Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 58

Thread: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hamilton New Zealand
    Posts
    3,503

    Default Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    This thread is a side issue thats evident from the other thread I've got running at the moment, the one about quick and simple builds v's larger, more complex ones.

    Given that the builder is planning cruises of up to a month, in a climate that can be wet and cool but where one would expect to be at anchor every night. That the boat has to be the smallest and simplest boat that will do the job, what would be your absolute minimum standard of accommodation ( this is the whole boat not necessarily just the interior) that you'd tolerate and still be keen to go out again in a few months?

    Have a look at Roger Barnes youtube videos, the tent and cabin layout on the SCAMP "Southern Cross", then the layout on a typical 45 ft American Trawler type cruiser such as a Grand Banks, and yes I know that calling them a "Trawler" is a bastardisation of the word. Most will be somewhere between the two, but I'd mention that both Roger and Howard seem very comfortable.
    In any case, what is your minimum? Think about cooking, storage, personal hygiene etc as well as headroom ( Roger Barnes has unlimited headroom most of the time) and such.

    Mine? I've come to very much enjoy open boat cruising, so want a space 650 wide, 2000 long that is flat and without too much of anything intruding in which to lie down to sleep.
    I need a rowing position that has my heels 200mm below my seat, and the rowlocks 200 above the seat. I'm happy with a snap lid plastic bucket with wag bags in as a restroom, cook on a single burner Optimus white gas stove, don't normally carry ice, ( thats for the next size up boat, I built an icebox for her but this is about my minimum.
    I need dry storage for bedding, clothes, charts and food, secure storage for all the boats gear, and a tent that gives me good sitting headroom above the areas in which I sit.
    The seats need to have good legroom, at least some need angled backrests, and the boat needs to be stable enough to stand up and walk about when either under way or at anchor.

    I can do a month like that, happily.

    How about you?

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
    Posts
    59,303

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    My Selway Fisher JIM will have accommodation beside the centre board about 600 wide x 1800 long , 2'x 6' in American. Sufficient for a few nights but likely not more than that. A tent between mizzen and main masts would be required and mosquito mesh would be essential in Summer. Most of my sailing will be in our very mild Winter.

    I have lots of dry storage in the water tight compartments fore and aft.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sweden,Scilly Isles, Siberia
    Posts
    7,276

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I can deal with basic as you point out in the op, but i want a cabin. Open boat camping i can deal with for a weekend in fine weather, but given a mixed climate, i want more dry stowage and do not want to be messing with rigging tents in rain and wind, no matter how slick some of them can be. That puts my minimum cruiser at 15ft to get comfortable sitting headroom, and room to stretch the legs. A Core Sound 17mk3 as an example would suit my area and needs.
    power for electronic gizmos is a fast moving area, maybe a small Li-Po battery, small solar panel and one of those back up storage power packs would keep up with demand on limited electronics and LED lighting?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,987

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    i think a small cabin would keep me out sailing for longer periods, our weather is just so poor.

    the other factor that added greatly to feeling secure and in control to enjoy the cruising is in the choice of ballast.

    the laser stratos keel when pushed hard just worked so well, giving easy recovery after loosing control. So a small lifting ballast keel works for me, not for other's, just me.

    She has to less than 16' long due to dinghy space rules.

    At the moment, the little RoG seems a good fit.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
    Posts
    59,303

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I found this on the net and it seems a possible modification for my JIM. She's open now.

    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
    Posts
    9,822

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    When I was younger I cruised happily in a Tumlaren. The cabin was no more than a cuddy. She had 2 very narrow bunks and a metho stove which sat on a wooden box. A bucket for ablutions. I did fit a tillerpilot for longer stretches. I also enjoyed a number of sheltered water cruises in a Hartley TS 16, and also an old 18 foot timber fishing boat. I now prefer something larger, more spacious, more comfortable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    12,505

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I gotta have a heater ( or three)on my PNW boat. Can't tolerate modern "rubber" clothing least of all sleeping in an expedition suit.
    As I have gotten older, I only sleep in a curled up fetal position, so tiny bunks work out just fine.
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 04-18-2017 at 08:05 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I spent a sizeable chunk of my third and fourth decades tent camping off my motorcycle, don't care much for tents anymore. My Vanagon camper and Eun Mara are quite luxurious by tent camping standards and I could easily live out of either for a month.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Nokesville, VA, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Unfortunately I don't have time to go away for that long. Camping for a few days, I can make due
    with a bucket. But for a long cruise, I'd be more concerned about the restroom situation. If I were going to be gone for that long, I'd want some sort of throne apparatus. Maybe a small composting toilet? I know that will take up a lot of space, but that's a sacrifice I personally would be willing to make. But if your client is happy with a bucket, more power to him.

