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patrickbwells 05-09-2007 01:30 AM

What makes your boat cozy?
Hi. I just bought a 30 year old Cascade 36' that I am restoring. Ive gutted everything but the v-birth and head and am getting ready to start rebuilding. I have noticed that many boats are just not as comfortable as a home on the land and I want to know what kinds of things Sailnetters have done on there boats to make them comfortable and homey. To start I am going to put in a marine wood stove, probably the 'little sardine'. I am also going to use 3/4 inch plywood for all of the construction so that it feels solid. I have a dehumidifier for use when the boat is connected to shore power. Can anyone tell me what type of 12 volt lighting is the best? Where should I go from here?

tenuki 05-09-2007 02:40 AM

Don't ask me I'm used to racers, so I'm not comfortable unless the interior is gutted.

66luders 05-09-2007 03:39 AM

LED lighting. Well.... not really. I put red, white, blue and amber in the v-berth for my daughter.

theartfuldodger 05-09-2007 05:47 AM

I refitted our boat which we now live on, and LED is what I installed, even for

Artful Dodger

sailingdog 05-09-2007 06:50 AM

The two problems you can have with LED lighting are:

1) the white is pretty bluish, and not very warm or pleasant in color. Newer LED bundles handle this in a few different ways, so this is going away as a problem.

2) LED lights tend to be very directional. If you need a lot of light over a wide area, you're probably better off with cold fluorescent tube lights.

Alden68 05-09-2007 07:07 AM

I would second the lighting however, there is nothing more cozy than a well done softly lit sailboat cabin......especially if your 1/2 way through the bottle already......

Hawkeye25 05-09-2007 07:44 AM

Wood. Lots of warm, cozy wood. Thick seat cushions and soft places to lean while reading or relaxing. Avoid as much as is physically possible in the way of visual obstructions or head banging protrubences. Carpet feels good on the feet but attracts sand and fleas (if you have a pet) so small throw rugs help, but they MUST have sticky rubber backing or they become skateboards at the speed of light. And clean them often. Replace them a lot, too, for fun and a different look.

Insulate well beneath the deck and cabinroof. I have laminated in thin wood and rigid foam insulation. I also like thin rigid foam on the hull down to the waterline, or cabin sole. This makes the boat MUCH better at holding cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter. Exposed fiberglass areas create air circulation that is sometimes so active it feels like a draft from outside.

And one other thing - before you go about doint the interior, check all chainplates, cleats, etc, etc deck hardware and fills and on and on, and rebed/reseal EVERYTHING you possible can. 30 year old sealer was not as good as todays, and even if some of it was, it's 30 years old - retire it, and don't end up with leaks ruining your new interior.


Freesail99 05-09-2007 07:52 AM

If you want some nice LED lighting, look here.

As far as making your boat comfortable and homey, I rebuilt my entire galley. I used 3/4 hardwood plywood to make my cabinets. I have 11 lineal feet of counter tops now. I was also able to free up some extra storage space by adding a extra door. I also re did all my cushions. Used better foam. On my bulkhead walls leading to the V berth, I covered the walls with "Bellawood" 3/8 x 3 solid prefinished real wood flooring. I used Mahoagany because my boat has a lot of that wood already in it. Teak is available and the wood it's self isn't very heavy, so I added very little extra weight to the boat with a finish, I would never be able to achieve.

Sailormann 05-09-2007 08:14 AM

I always put a couple of old-fashioned oil lamps in my boats - regardless of whether I need them or not. When you are just sitting and chatting with some folks over a beer they give the cabin a nice, warm glow.

sailingdog 05-09-2007 08:21 AM


The Alpenglow lights are all cold fluorescent, except for the red nav table lighting which is LED. They don't make any white LED-based lights at that company.

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