Completing the Script
(Everything's a compromise!)
In this section, I will describe in detail (with the help of drawings and notes) exactly how Ada Hardy has been reconfigured. (There is also a complete set of plans and internal photographs in the Gallery - Final Design.)
From this .....
To This ......
Armed with Andy's CAD drawings and a final design concept locked into my mind, I started the detail design process. I spent all available moments of spare time over the next 18 months cutting, pasting, tracing, sketching, erasing, researching and debating alternatives with Karen to come up with the plans and equipment specifications that we ended up building to. In addition to the final CAD drawings (most of which are included in this section), I prepared more than 200 hand drawn details to communicate to the building team exactly what I was wanting to achieve and how it had to look.
A small amusing anecdote at this point ..... being not particularly proficient with CAD software myself, I enlisted the help of a non boating architect friend to finalise the CAD drawings to my notes and mark-ups. Being a house architect, one of the first things he wanted to know was which direction North was so he could mark it on the plans!! (Think about it - it will come to you if it hasn't already!)
I enjoyed every minute spent during this stage and feel it has been one of the most rewarding periods of my partnership with Ada Hardy. It is most gratifying to experience the decisions made in the design stage bear fruit as we make our way around the world encountering different climates, obstacles and challenges. It is also wonderfully reassuring to be so familiar with every intimate detail of the boat - particularly when needing to troubleshoot problems and come up with work-arounds with limited resources.
Final adopted profile
At first glance, the final profile looks very similar to earlier versions drawn. In fact, the apparent subtle changes are without doubt some of the the most significant and talked about decisions we made.
Firstly, we decided to preserve our huge and treasured flush foredeck. This meant deleting the proposed trunk cabin and foregoing below decks access to the foc'sle. The other thing it meant was that all structural bulkheads and deck beams could remain unaltered thus maintaining the "as designed" structural integrity of the boat as well as providing a significant cost saving.
Foredeck looking aft showing watertight access hatch to main saloon and engine room ventilation grille to the left
Secondly we eliminated the earlier shown "annexe" extension in front of the wheel house. It's sole purpose had been to provide non-forward facing-full height access into the main saloon from the foredeck. We ended up taking the view firstly that it was reducing the foredeck area, secondly that we had gotten totally used to using a similar opening in her original configuration and thirdly that there was a perfectly good access to the fore deck via the wheelhouse side doors in conditions when you wouldn't want to open the forward facing main saloon door. There were also further savings as a result.
View forward showing flush watertight access hatch to deck locker (where the wet well used to be) and access companionway to the foc'sle.
Once we decided to not build a trunk cabin, the logical spot for the owners cabin became the freezer well, leaving the wet well free for tanks and storage.
We installed an additional 4,500L diesel tank and a 1,500L sullage tank in the bottom of the well. The additional diesel tank brings our total to 12,000L giving us a range of approxiamtel 3,000nm. A floor was installed over the tanks making the remainder of the well a large storage locker approximately 2.5m x 2.5m x 1.2m deep - ample room for mooring lines, fishing gear, deck chairs, spare parts, etc, etc.
After the decision was made to keep the foc'sle separate from the remainder of the accommodation the detail planning and design started to fall into place and the following plans and photo's tell the story.
We are extremely pleased with how everything planned out and when asked "what would you change if you were starting again?" our answer is always a well considered "very little!".
Cut-away drawing through aft section of the boat showing access down to the owners cabin (in the old freezer well) from the main saloon
Plan of Main Deck. Note the small cabin with two bunks on the starboard side and storage pantry and laundry aft of the galley.
Main saloon looking aft. The stairs lead up to the wheelhouse. Airconditioning plant for the main saloon and adjoining cabin is housed under the stair.
Main saloon looking to port. The table extends with an additional leaf providing a comfortable dining setting for 8 people.
Main saloon looking forward. The watertight door leads out to the foredeck. The cabinet with a grille under the TV conceals a radiator style heater. A diesel fired boiler in the engine room circulates hot water to heating radiators throughout the vessel. The door on the right leads down to the owners cabin.
The main saloon is a large (roughly 3.5m x 3.5m) comfortable space. Our design theme for all interior spaces seeks to expose and celebrate the original timber structure, complemented with crisp modern finishes and detailing. Large 10"portholes provide lots of natural light. The floor is the original celery top deck finished with hard wearing clear matt acrylic and the joinery and wall paneling is canadian rock maple veneer laid over marine plywood.
