Well I took a closer look at the cabin this weekend. The galley cabinetry has much unused space, and its general construction is a bit shaky after 30 years (the countertop is a bit loose). The ice box, which I never use mostly because it has no drain, blocks access to the area underneath the cockpit floor and does not maximize space at all. I believe a large water tank could easily fit behind it (I currently have only a waterbag under the v-berth). The area of the cooler is another one that has much unused space. The laminate countertop is old and peeling slightly in a few spots. I think this whole area could be re-done more efficiently. I plan on ripping out the galley and cabinetry, and re-fitting them in a way that maximizes the use of space. Particularly, I think I will get rid of the ice box, and rely on a removable one instead. I would replace the laminate with, maybe tiles? or... something similar that looks nice... bamboo? And add a cabinet where the ice box currently is.
I inspected the liner of the boat, and much of it appears at least somewhat structural, especially considering that it is in many areas thicker than necessary for purely cosmetic purposes. I think I will leave the bunks as they are. They actually work decently as is, and re-doing them would be a LOT of work, probably more than it is worth. Good suggestion siamese. The boat as a space between the v-berth and main cabin, in between two bulkheads. To starboard is the portapotti. To Port is a nearly open space in which it would be simple to install a cabinet/armoir into.
There are several areas of the boat, especially up front where it would matter, where the liner completely covers the hull and there is no access behind it. Into these spaces I may consider installing simple plastic deckplates, so as to have some access in case of getting holed so I could at least stuff something in them to slow the flooding. I think a crash compartment would be difficult to do, because the v-berth bottom seems to be at or just below the waterline (which is where I would be most likely to hit something) and would not be easy to seal without making access to the spinnaker that I store under there, and extra line/hardware, difficult.
Most of the ports don't open, and all of them are heavily glazed and cracked/chipped in part and most are slightly leaky (a few drops only in rain, I'm sure more if a wave hits them). I priced ports at almost $120 each minimum, I would need 8, so that isn't an option. Maybe I could replace them with simple, bolted on lexan?
The transom, where the backstay and my engine mount attach, is a bit light and I can see it flex at the motor mount when I push the motor up and down. An easy fix should be to fit a 1/2 inch plywood transom reinforcement, attached to the transom with thickened epoxy and through-bolted at the backstay and engine mounts. This should stiffen it a bit, and allow the fitting of a stronger backstay when I eventually get around to beefing up the rigging (this can wait for another year).
I can't figure out for the life of me how one reinforces the bulkheads. They seem completely fused to the hull in fiberglass all along the hull bottom. Then, from about the waterline to the deck, they are not connected at all. Should I finish the bulkheads up to the deck? Or reinforce them where they are? Or add to bulkheads wherever I can, by laying up extra glass and using plywood bulkheads to fill the gaps? I don't know what to do about that...
I most likely will be able to take a year off of work in the next few years, and still return to it. I plan on going cruising in this boat. Coastal, down to Florida, then the bahamas, then I don't know. I won't be crossing the atlantic, but I will need a seaworthy boat even if it is a Hunter. I will watch the weather carefully because I am scared of rough weather. I mean, my girlfriend is. Not me... I have built several small wooden boats, and generally finish any project I start. If that helps...
Your opinions and personal experiences welcomed!