A Double Bunk Up Forward - Ted Kirchner, (NETA)
One of the more comfortable changes made to our Triton was the conversion of the forward cabin from the two too narrow single bunks to one ample double bunk. The change is simply done by removing the forward cabin door, bridging the space between the two bunks with plywood covers (to give access to the newly formed storage areas) and installing sliding doors in both the cabin and the storage area below.
The forward double bunk has been enthusiastically accepted by the writer's family as it provides a large game playing area for the kids during the day and a much more comfortable and larger capacity sleeping area at night. Not to mention the bonus of considerable more storage area between the bunks and over the water tank. The sliding doors also work better, take less space and do not pinch errant little fingers.
As part of this installation the writer also installed a water tank pipe on deck. The deck plate and fill hose are readily available. The fill connection to the tank was made using a standard plumber's right angle plastic elbow fiberglassed to the tank. This is a great addition even if you don't go for the double bunk as you no longer have to drag a water hose into the boat for the water fill and spill operation.
Pressurized Water System. A "Lectra Stream t1260" pump in the dead space under the sink takes no special mounting. Mount it on a small board so that it won't roll too much. The existing hand pump will still work; the "Lectra Stream" presents no resistance. The pump must be mounted low enough to stay flooded, it is not self-priming.
Galley Arrangements. This will include anything at the aft end of the cabin in the general galley area.
Jack Niedringhaus made a series of graduated bins over his ice box. These were from 3 by 5 inches on up to hold field glasses, sun glasses, sail gaskets, pencils, keys, wallets, etc. Dividers were set back 3/4" from the bulkhead to make a slot for folded charts, race cir- culars and the like.
Klarman removed the original teak trim around the shelf over the ice box and replaced it with 3 inch high boards. Things don't fly off the shelf when the boat heels now.
Dunn found the original galley racks on two levels with oval holes so inconvenient that he made major changes. The upper shelf was provided with sliding plastic doors which slide past each other and out of sight, making the entire space accessible. (Plate 6)
The lower shelf was removed entirely and the space filled by two liftout trays. These trays are fitted with partitions to keep things up- right. When the trays are lifted out, the space below is accessible for more storage. Mr. Dunn felt that the bin behind the sink counter was uselessly deep and installed a false bottom. At a lesser than the original bin bottom, the space became useful.
Several owners, including Mr. Dunn, note they do the bulk of their cooking on a gimballed alcohol "Sea-Swing" stove.
Curtain Track. Inexpensive but neat curtain track can be produced by running 40# monofilament fishing line fore and aft, one length the top of the curtain, one at the bottom. The loops on the curtains will run smoothly over the monofilament line.
Motor Alarms. Alarms are commercially available which will signal by both light and buzzer or bell when either oil pressure is low or the engine is overheating. The oil pressure alarm will sound briefly when you start the engine. When the engine oil pump has raised the oil pressure, the alarm will stop - if you have enough oil in the engine. The pressure fitting can be put in where the portside oil pressure gauge takes off by adding a "Tee." The water temperature fitting fits under any engine head stud or on any water pipe at the exhaust manifold.
Ventilation. Frank Alla of NETA recommends added ventilation for Tritons, especially in bad weather. He uses a 4" low profile PVC vent with a plastic dorade box, positioned just forward of the dodger, between the handrail and the companionway slide. He recommends the "Plastino" brand, available from Thomas Fowkes, London. For added vent exhaust capability, Frank uses the Beckson "Vent-O-Mate" stainless steel model - set into the forward hatch. Additional venting should be provided under bunks; upper and lower vents will encourage air circulation. Hinging the forward hatch from its forward edge - instead of the after edge - will permit more venting when under way. This is also a safer way to hinge the hatch.
Tool Box Storage. Reid Dunn had two good ideas for tool storage. For "ready access," he has a simple rack on the side of the ice box, made to hold most-needed items; screwdriver, pliers, knife, and a roll of boat tape. Beside the ladder, it is out of the way - yet easily reached from the cockpit. His tool box is a Navy surplus case about a foot square and six inches high. It slides into a rack made of aluminum angle stock, fitted to the underside of the engine cover. The box stays warm and dry. A piece was cut from the other engine cover the piece parallel to and behind the ladder. This Piece comes off with a separate handle. Remove the ladder, remove the upper hatch piece and slide out the tool box. (Plate 8) Tables. The original IB cites this table: (author unknown). The table consists of a large leaf that is piano-hinged to another smaller leaf that is, in turn piano-hinged to the main cabin bulkhead on the port side over the port bunk. When the table is unlatched, the whole contraption is eased down, the large leaf swung out toward the center line and a drop leg swings down to rest on the cabin sole. The whole structure is sturdy and will accommodate four people.
Another from the original IB consists of two equal leaves, hinged together. When in use, one end of the opened assembly is pinned across the doorway to the head and a drop leaf supports the aft end.
