Cabin Customisation

Page updated: 30 April 2020

On this page a number of photographs of the cabins of SeaHawks are presented together with a commentary on what can be seen. This is intended to provide inspiration for owners on how they might modify their own boat.

Go to TopDevon

The Cabin of
            SeaHawk Devon

When this photograph of "Devon" was first seen it was thought unusual as it is a two-berth boat, yet has the four-berth style of mast bracing. Since then it has been learn that a good number of Reedcraft boats have this arrangement.

It gives the cabin a more open feel than is normal for a two-berth model, as with four-berth style bracing, the bulkheads can be cut away. However, here, the port bulkhead is retained to help separate the stove from where potentially inflammable bedding might be stowed.

It can also be seen that "Devon" has the common open-topped bin forward, rather than the locker seen on some boats.

More obvious customisations include the shelving running from the bulkheads to the bows and the bench-style lidded lockers to starboard and in the bows.

Go to Top Sisters

The Cabin of SeaHawk at Cam Sailing Club

"Sisters" is a two-berth boat like Devon, but has cut-away bulkheads to both sides. Given the method of mast bracing this is probably necessary as it is achieved through a stainless steel post fitted between the cabin roof and keel. This approach is common on many yacht designs, but was not the method used by any of the manufacturers of SeaHawks.

The bow bin and locker appear non-standard. Immediately aft of that is a low platform. Although this prevents the bow area being used for further storage, it provides an ideal step in the otherwise steeply sloping bow, which can be very useful if you normally tend to the rigging, anchor, or a Broads-style mud weight, standing here with your upper body emerging through the fore hatch.

Also non-standard are the additional bracing bulkheads under the foredeck, from which shelving is suspended. Further additional shelving runs aft to the standard bulkheads. While most boats have small "knees" at this point not all do.

Behind the stove shelf there is a further shelf fitted between the bulkhead and sink. This area appears underused in many cabin customisations, but can provide a significant volume of storage space. Finally, there is locker set to port forward of the bulkhead. Set at this height it can hide a disused sea toilet and provide a seat for anyone using the cooker.

Go to TopBantams Drift

The Cabin of SeaHawk Bantam's Drift

"Bantam's Drift" has a dramatic conversion to a four-berth arrangement. The owner that made the conversion ripped out the original mast bracing and it was left to a subsequent owner to install the steel post seen here. The full story of the conversion appears elsewhere.

Most boats hang curtains on plastic coated coiled wires. However, Bantam's Drift uses a different approach to cabin privacy.

Go to TopPippin

The Cabin of
          SeaHawk Pippin

"Pippin" has a closed bow locker, rather than the open bin found on many SeaHawks. At the time of this photograph, she had pine panel lining to the bow section. Such a feature is used in some other yachts as a way of protecting belongings from the condensation that forms easily on an uninsulated GRP hull.

Note the custom-built coffee table fits neatly between the sink and low level starboard locker/seat.

Taking advantage of the extra width of the cabin, Pippin has purpose-built storage for cutlery and mugs behind the stove with more storage to starboard.

Many people fit a door to the hatch under the cooker. This one top hinged. Most owners fit hinges at the bottom. The lid will then lay on the floor when open and you don't then need to use one hand to hold it open. It also provides a better view of the locker contents.

Another neat touch is the wooden window framing.

Go to Top Clocharde

The Cabin of
            SeaHawk Clocharde

"Clocharde" shows the standard open bin in the bow and bracing to the foredeck just ahead of the cabin windows. She is fitted with a sea toilet and the customisation in keeping with a boat fitted for coastal cruising.

To starboard, ahead of its sea toilet, is a blue painted shelving unit. Also to starboard is an extended bulkhead where navigation equipment is mounted.

The extensions to the bunk sides may have been fitted to prevent the bunk cushions sliding into the foot well when heeling, a common problem for SeaHawks. To starboard the extension also provides support for a chart table.

Go to TopMara

The Cabin of
            SeaHawk Mara

"Mara" is of similar vintage to Clocharde with her open bin and foredeck bracing. In this example the bin is fitted with a lid.

To port, there is a small draining board fitted forward of the sink. To starboard, Mara has a similar shelving unit to Clocharde. However, in this boat it also provides a support for an extension to a draining board.

In this "between seasons" photograph, the cooker is placed on the shelf intended as a stowage point for an old-style Elsan bucket toilet. It would normally be used on the shelf on the opposite side. However, the modern toilet, seen here on the port bunk, may be too big for the Elsan bracket and so this may also account for it not being located in the position designed for the toilet.

Go to Top Dipper

The Cabin of
            SeaHawk Dipper

"Dipper", seen here in 2007, has the alternative bow locker (and no foredeck bracing). The bow window curtain is strung on wires at top and bottom but the side windows, which are more vertical, are only top hung.

The starboard locker is set at the same height as the cooker shelf opposite. This will make the locker less comfortable as a seat, as all but the shortest will have to bend as their head will touch the cabin roof.

The full width, sink-height forward lockers have the advantage of offering a good serving area for meals, acting as a draining board or, possibly, a chart table. However, it will make access to the fore hatch difficult, removing the possibility of it functioning as an emergency escape route and reducing it to providing ventilation only.

This is another boat to provide useful storage shelving behind the cooker space.

