Interior Concepts and Layout

Roger Strube MD  /  Roger H Strube, MD


After reading several yacht designer’s books (especially multihull designers) I learned that placement and shape of salon structures are very important if space utilization, functionality and ergonomics are to be maximized.  In addition, I am 6’ 2” tall and needed headroom in the salon and both hulls.  There is essentially 6’ 5” headroom throughout most of the salon and the entire length of both hulls.  The clearance gets a little shorter when standing forward in the galley at the refrigerator.  Several issues influenced general placement of the galley and settee.  The first is the shape of the deck part as it came out of the mold.  The steering station was placed on the port side with the companionway door offset to starboard by the designer and builder.  The logical place for one of the galley cabinets and the stove/oven was therefore on this cross hull bulkhead on the port side of the vessel.  In addition, I live in Florida and cruise in areas (Bahamas, Florida Keys) where the trade winds blow a little south (summer) or a little north (winter) from the east.  The stove is located on this aft salon (forward cockpit) bulkhead to facilitate natural ventilation and heat/humidity leaving the vessel because of the usual wind direction.  Direction of the dominant wind means at anchor the bow of the Dragon is usually facing ENE and the starboard side is to the south (sun side).  The logical place for the refrigerator therefore is the port side.  Placement of the stove and refrigerator place the galley (with sink) to port.  The settee is therefore starboard.  The shape of the settee is square, not rounded or oval, by design.  The settee is where you rest or catch a nap when not on watch.  It is also where you will usually be reading when you are at anchor at the end of the day.  A curved settee may be aesthetically pleasing but not functional or ergonomic in a boat either in a seaway or at anchor.  There is little lateral support and no corners to wedge yourself into.  The Dragon’s square settee allows the crew to sit facing aft with their back supported by the main crossbeam and legs up on the settee seat.  The settee back and table provide lateral support so relaxation is possible even on the rolling Ocean Sea.  Because of the space consideration of the galley cabinets (port) and the back of the settee (starboard) the pilot berth was placed in the port hull aligned with the galley cabinet.  The port hull becomes the logical guest side because of this extra berth.  The extra sleeping berth to port makes this hull the guest side.  The navigation station was then placed in the starboard hull outboard and below the lateral settee bench.  The owner’s side then becomes the starboard hull with the navigation station (repeater depth/speed heads, 2nd VHF and Single Side Band radios).  As a consequence of the salon design placing the owner in the starboard hull, the washer/drier and water maker are placed starboard forward and the generator placed forward in the port hull.  The generator is reasonably quiet but significantly more evident in the port hull than in the starboard.  The tool room is also forward in the port hull.  The decision to place owners to starboard and guests to port also influenced plumbing, waste, electrical, heating/cooling, mechanical and electronic  systems discussed in other sections of this site. 


A great deal of thought and planning went into the design of the “Galley Up” custom version of the Ocean Catamaran 48.8.  The Dragon is large enough to allow the cruiser to prepare meals in comfort as the space is open and well ventilated.  Four overhead hatches  take in significant air flow.  Two vertical hatches and the large companionway door are located in the aft salon (forward cockpit) bulkhead facilitating the exit of heat and increasing air flow. The stove/oven (and heat source) are aft with the companion way door toward the center and an opening hatch to port allowing for efficient heat escape from the salon.  Preparing meals, the Captain or First Mate have almost 360 degree visibility of the horizon.  Galley up means  the cook is with the rest of the crew during meal preparation and cleanup.  The full size deep plastic kitchen sink is located in an island between the galley and settee facilitating both serving and clean up.  This is a standard plastic deep basin home kitchen sink from “Lowes Home Improvement”.  All plumbing fixtures are standard home units so that replacement parts are universally available, even when cruising in the 3rd World and complete replacement inexpensive.

The cabinet across from the sink is for stowage and is the location of the Adler/Barbour freezer compressor.  The inside back of this cabinet forms the side/back bulkhead for the pilot berth in the port hull.  The Green Corian counter top and divided surface stowage spaces behind the counter top back splash form the ceiling of the pilot berth.  There is plenty of counter space for preparing food and stowage below and above for utensils, dinner ware, pots & pans in the galley cabinets.  The counter top is 1/4” Corian facilitating clean up.  Corian in this thickness is relatively light and provides a quality look and feel to the galley.  The space between counters in the “U” shaped galley is adequate for two people to work but small enough to be very safe in a seaway.

