As you step through the side door and into the wheelhouse it is immediately apparent that you are standing in something special.
Surrounded by double glazed windows there is an immediate feeling of light and openness. The panel work is in light teak and is protected by marine varnish. The solid timber window frames are all mounted on hinges to allow for the simple reduction of overall high. The solid steel roof, mounted on four hydraulic rams is insulated and lined to match the interior finish. Movement of the roof is by an electric pendent control.
Standing at the offset helm station, behind the wood rim wheel the size of the vessel is no longer daunting. The unobstructed 360 degree view immediately brings an increased level confidence in maneuvering. All the controls fall to hand and the instruments are clearly positioned. Life ring, boat hook and the other safety equipment are close at hand.
Looking around it is clear that a lot of thought and experience has been applied to the design. From the chart box above helm to the life jacket storage included in the seat back. The wheelhouse double bed slides out from under the main seating while separate storage is provided for mooring ropes, anchor pins and shore power cables.
Moving towards the stern through craftsman built double doors one enters an outdoor dining area that can easily accommodate eight adults. Huge storage lockers sit below the upholstered seats. Hidden lighting, weatherproof power points; nothing is missing for alfresco dining.
The main cabin accessed from the wheelhouse by way of a set of four steps that are both wide and cleverly angled to assist entry. Moving down the steps take you past the electrical distribution panels, generator control and battery status display.
Standing at the bottom of the steps looking into the main cabin it is immediately apparent that this vessel in not one of the wood paneled, empty steel boxes that are typical of so many wide beam barges. The interior has been designed as a home with the facilities and storage to support a full time, live-aboard couple.
Solid timber, craftsman built cupboards line the right hand side of the main cabin. The washing machine, main television, wine rack, glass cabinet, air conditioner outlets and entertainment systems are all contained in this area.
The "L" shaped kitchen is serviced by a inbuilt fridge and freezer, a five burner gas hob with overhead range hood and tile splash back, a deep polymer sink with integral draining board, filtered water tap and microwave and twin ovens sit above two large pot draws. Food storage is optimised by twin under bench storage compactors and a set of "Lazy Susan" rotating basket shelves. Ample bench space, magnetic knife rack, and utility cupboards finish of the kitchen.
An oak table accompanied by four upholstered chairs sits within the kitchen area on top of wood laminated flooring. The roof is fully insulated and lined in solid timber that contain LED spot lights and hidden strip low voltage lighting.
Moving forward the floor becomes carpeted as the saloon area commences and the interior trim subtly changes to reflect the change of purpose. A large four windowed roof hatch allows natural light to flood the interior. All the windows through the vessel are double glazed, the wall are insulated and insulation panels are fitted below all the flooring. This combination delivers a well ventilated, energy efficient and comfortable living conditions.
A fabric covered sofa, which holds a two-fold metal framed double bed sits along the left side of the salon and is then followed by an electrical recliner chair. The salon area has ample double power points and is heated by two of the central heating radiators. Cooling or heating is also supplied by the main reverse cycle air conditioning unit that has been fitted with the optional "Dehumidifying" function. The area is protected with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, two dry chemical fire extinguishers and the area has a motion detection connected to the intrusion alarm system.
The salon TV is mounted on a powered frame that allows it to be stored down below the cupboard top. It is connected into the on-board broad band, the satellite receiver and the digital antenna.
Looking forward the unique curved wall to the guests' bathroom finishes off the saloon area. The curved wall is another obvious indication of the level of design consideration in this fit out. Rather than a cramped passage way the curved entry provides an unimpeded entry to the master bedroom while maximising the usable space in the bathroom. A full size shower with powered vent, vanity basin, heated towel rack and toilet are the guest facilities. A condenser tumble dryer is located under the bench against the right side.
Passing the guest bathroom the master cabin opens out towards the bow. A queen sized island bed occupies the room and sits on top of a raised frame enabling access to full under bed storage. A full length desk with side draws sits along the right side at the foot of the bed. There is ample room provided to walk around the bed. Two radiators from the central heating system heat this area. A second air conditioner, located under the forward steps provides cooling, heating or dehumidifying.
Two full height wardrobes sit either side of the front steps. Twins door with double glazed windows lead out to the bow section. Entry and exit is assisted by a sliding roof hatch. Opposite to the wardrobes the wall is formed by a large linen cupboard and the matching curved wall and door to the en-suite. Soft, non-slip vinyl seals the wet room floor and channels the shower water into a stainless floor grate. A multi outlet shower tower is a obvious feature of this space. The wide vanity has three under bench cupboards and is backed by a full width mirror. A power flush marine toilet and heated towel rack completes the ensuite facilities.
The master bedroom is protected with a smoke alarm, a dry chemical fire extinguishers and the area has motion detection connected to the intrusion alarm system. The wall mounted TV is connected into the on-board broad band, the satellite receiver and the digital antenna. Spot reading lights are mounted at the bed head and hidden LED strip lighting add to the ambiance
The bow section is sealed from the central hull by a water tight steel bulkhead to comply with the appropriate RCD requirements. A lockable steel hatch permits access to the bow area where the anchor chain locker and forward thruster unit are located. The deck wash pump and air conditioner condensate tank are also located in this space. Black water and fresh water tanks are positioned below floor level to maximise usable space and improve stability.
Under the wheelhouse and accessed via a floor hatch is the machinery space. The engine room is sealed from the central hull by a steel bulkhead to comply with the appropriate RCD requirements The diesel generating set is mounted within its own sound shell, to the front of the space. The main engine and gearbox occupies the center with its hospital silencer positioned to the left. The central heating unit, hot water reservoir, domestic water pump and hydraulic roof control are also situated along the left hand side.
The two main lithium storage batteries are secured on the right side with provision for two additional batteries if desired. The Vetus power distribution system is located adjacent to the batteries. Diesel fuel is contained within three inbuilt hull tanks. The two aft tanks supply the heating and power generation while a mid-tank is dedicated to the main engine. All the equipment, its wiring and plumbing has been situated to afford the greatest access for routine maintenance. The engine room is fully sound insulated and protected by an automatic fire suppression unit.
At the start I stated that as you step through the side door into the wheelhouse it is immediately apparent that you are standing in something special. Looking at the professional attention to detail displayed in throughout the vessel it is impossible to disagree.