We have been working pretty hard the last few days so have had a do nothing morning. But it has given some space for reflections and sharing.
Having a true aft cabin, one that is behind the cockpit rather than under it as on lots of more modern boats (possible because they are much wider at the stern and have much higher sides above the water), is fantastic for couples living aboard. I was able to get up, go to the loo, make a coffee, watch youtube without disturbing Jane at all. When I had a mid morning nap to recover from all that exertion she was also able to sit in the cockpit without disturbing me.
When we were looking we didn’t find any other boats anywhere near our price range with this layout.
One thing we are planning to change at some point is the door to the ensuite heads compartment. With the double bed infill it is a very tight squeeze to get in. So we are looking at extending the opening “round the corner” and adding a hinged section to the door. That will allow us to have a door handle and lock again (we had to take it off because we kept scraping ourselves on in as we squeezed was it).
Talking of doors
From the main saloon going forward towards the main heads compartment and forecabin there is a sliding door. It does not slide very well despite some attempts to adjust it. Of course if it did slide well then it might start opening and closing as the boat heels when sailing.
We are going to look at changing it to a hinged door opening into the saloon which should help make the heads seem more spacious too (just need a way to stop shower water running down the door into the saloon).
We have already removed the multi-purpose door to the forecabin from the heads compartment. We have lost the ability to have a corridor forward with the toilet hidden but gained headroom (because there was a timber doorstop for the top of the door). A simple door for the forecabin will be enough.
What is behind the headlining?
We have mentioned the ability of a foam backed headlining to hide leaks by absorbing the water and also by letting it appear some distance from the leak itself. Also for cupboards to hide problems (as with the loose steering gearbox hidden behind the galley cupboards). As we have been painting the aft heads compartment and the galley we have found another, nastier ability. Behind the headlining and some cupboards was a black sticky film, coming from leaks to the engine space. The barriers had acted as a filter masking the fact that nasty stuff was leaking from the engine into cabin spaces, but they would have only stopped the sooty stuff not the gases. Worth checking if air can escape your engine space without you realising.