Pocket cruiser interior design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Tussock, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Tussock
    Joined: Sep 2014
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    Tussock Junior Member

    I'm looking at possible interiors for a pocket cruiser capable of making offshore passages of reasonable duration.

    The first principle in the design is optimum easy control at sea, and I'm looking at a Jester-like control station (seats facing athwartship at about the centre of motion of the boat). This is the position which the crew (singlehander) spends the majority of his awake time, and is where any hand steering, navigation, reading, cooking and eating are done. A little experimentation in my current boat in the weekend showed that sitting on the weather side facing to leeward is a very comfortable below-deck position to manage the boat and cook. On the new design a rotating pram hood or bubble hatch above would allow for watch keeping, and allow access to the boom/sail/mast in a crisis. The galley is immediately aft of this section, with stowage aft of the galley extending to the stern.

    My issue with this is that the berths would then extend forward from this position. When sleeping, the crew's head would be directly over c. of g. With their feet extending a fair way towards the bow. I think the skipper's brain is in the ideal position, but with his feet forward there may be considerable difference in the pitching felt between head and toe. Ideally the berths would be reversed and stretch aft, but doing so would compromise the central seating ('control') area. It could be done... But is it necessary, or worthwhile? I can't realistically simulate this in my boat - it's too big.

    Constructive comments would be appreciated... ta.
     
  2. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    JSL Senior Member

    A sketch of the boat to indicate size, configuration, and how many occupants would help get things started.
     
  3. Tussock
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    Tussock Junior Member

    No scanner I'm afraid, but singlehander as above. LOA around 18 ft, LWL around 14 ft., beam about 6 1/2 ft, control station a little aft of centre of LOA. The question is essentially regarding the importance of the potentially big difference in accelerations between head and feet of the sleeping crew.
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I think you are trying to put too much in a small boat. To start with, why a control station. There is nothing large enough that can't be controlled with one hand. Quarter berths on either side of the cockpit will have the easiest motion.
     
  5. Tussock
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    Tussock Junior Member

    It's not really the question, but to answer, the crew accommodations are hardly excessive: somewhere to sleep, and somewhere to sit. The 'control station' term sounds excessive, but it's where you sit and do everything with that one hand. There's no cockpit so everything is done below.
    But how much difference is there between quarter berths and forward berths if your head would be in the same position regardless? Does it matter if your feet are pitching a little more than they would otherwise be? I could organise quarterberths.... I just don't know if it's worth compromising the seating position, given it's importance.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Usually you sit on the bunks. There is no separation. I assume you are thinking of something really boxy to have sitting headroom.
     
  7. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    I don't know how much headroom you're wanting, but one idea I've contemplated to help keep a potential small lake/riverine cruiser's CG lower is to borrow from skin-on-frame building and have "tent" walls with layers of light insulating material sewn in between waterproof exterior and interior fabrics, all taunt over a frame. Like a good winter wind cheater for the topsides. With good quality insulation it may be possible to keep the interior as warm or cool as whatever environmental stuff I can afford. Would probably require one or two thin hard layers (very light weight plywood?) sewn in too to help keep noise out given that hard surfaces reflect sound better than soft.

    For my use windage probably isn't as big a concern as it may be for you, though. Likewise you may not be a former division 1A offensive lineman with a back that no-get-comfy like it used to either (the "why" for the windage in the first place).

    In passing: I envy my cats who can get comfy anywhere....
     
  8. Tussock
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    Tussock Junior Member

    Actually, headroom isn't an issue. The hull has a deep wineglass section, and there'll be a slightly raised deck over the seat/end of berth area, if I go with that configuration. The rest is flush decked.

    You can't comfortably sit on a berth at sea; their dimensions need to be quite different and a dedicated seat is really essential. This is where the sailor spends a huge chunk of his at sea time, and cooks, eats, trims sails, reefs, reads and relaxes. There's one seat (and one berth) on each tack; the leeward seat is folded for leg room and has a backrest and armrest.

