Here are photos of our Ocean Alexander MK1, a 1980 raised pilot house trawler. These were taken up to the start of 2020. Since living aboard we’ve made some changes and these are shown in my blog.
It’s obvious, I’m not a photographer and consequently the quality of the photos below is variable. But what I’ve tried to do is not only show you photos of our boat, but also to paint a picture of how we are using it and what we’re working on.
For those of you who like photos accompanied with a short description, here we go. More photos, when various projects are finished, will be added. But if you prefer more technical details, take a look at About Poseidon.
The saloon adjoins the galley and has steps leading up to the pilot house and down to the master cabin. When we purchased Poseidon, we decided to remove the bench seating on the starboard side and replace with a couple of comfortable, reclining leather chairs with footstools. And we bought these and had them in our home for about 7 years. But during this process, we decided that we preferred to have a good-sized entertainment unit with TV, so opted for one comfy chair (mine) instead. Robert made the entertainment unit. He repurposed a second-hand teak dining table and re-used the cupboards that were originally on the boat and I helped with varnishing the top. It’s perfect for our needs. I also made new covers for the cushions on the port side as the original fabric from 1980 had perished and I didn’t really like the throws that were over the cushions. We also sanded and refinished all the beautiful parquetry flooring. You’ll notice a rug on the floor, which we think is in keeping with the style of the boat. We actually bought this from Ruggable and while we haven’t tried this yet, when the carpet gets dirty, you can throw the top in in the washing machine.
Our Ocean Alexander MK1 has a compact, but well-equipped galley, with two ceramic hot plates, an Ariston built in microwave with grill and crisp functions – that Robert installed – and I also use a pressure cooker and an air fryer. There’ll probably never be enough storage, but I think we’ve made the most of it! You might think I love my galley – due to the number of photos – and yes I do, but also wanted to show people how we’re using it! We only have a single sink, and I know some people prefer doubles, but it’s not an issue for us. The fridge is the original but we removed the front panels and replaced with aligloss to give it a slightly more modern look! The garbage bin is in a great location, and uses the space really well, and you empty the bin from the outside. Some boats have a chest freezer in that spot instead, but we’ve got a spare fridge/freezer in our pilot house. Our first aid cupboard doubles as a cocktail cabinet! Previously it housed a non-functioning ice-maker, which we removed. Robert used the cupboard doors – that he’d removed when he installed the microwave – in the cocktail cupboard (slightly cut down).
1. Plates / mugs cupboard
2. Glasses cupboard
3. Appliance cupboard
4. Spare drawer! (not shown below cos it’s empty)
5. Under sink cupboard
6. Pantry cupboard
7. Cutlery drawer
8. Utensil drawer
9. Bank of four drawers
10. Cupboard with slide-out shelf
11. Larger cupboard for more stuff!
12. Pot cupboard under microwave
13. Another cupboard above toaster (can’t be seen here)
Our master cabin has a standard double bed (137cm x 187cm). We’re slowly adjusting to this after having a king-sized bed in our old home. Previously there was wood veneer behind the bed, but it had some water damage, so we replaced it with white aligloss. I also repurposed some foam to make a headboard. We have good storage in our cabin, starting with two drawers at the end of the bed and one on each side. We have two bedside cupboards, one set up to store reference books and the other mainly for my stuff. The wardrobe only had full-length hanging, so I made a storage unit with five shelves, as we tend to need less hanging space. We also use a cupboard at the end of the bed to store linen and there’s another great storage cupboard next to the wardrobe. We also have a reasonable amount of under bed storage and with some bunker crates, have ability to store excess items or things not used often. With three portholes and a wall fan, we have good airflow, although there’s no air-conditioning on our boat.
Adjacent to the cabin with bunks, and sharing the bathroom, we have a second ‘double’ cabin – well that’s what the config indicates it is. However, the bed is about 130cm x 185cm, tapering to 80cm at the foot end, so I think it’s very comfortable for one person, but not sure about two! There was a small ‘slide-out’ piece of wood to climb onto this bed, and it was a bit treacherous to get back down, Robert made a great set of steps (perhaps somewhat over-engineered) but no issues now. They also fold away when not in use. Due to water damage to the wood veneer on this cabin (which is same side as the master) we also replaced the veneer with white aligloss. I also made a headboard for this cabin, with the sole purpose to cover wiring when the fan in the master cabin was installed.
Adjacent to the second double cabin, and sharing the bathroom, we have a cabin with bunks. Currently we’re using them for storage. It’s in this cabin there’s also a hatch to access the bilge and toilet-related stuff (e.g. holding tank and pump). Stay tuned for photos showing the cabin tidied and bunks made, but it may be a long wait!
In the layout of our Ocean Alexander MK1, the bathroom occupies the space at the bow, immediately behind the anchor chain locker. In many boats, this space is used for a v-berth, but in our boat the bathroom is accessible from both the cabin with bunks and the second double cabin. You’ll see from the photos that there’s ample cupboard storage.
