What we like, what we don't and what we have done to personalise and improve on what we got !!!
Considering the complexity and sheer number of things to choose when commissioning a new boat, we are amazed how
few things we would change with the Orchard design/build if starting again.  The major things are:
Radiators - the main living / dinning / kitchen area had too much heating (2 large radiators plus the wood burner & the cooker) whereas the bedroom had too little (only 1 small radiator which gets covered by the bed). We have replaced the main "room" rads with half-height units and installed one of the removed radiators in the bedroom.
Bedroom design - the bed backs immediately onto the bathroom wall and forward of this are 3 wardrobes.  It would have been far better if one of the wardrobes had been on the other side, thus allowing easier access into bed. Unfortunately there is now nothing which can practically be done to rectify this. Rear Cupboards - the calorifier and the inverter are in the bottom of the wrong cupboards.  Thus above the Calorifier should be space for clothes drying, but it actually is half filled with the electrics switching panel, opposite is a large hanging cupboard, below which is nothing but the inverter.
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In no particular order, a selection of DIY modifications, additions etc
(not included here are the numerous pictures, mirrors etc and other very minor items)

table for two freezer cream paint hinged shelf (elec cupboard)
other shelves tunnel lights spot lights x4 coal scuttle
shower winterise door catches (bathroom) semi-trad boards pram hood
rear handles other brackets etc    

table for two

The original table is made both to sit 4+ people at the dinette, and of course as the base in "bed mode".  However it is too big in normal use, too dominating, and produces a corridor feel.  Hence a smaller table was made.  The first "new" table was cicular, made from plywood, and normally covered by a table cloth.  Subsequently a solid oak rounded square table was made.  The width / diameter of these was the same as the large table's width. These take up much less space whilst still being perfectly adequate for two to eat. 
The oak is from the same batch as ordered for the new radiator shelves
(The large table is stored in a cupboard behind the sink unit, a very clever design by Orchard).

view larger image comparison


freezer

As delivered - not good.  Modifications were made to correct design faults both in the Shoreline freezer itself, and Orchard's installation of it.  The unit was very noisy, due to a cheap computer-case fan mounted below the evaporator fins.  And Orchard had fitted it totally enclosed below the dinette without any grills etc to allow air movement.
The solution involved purchasing 2 identical thermostatically controlled, anti-vibration mounted, computer case fans, £7 each.  One of these replaced the original fan and the other was mounted in a hole drilled in the dinette side. Holes were also drilled in the dinette floor, just behind the freezer as installed. Finally the cover panel sizes were changed to allow the freezer to be opened with only the end cushions removed.
The result is near silent operation and much lower condenser running time as cool air is passed over the fins.


cream paint

The paint job as delivered, although of excellent finish, was rather lacking in detail.  Earlier, whilst using black paint to touch up scratches, items like the gas locker hinges had been picked out.  Later we got brave and decided to put some cream paint on the rear doors and upper stern section to relieve the rather bland appearance.


hinged shelf

We keep our coats, hats, gloves etc in this cupboard by the rear steps.  As delivered it looked very similar to now (left photo) but the supplied base panel has been sawn in two and the pieces re-joined with hinges. The lower space was always an ideal storage for brooms, mops etc, but now they can be accessed without first having to removing all the hats, gloves etc then lift the whole panel.


shelves (corner & bedside)

The two shelves in the kitchen were original fittings (originally flat but now milled to produce the containing lip). Similar oak was used to make the corner ornament shelf. Also shown is one side of the (oak) bedside shelves.


tunnel & rear lights, 12V socket

The tunnel light is a free standing item with dimensions to suit the hatch.  Pair of Halfords driving lights on softwood frame.  It was made specifically for single-manning the Harecastle Tunnel* without having to hand hold a torch in one hand and the tiller in the other for 40 mins !
A light in the the pram hood / semi-trad "porch" and a 12V socket for the tunnel lights etc was added below the instruments. Milled wood block plus car reversing light . Powered from the Aux-2 12V circuit.
* (single manning southbound for 3 or so days by Brian allows better use of Jan's 4 week holiday allowance.  Jan can then use the excellent train service from home to eg Stone, meet up and thus cruise further in any time off work.)


