Dashboard Dry Fit

Posted by Paul

Another day where the hours just seemed to fly by with little or nothing done. I sanded the glue joins on the bedroom walls and the bulkhead both sides ready to glass the join. I don’t think I will tape them separately, the plans call for the whole of bulkhead 5 to be glassed both sides, I think this is because it is the standard rig mast bulkhead so I may not have to glass this both sides after all but even if I don’t, the join in the bulkhead is close enough to the corner that would need to be coved and glassed anyway that I can just use a wider tape and do it all in one go all around including the fore aft walls.

So after sanding (I also sanded another meter under the bridgedeck), I did the dry fit and a lot of planning. With the panels in place I could see just how much space, headroom, what would fit where etc. I will put one bunk fore/aft so it needs to be 1500mm from the side wall to the edge of the chamfer where the mattress side will be, the distance bulkhead to bulkhead is 2000mm so this covers a queen mattress. On the other side I also plan to have a queen size mattress on the port side (which we will make the master bunk even though usually the starboard bunk with the ensuite is the master) but it will run across the boat and hang out over the chamfer and the space below the mattress will be a draw for spare blankets, sheets etc and it will have the corners cut off (so we will need to get the mattress custom made) about 300mm off each corner, and the steps will go up each side about 600mm so the end of the mattress will feel a little like an island. Down each side of the mattress will be a 250mm wide and 300mm high boxed section which will have padded upholstery on them and cupboard space inside. The sides need to be a little higher than the mattress so the lids can easily be opened on the cupboards whilst in bed.

In between the bunks there is a cavity 600mm wide x the 2000mm between the bulkhead and now that I have raised the dash the height is 1100mm so there is enough room in there for 1320 litres (1000 litres = 1 cubic meter). I plan to have 3 tanks in this area, 2 300 litre fresh water tanks and a 300 litre black water holding tank. With the rest of the space I will use as the anchor chain locker. It would have been in the D shaped section but this space is deeper and further aft so the weight of the chain is better placed, and the hatch in front of the new anchor locker can house a spare anchor with chain attached as an emergency manual deployed anchor in case of a problem with the windlass or the urgent need of a second anchor, etc. This area will be open to the deck at the front so I can have filler ports for the water, breathers and also a vacuum out for black tank and whilst I doubt I will ever need to use it, it needs to be there to meet regulations. I can build inspection plates into the dash to get to any of the fittings.

So everything is working out how I want. Now that I have dry fit the panels I can glue and tape them in. The only decisions I have to make is how I want the tanks, i.e. will I make them myself or will I fit hard plastic tanks inside the cavity (my preferred option). You can see from the pics how little the visibility is affected, you just lose sight of the front of the tramps and D foredeck from a standing position (less so from standing on the helm seat and looking down through the door or window through the front window to the foredeck, so no long distance visibility loss, the roof line does not change so the top of the window is still in exactly the same place. From forward of the bulkhead inside the berths you can see how much more light will enter the bunks and how there is now space for the full size hatches. If I go ahead with my plan to put a false floor into the saloon once all of the furniture is in (kitchen, lounge and the other cupboards) then the higher dashboard will not be obvious because I will raise the floor 100mm anyway. It will add a little weight (about 2 sheets of 12mm ply and the webs for it) but also add stiffness to the floor, give me space to run plumbing or wiring. I will raise the height of the kickboards on all of this furniture by the same 100mm so the only place that the false floor will be noticeable is when you step up into the saloon from the cockpit, which is also a safety feature if the cockpit ever gets swamped with water it will be more difficult for it to enter the hulls. Of course you lose 100mm of headroom but the headroom is already 2.1 meters so I wont miss it. I will also slant the floor away to the steps into the hulls but this is a little difficult to explain so I will leave that until later. I cant wait to see the effect all of this has once the roof and cabin sides are on and the effect the wrap around window in the berths will have. I have never seen it on any of boat before so I am sure it will look unique.

I didn’t work on the boat yesterday, deciding instead to go out for the day with Jo to Port Stephens. We caught the ferry from Nelson bay to Tea Garden and back. Just an excuse to be on the water. Every now and then it is better to step away, have a break and more importantly keep the relationship harmonious. Jo is very understanding of the time I put in and in return I don’t hesitate to take a break whenever Jo asks, or better yet suggest activities to her that we can both enjoy. I try to use such breaks to be around the water and Jo always enjoys the places we go. It kind of shows us what our life will be like once we launch and move aboard. We are blessed with beautiful waterways. Nelson Bay is where a lot of dolphin and whale watching boats leave from, so the ferry promises that 90% of the time dolphins will be seen. It’s the poor mans dolphin cruise. Anyway we did see a dolphin, but Jo still feels a bit ripped off as we only actually saw half a dolphin as it surfaced once and dove again. No head or tail just the dorsal! What we did see something I couldn’t resist showing on my site. A few of the boats that go dolphin watching are cats. One is a 43 foot (either a Perry or a Lightwave, I am not sure) and takes about 30 passengers out. Well on this occasion all 30 decided to go out on the tramps and the bows. That’s about 2 tonne on the front. Here is the result.

bow heavy cat 2

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