    But the issue is still with the berths...

    I envy my cat too. I'm not sure what he's like at sea but I suspect he'd sleep comfortably if nailed to the mast...
     
  9. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Hey, you know I just remembered a pocket-cruiser called Confucius that a fellow sailed the oceans with a while back. Here's a link to a how-to-build article: http://www.polysail.com/Confucius.htm

    As I recall, he did some interesting things with the "galley".
     
  10. Tussock
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    Tussock Junior Member

    WONDERUL!! Complete with construction drawings! The galley was novel, three kerosine stoves in a slide-out drawer. I love the photos; very much of a time. Great article!
     
  11. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    True and false. The dimensions need to be different but you don't need a dedicated seat, IMO.

    What I've done is have moveable backrests to my main cabin berths/seats. Undo some barrel bolts & move the backrest to the seating or sleeping position. Also adjustable backrest angle as I *hate* vertical backrests.

    But - I do have more room to play with.....

    PDW
     
  12. Tussock
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    Tussock Junior Member

    Howdy P. Yes, you do have considerably more room, probably five times the volume I'm contemplating! In my boat, in order to get the length in the berths, you wind up with a partitioned V berth forward, too high to be useful as seats. The seats are aft of the berth to reach the tiller (inside). The unused seat folds up when not in use to give some legroom. Also, I like to have the seats tilted (adjustable) to make them comfortable when the boat heels, they're narrower than the berths for comfort, closer to the centreline to give room for an inclined and also adjustable backrest.

    A smaller boat not only has less room, but the seat becomes more critical as the motion is livelier, and the chap sitting in it needs to cook, eat, navigate, manage the boat and relax in it regardless of the heel of the boat. He needs to face aft in the seat to use the galley, and faces to leeward for everything else. A boat of this size only has one place to sit, and using the berth is a compromise too far.

    Hey P - bought any new tools? I need a CNC laser cutter....
     
  13. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Have you considered a raised deck as opposed to a trunk cabin?

    In the spirit of most everything reference that I have is very old, there is an article about "Cabins on Small Sailboats" by one D.W.Patterson starting on page 122 herein, http://books.google.com/books?id=7c...ce=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false .

    In it he cites one Admiral Melville who took part in voyage on a small craft, saying that the constant close personal contact was an especial irritant such that, while "Excuse me." might have been the response to an intrusion early on, later on it became "---- you, why can't you keep your ---- ---- feet out of the way". I make no judgments on actual terms used in that likely over a century old report of cussing among friends.

    In addition to the greater shoulder room the writer cites the greater ease of construction, relative strength, and water tightness, maybe even dryness, in favor of this approach to offset not looking as pretty if finished after traditional fashion.

    It should be admitted that the boat he uses for his analysis of effect upon comfort and construction is larger than what you've mentioned.
     
  14. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    No new tools this week, just lots of plywood & construction adhesive. I do have a plasma cutter though.... and I know someone with a CNC laser cutter. Bit small for your needs though.

    I've found you an engine - Bukh DV10 in excellent condition, hand & electric start. Freight might be an issue - you could try taking it back as checked baggage if you came over for the wooden boat show next year.

    Have you got a copy of Sam Rable's book? Or Bingham's Practical Yacht Joinery? Both have examples of small sailboat layouts in them.

    I agree about the berth(s) in the size boat you're contemplating doubling as seats. A dedicated seating spot would work better.

    PDW
     

  15. Tussock
    Joined: Sep 2014
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    Tussock Junior Member

    Yes, I'm anticipating a flush-deck with a raised centre section. No cockpit. Still a work in progress. I think they can be done nicely, and even Jester is a boat that I've come to regard as attractive (in a butch kind of way).

    As a singlehander, my choice of language when dealing with my own shortcomings or after tripping over my ----- ---- feet can go unreported. ;)
     
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