    Beyond the restroom concerns, I'd want something with shallow draft that I could row for long periods. I like to explore, and I'd be bummed out if I couldn't get into the little places. Again, depends on the client and the trips he will take. I'd want maximum versatility between rowing and sailing, but I know that's a tall order.

    ill be interested to see what you come up with. Sounds up my alley.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    dfw
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    JW, you have a talent for posing Q's that cause one to THINK...

    it is a lot of fun, for this chronologically advanced curmudgen, to pull the trigg'r on the mind and begin playing the WHAT IF game

    as STROMBORG did i spent many miles/days/nights camping on motorcycle adventures and am realizing though my NEEDS haven't changed my DESIRES have MATURED

    once was the time when i would throw straps around a coupla trees & hang between 'em for a good night's sleep

    and though the hammock still provides a very comfortable platform for relaxation & slumber i find myself desiring more when going for more than just an overnighter

    time was when pulling my pants up while prone wasn't out of the question butt now prefer being able to stand

    and in the past COPPING A SQUAT took care of the daily needs where now being able to SIT IN PEACE is the favoured method...

    once uppon a time i might have been likely to flail the water w/ long sticks having flattened ends butt as time has taken it's toll some sort of refined petroleum powered propulsion will be the order of the day if not under wind power

    MORNING COFFEE has become more than just a convenience, it is a necessary component of the DAILY RITUALS to keep systems moving w/ regularity

    AND i don't like instant!!!

    having a cold beverage is a luxury that can be enjoyed from time to time as dockside establishments present themselves

    in my later years my adventures tend to be SOLO since the bridal unit prefers the comfort of our home or at least the travel trailer so my desires revolve around said SOLO ADVENTURE

    all that being lined out brings us to the ACCOMMODATIONS that are CURRENTLY DESIRED

    SHADE from the sun/protection from the rain

    a cuddy cabin where proper bedding can be layed and left from day to day

    a place for THE BUCKET where it can be used in reasonable comfort

    a SAFE location/means for setting the 1-burner stove up for boiling water even in incilmate weather(not necessariy in the cuddy cabin)

    a place to lounge inside and one outside while not under way

    a safe place to store/carry refined petroleum based fuel

    a convenient accommodation for an appropriate propulsion unit

    simplicity of rig/ease of reefing

    shoal draft(should float under load @ 6")

    if sailing, centerboard or lee boards and swing up rudder

    if powered, smaller outboard

    this list is a work in progress and subject to revision as the thoughts/ideas wander thru my feeble mind

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    5,902

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I'm building one, actually.
    There is a small cuddy cabin, where I can lie down and sleep, or sit and read or draw. The cockpit is large enough to sleep in, if desired. Long seats either side and a nice, wide bridge deck at seat level.
    One reason for the cabin and sealed in cockpit seats and bridge deck is to provide extra security when she capsizes, or even just dips a rail. No "boat soup" with all your bits floating in the bilge (hopefully), and less volume available to flood. That's the theory, anyway.
    I usually sleep on a hammock, so I don't need a berth, per se. I usually sit on the floor anyway, too, so I'm fine without seats of any kind for accommodation.
    I poop in a bucket just fine, thanks. Sometimes put on a good concert, too.)
    The rig is split, with a tiny little mizzen and largish lug main.
    Oars, please, or a quant or paddle.
    The bottom has a flat panel so it can dry out in the mud "like a duck". Oh, and she draws a few inches and sports the leeboard.
    A little one burner stove and a bowl and spoon are good. I drink everything from the same mug.

    I am impatiently counting the days until I CAN disappear for a month on her.

