The world of boat interiors 2.

Now that i have an actual boat project to talk about, plan and work on i thought i would use the second in this series to talk about my ideas for the Deben’s interior.  As you all will be aware i have had one of this class before and it’s interior just didn’t work such that i was never comfortable in the boat and never made a decent meal actually inside.  During the trip back from Chichester i mainly slept on a comfortable thermarest on the boat’s cabin sole and the one time i didn’t she literally threw me out of my bunk.  On the passages i did with that boat i remember having a 2 burner camping-gas hob which i had set up on blocks at the back of the cockpit so that i could make a brew on the long beat across Lyme bay….that only worked while i held on to the kettle !   Inanda at least starts off with a fixed hob in the cabin even if it is in an awkward place over a bunk.  The hob is almost identical to the one i have on the Liberty and i have got used to cooking with meths.   As i write the edit to the post i have just won a single burner Origo stove on Ebay so if that arrives quickly it may go with me on the first boat visit.*

While i am here… know how i like to tell the occasional sea-story and tall-yarn…..well :    The day i went to see my nice new GP about the knee problem i had been shopping for meths for WABI”’ so when i first met her i was carrying a pair of 2 litre bottles of meths.  The GP did have the good humour to ask if the meths was a problem : i said no but that i was always happy to share !

Anyway and putting aside my meths habit my first plan is to acquire a single burner Origo stove ( ticked …) and just use that in the original space on the counter-top next to the companionway.  As with WABI”’ that would enable me to make a brew from the cockpit and clear sitting space in the port berth.   The existing structure supporting the twin hob is easily demountable.   I can see handy space right there as well for some mugs and my coffee container.



At this stage i am thinking that i might play around with a completely different idea for a long term galley for Inanda and i am thinking about a similar solution to the one that the Pardey’s used on at least one of their boats and that is to move it forward to just beyond where the port half-bulkhead is now and to set it quite low just as i did with the Liberty.

Modified Liberty galley.


That set-up on WABI”’ worked much better for me as i could firstly brew from the cockpit before i had a tillerpilot and secondly that i could sit in a good position and cook there when at anchor.  What i am considering with the Deben forepeak is reducing the half bulkhead to port and having the twin burner mounted athwartship there with a stowage unit just like my WABI”’ one mounted against the port hull just inside the forepeak.   I had to borrow this photograph of a different Deben with a lower bulkhead (below). In my plan the hob would span the space from mast to port hull and the ‘dresser’ would be where the lifering is on this one.  At anchor i think steam would vent easily from the forehatch or an open port in the cabin face.

163165_BoatPic_Extra2 (2)

That would clearly restrict movement forward into what will become a big sails and lines bin so on the opposite side i would also get rid of the structure around the pansy stove to stbd , move the stove further over and have the forepeak access only that side (and through the forehatch of course).  That reminds me that i need to organise some stowage space for charcoal and the little wood chunks i will use in the stove.


While i am talking about the forepeak i fully intend to get rid of the bunk structure to remove weight and open up the space. Its also my intention to move the chain stowage aft to a bin just forward of the mast and stow the hook (on deck) further back as well.   Marilyn will almost certainly be moving aboard with me as a modern 7kg anchor should be just the right size.  Rocky, by the way is back aboard WABI”’.   The overall plan in the forepeak is to lighten the bow, open up the space, centralise what weight is there and then use the forepeak as a proper storage space for sailbags, lines and fenders.  I am a strong believer in getting weight out of the ends of a boat.  It certainly improved my first Deben to get the heavy and knackered anchor windlass off the bow and get the chain stowed aft. I know it’s traditional on classic yachts to stow the anchor and chain right forward but doesn’t help the sailing performance one iota.  I supsect i will be swapping that chain too for a higher spec but lighter 7mm chain instead of 8mm.  The difference in that and the lighter modern anchor will save about 10kg off the total weight and be in a better position.

Marilyn….what do you mean “why do my anchors have names ?”


My overall plan in the cabin is to create 2 completely comfortable bunk spaces where it will work to both lie down fully stretched out and to sit with legs up and back against a solid surface as we like to do now.  Reclining against the hull side won’t work with this boat as the side decks above are too wide so the sitting position will have to be fore and aft.  The cherry on the icing on the cake will be a central infill cushion to create a double bunk right in the middle of the cabin.     The ideal version of the Deben might have been this one with the deck-edge cabin design but the owner of this one never came back to me.


s-l1600 (2)

Similar boat inside looking aft. (lower cabin sides i think)


I can see myself making a new battery box just as i did for the Frances 26 when i re-engined and rewired her.  Having become a fan of high quality sealed AGM battery’s i am on the lookout for one that is about the same width as the sole on the Deben.  The modified and lowered engine box on the Frances combined with the new battery box and storage box made a very good step and companionway seat combination.  That made watch keeping from under the sprayhood  a pleasant time.     My galley larder box will temporarily be a plastic stacking crate that i used for the same job on the Liberty but might become a wooden Wanigan.  The lockers around the Deben’s current galley are a particularly awkward shape and i don’t know yet how i am going to use them.


*It didn’t !


  1. Slow start here on Lake Ontario, coldest April in ages. Wet and damp so hard on the bones, but boat prep is now done for our first messabout next weekend on Georgian Bay. Odd, in the cold spring we go north, not south. Lake Ontario is a dizzying 39f even though shoreline air temp touched 70f a few days ago, even a Tornado warning north of us Friday .
    We Canadians are so preoccupied with weather, guess its all we’ve got lots of, well, lakes too.
    The Deben is a beaut, glad you have her, envious as hell.


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