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Old 07-29-2011
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Tricks to make the cabin feel bigger

Have been contemplating how to make my interior feel like less of a cave. Am thinking painting the ceiling and walls a light ice blue might help give a larger feeling below. Am considering the idea of putting mirrored paneling on the V berth walls and the anchor locker bulkhead to give the illusion of depth and space. Am also considering mirrored tinting on the windows instead of curtains might help make her feel bigger as well...

Anyone try things to make the cave like cabin less claustrophobic?
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Old 07-29-2011
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I think opening windows and fresh air would give the cabin a better feeling than mirrors or paint. Obviously avoid dark colors for paint, but I don't think the mirror will do much for you.

I'm not very sympathetic, I've been sailing a Coronado 25 which makes inefficient use of it's space. A Pearson 10M is a nice boat. You sure you don't have enough room?
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Old 07-29-2011
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I would not use mirrors. That may really mess with your head in the dark or in rough seas.

But if you do, make sure you use unbreakable types.

White laminate along the inside of the cabin top and ceiling will lighten the interior and make it feel bigger. Laminate is easy to install and keep clean. Trimming it out with wood will give it some depth which should also feel roomier.
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Light is the key to openess. I would suggest get rid of the sliding curtains. Velcro tabbed covers can be used when privacy is needed. When we replaced our opening ports due to crazing we went with a clear instead of gray tint, it made a huge difference in the amount of light in the salon.

We have a bulkhead similiar in size to the one with your folding table, a PO put a mirror on it that takes up about 60% of the eye level space....really seems to make the salon feel bigger. In your case, perhaps just mirror the top 1/2 of the bottom of the folding table.

Nice blog
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The boat has a good amount of room but I think it doesn't feel as big as it is at the moment. I am mostly doing this in hopes members of the fairer sex might be more likely to hang around as it is a bit of a "man cave" as it stands. P10Ms are pretty no frills practical boats - am trying to give it a different feel.

I hadnt considered how the illusion of depth might enhance seasicknesses hmmm. Was going to get polycarbonate mirrored sheet and trim it to the anchor locker buckheald and possibly the V berth side paneling. It might turn out real horrorshow was wondering if anyone tried this and if it was a disaster. Would probably just velcro the polycarbonate so its easily undone just an experiment... If I do paint it will be in a very light color.

All my ports are non opening perhaps converting them would help the three hatches provide pretty good ventilation as is.

The PO had glued in some carpet and there are some marks where the adhesive was - am considering painting the cabin floor with maybe waterproof outdoor porch/ deck paint and then maybe some sort of bamboo matting - the bare glass is easy to clean and low maintenance but mancaveish.
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CptKen - does that mean that you found clear untinted windows made the place feel bigger then tinted windows? I currently have no tint on the windows but was about to pull the trigger on some. I figure if I get the privacy tint I can do away with the curtains. Its not soo much I want it to be brighter just more appealing to nonsailors coming to visit. Mirroring the table is a good idea except that I would wind up with a mirror on my table when I deploy the settee. Perhaps the bulkhead behind the bar behind the settee could have mirror and it would only be visible when the table is down.
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White paint. Replace large expanses of dark panels with white. In my boat (1968 Pearson Wanderer), the bulkheads were all covered with dark brown fake woodgrain plastic laminate. The previous owner painted all with an off-white. I've seen other Wanderers, and I like the brightness of my cabin. It's ready to be painted again, and I'm going with white, not just off-white, in a satin finish. There is a decent amount of solid mahogany trim, and the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are solid mahogany, so I still get some nice warm wood tones, but without the vast expanses of dark brown bulkheads.

Also, good lighting - like LEDs - helps.
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Presently our boat is too light. We actually have to cover the hatches and portlights to darken it sometimes. It has 14 opening portlights, 2 - 20x20 hatches and 5 - 12x12 hatches.

In the photo you can see we have white behind the settees, on the cabin top and the ceiling. I think the one thing that makes our boat feel bigger is the white vinyl headliner material that is on the side of the hull in an around the cabinets. I was on another Caliber recently that had the teak wood slats on the inside of the hull and the boat definitely felt a little darker.

The forward cabin, where we sleep, is darker because we blocked out the hatch with some opaque bubble-wrap. We also have curtains on the portlights. The forward head is very bright with a single portlight and hatch.



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Get a piece of clear lexan that'll fit where the companionway hatch boards go. Obviously that only makes it brighter in situations where the hatch boards would be installed...
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Clean and sparkly helps. Light walls, as many have recommended - or - light-colored upholstery. (Not white on both walls and upholstery, though, or your place will have all the warmth and charm of the inside of a refrigerator!). NO CLUTTER! Flat surfaces should be clear, like you have just come back from a sail. Lockers and shelves should still have some empty space inside, as though you have so much room you can't even fill it all.
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