The refrigeration system was designed for long distance cruising.  The freezer/refrigerator is built in across the aft side of the main cross beam.  The freezer is to the left (port) and the refrigerator is to the right (starboard).  Evaporators are located in each compartment.  The freezer is about 5 cubic feet.  The freezer compartment contains a standard ice cube/ice cream compartment at the top far left.  The 12 volt compressor for the freezer is located in the aft end of the port galley cabinet.  This cabinet is vented through the cabinet door mesh and through a ventilation grill in the back of the cabinet.  The refrigerator side contains its evaporator (flat panel) and one of the water filtration units.  This unit supplies cold drinking water to a faucet at the right (forward) edge of the sink.  Refrigeration is provided using 12 volt air cooled Adler/Barbour Cold Machines.

Forward of the refrigerator (ahead of the main crossbeam) is a shallow stowage compartment.  Beneath this shallow compartment “floor boards” may be removed to reveal a large port/central main crossbeam space.  This port space contains the port Mermaid 12,000 BTU AC Unit and the 20 gallon polyethylene potable water tank that supplies the kitchen sink with cold and drinking water.  This tank is filled from the starboard keel water tank OR the Spectra Water Maker located in the starboard forward laundry cabin.

The stove/oven is a European made “Smevmodel 0300FN “Cooker”.  This is a four burner stove with oven below.  It is a propane unit.  As propane is heavier than air, Liquified Natural Gas could be a better choice (if you can find a filling station) for safety reasons but universal availability triumphed.  The Dragon has a safety cut off switch panel/solenoid assembly with a sniffer in the port engine compartment (under port/guest queen sized bunk).  The panel is located between the large 12 volt circuit breaker switch panels below the engine controls just inside the companionway door to the cockpit.  The companionway between the salon and port hull is formed by nonstructural bulkheads that form the end of the port cabinet/pilot berth forward and the stove/oven/stateroom hanging locker aft.  Standard stainless steel safety rails are used for hand holds to assist transiting this companionway.

Salon Entry From Cockpit

Companionway Entry View of Galley

Galley View Forward


Forward Port Corner of Galley






Galley From Settee

Galley Sink

Galley Sink with Dish Cabinet Over

Galley Aft

Galley Aft






Galley Aft Port Counter



The settee is also located “Up” in the salon on the port side.  The rational and design concepts for the position and shape of the settee are presented above.  The settee is two bench seats facing each other with a table between.  An access panel is located in the middle (starboard facing) bench back near the main crossbeam to provide access to the Freon lines for the refrigerator.  The back of the starboard bench is solid and forms the back wall of the stowage cabinets over the navigation station in the starboard hull.  Both seats have stowage compartments below.

The table is constructed of marine plywood covered with 1/4” green Corian and edged with oak.  A double headed dragon is inlayed centrally with contrasting Sandstone Corian.  The table has two leafs, one on each side, running fore/aft.  These leafs have pull out supports.  The table may be used with the leafs in the up (folded) or down (full table) positions.  The table has supports in two positions on the main crossbeam.  The full up position for dining and the down position when forming an additional double berth in the salon.  The aft end of the table is supported by a hydraulic assisted leg that locks in the up or down positions.  There are cleats on the leading edge of each bench seat that engage the open leafs in the table down position to provide full support for the cushions when the double berth is set up.  The settee cushions fit together to form the mattress.

A partitioned surface stowage area is located behind the backrest of the starboard bench.  This panel also forms the inside top of the stowage cabinet above the navigation station in the starboard hull.  Aft, across the companionway that leads down into the starboard hull another counter top, cabinet and hanging locker are located.  The second vertical ventilation hatch is located in the aft bulkhead above this counter surface.  The counter top has a back splash with surface stowage space behind for small odds and ends.  A space below the countertop was used as a wine and liquor cabinet.  Between this cabinet/counter top and the cockpit door is located a hanging locker.  Above the hanging locker is another small open cabinet where we mounted a small (12”) 12 Volt TV and VHS player.  In the “resting” position sitting cross ways in the settee viewing either this TV or a laptop screen on the table if very restful.  There is a wall mounted household grade 120 Volt AC heater at the base of the hanging locker.  This using is powered through the shore power circuit, not the Prosine 3.0 Inverter.

The stairs for the starboard hull access companionway are between the aft end of the settee seat and the liquor cabinet.  Standard stainless steel safety rails were used for hand grips on each side of this companion way.  The same system is used for safety in the port hull companionway.  Smoke alarms and air-conditioning control thermostats are located on the nonstructural bulkheads that form these companionways.

