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Thread: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    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.
    Alex,

    this sounds extremely painful and potentially dangerous! I suggest changing your reading and cooking routine to include an Oxford comma and avoid nasty burns.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Alex,

    this sounds extremely painful and potentially dangerous! I suggest changing your reading and cooking routine to include an Oxford comma and avoid nasty burns.

    Tom
    Shades of "eats, shoots and leaves"
    but on the other hand, it can get pretty chilly some nights . . .
    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

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    John has raised a question that many of us asked ourselves before we started to build our boats. I had the additional constraint of a small building space. My solution was to build a 14' catboat. I often point out that the outside dimensions of my boat match the inside dimensions of my shop.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The small cabin provides sitting headroom and contains a comfortable 7 foot bunk with a thick foam mattress. There is plenty of storage and a homey feel that makes this one of my favorite places to sleep. I appreciate the flexible approach that builders of open boats have taken. A boom tent can provide a lot of space. However, I would not look forward to rolling out a sleeping bag, in a wet cockpit, after a raining day of sailing. I filled the space between the planks and ceilings with foam. The result is a warm and dry sleeping space, even on damp, cold evenings.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    My solution to the cooking problem is a cook box I use in the cockpit. I cannot imagine having an open flame in a cabin as small as mine. Besides, the cockpit often provides a beautiful setting for preparing and eating a meal.


    [IMG][/IMG]

    When it does rain, I do have a boom tent.


    [IMG][/IMG]


    The resulting boat more or less meets John's criteria. The "less" part is how long I can last, living on my boat. My longest trip so far included five nights of sleeping on board. Comfort was fine for that trip. However, I am not sure that I would last a full month on board.
    Last edited by Mike.Higgins.94301; 04-20-2017 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Changed "now" to "how" in last paragraph and "setting" to "sitting"

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I'm with Mike any everyone else who sees the need for a snug, dry cabin if the cruise is running up to a month. For a long weekend to a week, something less might suit. And Mike, that catboat looks about perfect. What design is it?
    -Dave

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Thanks Dave.

    I started with the design for Bolger's Bobcat, but scaled up that perfect little boat to a 14 foot length and an 8 foot beam. I also wanted tumblehome on the bow so I had to change the forward hull sections. The cockpit and cabin are my own design, mostly dictated by the real constraints of a small boat and personal whim. For example, the offset hatch was required by the position of the centerboard trunk in the center of the cabin. The curved coaming profile just looked better to me than a more traditional straight coaming profile. The sail shown in these photos was based on the sail plan of the Breck Marshall (the catboat in the Mystic collection), except my sail's foot is aligned with the first set of reef points for that East Coast boat (I mostly sail on San Francisco Bay.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Are you a catboat sailor?

  6. #41
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    Default

    I'm not a catboat guy, but have been thinking about them quite a bit lately. They do satisfy a lot of needs.
    -Dave

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Thinking back to my cabin Pathfinder experience:
    The hard shelter was good, as we (two of us) could leave sleeping mats etc set up semi permanently, and still have sitting headroom, and a warm dry place to suffer through a couple of days of awful weather.
    It also made for a fantastically comfortable, sheltered spot either side of the cockpit, leaning back against the aft cabin bulkhead. The nasty was the condensation at night, even with the companionway wide open, the inside would be dripping wet some mornings.
    A tarp boomtent just wouldn't cut it for me (we tried, it sucked). A good Howard Rice grade tent, designed specifically for the boat, would be an OK substitute for a cabin for me. Especially if mated up to a Scamp style hard dodger/cuddy

    I'd rate a self draining cockpit - we woke up one morning to a stern down boat, and water almost up to the seat tops - how many hundred litres in a PF cockpit footwell JW? To be fair, the rain was like nothing I have ever seen before or since, but damn, that took a while to bucket and pump out.

    I set up one of the washboards so it could clip down horizontally along the top of the centercase just inside the cabin, as a table/seat. This worked really well for everything except the cooker.

