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post #1 of 14 Old 10-17-2008 Thread Starter
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Dinettes vs Settees

I tried this thread in G&M and it didn't work too well, so ill try it here.

Ive had to rip out the port settee and pilot berth on my pearson 36 to replace a bulkhead. Ive always thought that a dinette would work out great in that area. Im going to give it a try and see how it works out. I figure if i dont like it, i can rip it all out and build the settee back.

Ive done some measuring and i think there will be enough room. I will have to raise the seat hight from what it was to a little higher to give some leg room for who ever sits close to the hull.

This is the settee/pilot berth that was there before.


Here is as it sits now. That used to be a water tank that was cut open by a PO. Im going to remove it.


We are going to be full time liveaboards again once this is done. Ive got the quarter berth for one kid to sleep in and im putting a pilot berth on the starboard side.


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post #2 of 14 Old 10-18-2008
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What do you mean by a "dinette" in this space? Like a countertop in a breakfast nook, or like two benches with a small table in between?
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-18-2008 Thread Starter
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2 benches with a table in the middle.


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post #4 of 14 Old 10-18-2008
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Dinettes used to be a more popular configuration in the '60s/'70s/early-'80s. They were the standard salon configuration on popular boats like the Westsail 32 and Peterson 44, among others. You don't see them too often on production boats anymore.

Think of a dinette much like a diner booth. They are handy for young families, who are always looking for nooks where the kids can sit out of the traffic pattern and do homework, arts and crafts, etc. It also makes it easier for parents to "manage" the meals with young kids -- generally everything is within easy reach.

But that "easy reach" is also one of the downsides -- they tend to feel a bit cramped, especially on small-mid-size boats. Also, ingress/egress for the outboard seating positions is not the easiest.

My preference is when the dinette can be turned into a U-shaped, wrap-around bench seat. This gives everyone a bit more elbow room, at the expense of some lost table surface area. But in either configuration, it is a nice advantage not having to always include the opposite settee in the seating configuration -- freeing the path fore and aft, as well as the opposing settee.

Here is the dinette from a Peterson 44, for those unfamiliar with the configuration:



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post #5 of 14 Old 10-18-2008
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My Grampian 26 had a tiny little dinette that sat two in comfort, four in agony. It had to be perched up on a different level than the sole to make it work. Two settee's would have been better.
My Hunter 31 had the U shaped dinette that about 6% of them came with. It was great as a drop down bed, scooting around the U to the back side (hull ward) sitting position was painful because the table didn't come out easy.
That's with a 11 foot beam - and I think beam makes all the difference is whether or not a dinette works.
My Gemini salon is essentially totally the dinette. It works because the table is a triple folder and gets out of the way but still the forward most (bottom of the U) is not reachable unless you go in and sit before the table gets loaded. Makes for useful storage, and when we have large crowds it comes in handy.

Drawings and measurements are one thing, but don't say diddly for comfort and useability. Take the time to make card board cut outs, or even plywood mock ups and give them a real fit test prior to committing.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-18-2008
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Wise advice chuckles... What often looks good on paper doesn't work quite so well in the real world.

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post #7 of 14 Old 10-18-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Drawings and measurements are one thing, but don't say diddly for comfort and useability. Take the time to make card board cut outs, or even plywood mock ups and give them a real fit test prior to committing.
Hear, hear!

Sounds like a lot of extra work, but will likely save a lot of time/money in the long run.


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Beats building the thing and installing it...only to find out, you can't use it and have to tear it all out again.
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Hear, hear!

Sounds like a lot of extra work, but will likely save a lot of time/money in the long run.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Something I've never had to do voice of experience.
A 20 dollar sheet of OSB is all it takes, and better than using REAL wood as firewood later.
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I BELIEEEVE YOU....

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Something I've never had to do voice of experience.
A 20 dollar sheet of OSB is all it takes, and better than using REAL wood as firewood later.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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