Click on any picture below to view the settee, hanging locker and starboard hull access companionway: 

Salon Entry Settee to Starboard

Settee Table Folded Up

Settee Table Half Open

Settee Table Open

Settee Forward Starboard Corner






Settee Table Supports

Aft Cabinets Settee

Starboard Aft Corner of Salon

Starboard Hull Companionway

Settee Starboard Salon






Cabinets Aft of the Settee

View Across Salon Toward Starboard



Starboard (Owner’s) Hull

The starboard hull was selected as the owner’s side for reasons stated above.  The owner’s stateroom is located aft of the hull access companionway.  A hanging locker is located between the companionway and the berth.  The berth structure accommodates a queen size air mattress.  For comfort and reliability use of an Aerobed Queen with a memory foam mattress pad is recommended.  You will never get a better night’s sleep.  A short spacer/stowage bin runs between the aft (head) end of the bunk and the aft crossbeam bulkhead.  This is a good place to store books, reading lamps, and other personal items.  The main reason for this spacer was to move the footprint of the bunk forward 6”.  This allowed the forward bulkhead support for the bunk to be 6” further forward.  This, in turn allowed the Volvo Penta 59 HP MD 22 diesel motors with 120S Saildrives to be mounted 6 inches further forward.  There is a small step between the bunk bulkhead and the hanging locker aft bulkhead to assist in climbing in and out of the berth.  Reading lamps and a fan are mounted in the space.  A wall mounted 120 Volt AC electric heater is located at the base of the starboard Owner’s stateroom hanging locker.  This unit is powered by shore power, not the Prosine 3.0 Inverter.

The navigation station is located forward of the starboard hull companionway just below and outboard from the settee bench.  The navigation station has an open cabinet above and an electric/instrument panel toward the center of the vessel.  This panel houses an electric outlet and switch for overhead lighting, repeater depth/speed gauges, an AC vent, a VHF radio, a Single Side Band radio, and a 12 volt system panel controlling DC electrics in the hulls.   The antenna tuner for the SSB is located on the forward surface of the starboard aft crossbeam bulkhead under the Owner’s berth aft bunk board.  The chart table working surface lifts to reveal a chart stowage compartment.  Below chart stowage are two drawers with cabinet doors and spaces below.  The aft cabinet space houses the starboard keel water tank pump, filters and expansion tank.  The backfill control valve for use with the water maker are also located here.  There are several open shelves in a cabinet next to the navigation table at the forward end of this compartment.  The bottom open space houses the starboard air conditioning unit cooling water pump and filter.

The head is in the next compartment forward, through the main beam structural bulkhead opening.  A door is fastened to this bulkhead.  A Raritan PHII mechanical head is used.  A cabinet forward of the head houses the sink.  This sink is a standard plastic bar sink with standard household faucets.  Inexpensive repair and/or replacement parts for these items are available at any hardware store, Lowes, or Home Depot.  A large PVC ball valve is located in the bottom of this cabinet for drainage of the holding tank when the vessel is beyond the legal coastal limit for dumping the holding tank.  Pump out stations, usually operated free, are recommended for use anytime the vessel is within coastal waters.  A small opening port is located above the sink.  This allows a surprising amount of ventilation and circulation of air when at anchor.  The port is protected by the bridge deck above so that it may remain open in any downpour.  Above the sink and port light is the overhead “medicine” cabinet.  This houses toiletries, electrical and plumbing controls.

The main, three position 12 volt battery switch for house bank #1 & #2 is located here.  House battery banks #1 & #2 are located just on the other side of the back wall of the medicine cabinet in the forward, self draining deck locker ahead of the main cross beam compartments.

There is a small standard plastic 120 volt AC circuit breaker box located on the aft wall inside the starboard medicine cabinet. An access panel with a ventilation grill is located aft of the medicine cabinet.  Removal of this panel reveals the starboard Mermaid 16.5K BTU AC unit.  The Raritan Hot Water Heater is behind (medial to) this AC unit.

There is a small (1/2”) PVC valve in line with plastic tubing.  This control valve allows water from the starboard keel water tank to be pumped to the polyethylene potable water tank located in the main crossbeam compartment on the port side of the central chain locker.  When the valve is closed, the water line stays pressurized and the keel pump is shut off.  The automatic pump, filters and expansion tank for the starboard keel water tank is located below the chart table in the aft lower cabinet space next to the starboard companionway bulkhead.  When the valve is opened, pressurized water flows from the keel reservoir into the Spectra Water Maker system, fresh water side.  The Spectra Water maker is permanently connected to the main cross beam polyethylene water tank.  The main crossbeam polyethylene potable water tank return line (vent) is directed to one or the other keel water tanks using the red handled control valve above the keel water pump in this navigation station cabinet.  When the crossbeam tank is full, it overflows back down into one or the other keel water tanks.  Each keel water tank has an overflow tube that dumps excess water overboard (at the stern).

