Thursday, January 5, 2012

Can't buy Storage from a Store

A wonderful present that Frank gave me this Christmas was more storage.  About a month after moving aboard, while we were still learning the boat and poking around, we discovered a Espar Diesel heater hidden in its own compartment above the pilot berth.  Our listing made no mention of this, as I don't think Tom, the broker, was aware of its very existence. We thought after finding it, that it was broken and perhaps the reason why it was never mentioned, until one night at 3am, we heard a new sound and started to smell diesel.  Turns out, it was wired to a thermostat and the switch for it was hidden.  It was wired so that when the temperature dropped below a set point, it would automatically turn on.  Imagine our surprise and concern when we awoke to all of this.  

We decided that we probably don't need it as we don't plan on wintering north anytime soon, and as it was set up, it was taking up 2x more space than was necessary.  That coupled with the fact that we have reverse cycle air conditioning unit that pumps out heat so long as the water temperature stays above 40 degrees lead to our decision to remove it.  Off to ebay it goes...

After removal of the Espar, Frank decided that he wanted to cut down the shelf size as it was encroaching on the sleeping space.  As a matter of fact, the corner of the shelf was at perfect level to nail you in the kidneys as you rolled over in the middle of the night.  Something Frank complained about when he was forced to sleep in the pilot berth during some of my more flatulent evenings.  

He reused some of the teak paneling from the face of the enclosure to cover up the holes leftover from the ducting, and then cut off about 5" from the corner of the shelf.  In addition to reusing the teak to cover up the holes, we bought 2 vents from West Marine for about $5 each so that both the closet and the clubhouse could be properly ventilated.  To make it even more visually appealing, as well as practical, he added a rounded corner using a Oak dowel that was stained to match our teak.  He also fixed up the "mini" shelf adjacent to the larger one that was holding ducting from the heater.  He installed a rail so that stuff can't fall out of it.  We were thinking that this shelf would be used as a mini storage for the person on watch so that they could put their iPod, a bottle of water, a snack, or headlamp in it.  As you can see from the photos, this took up way too much space, and we now have a place to store anything we want.  The larger shelf is probably going to turn into the sewing nook, holding my sewing machine and its related notions and fabric.  Overall, I think it came out really nice, and doesn't look too out of place. 

Reusing Teak Panels

Vents from West Marine


Espar Heater



Final product.  Notice the rounded dowel
matches nicely with the teak.

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