    We had a small gas cooker, using it on the boat gave me the willies - outboard petrol at the back of the cockpit, sleeping bags forward, and smooth seat tops in between. I'd definitely want some way to locate a cooker more securely - that was on my to-do list.

    A boat that small, the facilities are going to be a portapotti at best. We popped into the campgrounds dotted around the Sounds, but I guess the cabin and bucket was always an option :-/

    Depending on trip duration/location, and boat size, a modest solar setup would provide a few options. I'm thinking a 15W panel and motorcycle size gel cell, with a USB charge point in the regulator. We went the 30W panel/cheap car battery/ 300W inverter route in our caravan last summer, which kept up with a laptop, phones, ipad and lighting.

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    On my small cabin expedition boat I have replaced the usual flat foam mattress with a "XL" (man-size) outdoor "bean bag", filled with styrofoam pellets. Advantage is that the bag is comfy to sleep on regardless of heel of boat, the bag levels the available space and small protrusions, and the bag can be puffed into any shape so one can sit in it as well in a low cabin. The styrofoam pellets do not sponge up water like many foam mattresses, and they are very lightweight. Side bonus of such a bag inside the cabin is the permanent buoyancy it does provide should the boat be in danger of sinking.
    Last edited by Craic; 04-20-2017 at 02:42 PM.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    Thinking back to my cabin Pathfinder experience:
    The hard shelter was good, as we (two of us) could leave sleeping mats etc set up semi permanently, and still have sitting headroom, and a warm dry place to suffer through a couple of days of awful weather.
    It also made for a fantastically comfortable, sheltered spot either side of the cockpit, leaning back against the aft cabin bulkhead. The nasty was the condensation at night, even with the companionway wide open, the inside would be dripping wet some mornings.
    A tarp boomtent just wouldn't cut it for me (we tried, it sucked). A good Howard Rice grade tent, designed specifically for the boat, would be an OK substitute for a cabin for me. Especially if mated up to a Scamp style hard dodger/cuddy

    I'd rate a self draining cockpit - we woke up one morning to a stern down boat, and water almost up to the seat tops - how many hundred litres in a PF cockpit footwell JW? To be fair, the rain was like nothing I have ever seen before or since, but damn, that took a while to bucket and pump out.

    I set up one of the washboards so it could clip down horizontally along the top of the centercase just inside the cabin, as a table/seat. This worked really well for everything except the cooker.

    We had a small gas cooker, using it on the boat gave me the willies - outboard petrol at the back of the cockpit, sleeping bags forward, and smooth seat tops in between. I'd definitely want some way to locate a cooker more securely - that was on my to-do list.

    A boat that small, the facilities are going to be a portapotti at best. We popped into the campgrounds dotted around the Sounds, but I guess the cabin and bucket was always an option :-/

    Depending on trip duration/location, and boat size, a modest solar setup would provide a few options. I'm thinking a 15W panel and motorcycle size gel cell, with a USB charge point in the regulator. We went the 30W panel/cheap car battery/ 300W inverter route in our caravan last summer, which kept up with a laptop, phones, ipad and lighting.

    Pete
    At a wild guess somewhere over 200 litres Pete, thats just the cockpit footwell, and yes I'd expect it to take more than a couple of minutes to bucket out.
    One of the issues with designing in a self draining cockpit is, that given a reasonable seat height for comfort, and backrests of a reasonable height and angle, the boat then needs higher sides which means more weight and windage up high, which means lower stability and more ballast required which makes the boat heavier and slower and so on. No one thing can be changed in isolation.
    All that said, SCAMP has a self draining cockpit, just, its only a tiny bit above the static waterline but it does work. Long Steps has more, and both drain into collection areas where a venturi or a pump can deal with it.