    Peace,
    Robert

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    12,176

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    A small cabin, cuddy at least to lie down in, would make me more comfortable for longer than an overnight. Could even be an open-ended affair, sort of extending a Scamp's concept enough to actually get under solid cover, and have the aft, "bulkhead," be a drop canvas. This structure needs a hatch overhead and, perhaps, a clear piece of plastic in the drop curtain for added light and ventilation while whiling away a stormy day.

    Single burner stove, bucket head, dry bags for most stores, all good.

    Kevin

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    The Cornish Crabber Dongray designed Crabber 17 is like that.

    The forward cuddy is either open or pushed flat, or enclosed with a dodger with a back to it. It's an open window which with the dodger windows combine to give light and vis.

    It's clever because the forward part isn't self draining but doesn't need to be because of this element. The greater depth gives foot room. The rear of the canopy fixes to a bridgedeck (great storage) accross the boat. The rear cockpit floor is high enough for self draining and water of the canopy drains into here and out the boat. Just means seats and topsides a bit higher but that's no bad thing generally.





    This shows the relative cockpit floor height for self draining. Seats fold up and you sit on the side decks to extend your legs. Inboard outboard. A good arrangement of a minimus boat to emulate.

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 04-18-2017 at 12:04 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ballard
    Posts
    7,287

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    No matter what ya'll do, be sure to find the thickest inflatable sleeping pad that you can still manage to store on the boat. That's money well spent. You'll thank me in the morning.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ballard
    Posts
    7,287

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Here's a video of a standard Sail & Oar vessel set up for an overnight stay on the hook. Alex Zimmerman is very likely sound asleep somewhere in that boat.

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,534

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Interesting to see so much interest in small cabins; my own experiences have led me to favor open boats, though I used to think I wanted a tiny cabin.

    So, what comforts do I need to spend a month aboard?

    1. A reliable way to sleep at anchor, including a simple tarp/tent and platform arrangement to keep me out of the bilge water. I don't need anything fancy, but maybe a step up from what I used on a 40-day Canadian cruise a couple years ago:

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    This was a VERY improvised approach to a boat tent, using just an 8' x 10' backpacking tarp, but it worked far better than expected, despite being a bit saggy:



    and wide open at the bow:



    It gave me me good sitting headroom and kept me dry in heavy rains.

    2. Dry storage for gear and clothes--I prefer large dry bags lashed in the cockpit. Not only is this much more convenient because you can carry the bags ashore rather than digging through small compartments, it also limits the potential volume of water aboard in a capsize. So dedicated bag tie-downs and a cockpit layout to accommodate them without getting in the way.

    3. Cooking--I rely on thermos cooking a lot. Boil water in a JetBoil stove, put it and the ingredients in a Thermos jar, and your meal cooks itself (and keeps itself warm) and you use almost no stove fuel at all. No ice or electronics, please. Backpacking style food with as much fresh as possible (apples keep well, as do sweet potatoes (slice thin and eat raw).

    4. Water filter; simple backpacker model. I cruise mostly on fresh water (Lake Huron, Lake Superior) so no need to carry water.

    5. Sleeping bag and closed-cell foam insulation pad. No inflatables for me after having 2 spring leaks at inopportune moments.

    6. Large Ziploc bags to keep charts handy and (mostly) dry.

    7. Toilet--I'm fine with the bucket/wag bag approach. Usually where I cruise you can get ashore to handle this.

    8. Head net for mosquitoes. Much simpler and a bit cheaper than trying to arrange mosquito netting under the boom tent.

    9. At least one comfy seat with a backrest--this could be the sternsheets, or simply a cushion leaned against the centerboard case. Whatever. Just want to be able to kick back and listen to the loons and owls while I eat my red beans and rice from my Thermos.

    I think that's about it. There are advantages to keeping things on the minimal side.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Coast
    Posts
    3,292

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Things are pretty simple on Whimbrel. Good crawling space in the cabin @ 4'8", a place to answer the call of nature (not enclosed, ignore the other person(s) as much as possible), a comfortable bunk for two, or three, simple cooking facilities. A heater (solid fuel) is really quite important even in the summer for moisture control during rainy weather and easing cooler night time temperatures..
    I can be very comfortable in a much smaller space, but that is not a reason to change.
    I like a hard top cabin rather than a tent. There must be sitting head room as well as sprawling room. Keeping dry in rainy weather is a concern in this patch. Going from outside to inside and V/V during a spell of rain is something that need planning, want to keep as much of the water out of the sleeping accommodation. I am very impressed by Matt Layden's (Paradox-Enigma-Elusion) solution of radically reducing the need to be outside at all. You still will be exposing yourself to wet / rain when you do transition. I do wonder if that might be a little greenhouse on some hot days, but we don't get many of those.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    744

