Designing a new Companionway

The reason I started this blog was to try and get some input from other Folksong owners on the layout of the companionway/engine box area in their boats.

From the beginning, there have been a number of jobs I need to do, the question has always been “where do I start?”

Now, having spent three months enjoying Blue Mistress – it’s a great sail, I have a simple plan.

The trick will be to turn the plan into reality.


Outline Plan for new Companionway:

1. An inboard engine (Yanmar GM10) was fitted several years ago. It’s below what was the companionway. An engine box was designed later, with a battery box forward of it. Neither the engine box nor the battery box is robust enough to be used as companionway steps into the saloon – especially with a sea running. Entry is currently in the form of a backward shuffle with the left foot hopefully contacting the edge of the navigation area.


2. The navigation area itself needs to be brought up to standard to take a new fuse box, DSC/VHF, chart potter etc.


3. There is no way of laying out a chart unless the saloon table is in place, which is impossible in a sea.


Stage One:

To make new robust engine and battery boxes that will be secure and strong enough to bear the weight of a heavy man in a heavy sea.

The structure has to be secure but it must also allow access to the engine (fuel line, water line, dip-stick – and a view of the stern gland), and batteries, and be as sound-proof as practical.

Also, the top step should be able to act as a seat for someone to sit with his/her head outside the hatch, and the bottom step to be a seat at the aft end on the saloon, (preferably on the same level as the saloon benches) – I have checked it since I wrote this and it will actually have to be slightly lower than this because headroom is restricted by a sill.


Stage Two

At the same time the navigation/electronics area needs some straightforward joinery – book shelf, fascia for fuse box, VHF and so on.

This area is on the starboard side, next to the bottom step/seat of the companionway. On the port side is the stove.


Stage Three

The bottom step/seat should make it feasible to have a removable chart table that will fit transversely across the saloon here – so that I can keep a chart out while we are sailing and access it easily. I have a design in mind to make it secure but will need to look at materials available.


Engine Box 1

2 thoughts on “Designing a new Companionway

  1. I use a Yeoman Sport Plotter which is interfaced with the GPS, and acts as a chart table which I can sit on my lap. I’ve put a socket in the cockpit and in the cabin so I can use it in either place.

  2. A very thoughtful article, good stuff. In case you need some parts or a new gori prop or yanmar saildrive engine feel free to contact us. We sell parts and engines for yachts, cruisers and other craft. If you need any advice please feel free to contact we export around the world.

Comments are closed.