Welcome to Our Home, Part I

If you are in the mood for a guided tour of our beloved new Buffalo, then follow me and I’ll show you around.

In order to ensure your ability to finish reading this post before you grow old and wither away, I’ve divided it into two. Today we’ll cover the interiors of the main house. In a couple of days, I’ll publish a tour of the deck areas including the Matrix Deck, aka fly bridge.

Let’s head inside.

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The general layout of the great room is nearly identical to that of the 64 at first blush. Entry landing and stairway down to the great room are wider, and outboard of the ones down to the aft accommodation, in contrast to the 64.

The galley is nearly identical to the one on our 64. We went with lighter colors for the wood and countertops; the steel fiddles and square shaped above-counter lockers give things a sleeker, more modern appearance. We love the vinyl flooring: pleasant color and texture, easy maintenance, authentic appearance. And I think I’ve mentioned our choice of horizontal wood grain before, over the traditional vertical orientation. We are thrilled with the look.

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Forward, the stairway leading down to the master stateroom has moved from the starboard to the port side compared to the 64. That steel gizmo on the horizontal wood fascia below the helm, between the helm seat and the stair railing, is a pull-out double bar to inhibit an inadvertent dive down the stairs by anyone standing to the left of that Stidd chair while underway.

The layout is nearly the same, but it is noticeably more spacious. The starboard side settee, for example, is substantially longer than the one on our 64. The flat screen TV pops up outboard of it.

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The marble top dining table was an indulgence on our part. The table base is equipped with a sliding mechanism. Outside of meal times, it’s nice not to be constrained by a dining table tight at your waist. But when it’s time for dinner, I hate to feel as if I need to lean forward to chase my food.

We’ll have to have an entire helm discussion at some point. For now I’ll just point out that we opted for multi-touch displays and are very happy with that choice. Stan was convinced he wouldn’t make use of the feature. Now he finds himself jabbing every screen he encounters in life, and grumbling when they don’t all respond.

Our instrumentation is similar enough to components that we have previously used to give us the false sense that it would take no time whatsoever to figure it all out!

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Above are a couple of shots of the master stateroom, viewed from the port side, looking forward from the landing at the bottom of the short stairway from the helm.

I spent a lot of time and Circa’s good will getting my lovely stone onto this boat, especially when it came to locating heavy marble forward as this is. It has been substantially thinned, then reinforced to (hopefully) prevent it crumbling to bits when we are bashing around in a seaway.

Strips of mirrors above the upper lockers help to open up this space that lacks the visual benefit of portholes.

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An inordinate amount of time was devoted to designing the relatively tiny master head. We think it paid off in terms of both looks and function.

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Above is the master stateroom looking aft from the head. The wall covering behind the queen berth is made from strips of dyed animal hides. We were meant to hang a piece of artwork in the middle of it, but couldn’t bear to cover even a portion of it!

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This space is known as the systems room. We have now stepped aft, through the doorway that you saw on the left side of the previous master stateroom pic. On the right side of this photo are black boxes and networking components involved with the main helm, which lies directly above in the great room. More goodies of all kinds on the left side. Of special note is the big steel cylinder descending from the overhead just about in the middle of this photo. While it might LOOK like the base of the Stidd helm chair extending down from the saloon above, it actually serves a special function. Any time we are stooped over in the systems room, all we need to do is stand up to full height quickly, and voila! Full brain reboot! Which we find that, at our age, we need from time to time.

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On the opposite (port) side from the systems room (and its adjacent clothing storage area) is our “office,” consisting of a standing height desk inboard and our inverters and main electrical panel outboard. If you step around to the back side of the desk, we have a chest freezer and refrigerator to supplement the refrigerators and freezer in the galley.

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Now we’ll head back up to the great room, and descend the stairway just aft of the galley.

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Looking forward from the base of this aft stairway, we see a guest stateroom on the starboard side with two bunk berths, and a double-berth guest stateroom to port. Each has its own ensuite head and shower. Each has a door forward (you can just see the edge of the one on the port side) that leads to the aft basement space.

