Another much anticipated job was reconfiguring the cabins.
The boat is arranged largely in accordance with the Wilderness 1650X design. There is an owner’s suite in the port hull that includes a king-size berth, an ensuite head and shower and a small compartment forward with sitting space. The starboard hull has a laundry forward, another king-size cabin athwartships, a centrally located head and shower and a small cabin aft.
Whilst there will be long periods when we expect to be on the boat on our own, we do have family who sail with us and friends with their own kids. Further, we do anticipate that the boat will occasionally be chartered, and this may require crew onboard. With this in mind, we decided to convert the laundry in the starboard hull into crew/kid quarters and to make the sitting space in the port hull into a multi-use cabin.
The washing machine in the laundry was removed (it will be relocated to the port hull) and the cupboard space where it had been located was opened up. Fixed bunk beds were installed with locker space. This will serve as either crew quarters, an additional cabin for kids or bicycle storage depending on what we are using the boat for. The starboard sitting area saw a fold down berth fitted. This has been installed at desk height so that this space can be used as a sitting space, an additional berth, a study area, or a workbench depending on need.
We then turned our attention to the aft cabin. This was a small and rather uncomfortable space home to an awkward berth, the starboard engine, the generator, and the starboard fuel tank. Located underneath the original helm position of the boat and in an area where we need to replace some rotted core, we decided to take the opportunity to give this area a serious makeover. First job was to remove the generator. This was an old Fischer Panda that required a rebuild (we will be doing that for another project we have in the wings). A newer and larger Fischer Panda will be installed beneath the port helm station where we have a perfect space for it with the water pumps.
Next, we opened up the area around the fuel tank to confirm that we could relocate it inboard and aft. This then allowed us to widen the berth to just shy of queen-size. A new base for the berth was constructed (stronger and slightly higher to improve airflow and ventilation around the engine). The old generator compartment will be converted to a storage space for engine and other heavy parts when we are back in the water.
With that, the major construction elements of the refit were done! Now to make the boat nice and shiny ….