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    [IM

    I have posted a few photos as food for thought.
    1. I have found "very" small cabins to be inconvenient, uncomfortable and even potentially dangerous.
    2. Tents on small boats with separate dry floors can make for very comfortable living. Small cabins coupled with cockpit tents are ideal.
    The floor photo is of one of the two dry floors I had with me on a recent small boat voyage I have just concluded. It worked really well. Having two meant that I always had a dry floor to spread out.
    3. Tents need to be taut and made of materials that are quiet in the wind. Flapping and flogging is destructive to both and annoying. I build my tents to be drum tight
    when the doors are zipped. They rely on the zipping of the doors for final tightness by design otherwise they are hard to snap in place.
    4. I use single wall tents, weatherman is a great cloth as it breathes.
    5. For small boat living I employ what I refer to as the 25% rule (and I always fail). Typically after paring down to what I believe are the bare essentials I attempt to lose 25% of what I have decided on a day or two before I set sail..........and still I always seem to have too much gear. Too much is a hassle and can even create a danger.
    6. The canoe photo is one of my home built sailing canoes and yes I sleep aboard comfortably (even roasting coffee beans as I do on all my boats). I use the same system on all my boats, taut tent, separate dry floors and bug screens.
    7. The little cat boat is Spark, I owned her and sold her because of the size of her cabin. I found it to be a hassle, too confining and a worry should I have to get out quickly. Other than the cabin she was a fine little pocket yacht.
    8. I own a boat named Blueberry and also cockpit cruise aboard her. I have designed a new tent for her, which I hope to build this summer.
    9. The trimaran is my Tremolino MKIV with extended fwd cabin and her spartan accommodations (two cabins) is more than doubled by the cockpit tent.
    10. The SCAMP in the photos is mine and has two tents. One is a low profile high wind model and the other a milder weather high profile tent. The high profile tent has an integrated wood stove. I recently utilized the high wind tent in extreme conditions and it worked perfectly and never leaked a drop even in days of driving rain and sleet.
    11. I have a boat problem:-)

    G][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG]

    My pal Simeon Baldwin.........who has decided to equip his SCAMP with my tent design, dry floor, etc.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by Howard Rice; 04-18-2017 at 07:08 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    744

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    883

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    John,

    My Fire-Drake (see Tim Yeadon's video in post #15) has numbers pretty much as you specified in the first post, with a couple of exceptions. The width of the sole alongside the centreboard case for sleeping is only about 460 mm, which is enough for my hips and legs, but mitigating that, for 600 mm aft of the end of the CB case, where my head and shoulders reside when sleeping, the width is 800 mm. The length of the sleeping area is 2160. I have 290 mm between thwart and sole but my height of oarlock pad above the thwart is the same at 200.

    For sitting aft when the tent is up, I have about 1050 mm clearance from sole to tent, which gives me about 250 mm headroom while sitting. This gives enough space for lounging, reading and cooking on my one-burner stove. The rest of the tent forward is lower, as you can see, which reduces windage while at anchor, which I believe is important. I don't have angled backrests but do carry a folding camp seat (no legs) for sitting while at anchor. All my gear is stowed in dry bags and then in the water-tight / flotation compartments in the ends of the boat.

    Tim's boat has pretty much the same set-up:
    [IMG][/IMG]

    This setup worked just fine for for us for 5 weeks last summer and would probably be OK for longer, especially if you pull up on the beach every once in a while to stretch your legs.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Oriental, NC USA
    Posts
    3,794

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Most people have their personal idea of what minimal accommodation is and most here are way too minimal for me for any extended period. There was a time when such as my open 15 foot skiff with a boom or other tent was adequate for a short time but that time is past. As long as it is easily trailerable and launchable by one old guy, I want a hard top enclosure with at least sitting headroom and room for comfortably stretching out with room for cooking, reading, dressingand other necessaries in bad weather. Size is limited by the need for handling in awkward situations by one semi healthy person. I know of a couple boats that meet this up to 19 or 20 feet if built light enough. This means no fixed ballast but water ballast is making more and more sense. Very simple split rig also makes sense and ability to dry out relatively level is also a requirement. Cabin fever in poor weather is a real issue that I don't see anything like a tiny folding tent offering release from.
    Tom L

