For years Anungoday's only fire extinguisher was the one mounted forward of the galley, great for a fire in the vee berth, or you could maybe reach over a galley fire to try to grab the extinguisher. Good luck trying to grab it from the cockpit.
We knew there had to be a better place, but we could never agree on one. Then, a couple years ago, our friend Doug gave us another extinguisher for the boat, but then we couldn't agree on where to put that one, so it was just stowed in the boat somewhere. The flares, also, were ... somewhere. Can't remember now. Definitely no place you could reach from the cockpit.
A completely separate train of thought had to do with the bottom of the companionway. Stepping there when climbing in or out would bend the laminate and crack the gelcoat. The 2" or so of inward-turning laminate lip there had nothing to support it from below, and we were brainstorming ideas involving a large wood block that would attach to the bridge on the same bolts that hold the keel winch board, and attach to the inward-turning lip on the same screws that hold the bottom frame piece for the dropboard.
The collision of these two trains of thought gave us the little piece of joinery
The materials are 1/2" exterior plywood, 1/4" lauan plywood in General Finishes'
old three-step system, and 1"x2" mahogany lumber.
The waterproof container for the flares is a NATO surplus 7.60 mm ammunition
box, steel with a good rubber gasket.
It can be flipped open while in position (the lid stays put, the box drops down)
and, once open, the box can be slipped off the lid if desired (pin hinges).
The whole box can be removed, lid and all, by pulling the aluminum fastpin,
to take the box into a dinghy, for example.
The original olive drab finish was replaced by the incomparable Jerry Rice
of Rice's Powder Coatings.
He already had an order to do somebody's bicycle in that color red, so we didn't
have to pay for set-up.
Compared to the exposed laminate that used to be seen there, the new module
gives a much more finished look to the interior.