The Laundry Cabin, located just forward of the head/shower compartment contains several open shelves medially and the Washer/Dryer in a central compartment forward.  The Spectra Water Maker is located in the shelves to the left as you look forward.  The compartment under the Bendix Washer/Dryer houses the water intake, filters and water pump for the Spectra Water Maker.  The shelves are used for water maker and laundry supplies.  

View From Starboard to Port Hull Companionways

View Aft into Owner's Stateroom

View Aft Across Air Mattress

Forward View From Aft Owner's Stateroom

View Forward from Owner's Cabin






Navigation Station & Chart Table

Navigation Station with Chart Table Open

Navigation Station with Instruments

Navigation Station Chart Table View Aft

View Forward at Medicine Cabinet Over Sink






Starboard Head AC Access Panel with Vent

View Forward from Navigation Station into Laundry

View Forward Through Head to Laundry

View Forward into Laundry Room





Port (Guest) Hull

The Port (Guest) hull lay out is similar to the starboard side and almost a mirror image.  The aft stateroom is a mirror image of starboard with the exception of a slightly narrower hanging locker.  The bulkhead and engine mount configurations are almost identical.  There is an electric wall heater at the base of the hanging locker in the stateroom.  A great deal of open stowage is found toward the middle of the vessel under the cockpit.

Forward of the port hull companionway is another cabin with a single pilot berth.  This berth runs fore/aft and is located at the back side of the galley cabinets.  Roomy stowage areas are found under this berth.  The water pump, filters and expansion tank for the port keel water tank are located in a lower compartment at the aft end of this space.  The cooling salt water intake, filter and pump for the port Mermaid 12,000 BTU AC Unit is located in the bottom forward compartment under this berth.  The documentation numbers and my USCG Master’s License are attached to the aft side of the forward main structural bulkhead that is the forward limit of this space.  The wall between the berth and the galley cabinet contains a vent grill for the freezer compressor lower aft, an AC duct upper aft and lights/fans.  A privacy door is mounted on the main structural bulkhead separating this compartment from the port head.

The port head is the mirror image of the starboard head with the exception of the electrical controls found in the Medicine Cabinet located over the sink.  Above the Raritan PHII head a panel provides access to the large mechanical space ahead of the structural cross beam and between the head and the central electric windlass/chain locker.  The port Mermaid 12,000 BTU AC unit is located immediately behind the access panel above the head.  Medial to the AC unit a 15 gallon polyethylene potable water tank is mounted.  This tank is filled using either the water maker or the starboard keel water tank & pump.  The sink is a standard home white plastic bar sink with standard household fixtures available worldwide.  On the bulkhead forward of the sink, between the head and the tool room the shower control will be found.  Above this the shower head comes through the nonstructural bulkhead.  Above the sink a small ventilation port light is seen.  Above this a large medicine cabinet is located.  This cabinet contains a small 120 Volt AC circuit breaker box, identical to the one found in the starboard cabinet.  This box controls the current received from shore power OR the Entec West 4.2 KW generator.  It distributes power to the AC units, water heater and electric wall mounted heaters in the staterooms and salon.

The tool room is located forward of the head.  This space has a work bench to the right with shelf under and an overhead open cabinet.  To the left a cloth pocket rack is used to store tools and supplies.  The Entec West Generator is located in a cabinet inside the forward bulkhead of this compartment.  The cabinet below the generator houses the salt water cooling intake and the generator exhaust.

View Across Salon from Port Hull to Starboard

Port Guest Stateroom Bunk

View Back Aft From Head

View Forward Pilot Berth and Port Head

































































Still interested?  Want to learn more about how all this stuff really comes together when cruising and sailing this incredible machine?  Check out the section on Sailing The Dragon.  This page is only the tip of the iceberg.  Check out the individual system sections on the workings of Water Management, Waste Management, Electrical, Heating/Cooling, Mechanical and Electronics. I have also reproduced some of the pages from my Insurance Policy so there will be no confusion regarding insurability or the cost of coverage.

This site contains a lot of information.  I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything written here as I am really writing it off the top of my head.  As my wife says, this is how I remember things but I might be making it up.  People do that to fill in the blanks but please understand I am doing the best I can for a guy with Mad Cow disease.

The Dragon’s Lair
2560 Rio Palermo Ct
Punta Gorda
Florida, 33950
Home: 941.639.6232
Cell:     941.661.4579

Web Site: www.wingsailor.com

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