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hamilton New Zealand
    Posts
    3,503

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    John,

    My Fire-Drake (see Tim Yeadon's video in post #15) has numbers pretty much as you specified in the first post, with a couple of exceptions. The width of the sole alongside the centreboard case for sleeping is only about 460 mm, which is enough for my hips and legs, but mitigating that, for 600 mm aft of the end of the CB case, where my head and shoulders reside when sleeping, the width is 800 mm. The length of the sleeping area is 2160. I have 290 mm between thwart and sole but my height of oarlock pad above the thwart is the same at 200.

    For sitting aft when the tent is up, I have about 1050 mm clearance from sole to tent, which gives me about 250 mm headroom while sitting. This gives enough space for lounging, reading and cooking on my one-burner stove. The rest of the tent forward is lower, as you can see, which reduces windage while at anchor, which I believe is important. I don't have angled backrests but do carry a folding camp seat (no legs) for sitting while at anchor. All my gear is stowed in dry bags and then in the water-tight / flotation compartments in the ends of the boat.

    Tim's boat has pretty much the same set-up:
    [IMG][/IMG]

    This setup worked just fine for for us for 5 weeks last summer and would probably be OK for longer, especially if you pull up on the beach every once in a while to stretch your legs.
    I've seen a number of people using those folding beach chairs in camp cruisers. The ability to sit relaxed with back supported is important.
    Reading the postings here, it seems that there could be further subdivision of this subject, those who would stay on board, and those who will be planning to go ashore regularly.
    Those who tent, and those who want a permanently enclosed space.

    I'd comment on that latter, a "cabin" takes space, as does the cockpit. To have a cabin of sufficient size to form comfortable accommodation and still have room for a reasonable cockpit means that the boat is going to be up around 16 ft as a minimum. Sure it can be shorter than that but as the length and beam comes down the useability of the space diminishes rapidly.
    We can scale the boat down but not the occupants.
    So below a certain size, tenting the cockpit to make the "cabin" seems sensible, that makes for a reasonable sized boat when sailing, and when camping.
    To return to the subject. There seems to be an agreement on bunk size, sitting headroom when in "shelter" mode and even on the need to just look the other way when the bucket head is in use.
    But what about cooking? A permanent cook station or a cookbox? or even just a campstove that gets taken out when needed?

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Shore, Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,654

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldDominionWB View Post
    Unfortunately I don't have time to go away for that long. Camping for a few days, I can make due
    with a bucket. But for a long cruise, I'd be more concerned about the restroom situation. If I were going to be gone for that long, I'd want some sort of throne apparatus. Maybe a small composting toilet? I know that will take up a lot of space, but that's a sacrifice I personally would be willing to make. But if your client is happy with a bucket, more power to him.

    Beyond the restroom concerns, I'd want something with shallow draft that I could row for long periods. I like to explore, and I'd be bummed out if I couldn't get into the little places. Again, depends on the client and the trips he will take. I'd want maximum versatility between rowing and sailing, but I know that's a tall order.

    ill be interested to see what you come up with. Sounds up my alley.
    I thought "small composting toilet" was a euphemism for "Bucket with saw dust in it"!
    Last edited by Daniel Noyes; 04-18-2017 at 05:27 PM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Tarpon Springs FL
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    For me small is nimble, worry free and simple. I like the protection of a cabin. I prefer to swing at anchor if I have a choice, laying on a bunk looking at the sky spin around. I dislike being cold, and dont have much resistance to it. I dont like cold dark water (that's from my Canadian heritage...) and see no point in going in unless of my own free will. I also like a boat that moves well. Not like crazy racing fast, but a boat that'll get out of it's own way.
    So my ideal is closer to a keelboat than a dinghy in regards to stability and protection. Problem is, there are a lot more consequences to mistakes with a big boat than with a small one, so i become less adventurous the bigger the boat gets. The smaller the better then. If I can sleep comfortably I can go for a long time.
    I agree with JW that ice and refrigeration are better left at home. Much easier to adjust my diet. Little stove to make tea and watch the sunset from my wooden cocoon, swinging at anchor. Towards the end of the EC, i found a groove because of that.
    So how small? Well, I'm 6ft so how much more than that does the boat need to be, for me to fit horizontally? Not a lot i guess, as long as the boat can carry enough sail to move me and my gear.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    5,902

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    I've seen a number of people using those folding beach chairs in camp cruisers. The ability to sit relaxed with back supported is important.
    Reading the postings here, it seems that there could be further subdivision of this subject, those who would stay on board, and those who will be planning to go ashore regularly.
    Those who tent, and those who want a permanently enclosed space.

