Building Logs

Aft Bedroom Furniture

Posted by Paul

Back inside the boat the furniture work continues, although I am back down in a hull again as I want to finish the aft bedroom as that is all that is left to do in the Starboard hull in terms of making furniture (there is still a lot of furniture in this hull to be finished, as in glassed into the boat etc but something or other is holding that up, for example I cant finish the cabinet in the forward bedroom until the mast posts are in) but all the furniture parts are made other than in the aft bedroom, so I want to finish them. That will leave just the port back corner in the hulls to finish, and the galley.

There are 2 areas to the aft bedroom, there is a section in front of the bed itself with the angled wall to the front and the bulkhead to the bed to the back. There will be a cupboard on each side of that. Again I have a hold up on the inside hull side, but I can go ahead on the outside hull side. I should explain the delay that will stop me making any furniture on the inside (chamfer panel) side of both hulls. When building a boat as big as this, it is inevitable that you will have changes of mind or changes of plan AFTER you have built furniture into the boat! Fortunately the change in plans is not hindered too much by the fact that I have built furniture by much but it will add quite a bit of added work getting around the fact the furniture is there and in the way and I have to go through it. What has happened is that the engineers of the masts have told us we cannot run the halyards out through the post sides just above deck level as was originally our plan.

So lets go back a step first. We would like to have our halyards led back to the cockpit, and with a rotating mast you cannot have the halyards exit the mast and then attach to the deck through a fairlead, because in order to keep the sail up you need to cleat the halyard off, so it is taught. This taught line prevents the mast from rotating, or if the mast rotates it wraps around the mast, pulling tighter but as it is likely going to be too tight it just will impede the rotation until the rope breaks or the sail tears etc. It just doesn’t work. So our solution idea was for the halyard to run down the inside of the mast and through the top of the mast post and then out the side of the mast post just above the deck (but under the bottom of the mast) and then down the side of the cabin side to the cockpit winches.

Unfortunately the engineers have decided that the minimum 3 slots needed (halyard, reefing line, foresail halyard, maybe a spare halyard but we can live without those) would weaken the mast post at a point of very high load and even with a thicker wall it was just too risky. He wants the lines to exit close to the bottom of the post, he will allow for them to come out a little higher than the sole (so not out the very bottom) but not higher than about 600mm up so at about the point where the hull and chamfer panel meet.

So now the lines will run down each hull along the hull panel just below the chamfer turn, which is also below the steps or shelves all the way down each hull to the rear bulkhead to the outboard well, around a turning block and up the bulkhead and through the deck around another block and through fairleads and a cam cleat to the winch from behind it. Perfect. Lines hidden and it should work well, the outboard well is wet so no problem with the lines running through there and water getting in from the deck. The only problem is I have to go through furniture I have already made. Not a bit issue but more work, but I dont wont to be making more work for myself by making any more furniture along the route until I have all of the lines in place and through bulkhead conduit (I will use copper or stainless pipe with the ends flared) sorted out and I really cannot do that until the mast posts are in. I expect to receive them in about another 2 months. So not a long delay and its not like I dont have plenty of work to do in the meantime. So no more cupboards along the inside of each hull for a couple of months, or at least if I do, I have to make provision for where I think the lines will go, I do have a fair idea.

So the hull side cabinet in the aft bedroom is next. And it works in with my plans to have it built now as its size is dictated by the door position and the size (height and depth) of the rest of the hull side cabinets in the boat, but once I have it made it will give me the sense of proportion I need before making the inside hull cabinet. This is a very small room so I wont have room to make that sides cupboard the same size as other inside hull side cabinets, it has to be much shallower (same height though). So once I have made the outside cabinet, I will then decide what works on the inside hull panel cabinet.

