|T32x8 FANCY STANDARD|
This is a modified repost from abargeinthemaking.blogspot.com, where I chronicle our building of a T32x8 LUNA variant. This post goes over why we chose that type over the FANCY STANDARD version. By a whisker. Here's a look into some of our decision process.
Glass House of Waffles: Looking Along a Path Not Taken
When the tarps came up from Andy Stoner's MARY ELISABETH (T32x12), Anke and I nearly swooned from the view!
Very efficient of time and materials. Good living space to length ratio. Sedan-like aesthetics. And the windows... did I mention the windows?
That upper, half sheet can be plexiglass. In a 32ft hull, the cabin is 16ft. Windows along each side are 2ft x 16ft huge! That doesn't count the smaller, end and bunk windows!
And it has been wonderful!
So we were sorely tempted by a variant of T32x8 STANDARD.
The huge windows and 360deg view are attractive, as is full, standing headroom throughout the cabin. The galley and sitting room are luxuriously large (in our layout), with enough to carve out a bit - if we so desired, for other purposes.
Quick and inexpensive construction get us going quicker, with more left in the kitty, compared to virtually any other design.
Problem to address:
Standard 4ft side height is very efficient in terms of materials. A sheet of ply topped by a half sheet of plexiglass.
Bit it means the lower edges of windows are above eye level when seated in furnishings built on the inside of the hull (no bilge) to normal dimensions. Without some juggling, one can't enjoy most of the view from a seated position.
Andy chose to raise his dinette 10in, gaining a great, all-round view while seated at the table.
His settee, opposite, stayed low in the hole. This worked as Andy was looking to sleep eight people on-board. The back of the low settee folded up and locked to make an upper bunk over the one at seat height.
Being greedy, Anke and I want a view from all seats.
We could raise the whole sole 10in, but that would sacrifice full standing headroom in the sitting room, and force a step up/down from the galley and to the forepeak bunk.
But we like the bunk area to be part of the sitting room social space. Being under the foredeck, it's low already, and a 10in drop increases the isolation.
Raise dinette and settee? That leaves a full-headroom gangway between settee and dinette, with views from both. Hmm. Feet are left to dangle from the settee. A fold-up footrest could work, but on 8ft, would cramp the gangway. Boo.
Well... if we lower the bottom edge of the windows 6in it solves the eye-level problem. And it grows the windows (now 2ft6in)!
Only draw-back (a considerable one) is that we can no longer use efficient half sheets of plexiglass. Some of the 1ft6in offcuts are usable, but it's gonna cost us. But hey, it's only money.
But OH! To sit at the table with the mornin' cup o' mud, looking round with 360deg view through those giant windows!! I'll call this variant (with lowered windows) a FANCY STANDARD.
Another consequence; the leeboardy, off-center-boards we favor are already squeezed by a standard standard (assuming blocking the view is not an option). Lowering them reduces leverage above their fulcrum, requiring tricky engineering, both of board and hull. And, when stowed, low boards can't clear the water, so clunk in any slop.
In SLACKTIDE, we addressed the problem with traveling boards, which roll all the way aft for stowage, clear of water and windows. But they have to pull clear of the slot and they're heavy suckers! I haven't figured out a way to get sufficient but simple, traveling mechanical advantage to help (a boom works but is only so-so simple).
As is, they're beyond Anke's strength to lift clear and stow, and it won't be long before they're beyond mine. The only options are accept boom hassle, build them lighter, and put up with blocked windows or noise at anchor.
Skegs would be our choice, but they double our draft. Only to two feet, but that's the difference between boots and hip-waders. And that extra foot would exclude us from many's the skinny and interesting perch along the high tide marks. Every now and then, it would mean the difference between skinning into shelter and not. Boo.
On the other hand, we don't have to handle them, 'specially as we age. They raise the bottom, when grounding, a foot proud of nasty rocks. Copper bottom plating can be much lighter, saving thousands of dollars.
Hmm... there's a coupla yays to balance that boo.
One perk of the design is that, since it has flush sides (and a wet-locker arrangement that can act as a mud-room... see Getting aHead), we could build a watertight door into it. Handy for loading, and it may come to pass, as we get older, that we might want to haul ashore. Diminished agility to climb in and out of the boat would likely be a big part of that decision... a sole-level entry would come in handy.
Hmm. Hmm. Nice foredeck... 8ft square!
But the bunk has to go under it and headroom is low. There's plenty for sleeping, and enough to sit and read. But kneeling would be bad for the back (you 'vigorous couples' - as Wharram would say - will know what I mean). Could always limit the repetoire or take it elsewhere, but it breaks up the moment. Boo.
We prefer to sleep longitudinally, rocking side-to-side on (rare) rolly nights. Oriented so, the bottom curve competes with the foot of a full-length bunk. To get more length, the bunk has to stay high (can't lower it for more headroom).
We could live with a shorter bunk (but, alas! I'm 6ft). Or we could make the bow curve slightly more abrupt to clear the foot. Or lower (bigger bow transom), meaning more plunging and introducing pounding. Or we can add structure for more bunk head-room, such as a pop-up hatch, but that's kludgey, blocks the view and imposes on the foredeck. And no storage (aside from the anchor well) forward of the bunk. Boo.
On the plus side, the big foredeck compliments the split junk ketch rig we're favoring (not shown). It's high balance (sail area forward of the mast) makes the most of that big, open space.
Turns out, after months of fiddling, we could address each of these problems to the point that they were no longer boos. But not quite yays, either.
We could sleep thwartships (easy bow curve, forepeak storage vs narrower bunk, reduced bunk lockers and book-space, and some discomfort in rolly conditions). We could extend the cabin 4ft forward (excellent bunk headroom and improved mast position vs fugly appearance and increased windows (already ample, now just expensive). The skegs... erm... not first choice but call it even.
But those windows... what would we sacrifice for those??? The windows held us in dithering limbo.
What we finally decided, after months of waffling back and forth, is that - for the way we live - the fancy standard would be great in harbor vs good-but-not-great underway (draft, mostly). Great for old age vs good-but-not-great while still up-and-at-'em. Great windows vs a handful of compromises.
So, reluctantly, we decided to abandon those wonderful windows.
|I could'a been a Contendah!|