    I'd comment on that latter, a "cabin" takes space, as does the cockpit. To have a cabin of sufficient size to form comfortable accommodation and still have room for a reasonable cockpit means that the boat is going to be up around 16 ft as a minimum. Sure it can be shorter than that but as the length and beam comes down the useability of the space diminishes rapidly.
    We can scale the boat down but not the occupants.
    So below a certain size, tenting the cockpit to make the "cabin" seems sensible, that makes for a reasonable sized boat when sailing, and when camping.
    To return to the subject. There seems to be an agreement on bunk size, sitting headroom when in "shelter" mode and even on the need to just look the other way when the bucket head is in use.
    But what about cooking? A permanent cook station or a cookbox? or even just a campstove that gets taken out when needed?

    John Welsford
    I lived in a tent for a long time, and I ain't keen on doing it any more. That's the only reason I wanted a rudimentary cabin.
    One place that can stay (mostly) dry and warm all time.

    As to cooking, depends on the boat. In the canoes, I used a little galley box. For the little cabin boat, I'm not sure, yet. It's a tiny space, so I might like to cook in the cockpit under an awning. What?!
    I think a portable galley box that can also be fastened in place is the answer for me. A little one burner, spatula, slotted spoon, knife, and spices and whatnot, all in a little wood box with a lid. The right galley box might also double as a bench or seat.

    Peace,
    Robert

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Corvallis
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Interesting thread John - thanks. From my perspective, minimalist cruising for up to a month is quite a challenge and I would imagine that even with a Grand Banks trawler a trip of that duration would be much more pleasant if it included some diversion ashore in civilization. We have been kayak campers for over 25 years. Our longest trips have been between 10 -12 days. It is a considerable challenge for us to keep everything organized in a small boat - especially food.

    Now that we are entering geezer status, a good night's sleep is a greater priority. Boy howdy, Yeadon hit the nail on the head regarding a good mattress. We will continue to kayak and canoe camp, it will not be frequent and we are making the transition to a small 20' boat with a cabin. From what I have gleaned, a 36" height above a seating surface is considered standard (our boat will have 35"). Of course anyone can sit and have their knees near the top of their chests. However, if the seating height is added to the height of a portable toilet or even a bucket and the boat is shallow draft (trailerable), then the cabin is going to have some windage. I would imagine that the windage could be greater where the cabin sole was over internal water ballast compared to external lead.

    We camp year around in our teardrop trailer and have gone on trips longer than a month. It's really small and not for everyone and of course it has some different challenges than a boat. But three things stick out. 1) Counter space is very valuable for meal prep. 2) If you're a side-sleeper, a thick and dense mattress is very welcome. 3) Comfortable back support with a good reading lamp deserves strong consideration. Harry Bryan wrote a short article in WB #235 where he describes a simple backrest and I think we will try it in our boat.


    The BTU range on many small stoves is pretty narrow. Our small stoves seem to be able to resemble a blast furnace but can't simmer or they are just plain low heat units. We will be trying one these butane units to see if we can have a proper heat range. Many brands are available.
    https://www.amazon.com/Sterno-50108-...e+butane+stove

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,534

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    This was a great cabin space and height solution. Ugly, but very practical.


    https://www.google.ca/search?q=macgr...ftWST_xT1HaEM:

    We cruised in this for 9 summers.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Willard, Utah
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I suppose you have to look at the market in each niche. You have the Walkabout, which targets the sail-n-oar crowd, and perhaps the economy/practical Coquina Heritage crowd. There seem to be an abundance of designs in this niche. We can thank James McMullen for branding and marketing.

