Monday, February 12, 2018

Dealing With The Companionway

As some of my long term readers may recall, I was under constant pressure from the District of Mission to get the boat out of the driveway while she was being built.  I'm still a little mad about that...

So, a lot of things got rushed.  One of them was the companionway hatch, that wound up being a simple flat horizontal plywood affair hinged on the starboard side, along with a drop board for the vertical portion.  It turned out to be weatherproof enough and has worked well enough for us given the type of use Autarkia has served for the past year and a half.

However, we have been spending most of our nights down here as of late, shaking down the changes and mods we must make to have her more accommodating for long term stays (the Natures Head was a result of that process).

And so far, the boat is turning out to be very comfortable and a very pleasant place to stay, at least while docked here at Mission Harbour.  But having to lift that companionway hatch and set it down on the rail, then undoing the hasps for the drop board and then lifting it out and placing it somewhere is a real PITA.  Especially for Lorri, since that stuff is fairly heavy.

And so, I will be fabbing up the replacement hatch forthwith, and as originally planned.  The 'doghouse' you see in the SketchUp drawing does not allow one to stand erect inside though.  I have drawn it with full headroom and it just doesn't look right.  So a little crouch is need when going in and exiting - not a big deal since we have to crouch even more to go through the boat boat forward of the galley.  It has not been an issue.

The one thing I will do that was not in my original concept, is to make the whole shebang removable.  The doghouse along with the aft door panel will simple be bolted in place, with some kind of non-hardening sealer (electrician's duct seal?) to bed it all in.  That way replacing the mattress, moving furniture and so forth will be easy.


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  2. If you build a permanent lip around the opening, sealed to the deck surface, then your doghouse can sit outside of that, and even be bolted to it. This should be much stronger and more waterproof than bolting directly to the deck itself. I would look at hinging the front of the roof of the doghouse so when you are in and out in good weather, the top can be propped open to allow easier access.

    1. Thanks Dennis, there is a lip there already. I like your hinge idea...

  3. A pretty and streamlined glassed doghouse:

  4. There was a 32X12 trilo built in Sitka to the originally intended full headroom and raised flush deck geometry. Nice feel inside space wise but both Dave and I commented that it seemed 2' too wide and 10' would have been a better beam for that length. Your original design looks pretty cool to me but once it fronted itself hull wise sounds like the mods you laid out were just right.

    I'd still love to see Daves original flush decker design work in just the right proportions. Too short and it just looks way to high. I'd bet it would really look nice at about a 40X10er, or even 48X10er.
    His original quick and dirty flush decker seemed to be realized with that 32X12er but I have yet to see someone truly go at it quick and dirty. Then I'd imagine his original flush decker concept would really shine.... so fast and simple to build.

    I'd posit that at 40X8 and with some bottom rocker laid in it would approximate a bargey Bolger AS39 that would sail offshore just fine. Perhaps able as a ocean crosser but better say as a just offshore coaster capable of riding out a offshore squall. Who knows?