Sketchbook: Forecabin Improvements

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One of the most comfortable forecabins I’ve slept in had shallow lockers for each bunk in which to keep small stuff like glasses, a watch, a wallet, books and a flashlight.


This shelf allowed the wasted space above your feet to be used for stowing bulky blankets, sleeping bags and pillows during the day and cast-off clothes when in harbor at night.


The filler-cushion that turns the V-berth into a double was tacked to the forward bulkhead with Velcro when not in use.


If you didn’t use the filler-cushion, a small tapered shelf slid into the rails and was great for holding a morning cup of coffee.


Each bunk included its own towel rail.


Leecloths could be left rigged to stow stuff behind, to keep drips off the bunks, and to hold you in the berth while at sea.


A small boot and shoe locker was built into the base of each bunk to save footwear from being strewn all around the boat.


The boat was fitted with an electric windlass, set well back from the bow to keep the weight of the chain further aft. To avoid chain jams, a large wooden chute had a straight drop into a massive rode locker. If there was a snarl up, the chain fall could be quickly accessed by whipping off the cloth cover, which was held in place with Velcro.



Wooden slats can be installed in fiberglass boats to keep you off the side of the hull and to lash large flat items to.


Small lockers, or nets, can also be mounted in various places on these slats.


This locker acts as a step up to the hatch and and also holds extra anchor rode.



This boat has a nonskid step on the edge of the mattress base, with a filler-section locker below
(M) that also acts as a step.


It’s a good idea, if you are heading for the tropics, to have grills to vent the locker sides.



The forecabin on this boat has a molded fiberglass liner that is sealed and can act as a collision bulkhead. If holed up forward the boat will only flood to a bit higher than its static waterline.

If you want to seal the aft bulkhead, remember that a watertight door need not go right to the top.

Dick Everitt has sailed many thousands of miles in various parts of the world. He has been an illustrator, journalist and engineer for over 40 years


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