Interior Design Elements
As a product designer I am constantly thinking of ways to improve the usability of things. Designing a boat from scratch gave us the opportunity to try out several ideas. On this page I show some design challenges and solutions we came up with for the interior of the boat. The next page does the same for issues on the exterior.
There is always a tradeoff between sleeping accommodations and openness in the interior. On a 40' boat that is mostly day sailed and cruised by a couple it doesn't make sense to have two fully enclosed sleeping cabins. Since the forward stateroom on Jakatan is large and comfortable there is no aft cabin. This allows the nav table and galley to be immediately adjacent to the companionway which is most convenient.
There are times though when you need another double berth. So like many boats, Jakatan has a double sized quarter berth to starboard. The head end of the quarter berth forms a seat for the nav table. To improve on this common layout I specified a hinged seat back so that most time the quarter berth looks like a bench seat with storage behind it.
The bench is comfortable and has room for two. The bench back folds down providing quick access to throw "stuff" behind it. With the back up again you don't see the mess.
If you need the double quarter berth for sleeping, the bench back can be removed and hung against the hull.
Garbage storage is a perennial problem. Making matters worse you really need "garbage" and "recylables". I find putting trash bins under the galley sink less than desirable. I wanted two large bins easily accessible. Some boats use the area under the companionway steps, which is what I did, but the design is a little unique and may be interesting.
On Jakatan the companion way has proper steps something you can do on a boat without a bridgedeck.
There is a lot of volume under steps so it can fit two big bins, one for trash and the other for recyclables. A fold down riser opens easily and provides quick access to the top of the bins.
If you need to remove the bins the middle step and riser unlatch and hinge down.
If you need to access the front of the diesel, the entire step assembly slides up and out exposing latched and insulated doors to the engine compartment. There are other access points to the engine, but this is the best access to the fuel filters, water pump, and alternator. I knew how I wanted to steps to work. Michel figured out how to make them.
The bottom step is fixed and houses a fire extinguisher. It provides a good place to sit when pondering the engine.
The house batteries are located under the cabin sole in the middle of the boat. We needed to place some of the high amperage switches nearby. I hate seeing these switches and on this boat you rarely have to touch them. Michel came up with this simple and beautiful solution.
A problem with dinettes on boats this size is you usually don't have enough beam to fully enclose the table with an inboard bench. So you are left with seats on three sides of the table. On Jakatan we built a small, one person bench. In the photo to left it is shown in its normal position.
It is fixed to the cabin sole, but can be easily moved by loosening a hand screw and sliding it along a slot in its base. It can be stowed under the table (and rotated 90 degrees to make for better foot clearance) and can be moved to serve as a hassock for the settee. A turn of the screw and it is fixed again.
I was concerned it might get in the way at times, so it can be removed completely too. I find we use it at the table all the time and in a six day offshore delivery with five people on board it didn't get in the way.
We decided a small microwave would be a valued addition but I didn't want to see it. So we borrowed the concept of an "appliance garage" and put the micro behind a door that flips up and slides back over the oven. It barely fits but it works. The upper cabinet in the photo at left stores cups and glasses. The part to the left in this photo is a small cabinet with a door facing the companionway. It holds binoculars, handheld vhf radio, sunglasses, etc. I wanted a convenient place to store things you need in the cockpit but can't store in the cockpit.
We read in bed which is uncomfortable if your headboard is a vertical bulkhead which it was on our previous boat. So Jakatan has an angled head board with a shelf on top. This is comfortable for reading, provides a place for tissue boxes, watches, phones, etc, and the front panels open for storage.
Ceramic artist Tom Post created these tiles to highlight the Dickensen propane fireplace.