Posted by: Mike Randall | July 15, 2010

The Master State Room

I’m probably overstating the accommodation on a Stirven, calling it the Master State Room, but it’s my boat and I’ll call the weeny cuddy cabin whatever I want. Anyway it is what I’ve been working on lately!

I first fitted out the lockers that are under the bridge deck. There is a removable hatch in both sides, I’m sure this is where the Red Wine will be stored! I wasn’t sure if I should glue or screw the permanently fixed section and opted to glue as there didn’t seem much to screw to. In hindsight I’m sure you’re just meant to screw them down!

Port and Wine Locker Port side of course


Chardonnay Side Removable hatch


After that enjoyable little fit out I thought I’d tackle the sole in the cabin, mostly to make walking around easy for building and fitting the forward anchor locker.

This was like making a giant marine ply jigsaw puzzle and very satisfying to. I used my now well honed pattern making skills to get a pretty tidy fit on all the panels. I’m not sure how tightly this would all come together on a pre cut kit as I was able to make fine adjustments to my patterns before committing to ply. A few panels are a bit springy underfoot as the ply is only 9mm Okume/Gaboon and feel as though they would benefit from an extra underfloor batten or two.

Aft Cabin Sole panels in place


Forward Cabin Sole in place


Now I had a nice flat footing it was time to tackle the forward anchor locker. This is essentially a rectangle container supported by a few battens. Sounds simple, but I was a little confused as to how I was going to hold the various components in place while I put it together.

Deck beams define the size and position


At about at this point I needed some sort of support to hold my pattern making board in place that would define the aft anchor locker bulkhead.

Temporary supports held in place with hot melt glue


Pattern making board "Tick Stick" pattern making used here


The entire next step was one of those over thought out and probably entirely unnecessary ones. I’d got it into my head I should line the inside of this anchor locker with fibreglass for abrasion protection.  So I went to my local fibreglass supplier and bought some 600gsm chopped strand mat… Hmmm! not the easiest stuff to wet out!

200gsm woven cloth on left and 600gsm chopped strand on the right


I put peel ply and PVC plastic on top of this extravaganza hoping to smooth everything out. I then stuck a few sheets of ply on top and some extra weight hoping to squeeze some more resin through the whole ensemble.

I knew I was in a laser toner cartridge recycling warehouse for a reason!


I don’t have any pictures of the result, but for the record the chopped strand matt worked out a treat and the easily wet out cloth puckered and bubbled (to much resin I think) turned into such a lumpy mess I threw it out and started again!

The finished Anchor Locker


Maybe it's called the Anchor Well! Damn nautical jargon again!


At the moment I’m just doing all the fillets and tidying this up before I move on to the rest of the cabin deck beams and forward buoyancy tank beams.

It’s very chilly at the moment in Melbourne with the thermometer hovering around ten degrees celsius in the warehouse and colder outside. Snows falling at all the resorts and the kids are hassling for a snow trip! Might have to indulge and slow progress for a few weekends. See how we go.


  1. Love the Chardonnay locker! Where’s the beer bin?

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