    And then there's the small-but-comfy-cabin demographic. How big is this market? There seem to be a few designs in the 20' range, i.e. Stambaugh's Mist, or Oughtred's Eun Mara. But these are perhaps larger than many might envision for single-handing, or garage-building, or trailer-sailing.

    So it seems the open niche in the market is the 17-18' cabin cruiser-- small enough to be easily single-handed, trailer-sailed, and garage built. The Core Sound mk3 is a contender in this regard. But the rig turns me off. And the design isn't quite 'traditional' enough for me. But the ergonomics are superb.

    Of course I'm just on the eve of launching my first build, and it may prove to be all I ever wanted. But right now I'm looking for that elusive trailer-sailed, single-handed, garage-built, economy cabin cruiser. If a Montgomery 17 was available at the right price...

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Juneau, Alaska
    Posts
    3,717

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield;[URL="tel:5214116"
    5214116[/URL]]This was a great cabin space and height solution. Ugly, but very practical.


    https://www.google.ca/search?q=macgr...ftWST_xT1HaEM:

    We cruised in this for 9 summers.
    A pop top is a great practical solution to getting enough cabin height in a smallish shallow draft boat.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Juneau, Alaska
    Posts
    3,717

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    These days a month of cruising means a boat in the mid to upper twenty foot range that can accommodate a family. There's no way my wife is going to let me leave her home with the kids for a Month! A cabin will also be a must, we do live and play in a rain forest and wet tents aren't much fun. We can get by without an enclosed head. Two burner stove and some sort of heater would be nice. Don't need a refrigerator. A simple twelve volt electrical system would be nice, to keep various devices charged up.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
    5,415

    Default

    John, to your initial post I would just state the implied requirement to carry potable water or some type of water maker. 50 litres or so if carrying it gives theoretically a solo cruising sailor a couple of weeks max between water supplies, allowing for the almost inevitable stranding due to poor weather.

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    When I first joined WBF they made me write a book to prove I was a real yachty. I was so gullible.
    Paperback E-book

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Aquitaine
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Small cabin for me, with enough room for two 6ft+ berths and sitting headroom. Shallow keel with enough ballast (400lb) to self right, so no c/board case in the cabin or cockpit, which is self draining.
    Single burner gimbled camp stove for soup/tea on the move and a double burner stashed in a locker for more elaborate meals (I like cooking ) Room for a porta-potty under the bridge deck.
    Cat yawl rig and a little o/board for windless times. Shoulder probs make rowing difficult, except for short distances.
    I am not fond of tents, but might have a tarp to rig over the cockpit to extend space in wet weather.
    Boat is 17ft plus an inch or so and will weigh in at 8/900lbs.
    Since I like the occasional day sail and the boat will live at home, the trailer will use a dolly to launch, keeping the road wheels out of the sea water and the car well up the slip. I expect sub 30 min launch & rig time.

    Right now, planking her up. Ply on stringers, single chine. Hope to get some use this summer, but can be used all year with the cabin.

    Local friend went the boom tent route, after one season, he now has a small cabin on his 15ft gaffer. Space for one only, or two small limber close friends.

    A2

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
    Posts
    59,303

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    In retrospect I wish I'd built Paul Fisher's Kittiwake rather than his JIM. Both a good boats but Kittiwake would have extended my use and range.

    22 feet against 18'6''. http://www.selway-fisher.com/Yacht2024.htm#KITT

    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    1,262

    Default

    Waxwing's arrangements are squarely in the sail&oar camp. Boomtent much like Haverchuck and Firedrake, ensolite pads beneath thermarest on the cockpit sole. Kitchen boxes stowed beneath forward thwarts, loo bucket/wag bags and dunnage in dry bags lashed on the foredeck. Longest trip so far has been a week, but only because of work schedule constraints. I am looking forward to the chance to make longer trips in her.








    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Shore, Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,654

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    20' tabernackeld mast, gaff rigged, bucket with saw dust and a tight lid, a small stove and a roof to keep the sleeping area dry will be essential if I am to extend my cruising in New England to 3 seasons... also a historic design with local fishing and record making history is only a bonus.

    sailing area from tiny marsh creeks and back waters and low bridges, to the mighty Merrimack River, to Cape Anne- Rockport- Gloucester- Marblehead- Salem- Swampscott and beyond.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •