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Old 12-14-2012, 02:49 AM   #1
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Live Aboard Carpentry

Howdy,

In the process of buying a 46' foot live aboard. Instead of replacing the sleeper-sofa, I'd prefer to ditch it and have a custom couch/storage settee build into the salon.

Any recommendations, or specific carpenters (and upholster) for the job in SF Bay Area?

Thanks in advance.

Andy
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:01 AM   #2
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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Get a dirt carpenter and tell him to leave his level at home. That way you'll miss the 100% marine markup.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:33 AM   #4
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Get a dirt carpenter and tell him to leave his level at home. That way you'll miss the 100% marine markup.


I agree leave the level and even the square at home. I built/remodel strictly with the eye. If it looks good with the surrounding by eye its good enough. A level will drive him crazy as a boat is never really level. I usually built stuff on the dirt first, take it apart so it can get on the boat, and make fine adjustment when reassembling. the original cushions we straight/bland/plan/shippy/UGLY so we had new plush cushions made that are very comfortable. My wife two weeks ago had her ankle operated on and been sleeping, watching TV, reading and eating pop corn on the Settee.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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I've seen what "dirt carpenters" do to boats. Good way to depreciate it immediately. You'll get what you pay for.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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I've seen what "dirt carpenters" do to boats. Good way to depreciate it immediately. You'll get what you pay for.
Right you are Keith. We employ several carpenters who are some to the best in their craft. I don't have them do anything on my boat. Good boat carpenters are getting rare. I have been lucky enough to find some. Very few pieces of wood on a boat can be put into place without much careful fitting and matching. It is an art.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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I've seen what "dirt carpenters" do to boats. Good way to depreciate it immediately. You'll get what you pay for.
+1

Also, just because a person calls themself a ships carpenter doesn't mean they are any good. Insist on seeing their work first - up close and personal. photos don't tell it all.

What you are needing is a very simple project but easily screwed up. When completed, it should like it came with the boat.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:53 PM   #8
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Howdy,

In the process of buying a 46' foot live aboard. Instead of replacing the sleeper-sofa, I'd prefer to ditch it and have a custom couch/storage settee build into the salon.

Any recommendations, or specific carpenters (and upholster) for the job in SF Bay Area?

Thanks in advance.

Andy
Hi Andy - It's interesting, because when we bought our 46' liveaboard she came with a built-in L-shaped settee/storage sofa. We originally thought we'd take that out and replace with a sleeper sofa type. After living and working aboard on the hook for the first four months, we came to fully appreciate the storage capacity of our built-in. It's our primary food pantry. And while it's not the prettiest piece of furniture (the upholstery is off-white, and with a two year old it is getting more and more off-off white!), we now plan on re-upholstering with color. Eventually we'll rebuild the frame - which is pine - with easier hinged access.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:51 AM   #9
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Also, just because a person calls themself a ships carpenter doesn't mean they are any good.

Someone qualified to do furniture level wood work on a boat will be a JOINER, not a ships carpenter.

BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!!
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #10
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I have built and had several thing built for the boat. Not to hard once you have found the design, look, material that the SO and you can agree on the rest is relatively easy/cheap. I remodeled the back deck, and change the Dinette Settee to be more comfortable and less shippy. Before the material was brought on the boat had it cut down but over size. Once on the boat I make the final cuts and assemble on the back deck so it can be taken apart to be install and final fits in the boat. A boat is much like a dirt house as a lot can be hidden with molding/trim and routing design.

Here is a picture of the back deck. The doors and molding/trim I bought at a marine store, but the cabinets and counter top I made. You could have the whole thing built on the dirt, and then assemble/finish in the boat.


I agree leave the level and even the square of the boat as I did every thing by sight when it cam to the final fit as there is nothing on a boat that level and or square. So if the its look good to the eye that is close enough.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:03 PM   #11
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...............Someone qualified to do furniture level wood work on a boat will be a JOINER, not a ships carpenter.

BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!!
True, but since we are picking fly $hit out of pepper, lets look at the original question..." ....and have a custom couch/storage settee build into the salon."
Building a custom couch/storage settee can also be built by most good cabinet makers (also known as joiners) and not necessarily a furniture level woodworker (also known as a joiner back in the old days). The non-square/non-flat surfaces are not that big of a challenge for a good cabinetmaker. There is a big difference between today's cabinetmakers and furniture makers. Good furniture makers are few and far between and very expensive. Good Cabinet makers are somewhat more plentiful and more reasonably priced. Not everyone can afford gold fly swatters to kill cockroaches. Also note that in todays environment, ships carpenter and shipwrights also are joiners, at least from my observations. Just sayin'.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:27 AM   #12
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For the base you might be able to use standard kitchen cabinets, the narrow ones that go over a stove with some modification. the ones in the picture I made, excpet for the doors. When I remolded the kitchen of our condo, the standard cabinets did not quite fit, so it had to cut/modify a bit, and the some of the doors swung the wrong way.

The work that I have done is with a small 6 Makita circular hand saw, jig saw, and belt sander on portable work benches that fold up fo easy storage. Just take your time cut a little bit bigger and belt sand down to fit.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:00 AM   #13
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If you have a real light touch, a 4" angle grinder with 40 or 60 Grit sanding disks can hog out a lot of wood quickly. If you can cut close with a saw, the angle grinder can sculpt the rest.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:04 AM   #14
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There are Custom Couch builders in just about every major town. Thats what they do for their business. They simply measure and build whatever you want.
In San Francisco:
www.sofaulove.com or
www.buildasofa.com/
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:53 AM   #15
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If the carpenter shows up with a level or a square. '
You have the wrong guy.

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Old 12-19-2012, 04:22 PM   #16
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If you plan on using the space under the seats DRAWERS are better than a "trap" (a hole with a lid) or a push the hunk in locker.

That being said our underseat storage is 2 milk crates deep and 4 wide , all simply slide out on the cabin sole.

The seats are athwart ship so the crates slide fore and aft , so far no unwanted motion pitching into waves steep enough to sweep the deck with 2 ft of water.
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