Being fully enclosed by 2" thick solid timber the space is remarkably temperature stable and extremely quiet. Being close to the centre of both pitch and roll the motion at sea is extremely comfortable. You can feel "snug as a bug" in here with the Gardner engine purring away under the floorboards while the weather rages outside!
The Galley looking to port. The front opening fridge is out of view directly opposite the sinks and to the right of the camera position.
We designed the galley pretty much like you would a kitchen at home - except with fiddle rails around the edges of the bench tops and an adjustable stainless steel rail around the cook top to keep pots and pans in place at sea. All the cabinets and drawers have divider rails to keep everything in its place.
We decided to go with all normal domestic appliances - gas cook top, electric oven, refrigerator, freezer and laundry appliances - because they are inexpensive and easy to replace when they breakdown. Plus we have the room! We used to have a small dishwasher but replaced it with an additional set of drawers. Using it required running the generator for over an hour whereas (so I'm told) washing up by hand can usually be knocked over in just a few minutes.
You don't find too many galleys like this on 60'yachts!
Plan of the Wheelhouse. Note the BBQ built into a recess at the aft end with storage for gas bottles under.
I wanted my wheelhouse to be functional but also a comfortable and sociable place to while away the hours during during long passages. Nothing worse than being stuck to a helm chair while a party rages elsewhere on board! I wanted extensive bench top areas for charts, laptop, etc and a dinette for meals whilst underway - configured so the bench seat was long and wide enough to double as bunk at sea. ( I often do passages where I rely on friends who have little seagoing experience, to stand a watch, and I want to be able to sleep close at hand in case they need help assessing mysterious lights and the like.) Most of all I wanted a big comfy helm chair!
Wheelhouse looking forward. Note we kept the original wheel.
Wheelhouse looking aft and to port
Wheelhouse looking to port
I would like to think that it was inspired thinking that led to the owners cabin being located in what had been the boat's freezer well. The reality however is that it kind of happened by default once we decided to retain the boat's flush foredeck.
Plan of Owners Cabin located in what used to be the freezer well. The access stair (bottom left) leads to the main saloon.
We were not happy with the idea at first - mainly because there was not enough room to position the bed to get access from both sides and also because we would need to rely on light and ventilation through a deck hatch only (no portholes). As it has turned out (once Karen resolved that she would sleep on the open side of the bed and I would do the "climbing over") we couldn't be happier.
Probably the cabin location's greatest benefit is that it is centred almost exactly on the boat's centre of buoyancy which makes it the most comfortable position on the boat in any kind of seaway. There is so little motion down there that in 20,000nm of travelling we have not even had so much as a glass of water topple on the bedside table! This unexpected comfort has made a big contribution to Karen's willingness to undertake long passages at sea, because she knows there is a cosy retreat where she can hunker down if it gets rough.
The other unexpected benefit is the cabin being so close to the engine room - separated only by a well insulated bulkhead. The insulation ensures the noise level is subdued and comfortable whilst the proximity allows you detect any unusual sounds or vibrations coming from the equipment in the engine room. An unusual sound, a change in pitch or new vibration is often the first indication of an emerging problem and as the saying goes "forewarned is forearmed". There has been many an occasion where this early warning system has given me the opportunity to identify and deal with an issue before it becomes a major! Interestingly, even Karen who has no mechanical knowledge (or interest!) has become very adept at identifying unusual sounds from the comfort of her bed.
It is technically a foc'sle, but is more commonly referred to by our many friends who have enjoyed it's comforts as "the apartment".
We had reservations about the foc'sle being detached from the remainder of accommodation but as it turned out it has proved extremely popular. (Or is it that our guests are so happy to have been invited that they only say nice things about their cabin?)
It is a generous space with a large ensuite, perfect for a couple and with a double bunk and two singles also works well three singles on "boys trips" (after having sorted the argument of who gets the double!)
Foc'sle - otherwise affectionately referred to as "the Apartment". Note en-suite configuration is not as shown (much improved) and lower bunk starboard side is a double.
The main thing that everyone seems to like is the added feeling of privacy that comes from being separated from the other areas of the boat. Benjamin Franklin famously said that "house guests and fish start to smell after 3 days". Well, our guests generally come for stays of 10 -14 days so the private break-out space gets a workout sometimes!