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  #31  
Old 08-22-2006, 08:41 PM
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Willallison Willallison is offline
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I share your enthusiasm for big windows. I think I said so in an earlier post and I concur with Steve Dashews comments. But also remember that he's talking about a 70+ foot yacht where an extra 180kg up top is of far less moment (pun intended) than on a 40 footer. Having said that, I still think you can safely incorporate decent size windows into a boat.
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  #32  
Old 08-22-2006, 08:48 PM
ChrisF ChrisF is offline
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Wilma, you asked about berths. V-berths I find are good for coastal cruising with a relatively numerous crew who do not want to cuddle up, like the crew of four men I just went cruising with. My own boat is designed for a couple, so forward there is a double berth, but it's only used in port. One person does have to climb over the other, but I don't mind, and the alternative would really be a larger boat, with larger hassles and expenses. It's a really comfortable place with room for both to sit up and read, but as Will says, at sea it gets used for storage, mostly sails.

In port I want a big bed, but at sea I want a small one. So for use at sea there is a pilot berth outboard on each side of the saloon, enclosed with a lee cloth. These berths are narrow and snug, and once in them you are completely out of the way of everything, and as enclosed as you want to be. They are amidships, where the motion is much less. The odd sails live in these in port.

This arrangement has been very satisfactory.
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  #33  
Old 08-22-2006, 09:14 PM
Finlander Finlander is offline
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double bed in bow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilma Ham
However I would like to find out about births, who likes double v birth and why.
I also would like to hear who doesn't like them and why and who has seen good alternatives.
Wilma
I'm not a big fan of V-berths either. In fact, one of the links I posted details a 36-footer without the forward cabin. I pretty much favor using the bow for storage.

But another alternative would include a forward-facing double bed in the bow. In fact, I have a 'concept' Spray on my drawingboard, with just such a layout. The bed is huge and could be used as a big storage box when at sea. In fact, the fore-cabin has lots of closet space and one could easily walk around the foot of the bed--almost like home!

The forecabin on my 'concept' Spray drawing looks sort of like this:
http://www.bruceroberts.com/public/H...escription.htm

But again, the cabin is mainly for storage when at sea. It's where you put the deck chairs, table, bicycles etc.

A small amount of forward interior space is lost due to the bed's rectangular shape, but it can be used as bow-storage that's accessible from the outside.

Generally, I like entering berths from the back. I don't care for feet-go-in-first quarter-berths or V-berths. So, a forward-facing bed in front would be an option for a boat without an aft cabin.

Another of my 'concepts' is a head-first double quarter berth. Requires about 1-meter of headroom above the mattress to allow sitting.

Always full of ideas
Kristian
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  #34  
Old 08-22-2006, 09:18 PM
SeaSpark SeaSpark is offline
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Chairs & windows

Hoi Wilma,

Back to the gimballed chairs, i know they were used on open 60 boat's for the BOC (or Around alone or Vendee Globe different name same race). These seats were locked in a canted position to make them more comfortable when the boat is heeled. Many variants were used such as complete nav. stations including chair being cantable. Was not able to find good pictures illustrating them. Most competitors also used their seats to sleep in.

About the windows, large heavy windows on a 42ft boat are very impractical. If you want an inclosed pilothouse consider building a "sacrificial" one. I know, it sounds scary but think of it like building a pilothouse ontop of a conventional cockpit including drainage and strong doors separating it from the interior below. When the windows (or complete pilothouse) are swep away by big seas the boat will still be safe. This will enable you to safe a lot of weight high up (mind the pilothouse itself will also have to be build very strong) It is almost imposible to build something sticking out on top of a boat strong enough to withstand everything the sea can throw at it. A moderately stong pilothouse will survive most crossings, probally all crossings, knowing your boat will still be safe when something bad happens to the pilothouse will make you sleep well.

This kind of setup will allow easy integration of watertight bulkheads at the front and back of the cockpit with a watertight engine room under the pilothouse.

If you want to discuss the benefits of toughened glass talking to the people who sell it may not be the best option.

Jeroen
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  #35  
Old 08-22-2006, 09:41 PM
Toot Toot is offline
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The "right" way to ask questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSpark
If you want to discuss the benefits of toughened glass talking to the people who sell it may not be the best option.
Actually, it could provide a wealth of information. Just be sure you're talking to a designer and not a salesman.

One of my favorite question to ask a designer of anything is, "So what are the weaknesses of your design?"

When you ask this question, it automatically puts the person off-guard. Most people spend so much time thinking about why their design is the best and making up canned answers to why their system is the best that they usually don't have a standard answer for, "What isn't good?" As a result, they tend to be very candid in their responses and speak honestly, and without the hype.

Whether you're talking about a hull, sail, window, or chair, when you ask a designer what his design's weaknesses are, a truly enthusiastic and knowledgable designer will think for a few moments about his design criteria, consider all of the tradeoffs he made, and then begin explaining those tradeoffs and justifying his answers. Maybe he made a lot of tradeoffs for speed, or for comfort. Well, this is the information that you really want.

At that point, you learn a few things. You learn what the biggest tradeoffs are on their design. You also learn what specifications or criteria were important to the designer. And you learn a LOT about what questions you should be asking competitors.

Another question I like to ask is, "I was looking at the XYZ company's offering. What do you think about theirs?" and "What questions should I ask them about their design? Do you see anything about it that you really don't like?"

Now, granted, some designers are loathe to speak badly of others while others will be willing to say a mouthful, so take the answer with a grain of salt. But do research those questions and don't buy ANYTHING until you have a satisfactory answer.
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  #36  
Old 08-22-2006, 10:11 PM
Finlander Finlander is offline
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If the pilot house/hard-dodger is built from steel/alu and is integral (welded) with the rest of the boat, then I don't see it being swept away all that easily. I don't want to present myself as a glass expert though, insofar as its resistance to really heavy weather. However, there are quite a few ocean-going vessels here in the northern latitudes that have big glass.

And I don't see them coming back into port with windows missing

Of course, that doesn't mean disasters can't happen.
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  #37  
Old 08-22-2006, 10:14 PM
M&M Ovenden M&M Ovenden is offline
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Wow, more to talk about ...the V-birth.
To tell you the truth, it probably is my favorite hole in a boat, but this might not have the kind of reason you are looking for. My relationship with boats has started very young and for a young kid the v-birth has a very special appeal, sort of like a tree fort. So even though I know it is not a good place to sleep at sea, it is horrible for the legs, usually the air is stuffy and it is hard to crawl in and out, I love the v-birth and can sleep in them like a baby.
Back on the practical side of things. I slept two years in a v-birth with my husband and being tired of having him complain about the lack of room for his legs (lets precise that to make it worth the cat also likes to sleep at the foot of the bed) my next birth will be almost rectangular. Note that I say almost, that's compromise. The nifty thing about this birth will be the mattress, it will be the same that I sleep on currently. It is made of two separate layers, the bottom one is a high quality, high density foam and the top is a futon. It feels just like the best of the real mattress or even better. Each separate part is fairly flexible and can be easily fitted threw a hatch and in a boat. The futon even goes, once in a while for a tour outside on the close line for now and eventually on the boom to get aired out and refreshed. It will need to be trimmed to fit the shape of the birth but by the nature of the materials, it won't be a problem.

An other point about the birth. We have found that we like having it fairly opened up to the rest of the boat and not in a different cabin.
When living on board a boat you are usually inside to eat, sleep or lounge around. A birth is a big area of a boat, why waste that space to be usable only at night. On our smaller boat we found one of us would often be in there. As one is cooking it can be nice for the other to be in the birth, lounging and still in a good spot to chat. A very opened birth can seem weird for privacy but most of the time we will only be my husband and I on board and we want the boat to be design with that in mind. I will still have curtains and maybe when I get to it some sliding doors which could close it up, but I doubt it gets closed much.
The other reason is for winter, to keep the place warm you want to cut it up as little as possible, bulkheads between heated areas are not advantageous.
Next, you need a pretty big boat to have separate cabin with usable floor space that doesn't become a waste of that so precious thing as flat floor.
I bring up those points with in mind a boat of decent size, that would be nicely sailed by two.

I use to have a few storage hammacs hung over my birth. The great benefit of those are for the winter in cold climates, at bed time I would throw some clothe for the morning in there. I would also have books or the alarm clock. Small storage an arm length from were you sleep is good.

Last comment on the main birth. Make sure there is always kneeling head room...


Well that's it for this episode of a girl and her boat
cheers,
Murielle
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  #38  
Old 08-22-2006, 10:34 PM
Toot Toot is offline
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Ah ha! Murielle! You just gave me an interesting thought, based upon this thread here... Unbonded Kevlar Seat? (clicky)

What if you made the V-birth out of a wood perimeter frame, with kevlar bonded to it to create a sort of semi-hammock? It would be much stiffer than a hammock and wouldn't sway much more than maybe an inch. You could even make it taut if you wanted... And you could toss a thin foam layer over it to make it even more comfy... and then... this is the best part.......

Mount it on a pivot/hinge at the front so you can lift up the wider aft portion of the bed, all the way up to the deck above, to reveal maybe some sitting space, or a table or some such. With just a thin mattress and a few pillows, it probably wouldn't weigh much at all and would be quite easy to lift up out of the way- maybe even use some springs to lighten the load. I doubt it'd be quite as comfy as a full-service berth, but it ought to be close and it would add extra space in the day time....

Actually, that would the the ideal place for an entertainment setup since the entertainment function of a boat and the sleeping function are usually mutually exclusive...


You can just call it a Benjamin Berth.
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  #39  
Old 08-23-2006, 02:38 AM
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Willallison Willallison is offline
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Toot - I hate to dampen your enthusiasm - but a) this has been done before - I think they're called pipe berths (?) Usually a lightweight aluminium pipework frame with a cloth base. And b) Why bother to use Kevlar? There'd be no weight reduction, it's hard to work with and it's expensive.....

Murielle rather pipped me to the post with her comments regarding space for berths. If you are going to restrict your boat to around 40ft, then once you have say 12ft of cockpit & 12ft of pilothouse / saloon you are only really left with the bow area for separate sleeping accomodations. Perhaps you could consider 'occaisional' berths for whilst you at sea, located in the pilothouse. And a proper semi-walk around double bed up the bow for when you are in port.
Like Murielle, I have very fond memories of time spent as a little bloke snuggled up the bow in the v-berth, with the boat slipping along, Mum & Dad at the helm as we zoomed away for the weekend late on a Friday night....
These days I put my own two sons up there and they do the same.....

I also like to sleep up towards the bow whilst at anchor. It ensures that should the wind come up in the night, I'll be alerted by the noise and movement if things are such that I should poke my head outside to see that we are still in the same place as where I dropped the hook!
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  #40  
Old 08-23-2006, 05:00 AM
SeaSpark SeaSpark is offline
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Missing windows

Quote:
And I don't see them coming back into port with windows missing.
Depending on how you read this line, is this not just proving my point?

Looking at her website Wilma intends to do some very serious cruising. Most boats you see in port never undertake the voyages she has in mind.

Quote:
The weight penalty is around 400 pounds - 180 kg - and we can easily deal with that.
A weight penalty at pilothouse level of 180kg is of the kind no yacht designer deals with easily.
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  #41  
Old 08-23-2006, 05:27 AM
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Wilma Ham Wilma Ham is offline
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Regarding windows, I get that I do need to consider how many and the weight. The pilot house I referred to and got the reference from is huge and on a 70ft motorboat. However windows can be strong today and can be made in a construction that is welded to the deck I think. Mureille as always gives a good point about the bed, open plan in houses are popular, so why not in boats. I do stress it is important to pay attention how you will live aboard and who you are inviting. It will impact how you use the interior space and how you can use it to its advantage. I like the idea of having a bed in the bow facing teh less motion bit of the boat and the rest can be storage. That makes so mcuh sense. We went sailing once with a couple in a smal boat. I slept in a quarter birth and my hips wouldn't allow me to turn over and I am not that big. I can imagine a kid would love that little place but for me it was hard and claustrofobic and I crawled up to touch the feet of someone else who slept in the bow part of the settee that met up with the quarter birth so I could turn over. However that was the other extreme and I did like the sailing on that small boat, you were close to the water. However living aboard that boat would impossible.
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  #42  
Old 08-23-2006, 07:35 AM
Finlander Finlander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSpark
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finlander
And I don't see them coming back into port with windows missing.
Depending on how you read this line, is this not just proving my point?
Ha! That was a good one, I must admit

BTW, I'm also seeing more and more full-displacement, ocean-going wheelhouse trawlers here lately. These come from some faraway places, like the Caymans, for example (remember, I'm in Finland, so that's far away for me). Of course, these vessels have ballasted keels for self-righting. I've even seen a few with sails.

I don't see much of a liability if everything else is sealed-off (engine, fore and aft cabins). Plus, if it keeps you on deck longer, then you might avoid hitting something you'd rather avoid--containers, other ships, etc.
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  #43  
Old 08-23-2006, 08:46 AM
Finlander Finlander is offline
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wheel house galley and dentistry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilma Ham
...fishing boatsd have a pilot house in which they cook, why should I cook below if i can be with the watchman while cooking?
You can do it, but then the wheelhouse becomes less practical for sail-handling and there's less room for lounging-around. Plus, a wheelhouse galley tends to be smaller than one situated below. Your food might need to be stored somewhere else within the boat.

But, I'll concede that some people like a wheelhouse galley. For example, on a 40-footer, you could have a shallow-U galley on one side with a booth-style dinette opposite. The dinette converts (table lowers) to a berth for someone on watch...or a place to watch something bake

It's common on low-wheelhouse boats to have a raised dinette to see out the windows. Personally, I don't like unnecessary steps--I'd rather have a full-sized wheelhouse with proper view, or none at all.

In front of the galley and dinette, I'd want two forward-facing seats to steer and navigate with watertight companionway in the middle. And of course, there should be direct access to a cockpit at the rear of the wheelhouse.

BTW, this configuration has never found its way into any of my drawings--or, at least, it's been erased rather early in the drawing process. I like the galley right inside the companionway, so the wheelhouse can be used for sailing-handling and lounging. Consider that you can't see over a full-sized wheelhouse from the cockpit, so that's why I find sail-handling funtionality from within the wheelhouse important. Just my preference though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilma Ham
This is another radical idea, these days airoplanes have those longhaul beds that turn from seats into beds and you can strap yourself in so you won't fall out. What about a similiar configuration for passage making.
You'll lose some storage though...and where would you put such a 'dentist's chair?'
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  #44  
Old 08-23-2006, 11:38 AM
Toot Toot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willallison
Toot - I hate to dampen your enthusiasm
As long as the criticism is constructive, it's all good.

Quote:
- but a) this has been done before - I think they're called pipe berths (?) Usually a lightweight aluminium pipework frame with a cloth base. And b) Why bother to use Kevlar? There'd be no weight reduction, it's hard to work with and it's expensive.....
I didn't know that, but I suspect the pipe berth (or whatever it's called) would be quite "bouncy". And I suspect this may be a reason that they are not standard equipment on boats? What say you?

If made taut, the kevlar should be dramatically less "bouncy" than cloth. It might be possible to approach the stiffness of a traditional berth. I ask because I genuinely don't know, couldn't that be an attractive benefit?

As for cost, I don't think it's a big deal. Unlike laminations, something like this would only be a single layer. Assuming you use woven fabric, a 36" wide berth would be about $80-100 (plus frame). A 6' wide berth, double it to $160-200. Using roving ought to reduce that cost.

To me, that doesn't sound like a lot when compared to the benefit of getting more functional space out of a small boat. I'm just thinking that the extra strength in tension and better modulus of elasticity would make for more comfortable sleep- especially when you have two people sharing the space and one likes to toss and turn.
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  #45  
Old 08-23-2006, 12:12 PM
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westlawn5554X westlawn5554X is offline
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If we are thinking for ladies why not think further like for the old age and handicapped and make a fool proof overall design that would be ideal for all passage? well I am indeed a bit greedy.
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