    On the electrical thing, there are now little hand sized batteries sold as emergency start batteries for cars, that have USB charger points as well as 12 volt connections that can be used to run computers and recharge phones. I'm thinking that they might be a good trick for small boat cruising, I get tired of carrying a big car battery around.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    There are some good ideas here John from bicycle tourists. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=9258
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I suppose some might consider this roughing it! but I've had great luck going simple going now... going to Gloucester to compete, and medal in the schooner races!



  12. #47
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    John has raised a question that many of us asked ourselves before we started to build our boats. I had the additional constraint of a small building space. My solution was to build a 14' catboat. I often point out that the outside dimensions of my boat match the inside dimensions of my shop.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The small cabin provides sitting headroom and contains a comfortable 7 foot bunk with a thick foam mattress. There is plenty of storage and a homey feel that makes this one of my favorite places to sleep. I appreciate the flexible approach that builders of open boats have taken. A boom tent can provide a lot of space. However, I would not look forward to rolling out a sleeping bag, in a wet cockpit, after a raining day of sailing. I filled the space between the planks and ceilings with foam. The result is a warm and dry sleeping space, even on damp, cold evenings.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    My solution to the cooking problem is a cook box I use in the cockpit. I cannot imagine having an open flame in a cabin as small as mine. Besides, the cockpit often provides a beautiful setting for preparing and eating a meal.


    [IMG][/IMG]

    When it does rain, I do have a boom tent.


    [IMG][/IMG]


    The resulting boat more or less meets John's criteria. The "less" part is how long I can last, living on my boat. My longest trip so far included five nights of sleeping on board. Comfort was fine for that trip. However, I am not sure that I would last a full month on board.

    It's bad enough you give me a serious dose of boat envy, but you had to rub it in by making me want to own the dinghy you're towing as well. Could you tell us what it is, so if we were inclined to follow your footsteps, we could at least do it with athenticity ? Could it be a Bolger Cartopper ?

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Hi Steve. Thanks for the kind words. My tender is a simple flat-iron skiff I built for my muse (the original Jean Alden). Jean much prefers rowing to sailing so I built this little boat for her after she lent me her name for my catboat. The skiff (named Katie after our daughter) has no real design. I drew the lines, full size, on a 8'x4' plywood panel, using an 8' batten to make certain that the sides would fit on a standard plywood panel. I built her with 3mm okoume plywood so that the resulting boat is very light - 35 pounds. This allows Jean to hand launch this skiff from the back of our station wagon when she wants to go rowing. It also serves as a minimal tender for me when I go cruising.

    John, I apologize for the thread drift.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    No design or what. That is a pretty and Very nicely built tender, as is your catboat. Chapeau!

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    Hi Steve. Thanks for the kind words. My tender is a simple flat-iron skiff I built for my muse (the original Jean Alden). Jean much prefers rowing to sailing so I built this little boat for her after she lent me her name for my catboat. The skiff (named Katie after our daughter) has no real design. I drew the lines, full size, on a 8'x4' plywood panel, using an 8' batten to make certain that the sides would fit on a standard plywood panel. I built her with 3mm okoume plywood so that the resulting boat is very light - 35 pounds. This allows Jean to hand launch this skiff from the back of our station wagon when she wants to go rowing. It also serves as a minimal tender for me when I go cruising.

    John, I apologize for the thread drift.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    No problem Mike, a good tender is as much part of the equipment as a bunk, at least in boats that cant be left to dry as the tide retreats.
    Nice looking little boat.

    JohnWelsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    There are some good ideas here John from bicycle tourists. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=9258
    Thanks Peter, some useful information in there. "Long Steps" has a place designed in to take an 80 watt solar panel and two 60 amp hour deep cycle gel batteries, but she's also just under 20 ft long so has space and weight carrying capacity to do that, not something that smaller boats might have.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    ...The nasty was the condensation at night, even with the companionway wide open, the inside would be dripping wet some mornings.
    A tarp boomtent just wouldn't cut it for me (we tried, it sucked). ...

