Expanding the V-berth Locker

The locker in the v-berth above your feet is pretty small. There is a lot of unused room to be gained by modifying it.

My modifications about tripled the usable storage space in it. It involved doing 3 things. A person could do any one, any two, or all three of them.

1. Move the front out. It's pretty simple, just remove what is there. Then position the front panel farther out. How much depends on you far you are comfortable with. It screws to the liner through the top using some long stainless screws. Once you have it relocated and screwed to the liner, you need to build a new bottom shelf, since the original one won't be deep enough. You will end up with a small gap on the sides, since you are moving it forward. You can easily add a strip of teak to finish that off, or just leave it open as I did. It's hardly noticable. How noticeable, of course, depends on just how far forward you move it.

2. Pivot the bottom edge of the back toward the front of the boat. The top of the back is pretty much fixed, but there is a void between it and the back of the anchor locker that gets wider as you go down. You can leave the top attached where it was or move it forward a little, but angle it down and forward. You will have to trim the edges because it will hit the hull, but that is a simple trial and error job, or you can mock it up in cardboard first. The limit of this is when it hits the chainplate bolts and backing plate. Well, almost - you can go farther if you slot the back to go around those bolts and the plate. It will give you better access to the bolts, too, so I recommend it. Once that is located, you must make a MUCH bigger bottom shelf.

3. Why settle for just a bottom shelf? Add another shelf in the middle, half way up, and you can gain much more usable storage. All this will take a bit of mocking up to get it to fit just right, but it is hidden, so it doesn't have to be professionally done.

Once I made those mods, I found that Nellie and I could store almost all of our clothes in that one compartment. If that sounds minor, remember, we were cruising for 6 months at a time. Take a look at your compartment right now and think of using it for that and you'll see just how much of an increase it must be.

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