spot lights x4

The cupboards either side of the rear steps, below the hatch, are very dark. Especially so when inside with the hatch & rear doors closed. 
Also dark were the kitchen sink and bathroom basin/mirrors, when in use, as one blocks one's own light from the ceiling downlighters. 
To solve these issues, the 4 fittings shown were installed (they are identical to the original fittings above the bed).  Housed in oak milled to shape.  Powered from the previously unused 12V Aux-2 circuit, except the bathroom, which was taken from the ceiling downlighters supply.


coal scuttle

The coal scuttle had been owned for many years, but it looked just right for Augie, especially once neatly housed on this wooden stand

.

shower winterise

Augie's first winter was the coldest for many decades and like many, our shower thermostatic mixer broke.  The design of these items is such that even with the pipes drained, a slug of pressurised water remains inside and on freezing/expanding the mechanism is destroyed. Our solution was to purchase appropriate end-caps from a plumbers merchant (< £5), and take the new (£100) mixer home.
Note that to make removing or replacing the mixer a trivial 1 minute job, the pipes protruding through the cubical wall were installed as a perfect seal against the wall and at precisely the correct spacing and length of protrusion.  Extra effort which has been very beneficial ever since !


bathroom door catches

Both bathroom doors came with cabin hooks to hold them open.  This was both inconvenient in normal use, and they risked getting pulled off and damaging the ceiling, by visitors thinking the door was just "stuck".  They were replaced with purpose designed magnetic catches (from Screwfix).


semi-trad boards

The side lockers in the semi-trad area are now covered by various black painted marine ply sections. This was done partly to protect the painted surface, but also to add two items: a box and an extension towards the instrument panel.  The box is both an excellent seat for use whilst steering plus is used to keep maps etc dry when it's raining. As the left door is never fully open (it would obscure the instruments) the metalwork cut-out is not really needed. The board forms very useful space for "stuff" whilst cruising !


pram hood

Although pram hoods are unsightly objects, we have never regretted choosing one over the tonneau cover alternative (to have no cover, as some people do, would restrict what can be stored there too much for us).  It is like adding a porch to ones house, keeping wet clothes etc out of the boat, making loading/unloading much more pleasant etc etc  (note reverse layout hence cratch is never used as a "front door" entry).
Nevertheless there is a nuisance element in having to erect & put it down. Only when single-manning locks or for serious tunnels do we removing it completely, normal cruising is with it folded down (baby) pram style.  BUT as supplied it still looked too prominent, and restricted the hatch opening. The solution was to order 2 extra brackets from Wilsons and attach them forward of the existing set.  Negligible extra work now moves the folded-down hood off the hatch, where it sits much more neatly.



Note the forward straps do not require un-doing.

rear handles

The same design of handle, although of varying lengths, was fitted to all cupboard doors.  Although stylish, those on the rear doors: a) significantly reduced the available width when entering or leaving the cabin b) when entering, clothing would frequently snag on the protruding top bits (also see photos in 2 sections above).
To rectify this, small "D" handles were fitted. They are at an ideal height in use in the boat and solve both problems.


other brackets etc

A (mild steel) bracket was made so the supplied brass headlight / horn could be mounted on the cratch upright.  The small brass plate and linking rod was added to make the overall design more stable.
Another (bit of aluminium) holds Fairy Liquid bottles !!!  Also shown, not DIY, just a purchase, is the dehumidifier.  Used whilst we are onboard at Vicky Pit with the 230V shoreline, it has removed an amazing amount of water vapour this autumn / winter.

The doors of the 2 cupboards above the bed had nothing to hold them up in their open position, making them awkward to use.  Corrected with commercial lid-stays, modified with a spring-releasing catch mechanism.