SVP cockpit and Cabin

Rinus Alberti describes how he constructed the interior of his elongated cabin.

The pictures were taken during the construction phase in 2005.

On the pictures you see that I made two long shelves on each side of the hull, one on each side. The height of the shelves is focussed to the opening of frame F1 (see Ed Burnett’s drawings). The “shelves” are simply made of plywood and under it fixed with the red-cedar strips I had left from the planking of the hull. The shelves are hung up to the frames (F2, F3 and F4), but under the shelves the space is left open. All is simply fixed with epoxy, and it holds perfectly. These two shelves – from frame 1 till frame 5 – provide the base for the rest of the construction.

Shelf detail


Next step was making two cupboards with mahogany-doors on the shelves between frame F3 and frame F4. The picture gives you the rough version. And between frame F3 and frame F4 I made another two extra shelves. There was space enough between basis shelve and the deckplate/cabin-side. All shelves, hull and roof are painted (a little creamy) white. The shelves have on the “outside” a mahagony-strip glued to keep things on the shelf. All mahogany in the cabin is of course varnished.

Cupboard Doors

If you look closer, you can see that between the cupboard and the frontframe F1 I glued on both sides of the base-shelf an extra red-cedar strip (picture januari06 004). These two strips are carrying my “chart-table”, consisting of two plywood plates with the red cedar strips between it. The space between the plywood plates is just enough to shift my chart-table over this glued strip on the shelves. The chart-table is then shifted until frame F1. There is room enough under the chart-table for your feet while sleeping. In reality and in practise I seldom use the chart-table. It gives me more space for bags and other luggage. But it works wonderfully and the elonged cabin is a nessacity for it.
Left and right of the chart-table – between frame F1 and frame F2 – I glued on the hull an extra shelf for my books and maps. My library! All in bright varnished mahogany and creamy white hull and roof. Very cosy and of course lightened with a classical light!

By the way, on picture 06 003 you see that my kitchem is outside under the bench, just after the cabin-frame (cooking on that formidable Swedish spiritus cooker, I forget the name).

I made extra smaller shelves on the two sides of the cupboard. That gives possibilities for stowage smaller things. Inside the cabin there are two posibilities for further stowage. One is in front of frame F1, where the mast is coming through the deck. And maybe some extra, when you make a chart-table before frame F1, between F1 and F2. The other is on the floor, between frame F2 and F3. On the picture you can see a cutting line of this locker.

The floorspace between frame F3 and F4 you will need for moving and space for your feet and legs. So no locker-possibilities there. On this spot you place your plywood-shelf when you want to sleep. The length of the sleeping space is from the centre board-case (frame F4) till frame F1 (your feet-position).
This is all the space you can find in the cabin. I only have buoyancy in the floorspace between F1 and F2. This space was anyhow not accessible, so I epoxied it totally airclosed.

That’s why I chose for the kitchen in the cockpit. I don’t have a toilet in the boat. Simply because I cannot find the right space for it, but also because this space is (statistically) very rare used. Where I sail there are plenty of marina’s and other facilities where I can find toilets and showers.



The shelves are not a problem at all, when you are sitting in the cabin with your back against the hull. On the contrary, the basic-shelf with a mahagony-strip on the edge, is just the support in your back. The point is not to make the basic-shelf too deep. I thought I took 20 cm’s depth. But in the front the dept is less. It has to run more or less parallel with the coamings of the cabin, so that you cannot hurt your head or shoulders.
Actually, you cannot even lean with your back against the hull. Then your shoulders or your neck would hit the edge of the cabin-house. You need some extra in your back and therefore is this shelf with the mahogany-strip.


Ice-box or other cooling device I placed opposite the kitchen in the cockpit between frame F5 and F6. Also my water-jerrycans. Further in the cockpit between frame F6 and F7 I placed on one side my petrol-jerrycans and on the other side my Henderson-pump and behind it left space for anchor, etc. Between F7 and F8 I made side lockers. In the lockers on the aft-deck, on each side of the outboard-well, I have buckets and lines, etc.

In fact there is space enough in Romilly, but not in the cabin. You need this cabin-space primarily for living and sleeping. And that can be very agreeable, without toilets and cooking-installations.

Sitting more aft in the cockpit has no real impact on your waterline. You can’t sit besides the outboard-well (that’s why I changed the aft-deck), if you have company on board they always move forward to cabin frame F5. And that’s more or less in the center of the hull.

But I discovered that every Romilly lies lower in the waterline than on Ed Burnett’s drawings. My Romilly lies with it’s aft 5-8 cm’s lower in the water than Ed Burnett’s waterline. The front was something less, I think 4 cm’s.
I discussed this phenomena with other boatbuilders and nearly every professional told me that they often had the experience that boats lay lower in the water than on the drawings calculated. So difference between theory and practice.
How come?

Outboard well

Various reasons of course.
It could be the hole of the outboard-well in the aft-hull. It’s impact could be a lesser uprising potential of the hull. Also the weight of the outboard-engine (30 of 40 kilo’s) times the arm-distance from the centre, could have some influence. When asked, Ed Burnett suggested that I brought up some extra weight by sheating also the inside of the hull. But even the polyester versions have their waterline some 10 cm’s above the peak of the transom-bottom. Actually, I don’t have the impression that it troubles me and feel no difference in sailing Romilly. Anyhow, don’t be suprised if your theoretical waterline differs from real. I made my correction the next season.

    1. Bill Buchholz says:

      Hello Rinus,
      My lapstrake version sits exactly on the waterline, down by the stern just a bit, but it is a very light boat with no systems and no motor. The hull planking is only 10mm, so what I lost in dispacement I gained in weight loss. I don’t think you want to challenge me to a race in light air! What a great idea to eliminate the frames under the shelf. They are very annoying when two people are sleeping together. You probably gained a lot of strength with the shelf.

    1. Rinus Alberti says:

      Hi Bill,
      The first Romilly build in the Netherlands was for editor Karel Heijnen, and build by Bart Jan Bats on the wharf at Zaandam. Karel’s Romilly laid – I guess – some 5 cm’s lower in the aft. I think it’s because the outboardengine and the outboard-well. Mine and the third Romilly in the Netherlands have the same phenomena.
      But I don’t agree your challenging to a race. My Romilly seems to be the fastest in the Netherlands, specially in light air. When do you want to race?
      The idea of the two shelves are not mine, but come from Bart Jan Bats at Zaandam. I saw it in Karel Heynen’s Romilly. The frames under the shelf are indeed annoying. It’s very practical and agreeable when sleeping without them.

      Rinus Alberti