Habitable boats

Discussion in 'Class Societies' started by Richard Woods, Jul 8, 2009.

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  1. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: Back full time in the UK

    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    It appears that there is no real definition of a "habitable" boat. That is, a boat with accommodation that you can "live" in,
    although I'm not even sure what "live in" means. Yet clearly it is something that is needed by the various regulatory bodies (ISO, RCD etc)

    If I am tired I am happy to sleep anywhere, in a sail locker, or on the cabin sole, so to me having a bunk doesn't make the boat habitable (and if it did then how many bunks are needed - for all the crew? half the crew?). More important would be a galley - and maybe a toilet. Meaning a fixed stove, not a removable one, and a sea toilet not a Portapotti

    And then what about headroom? Even a wide bunk is useless if it has less than (say) 400mm headroom over it. Maybe the rules used for slave ships would be suitable??

    In any event, I think its clear that a deck tent does not make a boat "habitable". Nor does just having a cabin. Or is a Melges 24 "habitable"?

    Even the definitions of a "habitable" house seem to vary around the world. In the UK a house is "unfit for habitation" if it doesn't have a bath (a shower doesn't count). Indeed the government will give you a grant to fit one if you don't have one. While I believe in Spain you don't pay property taxes unless your house has windows fitted. In Canada a building isn't a "house" unless it has a fixed cooker and sink (a microwave doesn't count), however it doesn't need an inside toilet.

    Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    (Note I have also posted this message in the Sailboat, Multihull and Class Societies sections)

    Best wishes

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

  2. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    The is a very important, but almost totally neglected, issue of boat design.
    I think that the three most important numbers that can measure the true habitability of a boat are :
    1. The total walking area, the area with sufficient width and headroom through which one can move around ,
    2. The total sitting and sleeping area, the area with sufficient width and headroom on which one can sit or sleep,
    3. The total every-day-storage volume, the volume with sufficient openings width and arms length depth that one can easily have access to from a spot in the walking area.
    (If we can not measure by numbers some quality, it probably belongs to the " de gustibus et coloribus" totally subjective area. }
  3. Jeff
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Location: Great Lakes

    Jeff Moderator

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