Some people may be aghast at why we converted our master cabin ensuite into a laundry, but rest-assured the plumbing and tub are still in place if ever it needed to be reverted. There’s a blog coming on why we did this.
You may notice from the photos we pack a lot into a small space and this works perfectly for us. We’ve got a Camec 2.5kg wall-mounted washing machine and a 3.2kg clothes dryer, which are designed for caravans and RVs. While we can’t do large washes, we can wash our bed sheets (separately) and towels. I haven’t tried jeans yet, and maybe we’ll need to use facilities at a marina, but I think this combo is great.
Yes, at time of putting this together, the pilot house is a bit messy too, because we’re in the process of downsizing from a 5-bedroom home to our boat. The pilot house is where we can motor the boat, as well as from the flybridge, the latter being my preference for greater visibility. There are a set of black/white cushions stored here and in good weather, these go on the Portuguese bridge and flybridge seats. We’ve also got a second fridge/freezer here as well as some our modem/router and other technology. I have a couple of sewing machines also stored here. One is a Sailrite industrial machine weighing close to 30kg (62lb), the other is the smallest singer I’ve ever seen and weighs just over 1kg (2.5lb). Both have their purpose!
This is one of the most important rooms. There are two ways to access this room. One from the small door beside the master cabin, the second through one of the hatches in the galley/saloon. Actually, there are five hatches that all lift up should you want to do something major, like replace the generator, which we did in 2017. Despite not being able to stand fully, there’s reasonable space inside the engine room, with twin caterpillar 3208 engines, generator, battery banks and all other related stuff – just see the photos! For specifications of some of the stuff, take a look at About Poseidon.
This is the flat surface at the stern of the boat. A few years ago we had some repair work done on the swim platform and we also made the ladder much more secure when it was re-installed. We now call it the ‘Paul Heyligers memorial swim platform ladder’ due to his help installing it. Sadly Paul passed away 31 December 2016 after a courageous battle with multiple myeloma. At a later date, Robert had a piece of stainless steel rail that he installed vertically behind the ladder and this makes it much easier to get out of the water after swimming and kayaking.
The aft deck of our Ocean Alexander MK1 is probably a bit small – compared to, e.g. a Defever 49 – but it’s ok for the two of us, since at time of writing this page we’re keeping quite isolated, as per instructions for Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison.
The lazarette, accessed from the aft deck, is the rear of the boat’s hold and is great for storage. Robert has a spreadsheet and itemises what’s in each of the storage crates. And why wouldn’t you do this!
This is the area of the boat directly in front of the pilot house and immediately behind the foredeck. It’s the area or bulwark on the superstructure which provides protection from weather and waves. Well, it would if we could property shut the door to the foredeck (that’s another project). We’re in the process of removing the teak from this area (sorry people who love teak) but again, we prefer less maintenance and a dry boat. Please note, we’re keeping enough teak (under cover and on railings) to keep the look of the boat. I am a bit amazed that we started removing the teak about 2 years ago – just shows we like to take our time and do things properly!
Some of you may cringe when you read that we’ve replaced all the teak on the foredeck. Others may cheer for the knowledge of issues that can occur with 40-year-old teak that’s been screwed into the fibreglass and potential problems with the core. No matter what you think, we decided replacing the teak was a better option for us because we don’t want to spend all the time trying to fix a leaky boat. And yes, you may be thinking there are other options, but this was our choice. Some photos shown here (in April 2020) are a work in progress as we’ve yet to paint the non-skid on it! I’ll write a blog later explaining the process we followed. What may also be interesting are that in some photos, you can see the wooden poles that we need to reverse our boat between. I think we have about 12 cm (5 inches) each side, but luckily they’re not fixed and move if you do hit them.
We usually motor the boat from the flybridge as we have great visibility for 360 degrees. Of course, in rough or colder weather we’ll use the pilot house more. We had quite a lot of leaking from the flybridge into the saloon (especially through to the lights) below. Some of you may cringe to read that we replaced most of the teak deck on the flybridge. Others may cheer for the knowledge of issues that can occur with 40-year-old teak that’s been screwed into the fibreglass and potential problems with the core. Also on our flybridge is our tender, its outdoor motor, the davit to lower and raise the tender. Due to water restrictions in Sydney, regrettably I haven’t been able to clean the decking of our Ocean Alexander MK1 as I would have liked. But stay tuned as I will provide photos of the area when it’s tidied. Also, the storm cover is something I made, but due to the volume of fabric and some changing requirements, it was challenging. Whether it will ever be fully finished remains to be seen, but from my point of view, it’s good enough for now.
Below is a random selection of other outside photos of our Ocean Alexander MK1, taken over time. Since buying Poseidon in 2013, we’ve always done the scrape and antifoul treatments, sometimes with the help of our son and a few other friends.