Aft Cabin Re-Model: Making Patterns

We’re making progress on that aft cabin.  I spent a great deal of time making a template out of heavy cardboard and playing with all the different combinations that would make the sleeping space larger without using up too much floor space.  We finally settled on expanding the port side and the middle, and leaving the starboard side as it is. Decision made, I set about making a template for Mike to cut a piece of wood to fit in the space we’re enlarging.

Red magic marker defines the shape.

To make the pattern for the piece, I took a marker and ran it along the edge of the existing berth from underneath the cardboard, marking the shape on the cardboard. Then I flopped the cardboard over and, using heavy brown paper from a couple of grocery bags, I was able to fold and cut until I got the right size and shape.

Paper pattern

Naturally, because we don’t want to waste furniture grade plywood, we wanted to cut it from something cheap first to check fit and fine tune the whole thing. Mike bought some cheap, thin plywood and cut the pattern piece at home, then we went down to the marina to see if it would fit. On the way we took a little detour to the other side of the water way to see this:

It's the Saucy Sue! She lives down Foss Waterway from us.

It’s the Saucy Sue! She lives down Foss Waterway from us.

The is the sweet boat formerly known as Saucy Sue. She was our first sailboat and we truly enjoyed her. We felt so nostalgic seeing this little boat who taught us to love sailing so much. She was a lot of fun, easy to sail, and encouraged us to go further and longer. Some of our most ‘exciting’ times were aboard the Sue. We’d love to meet her new owners. She is called Finn du Monde now, which is the name she was given by the woman we sold her to 8 years ago. I love it that she is so close by, still sailing Commencement Bay.

Back at Galapagos after our detour we tried the piece on for size. With only a minor correction here and there, it was good to go. 

Turned out Mike had cut one side a little short, likely because my pattern got folded back or something, but that was fine as we needed to eyeball that corner on the port side and decide how to do it anyhow. That could be a thigh killer if it isn’t done right.  After a little discussion, I cut a piece of cardboard to fit, and we measured, trimmed again, and taped in place.

When we install the final piece of 3/4″ plywood, that  corner will be trimmed off so there are no sharp areas to create bruises. If you are a sailor, you know what I mean.

With the aft cabin cleaned up and the pattern in place, I wanted a visual of how this space might look when finished so I threw a blanket on it and we tried it out. We think this is going to be great and that we’ll be quite happy with it.

Read the next episode here.



7 thoughts on “Aft Cabin Re-Model: Making Patterns

  1. Looks totally awesome………at anchor. If you plan to sleep there on passage, will it be athwartship as shown? I.e. head to stbd, feet to port? If so, this will be very uncomfortable on passage during which you need to be head fwd-feet aft orientation with lee cloths.

    • It is unlikely we will be sleeping here on passage, and this set up is such that two people can lay side by side in either direction, although it’s difficult to tell that in the photo. On passage we take turns sleeping in the small berth amidship. It’s very comfy and the upper part of the body is braced behind a small wall, making it secure. Since we will never be leaving the helm unattended during passages, we’re not worried about it. This space is definitely designed for being at anchor.

  2. Pingback: Aft Cabin: Fait accompli! | Little Cunning Plan

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