A record of the renovation of a
Wooden Drascombe Longboat 'Otter'

14th February 2007. Dilemma

Otter as she was builtMy plan is to add a cabin to Otter to make her a Cruiser Longboat. I am at the stage where I am about to insert a bulkhead for the rear of the cabin / front of cockpit. My original plan was to stick to the original design and put it at the rear of the centreboard case and remove the existing bulkhead.. But I realised, today, that this will give a very small cockpit. The length of the well between the rear of the cabin and the front of the lazerette will be about 1026 mm (40"). I (the helmsman) would naturally sit on the weather side at the front of the cockpit with my aft hand on the tiller. This leaves no room for the crew on the weather side.

Otter with cabin I am now considering putting the bulkhead further forward, replacing the existing bulkhead, giving 1356mm (53.5") of cockpit. The downside is that the cabin length will be reduced from 2290mm (7' 6") to 1955mm (6' 5.5") give or take an inch. This is long enough for me to kip down but I would sacrifice space for a permanent cooker. This I don't mind as a portable one would do fine.

Standard wooden Cruiser LongboatHere is the fine wooden Cruiser Longboat 'Siobhan'.

What one would look like with shorter cabinHere I have modified the photo of 'Siobhan' to show the foreshortening of the cabin.

On of my favourite boatsAnother fine wooden Cruiser Longboat 'Walvis'.

Still looks good with shorter cabinWith a shorter cabin.


The question is - Is this a sensible thing to do?

As I will be spending most of my time in the cockpit it seems worth sacrificing some space in the cabin to get more room there.

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Unless stated otherwise, Colin Watt 2006, 2007

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Last updated: 16 February, 2007