Expanding Space With Art

Beowulf owners

You can expand your visual interior space and add interest by adding art to vertical surfaces. We’re selecting art now for FPB 78-1, looking through some of our photos from the olden days for ideas, and thought this might be of interest.

That’s the forward suite aboard the FPB 83 Wind Horse above.

We have always designed our interiors with an eye towards where art could be placed, for both expanding the visual space and the pleasure of just being in its presence.

Beowulg salon

Beowulf, our 78’ ketch, had a mixture of original art and prints. Looking forward in the salon above.

Beowulf Interior001 Edit

And then aft here.

Beowulf Interior011 Edit

The aft end of the owner’s suite of Beowulf. The watercolor to the left is of Taiohae on Nuka Hiva Island in the Marquesas, which we bought in Nevada.

Deeroot llgalley lokkig fwd

The print on the forward salon bulkhead draws your eye forward, aboard the 72’ cutter Deerfoot II.


Another photo, this one a bit ravaged by time, of Deerfoot II’s salon.

FPB 83 Wind Horse owners lkg aft

Back aboard Wind Horse, looking aft towards the aft end of the owner’s suite. Two of our favorite watercolors. The giraffe was a first anniversary present, while the tree was done by Steve’s mom many years ago.

FPB 83 Wind Horse Galley

Although small in size, the original kanji painting above adds a very personal touch, along with visual interest in the galley of Wind Horse. This is another anniversary gift.

FPB64 Avatar great room

The framed photos on the locker surface of the FPB 64 Avatar add a touch of color, and the effect breaks up the otherwise monolithic surface of the locker.

1Sundeer Grt Rm Lkg aft

Aboard the 68-foot ketch Sundeer above.

1Intrmzzo ll S Davis aty

This was one of the first 3D renderings done by the late Steve Davis, in this case for an article Patience Wales at SAIL magazine was having written by Knowles Pittman on the 62’ cutter Intermezzo II. It gives a sense of the vertical surfaces which might accept art.


This photo was taken in Manzanillo, Mexico, about 1983. We had met up with Al and Beth Liggett whom we’d last seen in Papua New Guinea. They were finishing their second circumnavigation while we were about to conclude our first. That print on the bulkhead is in our guest bedroom now, and we still enjoy looking at it.

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We didn’t have space for art in Intermezzo II’s galley, but we did manage a splash of color with the tiles behind the stove.

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The owner’s suite forward bulkhead, above, aboard Intermezzo II.

Maya salon

The Deerfoot 74 Maya has an engraved piece of opaque glass on her main bulkhead.

162Little Intrmzzo Interior

Finally, for historic perspective, party time aboard our 50-foot ketch Intermezzo. That’s Beowulf V on the bulkhead.

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We have found it very helpful to take snapshots of items we think we might use, and then have inexpensive posters made (or in the case above, print them with our CAD plotter). A large collection of potential art rolls into a compact tube that is easily carried to the boat yard.

Here are a few details we keep in mind for this process:

  • Framed art has plastic glazing rather than glass.
  • We use a single hook to hang the art, and then 3M double-sided foam tape on the frame, to keep the art from moving.
  • Hanging hardware on the frame needs to be inset so it does not protrude beyond the frame edge.
  • In areas likely to be environmentally challenging, we are now using photos printed on aluminum.
  • Low cost photo posters of art allows us to test our ideas before final installation by taping them in place.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 9, 2016)

3 Responses to “Expanding Space With Art”

  1. Ken Says:

    Fascinating to see how good taste changes over the years. And how faded Kodachrome(?)instantly makes me feel old.

    As to the art and at some risk of treading on sensitive parts I might venture that less seems to be more. Wind Horse galley being the best. The engraved glass in Maya I like too.

    Another option might be to be to pick out one or two of the panels in a colour / darker tone / different texture Its an approach that seems to work especially well when the base design is really good and interesting (as here). Some recent Australian architecture does this to great effect.

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    Thick skins here, Ken:
    And you are right, often less is more. But sometimes there is a conflict between things you love and the best design practice.

  3. scott flanders Says:

    In the end all we have are our memories. The few framed pieces and small memorabilia we had aboard are now in a guest bedroom seldom seen by anyone and that’s ok by us. Its personal and doesn’t have to be explained. Most wouldn’t understand anyway. So double thumbs up for art and photography to those fortunate enough to have hauled them wherever in their own escape machine.