Finishing touches

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by jamesgyore, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. jamesgyore
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    jamesgyore Senior Member

    My own construction project finally starts this Monday coming, after a year of research, browsing stock plans, one false start that has fed our chiminea for many months, and a whole lot of sensible advice from this forum.

    Hull construction is frankly a done deal, the plans are detailed and thorough... Not much can go wrong, unless I deviate from the plan or the build instructions.

    I'm thinking ahead, with due consideration to a former employer that happens to be an interior decorator. A wonderful source of tasteful and elegantly simple ideas.

    If you'll forgive my lack of tack... I'd like my little 7.6 meter yacht to appear much bigger than it really is, and look like those mega dollar yachts that only some of us can afford.

    I've been drooling over Beneteau, Dehler, Hanse, Hunter, Bavaria, X-Yachts, Dufour, Delphia, and Jeanneau yachts for years.

    I'm no fool, and can appreciate that some of these yachts do not represent the most practical of cruising yachts. But their insides are very pretty.

    I'd like to finish my yacht with a better than average interior... Mega-yacht look on a mini-yacht platform.

    I spent today between the two largest marinas in my local area. Reviewing an endless parade of nauseating vinyl in line green and orange, fabrics in mission brown and tartan. I have also seen the flimsiest pretence for the use of lathe turned wood, teak trim and brass and about the most tacky of overdone "nautical" themes that any man should ever have to suffer, sober or drunk.

    The question is... Have you built a new boat, or renovated an old boat, and do you have thoughts about interior design and finishing touches or better yet, pics of your project?
     
  2. Milehog
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    Beware of making the interior look too busy or pretentious. (Think of a person that is not aging gracefully, they are fooling no one.) It is easy to do on a small boat.
    Light colors are your friend. Study Herreshoff's and high end picnic boat interiors. Simple, understated and elegant.
    Teak slats and trim, white walls, white cushions with colorful stripes. Possibly a chrome rail or such. A carefully placed mirror can create the illusion of space. If there is a sink in the head consider a freestanding glass bowl. Nothing is to be crowded, omit rather than over do. Pretend space is not a concern.
    Just my $0.02.
     
  3. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    First provide a sketch of your boat...then describe what you want to do with it.

    I prefer a small boat to be spartan and functional..... with simple furniture , highly detailed and beautifully crafted.

    By highly detailed I mean ...if you intend to carry a flashlight, this light is built into the furniture...Your fire extinguisher is built into the furniture....the galley counter top drains... the nav station top has ferrous metal embedded and your nav tools are magnetic...your 5 coast pilots are on a 5 book shelf.... handrails located were handholds are needed..... a companionway ladder that works when heeled....engine box access correct for routine service....all sailing gear purpose installed as part of the interior design............. tools are stored in a wall cabinet, not a rusty tool box........ the list is huge

    It is this detailing that separates the custom build from the production.
     

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  4. jamesgyore
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    jamesgyore Senior Member

    That is a very attractive set of steps! I've noted similar curved installations on several boats and will fashion something similar.
     
  5. Nick.K
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    Nick.K Senior Member

    For me, a single point (of style) that separates many amateur interiors from professional ones is matched wood colours with very little range of colour tone through the boat. Amateur interiors often incorperate wood with many different colours or grain patterns which make the interior look small and busy and detract from the form.
    "will fashion something similar"...Good luck!...
    Nick.
     
  6. Nick.K
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    Nick.K Senior Member

    Radiused edges and curved corners. When designing your interior, imagine yourself slipping heavily against any edge or corner...if you use the boat a lot you probably will sooner or later. Radiused edges also hold varnish or paint better and don't tend to chip.
    The best way to approach this is to decide in advance how you will make edges and corners ...what radius, method of corner construction etc and then, where possible, apply the same treatment through the whole interior. It needs a good bit of fore-thought because a radiused corner post has the effect of displacing (or shortening) the adjacent panels.
    Personally I like fiddles, though some people feel that fiddles encourage a cluttered interior.. To make corner fiddles over a curved corner is not difficult, I glue up a stack of boards face to face and saw the curve out of the stack. A bobbin sander works well for sanding and shaping. Leave a corner gap on the table fiddles to sweep out crumbs.
    Nick.
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    A veneered, varnished, interior is over rated , expensive and makes a small boat...SMALL
    .

    I would not pay for one. I prefer painted surfaces...eggshell...with varnished joinery work.

    If possible a naked teak cabin sole ...caulked like the deck...that can be scrubbed and brought back to new each year. Naked teak offers good traction and the inevitable dings from a flying can of beer go unnoticed.

    A removeable teak pyrimed toe grab on the galley sole is always a good touch .

    A drip dry teak grate under the companionway keeps the boat dry .

    Normally only the centre line of the cabin sole must be hatched.

    A well ventilated hanging , drying , locker that shares the warmth of the engine exhaust is worth while.
     
