We have not started building the accommodations, but it’s coming… for now, we have a plan…or at least a good idea of what we want.
The Pepe Berrou will not be what one would consider a yacht, we traded luxury for more practicality, from our point of view and lifestyle.
Living on our previous 36 footer we didn’t really find we missed to much living space. We would of certainly welcomed a good size table and a couple guest bunks (or dog bunk) but other from that we were fine. What we really missed was storage space. We had no place to keep bikes, skis, snowshoes, skates….and even less for wind surfing gear. Our new boat is giving up a lot of interior space for a wide, spacious deck and it’s more traditional lines, making it a “small” 50 foot boat. There will not be a master bedroom, guest quarters and a gazillion of bathrooms.
I have found that some compromises that make complete sens on vessels used for vacation trips or weekend sailing put a little more pressure on the crews comfort when living on board. This boat will be our full time home and I have designed the interior in consideration of our preferences rather then more standard layouts.
There’s my only boat plan sketched by hand, partly. The living accomdations will be between the two steel bulkheads, drawn in red. We are indeed limiting that area to the center half of the boat. Only that section will be finished in style, the rest will have more of a work boat finish.
By doing so I make our living quarters smaller but I limit them to being living quarters only, nothing more. The truth of it is that I really have a problem about sharing my bedroom with a diesel engine, I’m not a very big on keeping a set of sails in my dresser, I don’t like sleeping over a holding tank…. Really… would you store the lawn mower under your bed? Our homes have garages and sheds….well I wanted it on my boat too.
The aft section of the boat is meant to be the engine room and navigation section, we will also use the available space to store our junk…isn’t what we do with garages?
Here’s a few advantages I aiming for with this separation:
– Fumes and smells from the engine and its liquids shouldn’t contaminate the living area, making it more comfortable for the sensitive noses.
-The bilges of the two compartments being independent, any oily or greasy mess will be limited to the aft section.
-By not trying to build up accommodation around the engine I keep better access to it.
– During longer trips, having the navigation area completely apart from the resting area makes it for better sleep for the off quarter crew. I am hoping to have a bunk in the navigation area so it is possible for the person navigating to rest close to alarms without waking everybody up.
The bow will also be separated from the living area by a steel bulkhead, but will still connect with the main area with a water tight door. The bow will serve as an alternate entrance in wet weather, it will allow to enter without dragging water threw living accommodations. It will also be used to store anchors, chains, sails….Finally but not the least, the head (toilet ) will be in this compartment. Talking of the head, it will have this particularity that it will be mounted directly on top of the giant septic tank to allow flushing by gravity, without a pump.
The living accommodations will be fairly basic, the layout simple. Aesthetically we are looking for warmth, I imagine a lot of wood and colors. We want a good size table for five or six people to be able to spend a good evening around a few bottles of wine. The bunks will not be set in separate rooms. Only the main bunk will be somewhat enclosed. The galley should offer good counter space and will be equipped with a full size sink. Finally we are keeping a special spot for a charming wood stove.
The divisions of the boats interior present a few more advantages other than the comfort and lifestyle ones. We are reducing the amount of finishing needed to make the boat a home. We can concentrate on the living accommodations, move on board and slowly take care of the rest. Each compartment is independent and can be worked on separately.
We are also reducing the cost of the interior finish, we can throw the big bucks were we want it to be pretty and be a little more conservative in the bow and aft. A simpler finish will also allow us a better access to the steel hull for easier maintenance in the wetter and harder working areas.