Blue Turtle Cruising

Main salon renovation

When we bought the DeFever, one of the things we weren’t crazy about was the fact that the main salon had built-in bench seating and bolted down table.  When looking at different boats, we noticed that built-in seating is quite common in trawlers. We decided that if we found a boat with the built-in furniture, we would simply pull it out and replace with more comfortable seating. Since we had so many other things to attend to when we first bought Blue Turtle, we decided we would give it some time to be sure that we didn’t like the bench seating. One year later, we still had the bench seating and decided it was time to find something more comfortable.

photo of boat interior
Before: Our living room had two built-in benches for seating
After: Our newly renovated salon. Bet you wouldn’t know it was this modern by looking by the boat exterior.

Since we decided it was time to pull out the bench seating, we decided this would also be a good time to replace the commercial grade carpet that we didn’t like with wood flooring. I visited Lumber Liquidators and talked to one of the sales guys. They advised us to put in vinyl wood plank flooring since vinyl isn’t as likely to bow and bend with moisture. They informed us about how to “float” the flooring and said no gluing was needed. We ordered our materials and were one step closer to our renovated salon.

Our next chore was to find a sofa that would fit the specific area we had available after the benches were removed. I knew about Flexsteel marine furniture from my parents and took a look at their website. I found a local dealer and ordered an “incliner” sofa. The incliner is made so that the sofa can recline but without taking up as much space between the sofa and the wall.  Our other challenge was to find a table that wouldn’t be bolted to the floor (so we could recline the sofa) and that would adjust since we needed to be able to work from the sofa and table and still have the flexibility to recline the sofa when in relaxation/movie-mode. We needed a hi-lo table and were lucky enough to have our neighbors give us a hi-lo table that they had and no longer wanted.

Once the sofa was in and all of our flooring materials, we picked a weekend to begin the project. First order of business on Friday was demolition—removing the old bench seating. Randy and Corey had a grand time removing a large quantity of screws. Eventually, the benches were removed and so we started in on the carpet. The carpet wasn’t glued down (thankfully) but under it was a padding that was on top of even more carpeting. Randy and I pulled out as much as we could and ended up with this red thin carpeting that we believe might be the original from when the boat was built. Unfortunately for us, this carpeting didn’t come out very well. Once pulled out, we were left with the spongy glued-down under side of the carpet that literally had to be scraped off of the original unfinished wood floor. Once scraped up, we had piles and piles of this spongy dirt…we had a huge mess. It took us until 11pm Friday night to scrape the floors and prep them for the underlayment. Saturday was spent running errands to borrow power tools and saws and Saturday evening, Randy and I cut and laid the underlayment so we would be ready to lay the vinyl wood flooring on Sunday.

Corey pokes his head up from the bench while removing screws with a drill
Randy and Corey hard at demolition work
View of our dock with the demolition materials
Sophie wants to know: “what the heck is going on here?”
photo 6
Left: lovely red carpet. Right: Red carpet padding that needed to be scraped up.
Prior to putting down the underlayment, Randy took the opportunity to work a window open and remove mold…why not? We already had a mess.
This is me measuring and cutting the underlayment

Sunday morning it was time to figure out how to float our vinyl flooring. We had several attempts go wrong with measuring and slicing off the wrong end of the tongue and groove planks. My parents and sister stopped in on us to see how things were going and help us determine a plan for what to do with the hatches. We appreciated their guidance since we would have been lost without them. Later in the day, Randy’s father visited so he could sit in a chair and text his girlfriend…actually, his was a social visit. He helped us a great deal the following weekend cutting the trim for the flooring. Sunday evening the flooring was cut and laid and we had a semi-finished floor. Monday, we moved the sofa and table in and the following weekend, we put the finishing touches on our room with the trim. I have to say, we are very pleased (and comfortable) with the outcome…let us know what you think!

Randy, my sister and I try to figure out what the heck we were doing
Capt. Steve (my father) rests his newly operated knee while giving us his wisdom and Sophie his support
Capt. Steve (my father) rests his newly operated knee while giving us his wisdom and Sophie his support
Johnny (Randy's Dad) "supervises" his son
Johnny (Randy’s Dad) “supervises” his son
Close to finishing up!
Close to finishing up! (Psss…I think Johnny was sleeping)
Sophie finds refuge in her bed in the corner
Our plush new digs…even Sophie approves!

7 thoughts on “Main salon renovation”

  1. Wow that turned out nice! We are in the process of acquiring a Bristol 38 Trawler in Cape Coral and have so much to do. I was wondering what you did with the cushions if they are available?

  2. The floor looks amazing! In the process of updating our Silverton Convertible. Can i ask the secret behind using vinyl plank on the hatches?? That’s all that has been holding up the project.

    • Hi Andrew,

      Thanks 🙂 We floated the vinyl planks (i.e. not glued down) on the floor everywhere except the hatches. For the hatches, we laid out the flooring over the hatches and cut them to fit the hatches and then glued those planks down. So when you lift up out hatches, the vinyl planks are adhered to them. Hope that makes sense. If not, shoot us an email at kim[at] and I can send you a photo.


  3. Kim, we have a 9 yo longhair doxy and just bought our first trawler. Seeing your site is so encouraging to motivate us to tackle all the rehab jobs ahead of us. She is getting hauled tomorrow and I will video the before video. I may be reaching put to you for inspiration come spring.


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