I’m a fanatic for finding and using “wasted” space. Maybe that’s why Siempre Sabado now rides about 4 or 5 inches deeper in the water than originally designed. But everything has to go somewhere and it’s up to me to find the “somewhere” in “nowhere”.
As originally built, our boat had a hanging locker (“closet” for you landlubbers) and a chest of drawers for clothes storage. Not really having any hang-up clothes and needing more storage I proceeded to revamp the setup. This picture is not of Siempre Sabado but rather of a sister Westsail 28. On our boat the bulkhead that here separates the drawers from the hanging locker is actually further aft so that the drawers and hanging locker become one piece of furniture. But this will still give you the idea:
Our drawers were set up just like this. The top 4 are drawers and the bottom is a swing-down door. You can see how the hull curves in toward the keel. Now, if the drawers had backs on them that followed this curve everything would be jake (well, there’d still be wasted space on the sides and in between the drawers, but it wouldn’t be as bad). But that’s not how they were built. Instead, the drawer backs were parallel to the fronts, just like you’d find on any normal piece of furniture. Of course this meant the each drawer had wasted space behind it. Further, as I tore into things I found that the hanging locker also had a back panel that was parallel to the front of the cabinet. Again, wasted space. If you didn’t need the extra storage, this space would actually be beneficial as it allows air to circulate behind your clothes and keeps the clothes from touching the hull where condensation can get things wet and moldy before you know it.
In these two photos you can see how I cut access holes in the false back. I didn’t remove them completely because the remaining pieces still lend rigidity to the cabinet. I’ve also cut and fit the shelves. To avoid the aforementioned soggy moldy clothes, I cut pieces of closed cell foam, the kind they sell for backpackers to sleep on, and press-fitted it between the clothes and the hull. Seems to work pretty well.