As mentioned before I had several design goals for the cockpit. One was for a table and seats to allow eating outdoors. Another was as much storage as practical for items like fenders, rodes, anchors, gas grill, life jackets, etc. Also, I needed to build in a propane locker as well as a hatch in the sole to allow access to the storage space below. Originally I had planned the six gallon electric water heater to be located in this aft area but have decided to move it into the cabin to maximize the storage back there.
Here is a view of the starboard side with the transom on the right. The tall box at the upper left is the propane locker. The lower box attached to it is for fenders and rodes. It is open to the bottom of the hull so rather deep. All the storage boxes have weather tight overlapping lids and gutters to direct water away from the opening. The should all be capable of dry storage.
In this photo the lid of the propane locker is open revealing the two 20# tanks. The tank on the left is an old rusty junker and is only being used for sizing. I have very carefully followed the recommended practices for installing a propane system. Hoses to the two appliances are continuous with no joints or fittings. Each has a separate manual shutoff. Also, I have a switch in the salon to allow shutoff and the automatic solenoid valve can bee seen to the right of the regulator. This valve is also connected to the propane alarm system and will shut off the tanks if a leak is detected. The high pressure hose at the tank also has a pressure gauge which is used to test for leaks.
The propane locker itself was a real design nightmare. First it needs to be air tight, sort of. I say that because it is required to have a vent at the bottom of the locker which dumps overboard - not into the cockpit area. This was a problem because the sole at this point is only about 6 inches above the water line. I was concerned about waves splashing through the vent and entering the locker. Water and steel tanks are not a good combination. I know they make aluminum and fiberglass tanks but finding places to fill these seem to be getting harder. More and more places have tank "exchange" racks. I ended up building a false air tight bottom in the locker to lift the tanks another 4" and will add a splash deflector on the outside of the hull over the vent opening. I am hoping this is enough to slow any water intrusion.
To farther complicate things I needed to have a raceway running through the locker to allow wiring and engine control cables to continue aft. Plus the propane hoses need to exit the locker near the top and require special air tight bulkhead fittings. This prevent me from just simply drilling holes in the bottom and allowing the hoses to exit below the sole. The wall of the locker where the valves are mounted is also the wall of the shower so exiting there was not possible. Finally did get it all to work out but took a lot of time both think and building.
Here we are looking to the port side. The hole in the sole for the hatch can be seen. The bottom of these two lockers are at sole level. The corners of the locker lids still need to be rounded. The green inverted milk case is my crude step into and out of the boat. (Not exactly OSHA approved!) This is where the table will be located. The small blue box is for a weather tight 120V outlet. Just to its right of the blue box the water heater can be seen sitting under the refrigerator cabinet in the salon.