Friday, April 2, 2021

A Tour of Our Boat (Expanded, Updated, and Talking a Bit About Storage)


Life on a sailboat! It's romantic, it's adventurous, and it's like a turtle -- very slow getting around, but when we finally get there, we have our home with us.

It's about as tiny as small-space living gets. For almost 20 years and 25,000 sea miles, we've lived on a smallish sailboat 10 meters/33 feet long. Our main living space is a single room a bit less than 3 meters x 4 meters or 9x12 feet - 10 square meters/100 square feet. The designer managed to tuck into that tiny area everything we need - a place to cook, a place to eat, a place to socialize, a place to sit and think, and a place to sleep, helped greatly by multipurpose furniture. Of course, everything is built in, and bolted down so it won't go flying if we're tossed about at sea. And storage, though some of that storage happens in weirdly-shaped or damp quirky lockers dictated by the shape of the hull. Living in such a tiny space, though, has certainly forced us to think hard about our relationship to our possessions! Here's a brief photo tour, and I'll be following it with a few posts about strategies and tricks we've come up with to make our material lives fit. 

Here's the forward half of the main living area, set in its ordinary daytime configuration. There is storage tucked everywhere, inside the table, under and behind the seats, as well as the black sliding door lockers that are visible.

If we're going to have friends over for dinner, the sides of the coffee table in the center fold out to make a big dining table.

Or we can pull out the cushions and make a cozy double bed. 

Looking in the other direction, here's the tiny galley. Even though it's small, it still has a stove, oven, fridge, two-basin sink. There's a dish cabinet over the sink, and two storage lockers behind the stove and the working counter. Lids on the counter lift up to access a fridge, freezer, and more storage. We also keep dry and canned goods in the locker behind the settee just outside of the galley on the far right of the photo. Bonus - everything is in arm's reach at all times, LOL! The stove is mounted so that it tilts and swings; always level even if we're underway. In addition to being space-efficient, the U-shape is very secure and keeps you from being tossed to the floor by waves while cooking.

Just across from the galley is the navigation station (a.k.a. my desk). Under the liftable lid are stored everything from the ship's log and nautical charts, to ordinary office supplies and checkbook. Stairs lead up and outside to the cockpit.

Here's one example of the hidden storage - my "file cabinet" inside the table. At various times in our 20 years here, these lockers have also held tools, spices, electronics, and games.

Tucked neatly into the bow of the boat is the v-berth where we normally sleep (again, with storage underneath). It's as wide as a king-size bed at the head, but our toes snuggle together at the point of the triangle. Because it completely spans the width of the boat, with those sides, we can't fall out of bed! Rails along the sides provide a bit more storage.

Here's a bit more of that storage rail that runs along to side of the bed. It's got a wooden lip to keep things from sliding off in a rough sea; we added the brass wire to secure books. We've got limited space for books, so we keep in hard copy mostly reference books; things we read linearly like novels go on the Kindle. 

Between the main cabin and the v-berth is a short hallway. On one side is our clothing lockers and dresser.

This is the inside of the largest locker. 10 hangers and 4 shelves. 

On the other side of the hallway is the bathroom ("head" in boatspeak). The sink faucet pulls out, and the entire room becomes a shower stall -- it's designed so it can get wet, and has a drain in the floor.

I'm standing outside of the bathroom to take this photo - this is all there is!

If the weather is even remotely nice, though, we spend most of our time outdoors in the cockpit. And here's how we like it best, filled with friends! The guy in the gold shirt on the tall helmsman's seat, is the one who taught us how to sail. And though you can't really tell it from the photo, each side bench is long enough to stretch out and sleep on. And once again, the seat covers lift up to provide storage underneath.