Continuing with the theme of “a boat should feel like your home,” on the water, the salon was also transformed and “watsonized.” Our 2003 Mariner Orient 38 was in very good condition. Although the woodwork and flooring were in fine shape, the salon needed a “style” makeover. Big time. Sure, the curtains and the upholstery were serviceable. But do you really want “serviceable” when your husband is pouring his heart and soul into transforming the boat? No! This trawler deserved a new look; a new look designed by us. And besides, I really disliked the beige palm tree motif of the curtains and the nondescript tweed-y salon cushions.
I decided to sew the curtains myself and sent away for at least 10 fabric samples, all fabrics that would withstand a marine environment. I chose Covington Outdoor Caribbean Seaside with the shell motif for two reasons – I love shells and the design didn’t “scream” shells. I liked that.
I emailed Annette, the “Seamless Sailor” on Magnolia, with my sewing questions. She is an awesome seamstress and manages to create and sew all manner of things on their boat (a Morgan center cockpit, a sistership to our sweet sailboat.) I learned through experience that the fabric I chose was difficult to work with because of its heavy weight. I also discovered, accidentally, that you cannot press the seams with an iron – it melts! 🙁 The upside of that problem was that the seams could be finished by sealing with a “clicker” flame so they would not fray. The fabric is woven from a blend of polypropylene and polyester making it anti-microbial, water repellant, and meltable. I removed all of the curtain tape and pins from the old curtains and reused them with the new fabric. It took me all winter, but I made the 13 curtain panels for the salon. Trawlers have a lot of large windows!
We hired Nautical Needles to make new salon cushions and spent an afternoon in their shop looking through fabrics. Again, looking for something that can withstand a marine environment. We chose Pindler and Pindler “Sydney Delft”, which is “ultra high UV to resist fading, stain and mildew resistant, water resistant, breathable, bleach cleanable and machine washable, high abrasion resistance.” Sounds indestructible, doesn’t it?
I made pillows to add comfort and a splash of fun color. I tend towards quieter and more serene colors and patterns, so I tried to move out of my comfort zone for the pillows.
That green marble was in four locations throughout the salon – the galley counter, the little bar counter just above that counter, on top of the refrigeration, and the top of the drawers in the corner. As far as I was concerned, if it is removed from one location, it has to be removed from all locations. I was only present for the last removal of the counter in the corner. I think Al was glad I finally got to see just how tedious a task this was, for him.
Choosing new rugs was more of a challenge. Although I loved the designs in so many rugs, I was afraid the salon would be too “busy” or the design would compete with the pillows and curtains. So I played it safe and bought indoor/outdoor blue braided rugs, “blue wave” by Colonial Mills.
Remember how Al ripped out the settee on the starboard side just 4 days after we bought the boat while still traveling home from the Chesapeake to make room for the future IKEA poang chairs (Messing About in Boats)?? He added new teak flooring under the chairs and then created a curious little table to fit between them. We call it the trapezoid table. He made a prototype table first to test if it would work. The lid flips up to reveal two levels. A small upper shelf can tip up to reach more of the storage below. This replaces that liquor cabinet that was repurposed into pantry storage.
I am not sure how to describe this next part of the salon transformation. Just like the helm seat on the flybridge, we were not happy with the inside helm seat either, across from the galley on the starboard side. Whenever we needed to steer and navigate from there, we faced the same problem – a single seat with no other comfortable place for the other person to sit. Yes, you could sit right there in the salon, but you cannot help navigate or watch the scenery well from there. I usually ended up wandering about, sitting and standing, and generally being restless.
This was a real challenge, even for Al, but oh my goodness, he created an amazing solution. During those cold winter months, he dismantled the existing helm seat (seems to be the first step in most of his projects) and experimented with a variety of possible solutions. I cannot even begin to show how much engineering this took, only the final outcome.
The boat feels like home now. It feels like ours. The finished salon, all dressed in new clothes —
That leaves the two cabins and the head…….. Let no space be untouched!