Go to TopHakuna Matata

The Cabin
            of SeaHawk Hakunamatata

In the heavily customised cabin of "Hakuna Matata" the bow locker is the standard open bin, with a hinge-down door fitted to cover the opening. A vast locker with single lift off lid has been created in the bows that almost that almost engulfs the sink unit. Whilst maximising the size of the locker, having it this high does make access to the fore hatch is restricted. The sink is fitted with a pump and lipped cover. Various lockers and shelves are fitted above the galley reaching forward under the fore deck.

Unusually, for a boat with curtains to the side windows, there is none to the bow window. However, there is a curtain to divide the cabin at the bulkheads. This is hung on a wire that terminates on the port side mast brace. At least this means that the curtain will be kept clear of the cooker.

To starboard, the sea toilet has been boxed in. Unfortunately, with such a toilet, it is no longer possible, to use this area as a convenient seat when working at the galley.

Go to Top Hawk-eye

The Cabin of
            SeaHawk Hawk-Eye

"Hawk-eye" is the only SeaHawk known to have stained glass cabin windows! It has the alternative bow locker and sea toilet. The next most notable feature is a mast bracing conversion that, uses the roof beam principle of the four-berth boat, in contrast to most other conversions that use a pole effectively extending the mast to the keel of the boat.

Lacking the standard galley moulding, the cooker shelf that has been fitted instead is unusually shallow, but the bin behind it and shelf above appear to offer an acceptable storage solution.

It is interesting that the shelf in the bow is fitted with a cushion. This space is insufficient for a normal child berth and only appears suitable for crib for a baby.

Go to TopLittle Auk

The Cabin
            of SeaHawk Little Auk

When this photograph of "Little Auk" was taken she had just undergone a major renovation. There is a sensible lip added to the cooker shelf and convenient drop down hatch to the locker underneath it. The additional cushioned bench arrangement offers a child-size berth, that could be equally useful for the owner's two border collies!

Go to Top Imagination

Imagination after cabin rebuild in 2008

"Imagination" is an old Reedcraft boat which, like Hawk-eye, has no galley moulding. This customisation consists of producing an equivalent. It is constructed in 12mm plywood on a wooden frame with the upper surfaces in Formica and a second hand stainless steel bowl. The only significant difference to the galley moulding is that here there is a small draining board that extends to the anchor locker in the bow. There is no lip to this extension, instead a small rebate allows for a planned removable exension to the draining board that will fit across the width of the cabin.

Forward and to starboard is a run of three shallow lidded lockers. The forward locker, immediately under the fore hatch, forms a useful step on which to stand when attending to the jib or fore stay. The shelf to starboard is divided in two, so that the forward part can be lifted independently when the Porta Potti is in place. The whole run of lockers is set at a slightly lower height to the cooker shelf to port. This means that when the toilet is not on place there is a convenient perch to use when cooking or washing up.

The Porta Potti is secured by a specially sculptured and lipped shelf front, set at just the right height to engage in the handle at the rear of the toilet. The owner reports that he was amazed to find it didn't need any additional bracing or catches to keep it in place even when heeling in a force five.

More shelf and locker space is planned for the area above and behind both the cooker and toilet. The design of this is yet to be finalised.

The cabin floor is covered in loose-laid carpet tiles. These can be lifted easily to inspect the bilges, if required.

Go to Top Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold Cabin Fit-Out

Marsh Marigold, like Hawk-Eye, appears to be a four-berth boat, bought part-built and fitted out by the original owner. Both have very distinctive features.

Neither uses the conventional braces seen in Devon to link the roof-beam to the hull moulding. In Marsh Marigold's case the braces are of even heavier gauge than standard, yet, while Hawk- Eye's roof-beam is fully encased in timber, only the underside is wood trimmed in Marsh Marigold.

There's also appears to be extra strength seen in the bracing under the fore deck. However, the additional photos show that isn't matched to port, so it is more likely designed to help support the backrest to the seating. While the post between the galley cupboards and the roof-beam could suggest it is there to support the mast, it seems more likely that it's there as something to hang onto while moving about in the cabin.

The cut of the backrest cushions suggests that together with the back rest boards, the seating can be converted into a double-berth. The later photographs show more clearly brackets on the front of the cupboards that would support the boards.

It would be interesting to know if there are a further matching pair of strip lights on the forward edge of the roof-beam, which would help when cooking.

Marsh Marigold Cabin Fit-Out

It's unclear from the photograph of the inside of the main cupboard if the shelves are on runners, The high lip at the front on the lower shelf, and the fact it is set well back into the cupboards suggests that it might be. Certainly, allowing them to pull out would make access to goods stored at the back of the shelf far easier.

Marsh Marigold Cabin Fit-Out

As seen from the first photograph of Marsh Marigold's cabin, the shelf to the right of the main cupboard swings up out of the way of the shelf below. The lower shelf is hung on gimbals and will allow cooking under way, should you crew on board with nothing else to do!

Go to Top A Pedro

The Cabin of
            a Pedro

And finally... this last image is of a Pedro's interior and, perhaps, offers some other ideas for fitting out the hull of a SeaHawk. In the boat there is no high-mounted bow locker, but there does appear to be a low level bin forward of the locker with the top mounted hatch.

This boat is not fitted with side cushions and it would appear that this is the norm as the edges have a slight slope to them. Other pictures of this boat show a set of neat rectangular hatches replacing the irregular gaping holes that are revealed under a SeaHawk's bunk cushions.

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