Thursday, 20 October 2011

Re-thinking the Back Cabin

We wilted yesterday and started the Webasto.  Only for two hours in the afternoon and a further hour in the evening.  Our excuse is; our winter clothing is still packed and in storage. 

At about 10:30 last night, whilst tucked up in bed, a boat went past in the dark.  We rocked around on our mooring ropes and the cabin was briefly illuminated by the boat headlamp.  Jan murmured “There’s a boat going past in the dark!”  And I muttered back “No one would be daft enough to be boating on a night like this!”   

This morning I woke with only my nose protruding from under the duvet.  I think I woke because the cold had constricted my nostrils.  The control for the Webasto is at the end of the bed and I unsuccessfully tried poking the ON button with my big toe.  However one of the advantages of Jan sleeping on the corridor side of the bed is she get the opportunity to get out of bed first and start everything.   I stayed in bed with my hot water bottle (bladder) until it forced me out of bed!

I’ve also been giving more thought to the layout of the back cabin and have revisited my Google SketchUp drawings.  I think it might be possible to fit the small freezer under the bed if the step is moved from the galley partition to the end of the blackwater tank as shown in the following drawing.

The cabin is 6’3” in length but because there is a structural cross beam, the blackwater tank is only 4’6”.  This means there is 21” of floor in the back cabin at the same level as the rest of the boat.  The Freezer is only 17” wide and I think a chair will fit into the floor space opposite the freezer.

This is my impression of what it will look like when the freezer is pulled out from under the bed space.

The bed will not extend out to 4ft whilst the top step from the boat is in place.  My initial thought was the step should be collapsible; but I now think a better solution is to make it a removable box.  It can then be used as a step into the Galley when the bed is extended.  This next drawing shows the bed extended to 4ft wide.

Things are starting to get rather tight for space.  The workstation desktop folds down providing standing room when extending and making the bed.  My concern other concern is emergency egress.  It will be possible for the occupants to exit via the rear boat doors.  I also think the partition door between the rear cabin and the galley should be a ‘stable’ type.  The top step from the back cabin can then go inside the galley allowing the occupants to climb in and out of the bed via the galley.

This drawing provides a view from the opposite perspective.  Making up the bed will be more complicated than our own cross-over bed.  But then this bed will be used for visitors and we don’t anticipate having any “permanent” visitors.  Everything in narrowboat design appears to be a compromise!


Pip - nb Windsong said...

Hi,I like your drawings, certainly gives a good idea of what you are trying to achieve, far better than one dimensional plans. Just wanted to let you know that the Shoreline freezer with the half-door is very difficult to get hold of now as they have stopped making them - you may have to try and get a second hand one, unless you have already managed to one source from somewhere (if so, I know a boat builder who would be very interested to know where!) We have one on Windsong, but our friends on nb Triskaideka, which was in build early this year had to have one with a full opening lid as they found it impossible to get the other type. This means the dinette bench has to be disassembled to get into it from the top, unlike ours which pulls out in a drawer, much like the one you have depicted in your drawing.
Good luck with the build
Pip & Roger.

Pip - nb Windsong said...

Another thought has just occurred to me - from the look of your drawings I'm not sure you have allowed enough depth for the freezer - ours is under a 4 foot long dinette bench, and takes up a good three feet of it - when pulled out it completely blocks the corridor
Pip & Roger

Peter and Margaret said...

Time to start using the Webasto timer so it comes on 30 minutes before you get up? PS Don't need heating here - 30+ all day today. Peter

Tom and Jan said...

Good point Pip & Roger.
I'd better get out the tape measure and check the length of the Engel.

Carol said...

Where will you store the 'other half' of the mattress when not in use? Also as Pip Windsong says check the size of the freezer with the space you intend to position it. We have a Shoreline freezer similar to the one you describe and we recently had to contact them for advice and were told that this freezer is no longer manufactured.