I will put a removable panel in the bottom of the cupboard created by having a hinged top, and that gives access to the sail handling lines underneath and allows for a usable cupboard space (access to the lines is only required if one breaks and a new one needed to be threaded through). The bench top that is hinged means that the top is not as usable as a bench but the space directly above that bench is hanging space so there is not much likelihood of much being stored on that bench top that would need moving to get access to the items inside that hinged lid. In order to support the false floor to the cupboard space inside I will run a batten along the front and another along the chamfer panel and the cupboard base will just sit on them. When shaping the cupboard panel I again had to meet the curved face of the seat/step and go over it to the bulkhead. I also need to seal off the hull side from the inside of the seat/step to the hull side so that anything put in the under seat space cannot interfere with the or rub against the sail handling lines as they will not be completely housed inside conduit (to reduce friction and the chance of fouling inside a conduit which would be extremely difficult to remedy) so a lid over the under seat space is the easy fix and provided an edge for the lid of the seat/step which of course will also be hinged. (The shelf on the other sides cabinet performs the same function.)

The cabinet front mimics the other side by having a gap between the top of the front (on the other side its got doors) so even though the front does not open it should match in appearance (from the outside) so I have glued and glassed a rail which protrudes above the front by the same gap (about 8mm) on each side and the lid will rest on (not glued and glassed to as is usually the case with front rails on cabinets, but of course this lid is hinged).

With the front glassed on and a seat step top cut to size now that the exact gap is revealed the shape of the room is revealed, with only a top on the inboard cabinet to be made and fitted. There is enough room to step around the door to close it and to get changed or otherwise be in the room and not feel fully enclosed. I was going to put doors on the hanging space but the feeling of being closed in made me decide not to, and also having doors on the hanging space would have meant that they would need to be opened in order to open the lid to the cupboard below, not a major hassle but in the end, I felt that seeing hanging clothes was not a bit issue, but feeling closed in was.

aft bed seat step mishapeaft bed seat step top

As readers would know, I am a big fan of symmetry and usually do a lot of forward planning of what I am trying to achieve but 2 things often happening with forward planning, you either change your mind or it is changed for you by circumstances. In the case of the aft bedroom it was a combination of the 2. I did not know when originally planning the furniture in this room that either the door would have to open in or that I would need access to the inside hull side for the sail handling lines. Unforeseen construction issues forced the changes but as often turns out, the changes also reveal unseen benefits. This room is now not as cramped as it would have been and is now far more comfortable. The only problem encountered with the change of plans is a lack of symmetry when viewed from above (it is almost invisible when viewed from in front) with the lid open of the curved front of the seat step. Because it is curved evenly from one hull side to the other but the cupboards are of a different depth the curve visible is no longer symetric. A minor point I know, but it annoys me nonetheless. I will just have to get over it (I am already over it!) because the rest of the room works very well. I am very happy with it. I get a kick out of a plan that works out well.

aft bedroom looking aftaft bedroom looking foward

So next step is to cut and shape the tops for the 2 hinged sections, which usually means applying a section of top at the back that is glassed in that forms the edge to which the hinged section is hinged. Then I just have to put the side walls onto the section that becomes the nav station cupboard to seal that room off from the rest of the boat and still yet to finish the side walls in the actual aft bunk.

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Paul