  8. jamesgyore
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    jamesgyore Senior Member

    So true, I saw a boat yesterday with a varnished bulkhead formed of two sheets of ply with the veneer running at odds... a real eyesore. The owner did admit that his priority was building something that floated.
     
  9. jamesgyore
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    jamesgyore Senior Member

    Very sensible suggestions, thank you.

    I had not considered a toe rail at the galley or grate under the companionway, simply because I've not seem such things on the boats I've been luck enough to be invited onto.

    You are quite right about an excess of "featured" wood veneer making a small boat appear even smaller. The word cosy now has a new meaning for me... catastrophic
     
  10. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    For inspiration I suggest you look at yachts built by Mcconaghy of Australia. These are some of the finest custom builds in the world. His Yachts are mostly Gran Prix and thier interior detailing is pure form and function elegance. http://www.mcconaghyboats.com/home/index.asp
     
  11. Nick.K
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    Nick.K Senior Member

    I had an 8.5m dutch built steel yacht with a traditional dark (Bruynzeel mahogany) interior which I loved. I totally re-did the varnish with a matte finish on all the flat areas and gloss on the edge trims and handholds. At night with the gently swinging oil lamp casting moving shadows and the glow reflected off the varnish it was as snug as could be.
    Each to his own...I like wood and varnish finishes, but then I work with wood. True though that paint in a small boat can increase the feeling of space. I am not a fan of gloss varnish except in very small quantities (and table tops) and for gloss to work anywhere it has to be well applied...ripples, sags and pockmarks just look awful. Gloss finishes in small boats often look dirty as they highlight fingerprints and smears. Matte finishes are much more forgiving both to apply and in service, they are also easier to patch up if scratched. Matte surfaces give a greater impression of depth and draw the eye to the form rather than the surface. Matte can also be spruced up just with a rub of linseed oil...but never store the rags as they can auto-ignite.
    Nick.
     
  12. RThompson
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    RThompson Senior Member

    Hi James,
    I dont know where your skills lie, but you may find a great deal of value in modelling the boat in 3d CAD. Also, I dont know how much you want to design the general arrangement of the interior or simply customise the trim and choose the colour/material...

    Some benefits of building a full 3d model are:

    1. By modelling the interior (including all the cabinets and joinery) you will go through the process of building it in your head. You will basically go through an optimisation process before you have cut any timber. You will also really get your head around what will work best for your skills and toolset. One of the things that really identifies amateur/customised boats is where the design has been (obviously) changed on the fly, or some aspect that the builder thought would work simply did not (colour/material choices and/or geometry).
    So many of these often small and subtle blemishes would have been avoided by a boatbuilder with experience under his (or her) belt. Building a 3d model gives at least some experience of building this particular design.

    2. Once you have a 3d model of the joinery you have a very good set of plans to work from! Very good because you drew them and know exactly what they mean, and very good because they are in 3d - you know there will be no surprises of things not fitting.

    3. Once you have a full virtual model of the surface geometry of the interior means you can play with different colour/material palates very easily.

    4. With a CAD model of joinery you can go so far as to have the cabinet parts cut/machined/drilled by CNC machine. There are companies around that will do contract cutting. you'l end up with an IKEA style flat pack to assemble.(although going this far does take a bit of commitment to ensuring your CAD model is what you want, accurate, and feasible)

    The yielded benefits are dependent on how far you go with the modelling -how much detail and accuracy.

    Of course the other side of the coin is:
    You need access to the cad software, and you need to know how to use it. Although software like Rhino3d would be a small cost compared to building a 7.6m (mini)superyacht... and Rhino is relatively easy/quick to learn. Having CAD in your toolset is handy-I know it fairly well, and I find that I use it like one might use a pocket calculator to work out pesky little questions during construction. But it must be said that there is a lot of time spent getting up to speed with CAD if you have not used it before. -think maybe 20 hours use to get the feel of it and productive, 100's or 1000's of hours to get fluent.


    WRT the actual design: keep it simple. Restrict yourself to a handful of textures and colours through-out and simple geometry. Although it seems cliched neutral light colours (especially for the timber) seem to deliver, and can be modified by easily changeable items (cushions etc). Also, people tend to build in as much storage as possible where-ever they see the opportunity. After a year or two all those little hidey holes get filled up with crap which is never used... Next thing you know you'rv added a lot of weight/mess to the boat for no good reason -think about that before you put storage lockers/holes everywhere...
    crikey -thats a long post. Was meant to just write a quick sentence... PS Excellent that you'r building a boat! Especially after a false start :) Yee-Ha!
     

  13. jamesgyore
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    jamesgyore Senior Member

    I prudently elected to buy stock plans, so little if anything about my build requires modelling.

    I will be constructing a life-sized mockup of the saloon area for the benefit of our cameras. Shooting video or even still pictures in a confined space can be frustrating. This mockup offers the added benefit of quickly and cheaply assessing various lighting arrangements and colour pallets etc, before committing to them on the boat.
     
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