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.
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.
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.
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.