I’m going to have a lot of fun with this one as i really like looking at boat interiors and that’s everything from stark and stripped out super-maxi’s and IMOCA 60’s, through little functional boats and right through to the pink and fluffy ones that make your eyeballs hurt. I might do this as a series of case study’s : find a boat, feature it and then try and point out the things that work and those that don’t. Right from the outset i will admit that i vastly prefer the simple and seamanlike ones where you can tumble into a bunk on a shitty night and get some sleep AND not be thrown straight out. I also like it when i can plonk my arse on a draining wet seat by the galley and make a brew and not have the kettle go airborne so i have got some pretty well formed opinions about boat interiors and must say that many modern ones just make me go “WTAF” when i see the designer interior.
For this series it would be really nice to get pictures and boats from other people here because then its not just my show and i am always looking and learning at how to use the small space inside a boat. I don’t have any pictures of my first boat which was a folkboat and is where i started my interest, neither do i have any pictures of what i did to the Deben or the Wharram cat but i might start with my Frances 26 which was my serious attempt to fit out a long term and comfortable cruising boat. The openning pictures are of course the Waarschip 1010, not my pictures but its an interior that is almost completely right in my view…i will suggest the way i would alter it later.
So here for a start is my little Frances 26 and starting at the bow.
These are ‘after’ photographs ie taken after the major refit that i did after the boat tried to sink on her winter mooring. I think i was living aboard and just finishing the engine and electrical installation and had just built the icebox : it must also have been lunch break as i was obviously making a bacon buttie. The galley was modified with a fixed worktop and 2 burner hob with pan-rails and stowage in the form of a sliding bin added underneath the hob.
In the bow there is a small compartment that is empty and then a small forepeak space set up as anchor chain and warp stowage and stowage rails for fenders and lines. To port is a full length berth and with a 3/4 berth to port up to the icebox (there used to be a charcoal stove there but it tried to off me one night) and an infill between the berths making a not-quite double vee berth and a sitting area that was comfortable for both of us to sit with our backs against the wood slats and with feet up. We tended to use this area to relax in port or when going downwind when one of us would sleep there. Under there i normally kept the 3rd anchor (rock-pick) and the hundred metre warp and then spare water.
The galley is to port under the short doghouse and there is a large chart table to stb : the chart table will take a folded admiralty chart or any of the small series charts. Mostly the chart table was used as part of the galley but did allow me to do traditional navigation. Aft of galley and chart table are 2 quarter berths running under the cockpit and the arrangement is that we each had our own bunk and stowage.
The engine box, which i lowered when i fitted the new engine, served as a comfortable watch seat under the planned sprayhood, as you can see the whole boat is lined with i think maple slats where the hull can be seen.
The Frances had 2 different deck variants with early boats having a flush deck and my version had a short doghouse, i am an absolute sucker for the flush deck appearance although the doghouse version is more practical and makes the boat safer. Here is an interior shot of a flush deck version.
Of note : Alan had some input into the mounting for the windpilot and i have just found a photograph of the end result. To get that built we had to mold a flash of the back of the boat, then i had to make a full sized model and take that to the fabricator and finally fit it which was really hard as all the planes are sloping off so it was a sod to get level and straight….worked a dream though : awesome piece of kit.
Somewhere i used to have a complete photo file just of Frances 26 interiors which i pored over endlessly to get ideas for my boat. I will probably never be able to do a boat to that standard again because of the amount of cash that went into it….but its nice to do once just as it is fun to do it simple and cheap.
Peter Cash writes : “Great start and agree 100%. The waarschip is just sooo nice, pratical too. Never was a lover of pure racers, found the yellow Faryman in the center of the cabin of a db1 hard to take, not even a box for it. Certain pleasure in the minimilist approch and fine design, unlike say workboats that are practical but ugly. Always found the Francis a beaut, but people judge boat interiors relative to the length, bad start imho. A 26 with the interior of a 22 is about right for two crew, waarschip a 26 interior in a 33 for four crew or two cruising. Yum.
Oh yes i remember that approach : i think the most hardcore interior was a first generation Whitbread 60 that had either and exposed engine or generator, the engine didn’t matter as the boat wasn’t ever intended to motor but i know that in heavy running and reaching they started the generator every 15 minutes so that they could top the ballast tanks up !.