Thwartship stiffening must be supplied by battens of some sort.
Mr. Klarman has a one-leaf table made to store against the forward bulkhead, portside. It is made as large as possible, a paper template used for designing it. It normally is hinged on pintles and gudgeons, pinned to prevent freeing. Swung down, it serves as a chart table. For dining, it can be unshipped from the gudgeons on the bulkhead and moved over to two other gudgeons either side of the door to the head. There is a leg fitted to support the aft end. The leg drops through the cabin sole, resting in the bilge.
Interior Stowage - Bunk Areas. H & L Woodwork, 2965 E. Hancourt, Compton, CA 90221 has been reported as an excellent source of doors and panels, etc. They offer a good door to put over an opening you can make under the sink to gain access to some otherwise useless space. Extra storage space can be found under the forward end of the starboard bunk. Cut through the bunk platform with a sabre saw, do it neatly and save ehe piece for the cover. Glue and screw one by one and a half strips of wood under the cover to keep it from falling through - as on the other bunk base hatches. Frank Alla did it and now has a space in which he stows a 25# plow anchor and chain, all his engine spares, a portable vice, some clamps and other stuff!
Several members have improved the partitioning of space behind the bunks, running right up to the underside of the deck. The shelving has been closed in in various ways to tidy things up and to keep them in place as the boat heels. David Kent suggested making cardboard templates to aid in planning your space to hold your equipment; no two people carry the same gear and no two people carry any given item in the same place! The point is that with some ingenuity, your boat can be a better, safer boat. (Plate 9)
Reid Dunn did a major remodelling, based on the idea that lots of space was wasted in the angle of the backrests. He changed his back- rest cushion supports to vertical, gained lots of space and partitioned it off cleverly. The bunk widths remained unchanged.
New shelves were installed at the top of the backrests, leaving the original shelves untouched except for the moulding. The space above the new shelves was enclosed with sliding doors of 5/32 "teak" surfaced panelling. The plastic sliding door track is readily available at hard- ware stores. The upper track was attached to the overhead with epoxy glue the door openings trimmed with strips made from the old, removed trim. Since the new shelf covered the tops of the bins behind the bunks, access was gained by oval holes in the bin fronts. His new two-piece backrest cushions unhook easily to permit access to the bins. The plywood backrest cushion backs are fitted with "L" shaped strips which hook on the lower edge of the holes in the bin front. For access to a bin, lift the backrest cushion up and out and you have full access. On the portside, about half the bin next to the box is full depth; the shelf on top is open to permit large items to be stowed. Reid keeps some sheets, winch handles, snatch blocks and other bulky items there. Up forward, over the starboard bunk, he installed a bookshelf and mounted his depth sounder and tape player on the underside. The speakers for the tape player are behind the sliding doors, forward - one on each side. (Plate 10)
Head. One owner found the best way of maintaining his head's metal parts was to strip the old paint and repaint with flat black anti- rust paint. The unit was reassembled with stainless steel hardware and has had no further corrosion or paint peeling.
Dave Sykes found space to mount his "Lectra-San" aft of the head by moving the head 2" forward and raising it an inch or so on a 2 x 8 bolted to the floor.
Screens. Several owners reported bug-free nights after they made light wooden frames for the forward hatch with screen cloth stapled on. For the companionway hatch, a sliding screen as found in the hardware store can be used. Varnish the frame and, since the store-bought unit won't be a perfect fit. make up a small washboard to fit the remaining space.
Water Tank Gauge_. With use of plastic "T" fittings, you can have a clear plastic water tank gauge visible from the cabin. Bring the clear plastic tubing up the face of the bulkhead on the cabin side of the tank with the upper, open end bent forward to go through a hole at the top of the bulkhead. Any slight spill will run into the bilge. You can measure what you put in and then mark the gauge appropriately.
Chart Board. A piece of eighth inch "Masonite" of convenient size to hold a folded chart is handy in the cockpit. Use large size stainless steel "Banker's Clips," available in office supply stores.
Mildew. Many owners claim that flat latex base paint resists mildew better than any other. Undiluted "Clorox," applied with a paint brush, does a good job of removing mildew.
Navigation Center. One owner put a shelf 18" above the ice box which holds parallel rules, pencils, dividers and so on. The depth sounder is mounted on an arm under the shelf that permits the instrument to be swung out for the helmsman. Swung in, the navigator, in the cabin can check depth. A chart light is also mounted on the shelf. The navigator works at a large folding chart table which is supported by brackets on the front of the ice box, along the face of the existing shelf and by two light chains from the overhead. When in use, it is rigid and large. The crew still has access to the ice box and the portside bunk. When not in use, the table folds up and is stowed in the bin behind the port bunk. With the radios mounted directly above, the navigator has all his tools and equipment centralized. Non-navigators report that the charts can be put away and the space used for rapid construction of six or eight large sandwiches with great efficiency! (Plate ll)