    Pete
    Condensation can be a problem in a small cabin, especially when ventilation is poor. I have a removable air scoop in the forward end of the cabin and louvers in the drop boards for the companion way. This allows for the free flow of air, while keeping the rain out. The resulting airflow and the insolation provided by the floatation between the planking and ceiling almost completely eliminates condensation.

  18. #53

    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    For those who need a cabin on a small cruiser, I think that the 15' 6" Bolger Micro has the best in its size range. The two bunks are comfortable for any reasonable sized adult, there is good storage, but nothing else. If I was going for a serious cruise in mine, I would find a way to put a tent or awning over the cockpit and cook out there, saving the nice dry cabin for sitting and sleeping.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    When I talked about a 'cabin' rather than a tent, don't misunderstand...I am not talking about all the comforts of home...just a roof, very possibly not even a aft bulkhead beyond perhaps a curtain with enough room to sit up without slouching. Most cruising boats I know have a boom-tent-tarp thingy, to extend the living area of the boat when the weather is not perfect. (Too much sun or precipitation) Most in fact, nowadays sport a 'Bimini' or something somewhat beyond a tarp. John Welsford's Scamp has a, well he calls it a verandah. If I were considering a Scamp then that would be it...it allows one to sit in reasonable comfort and shelter during a shower, keeping the pages of my book sort of dry. I think I'd probably look for something similar but just a little more area of hard shelter.
    Most boat tents in my experience, are not really very well designed or easy to set up. If they are then they actually cost more than the hard top cabin and take longer to set up. Yes there are some advantages.
    I think my potentially minimalist boat would have a hard top cabin/cuddy and a boom tent-tarp. The latter does not need to be totally weather proof, but it still keeps most of the crap off. The cuddy would be for sleeping and dry shelter when there is just too much water around, and the tent spreads the reasonable space to the whole cockpit. Probably this mean a slightly longer boat....what..... perhaps 15-16 feet rather than 12

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I've been thinking of removing the forward watertight bulkhead on my JIM and building a small cabin like the one in this image.



    I should be able to increase useful space, make days of rain endurable and (JOHN?) increase the ease of righting ..... if it is closed when I capsize.

    I'll ask the designer, Paul Fisher.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    I love camp cruising in my open Sea Pearl with its cockpit tent. But nobody has talked about adding a second person (wife) to the mix. My wife is awesome, but a good night sleep is critical to her. I'm currently building a B & B CS20.3 for her to come along more often, but I have no intention (I hope she's not reading this) of not having an open boat for the days I'm solo. One benefit of having a small cabin is the reduction of time it takes to "convert" from sailing to sleeping and back. Having a dry place to crawl into at the ready is pretty sweet. I would have build the 17, but often I have my three kids along for a day sail so a big cockpit is a must. That said, I think I will sleep on the cockpit seats when the stars are out.

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    My previous boat, "Allan", that I had when i lived in Stockholm.

    It was completely open, I even removed the aft seat and sat on the floor board. 6 meters long, 19 feet, I guess.
    I used a one man tent intended for mountain hiking, usually put up on land but sometimes inside the boat (thick mattress is adviseable in this scenario).
    I had what was then sold as "kayak bags", rubbery bags with an opening that you folded a couple of times and then closed with plastic clips, that were water tight for clothes etc. On the occational sunny day, I took the clothes out and dried them.
    I used a one burner camping stove originally intended for alcohol but with a propane(?) burner for more control of the heat among other reasons.
    I had a bucket for toilet and a small spade to bury the evidence once I hit land.
    I spent my whole vacations (~30 days) sailing this way every summer for about 10 years.
    When I decided on what kind of boat to build I was very much inspired by my old boat, so it has similar dimensions, but I added a fore and aft deck, not primarilly for dry storages, but the fore deck acts as a step ladder when entering and exiting the boat and both decks will help with a bit of more organized storage.

    /Mats
    My blog about my time as a boat building student and as a rigger apprentice http://kaptenmohsart.blogspot.se/ in Swedish only, but there are many pictures :-)

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Minimum comforts in small boat accommodation.

    That is a beautiful boat.

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