alternative to a V-berth

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by gmat, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. gmat
    Joined: Nov 2013
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    gmat graham

    I am looking at building a 50ft-ish boat. I have been considering what to do with the traditional V-berth up front.

    The advantage of the V-berth is that I can fit 4 bunks in a difficult shaped space -- good for cruising with the nephews and nieces. The disadvantage is that I wouldn't want to sleep there -- bounce all over the place :)

    I could put a master cabin up there, but again bouncy-bouncy. Doesn't seem like a great place for a sleeping cabin.

    The real question is what is the front section of a boat good for? What realistic alternatives are there for using the front section?
     
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    My 37'er uses this space as the head and storage, which is a good idea, as it's very limited use and not in a location where you want to spend much time. Others I've seen are a work space/storage area, with a bench down one side, lockers over and under and bins on the other side. I think a berth in the eyes of the boat is nearly useless.
     
  3. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    I'd vote for a workshop utility area & sail storage, great to drop your anchor chain in there too & bench under the hatch to catch some cool breeze.
    Jeff.
     
  4. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member


    All the best sailing boats have fold up pipe berths in the forepeak

    The vee area under these pipes is devoted to storage

    The pipeberth form the top of these vee lockers, keep the peake looking good and offer a decent home for overload guests at night

    When you need to get at gear in the vee...just hoist a pipeberth and you have access.
    No cushions on the pipes...only fabric...


    Boats with fitted cabins in the bow are goofy dogs
     
  5. bruceb
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    bruceb Senior Member

    It depends!

    If you plan on being at sea most of the time, see answers above. If not- and MOST boats are not, forward cabins can be just fine- and there are good reasons that almost all production boats have them. On a 50' boat, there is still room for a forepeak for storage, depending on the hull shape of course. Spend some time on a charter boat and at boat shows before you decide to go against the "mainstream" design choices. Even long distance cruisers spend 90% of their time on the hook or in marinas, and the extra "living" space in the big middle part of the boat can be very welcome. Stick the overnight kids/guests in a couple of little aft quarter cabins, then they won't stay too long. ;)
    B
     
  6. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The problem is that boats have so much gear to stow..sun covers, sail covers, fenders, ropes, toys .....the list is endless. A mountain of the stuff

    When you have a finished forepeake all this gear ends up in a big heap on top or buried so deep in the boat that its a drama to break out the sun cover or spin sheet.
    Also with a pipe peak you can leave the deck hatch open and not be to concerned about rain showers getting things wet.

    I really like pipe forepeakes.
     
  7. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    In a ~50ft I like a head/shower forward with a big hatch overhead to drag sails in/out directly without concern about getting water everywhere (all plastic, oversize, and with a watertight door). Then a nice birth for someone responsible for monitoring the anchor. That quiet master aft might allow you to sleep until you are bumping aground.
     
  8. gmat
    Joined: Nov 2013
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    gmat graham

    I like the idea of sail locker/shower and hatch -- good complementary use of space.

    But, let's say we complicate things a little ...

    Suppose the boat is a cat ketch (with two main masts both the same size) with no extra sails other than the two main sails -- so no jibs, gennakers, spinnakers etc. The idea is a boat whose sail plan requires very little work.

    Such a boat doesn't require much of a sail locker, since there are no extra sails ...
     
  9. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    A bulk storage locker like is being proposed is still a great asset. Think spare anchors, extra line, bulk food stores, dive compressor, ect... No space on a boat will go empty for long.

    Personally I like sleeping in the bow, even offshore. So long as it isn't terribly rough I like the movement more than an aft cabin. But on a 50'+ boat there should be some area dedicated for bulk storage. Either in an aft lazarette, or the bow.
     
  10. gmat
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    gmat graham

    My concern about storing stuff in the bow is that it may make the boat bow heavy. This is of particular importance in a cat ketch design which already has the weight of one of the masts set far forward.
     
  11. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    It's got to go somewhere, and I doubt that general storage weights much more than the cabinetry, mattress, clothes, ect... That go with a v-berth
     
  12. robwilk37
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    robwilk37 Senior Member

    ive always liked what gozzard does...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SSDy7WiPkcI[/URL]
     
  13. redbeard
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    redbeard New Member

    Greenhouse?

    That Gozzard design was pretty slick. :cool:

    This thread reminded me of something I read in a book called "Sailing the Farm" by Kenneth Neumeyer. I looked up the passage and this is what I found:

    "I had the entire front cabin of my last vessel lined with racks of vegetables, sprouts, herbs and wheat grass growing under clear 1/2 inch lexan skylights. A most unusual craft! The garden in La Lionesse supplied me and two friends with all the fresh food we could eat. Most of our diet was sprouts since they only take a few days to grow and provide lots of bulk, but there were also plenty of tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and strawberries."

    Being someone who enjoys growing my own food on land, the idea stuck in my head. Anybody else heard of, or seen this done first hand?
     
  14. Emerson White
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    Emerson White Junior Member

    I concur, the Gozzard design is very sharp.
     

  15. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I have not seen it first hand but I have seen a number of references to growing greens on board and I am seeing lots of indoor urban gardening systems crowd funded.

    It seems very costly space wise but a valued luxury for some. I think I would prefer a small terrarium on deck -sealed but for a small gas permeable filter. Or just seal it with a couple pill bugs inside for CO2. More sun = more output. Sealed requires the least fresh water.

    Sprouts don't need any sun, just some moisture.
     
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