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Marionette's Steps, Engine Storage, Bridge Deck Storage Lockers, Electrical Panel, Centerboard Winch and Refrigeration System (Cooler)


Marionette's auxiliary power is a 4hp short shaft Johnson weighing 32 lbs. In use it is mounted inside a transom well. When not in use it is stored in a heavy wall plastic tube under the cockpit on the starboard side.For refrigeration Marionette has a Coleman plastic cooler that fits under the companionway steps between the centerboard control line pipe and the port quarterberth.

Access to this space is facilitated by an unusual (to me, anyway) set of easily removable companionway steps. The space in back of the top step and in front of the forward structural panel of the bridge deck originally had only a simple structure to support the centerboard winch. This structure was expanded and enclosed to house the winch, another small locker to port for winch handles and blocks, and an electrical panel space to starboard.

As all of these disparete functional needs are in the same area this section will describe them as a group.

The following is a general picture with everything in place:

The 'box' housing the lockers and electrical panel is mounted on the forward panel of the cockpit and hung below the bridgedeck

Note (in the picture above) that the back, left side of the electrical panel has a large access panel door opening out to the side above the starboard quarterberth. This exposes all the wiring and connections, and also has a storage area for spare bulbs, fuses and a couple of flashlights. The panel has 3 fused circuits - for instruments, navigation lights and cabin lights. The 12 plug outlet is used for a small inverter to recharge cell phones and a laptop. The bilge pump has its own circuit.

The center locker, photo at left, locker door open, houses the centerboard winch.For more on centerboard winches click here)

The top step is 'suspended' from two large diameter ropes tied to heavy bronze rings in the bridgedeck panel, rests against the centerboard winch pipe, and is secured to the locker housing with two pins (1/4 in bolts) into 'lips' that protrude from the locker housing.

The support tabs - note the hole into which the bolt will go

The bolt and their nuts are shown but I rarely use the nuts. The bolts are long enough so they don't accidently come out

This shows the top step rotated out on top of the bridgedeck. I rarely do this but when I want unfettered access to the area under the bridgedeck this set up makes it easy.

The bottom step slides into a slot cut into the trim so that the step can slide over the top of the quarterberth. This allows the other end of the step to slip into its slot on the port side. When the step is slid back to the right it drops down and 'locks' in place. The battery switch is located just forward of the 105 amp gelcel battery inside the forward inside corner of quarterberth locker.

The bottom step, below, is notched to clear and rest against the centerboard control line pipe. In my 12 years with this companionway steps system I have never regretted having it. It is simple, light, safe, quick and easy to move, and easy to store when moved. The picture below of Passage's steps is a typical set of companionway steps, well made, heavy and awkward to move and set aside.

When Marionette was restored a lot of thought was put into keeping her as light as possible, so this step system helped.

The motor is held in place by a thick shock cord. There is no need to screw down the mounting screws. The wood pad at the right raises the cooler so that water inside from melting ice pools at the front end. I use a small plastic siphon to siphon the water out into the bilge. The output hose discharges through the access hatch just visible in the sole aft of the centerboard control line pipe. Another heavy shock cord holds the cooler in place. The steps are removed to make it easier to see.

A fitted plywood panel painted white covers the aft part of the bilge under the cockpit and provides a lot of storage space for a swim ladder, fenders, etc.


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