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Above is the double berth stateroom and its head.  And below, the bunk berths. The long oval thing on the hull side is the opening to a storage cubby for small items. There’s one of these next to each guest sleeping berth.

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The aft basement space I mentioned is seen below. It does not communicate with the forward basement areas containing the systems room, office, etc. It gives access to numerous systems, and also lots of bulk storage. The wide-angle photo is deceptive. What you see are 48 plastic bins, 40 liters (10 gallons) each, containing galley stores and spare parts. And yes, now that you ask, I DO love spreadsheets!

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We can walk around 3 sides of it, and access all the systems mounted around the periphery. The narrow stringers running forward on the aluminum sole, and upward behind the bin area, have clever eye bits that can be placed anywhere along them and used to anchor tie-downs. I should also point out the large wire runs (white bundles) mounted on the bulkhead behind the bins. They show up in some of the other photos, too, and represent what appears to be miles of wire runs.

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Welp. That’s the engine room in the two photos above. Sorry to disappoint but there’s far too much going on in this space for me to get into particulars here. Feel free to ask! The first view faces aft, the open door leading to the workshop/lazarette. The second one faces forward. It is a full stand-up space.

In that second view you can see the flooring, which was, we suspect, designed by Satan. It has the seductive advantage of visibility of all the stuff below, it’s lightweight I suppose, and allows good ventilation. But the stuff will slice your bare feet to shreds, never mind knees. Seriously, the people who make those steel box graters for cheese? I think not enough people were using that one side where the metal around the little circular holes pokes out and stabs you, so they used it for this flooring instead. So far, throwing a few cheap strips of carpet down has solved our issues.

In general, Stan has the following observations about this engine room compared to the 64: it looks and feels more cramped with equipment. And yet, everything is at least as accessible as on the 64 and in many cases more so. How can that be? Magic, we figured. Then on more sober reflection, we have settled on: a great deal of time and skill spent designing the space and how the various pieces of equipment were going to fit in there and be maintained and serviced. The end result makes us think of a solved Rubik’s Cube. Oil changes will be a potential challenge without spilling, but that is the only pitfall Stan can see so far.

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Above are two pics of the lazarette, or workshop, which lies just aft of the engine room. Both are facing toward the aft door, which lies open to the swimstep.  It’s difficult to appreciate the generous depth of the workbenches from the photo angle. And please excuse our clutter, as we were getting settled aboard at the time. Like the engine room, the laz is full stand-up. There is a sink in here that didn’t make it into the photos, and I truly appreciate not having samples of toxic-looking and foul-smelling substances carried up to the galley sink.

In the starboard side view (the one with the red tool chest in it,) mounted outboard of the swimstep entry door you can see a mass of steering-associated hardware, including three hydraulic pumps. If you read our previous blog post, you’ll know we are still in process to find the best solution for our steering in terms of capacity and redundancy. Updates on that to follow, as we are anxious to get this resolved and be on our merry way.

The boat list is getting awfully short, otherwise! We still need to settle on a software app for downloading and displaying weather GRIB files via satellite phone connection. Oh yeah, and learn some Japanese…

Lots more pics in a couple of days, my friends.

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5 thoughts on “Welcome to Our Home, Part I

  1. Val and Stan,
    thank you for sharing your wonderful home away from home.
    If you ever come to Australia and looking for crew…

  2. Hi Valerie,

    With slight disregard for the beautiful interior, but what water maker have you chosen and where is it placed?

    1. The boat came with a Bluewater Explorer 1800, 220vac, which yields 75 US gallons/hour. Has commercial pre-filters, and also a media filter (looks like a canister of sand) which filters out particles larger than 30 microns and really prolongs the life of the other filters. This is a different machine than was spec’d on the 64. In our experience, water makers take more babying and attention than almost any other onboard system. In our 260 hours to date underway, frequently making water, it has required virtually nothing other than pressing the button (knock on wood!) It is located entirely within the engine room.

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