The aft bedroom hull side cupboard will have a mini basin in it, for brushing teeth or a drink of water, every other bunk has access to its own bathroom so I thought it would be nice for that bunk to at least have a sink and tap. The water hose and waste pipe have been put in under the sole and through it under where I think the sink will be. I calculated the size of the bottom shelf and kickboard to the given depth of the cupboard at the set height (all of my cupboards are 880mm high) and because the hull side slopes in (narrower at the bottom) but the cupboard front will be plumb then the depth is calculable at any given height. So I made the parts and de-cored the front edge of the bottom shelf and back filled it. I glassed the kickboard in so that the next day when the edging was set I could glue it to the kickboard front (and 2 webs inside) and glass it from above. I also calculated the size of the shelf and the top and cut and de-cored them and filled all three parts and also a rail that will run under the top that needs its bottom edge filled.

Next day (Sunday) I sanded the edges and glassed the bottom shelf to the kickboard and then glassed the middle shelf in and the top rail. I did not glass the top on, preferring to wait until the rail was set so that I could clamp to it. Next day before I glassed the top on I realized (by checking with a spirit level, that I had miscalculated the size of the middle shelf and realized it was 20mm too big. I trimmed 10mm off, I could not trim to 20mm because my fill was not that deep. I could have trimmed to 20mm and would then have had to re decore the edge with the shelf already in and then refilled and re-sanded it in place. Too hard, so my door wont be perfectly plumb but I defy anyone to see it.

Anyway next day (Monday night) I glassed the top on. I also measured and made front panels for the cupboard, on the aft section there is a bench seat that doubles as a step into the now raised bed entry (I am yet to make the top for this bench which also doubles as a storage locker) and the side cupboard extends past and over it so the front section needs to be closed off. The front also provides an edge for the doors on the cupboard, and at the forward end of the cupboard I need the doors set back about 200mm in order to hide or protect the water and waste pipes. The doorway opening that is left is 600mm so 2 x 300mm doors will work fine.

Next I moved to the inside of the bedroom. There is a section on the inside side of the hull that needs a front on it to finish the bed area. There is room for cupboard created by the cockpit seating (under them) and with a front on and doors this creates a wall down that side of the bed. I was going to make the wall one long piece but there is a section in the middle that is too shallow to be a useful cupboard, only about 100mm deep. And because material is running out, cutting a panel 550mm (that is the height of that section) x 2000mm (the depth of the bed between the bulkheads) would mean that I would use the major part of an entire sheet as opposed to being able to make 2 smaller walls (and doors) out of the end of a sheet, leaving the bulk of the sheet still useable for other furniture. I had an idea for the section in the middle that will now not be covered over with a one piece wall. Instead of the wall covering it over and having an unused 100mm void behind it, I leave it open, put a shelf about half way up (or just a little below half way) and I can put a portlight into the panel as the other side of it is in the cockpit, so that if it is raining the port can still be opened as it is sheltered by the cockpit roof. More cross flow of air and light is a good thing. And the port should be above a shelf so as to be up as high on the seat front as possible so as to protect the port from any water that may crash over should the boat ever be pooped by a following wave with the port open, unlikely but possible so the higher the better, and because it should be as high off the mattress as possible.

aft bed side cupboard areaaft bunk cupboard fronts dry fit

So once I had decided all of that and measured the areas needed to be covered I cut the panels and then cut the doors out of them. The inside edges of the doorway and the outside edges of the doors must be de-cored and backfilled. The doors are made for the pieces that are cut out of the panel to make the doorway but in order for them to be usable you must cut them out without starting the jigsaw at the outside edge of the panel and you do this by starting the jigsaw on an angle without the blade touching and slowly lower it down onto the point you want to cut but be careful as the blade will want to wander until it grabs and could start in the wrong place if you dont keep control of it. And if you are not having curved corners you will need to start each edge cutting separately rather than going around the corner with the jigsaw.

aft bunk portlight positionaft bunk side large cupboard

The larger cupboard in the aft bedroom will probably need a shelf or divider to split the space but before I do that (and before I glass the front on) I will need to finalize the steering and probably the outboard motor controls as they both sit in the space directly above this cupboard although the outboard control wiring just travel through the space but the steering may need more mechanical parts in there. Probably not, as I will most likely have hydraulics but better to finalize and fit all of that before the front goes on as it gives better access to the space and works will be much easier. It seems that a lot of the build is held up by other parts of the build now. But as you get to the pointy end that is bound to happen more and more often.

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