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  • Capt. Eric

The Origami Cabin

On a small boat like Enfin, making best use of existing volumes is very important.

The "guest" cabin, my cabin, is a perfect illustration of clever use of space.

Checking the new TV's setup during installation

It has 2 berths: The lower one is mine, while the upper one is left mostly unused as a temporary storage but in a pinch can be used to lay down or sleep.

My berth extends when needed, with a filler cushion making it a very decent width. At sea, we tend to keep it narrow, as it helps with better access to the engine room and being snug in rolling seas.

At anchor or in marinas, I typically keep the berth open to its full width. Di calls my cabin "the man cave" and with the recent addition of a "large" TV I agree with her.

I recently acquired this TV when I rescued it from being thrown out. It works perfectly but as the previous owner said it's a dumb TV. That's fine with me since I don't use any "smart" functions on my TVs, preferring instead to have a dedicated Android box as a client for our video server.

The finished setup

Mounting such a larger TV in my cabin posed a number of challenges to keep the space working as intended. We still need access to the berths, as well as the washer/dryer.

The solution I went for is a large triple hinged mount. When in use the TV rests against the washer/dryer's door (with proper padding to avoid damages). When stored, it rests against the hull where it can be secured for sea. If I ever change my mind, all that will be left from removing the TV will be 2 small holes at the foot of the upper berth, unseen for the most part.

TV folded back against the hull in sea position

Even when the TV is being used, it can be rotated away from the washer's door to get full access to the machine.

That door was switched around a long time ago so that the hinge is on port side, opening the door towards the hull.

It all sounds like origami instructions: Open the main door in full, fold the TV stand and rotate towards the hull before opening the washing machine's door.

The Captain demonstrating access to the washer/dryer

Similarly the cabin door was switched around to open towards the aft. It opens up the cabin a lot more than when it opened towards the bow. Moving about the cabin and opening the various cabinets and drawers feels less like playing a Rubik's Cube game than when we bought Enfin 5 years ago.

I'm really happy with our current setup in my little origami cabin. It needs setting up for each use but it works perfectly.

Rotate the TV away and open the door to access the machine

At sea, stow the TV and keep the berth closed.

During the day in marinas, keep the berth open unless access to the engine room is needed in which case we squeeze the berth in partially. Unstow the TV in front of the washing machine, where it can still move if access is needed.

The man cave in marina mode

Another setup we've luckily never had to use: Opening up the bulkhead and removing the door to widen the door way and allow passage of the washer/dryer to change it.

Bulkhead can be opened up to swap the washer/dryer

So far we've only had to repair the washing machine for a minor problem: A loose dryer fan nut. I just enjoy knowing that Nordhavn has thought about the problem and if we ever need to change the washing machine we won't need to destroy the boat in the process.

Engine room access remains even with extended berth

You'd be surprised to see that, on many production boats, larger items are put in before the deck and hull are joined, making them very difficult to ever replace.


So, from man cave, to laundry room, to engine room access, my little cabin does it all!

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