What design features make life aboard comfortable & practical for females?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Wilma Ham, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Ok - drawers are good, so long as they have a reliable locking mechanism to keep them from opening on their own. If not they're bloody dangerous.
    Lights on at night - any lights - will reduce your night vision. That goes for your own navigation lights as well, so they should be located such that they are not only visible to others but as unobtrusive to you as possible. Any time you do need an interior light on at night, it should be either red or blue.
    I think the airline seat is worthy of consideration, but whilst I can see that they might be comfortable for an 8hr flight, I'm not so sure about a week sleeping in one at sea.
    Cockpit's for sailing and cockpits for lounging can be a bit of a conflict of interest. But I agree, too many sailboats suffer from cockpits that are exposed, cluttered and uncomfortable. Separating lounging and working area's is ideal, but no always possible. And again issues of seaworthyness rear their ugly head. A nice big deep cockpit can hold a lot of water...
    The pro's and con's of apilothouse configuration are well known - we've certainly run over the same old ground a few times in this thread already. I guess it comes down to personal choice. You weigh the risk of possible flooing against the distaste for living in a cave....

    Nope - I don't see why most, if not all, of the things you've raised to date can't be incorporated into a goos sailboat. Fitting it all into 40ft - well that's a different matter...
  2. Finlander
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    Finlander Junior Member

    Noooooo! :eek: There's no risk of flooding if the cabin is sealed tight.

  3. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Drawers add complexity and weight. They increase the building time, are prone to jamming due to shifted contents and need a large space to open into for good access. They are also prone to damage when people fall on them when open. Anything other than small drawers should operate inline with the vessel for safety. If large drawers are mounted transversely they should lock open as well as closed. Think of a drawer with heavy contents slamming shut on a hand .

    Probably better to use a sliding door in front of shelves and have fiddles on the shelves as well .

    A cave locker is a very practical cross between a cupboard and a shelf. Bins are very practical too (even if you have to move a mattress). Drawers I cannot get enthusuaitic about in an ocean going yacht.
  4. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    A valid point, though I would tend to opt for drawers for storage of items that I'm less likely to need at sea. Or more to the point, those things that I'm likely to want at sea, I would store in a more safely accessible place.
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Willallison seems to always says what I want to say. Dam!

    I have previously made my strenouous views about small boats being inadequate, I have not and can not change my mind.

    Is It not becoming clearer that all these things you would like just are'nt feasable in the space you are restricting yourelves to.

    When I designed my galley I said to myself right I will make the biggest galley with the most storage space possible--- 13 cupboards and seven drawers -. #3 years later they are all full. Its boating---

    You've worked out you need 20 switches for the switch panel-- Buy 40 --I promise you you will need them all and then some. When you drill a hole to pass a wire through make it 10 times the size-- there is stuff going through there that you have'nt yet thought of yet.

    After 20 years of criusing you will be writing on forums saying 40 foot just isnt big enough.

    I have been told that there are cheap boats in Guam. Apparantly couples set off around the world in there newly aquired mode of travel only to later see there mistakes. Wife gets off flies home in utter disgust. Man sits in Guam selling boat. No luck, Gives it away. Goes back to wife.

    If I didnt know any thing about boats the last thing I would be doing is trying to build one, especially with this misguided notion that you could do better than the experts. ---Airline seats?? Porches??

    Have you considerd the second hand value of this boat when you decide to sell.

    I have attached a poor picture of the work I put into the galley. By the way 3 double 220v power outlets are no longer adequate. As you can see rice cooker. toaster, kettle, blender.

    Attached Files:

  6. Finlander
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    Finlander Junior Member

    island berth and drawers

    I'd say that if you really want an island berth anywhere other than the bow, then you have to go over 40'. Otherwise it's hard to fit without too many other compromises. It becomes apparent when sketching dimensions on paper. Depends on how much you're willing to compromise though.

    About the drawers... I agree with what's been said against them. Also, consider that the hull is rounded. So drawers would probably be of limited size. Lots of space wasted.

    I'd sooner load-up the inside of an island berth from the top. That is, via a giant lid. If it's too heavy for *her* due to the mattress, then maybe attach a small block and tackle (pulleys for easy leverage) to hold everything up while accessing that area.

  7. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    It's easy enough to make the task of lifting the berth easier - hinged at the bow end with gas struts, for instance. Just a little difficult to accomplish whilst your partner is in bed....
    Drawers in the end with conventional lidded storage for the remainder sounds good to me
  8. Ari
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    Ari Patience s/o Genius

    You are right there mate..in the blind drive to own a boat that is built throughly to the owner taste and needs..there is very high potential that the resale value is very low.Thats the looming problem face by me..The only way out for me I believe is to have charter potential and needs built in with the boat, form a company to manage the boat and run it for charter.
  9. Finlander
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    Finlander Junior Member

    big storage

    I guess it depends on the size of those gas struts :D

    Keep in mind, there aren't many places onboard for storing large awkwardly shaped objects, like awning frames, inflatable rafts, sails, etc. This is especially true for center cockpit boats, since they don't have storage under the cockpit.

    Maybe that's worth considering before dividing-up the spacious interior of an island berth. :idea:

  10. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    There are two points, firstly decide what you ACTUALLY need. That 40" flatscreen was necessary wasn't it? after all, it needs bigger batteries, bigger generator, more fuel, thus a heavier boat. Do you really need an electric kettle or is the gas stove good enough?

    Secondly, you're going to have to compromise somewhere. Thinking that you can't is a little foolish. Eg. you can't have a permanent free standing table that's a decent size and be able to move around it easily in a normal sized yacht. It won't fit. So you either have a bigger yacht to accomodate the table, or you have a folding table.

    As I said before, if you want a boat with all the comforts you have at home, the it will be as big as your home to accomodate them. If however, you are prepared to live within the space you have, then you will not have a problem.

    Tim B.
  11. Mikey
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    Mikey Senior Member

    Ventilation Calculations

    I dusted off my 'Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of the Off-Shore Yacht' – Rousmaiere yesterday. Now let's see:
    Rod Stevens talks about dorade vents of course, and recommends that the total intake area in square inches should be equal to beam * water line length (both in feet) multiplied with a ratio factor. Quote "For warm weather, the ratio should exceed 1.5" End Quote. He finishes off the chapter with a sample that has a ratio of 1.6.

    OK, let's use that. For a yacht with a 36 foot water line and 13.5 foot beam, that comes up to 486, 486 * 1.6 = 777.6.

    There is a table with intake areas for different vent sizes
    3' = 28 sqin
    4' = 50
    5' = 78
    6' = 113
    7' = 154
    8' = 201

    It does come up to a whole lot, doesn't it? But on the other hand, Rod Stevens reputation is undesputable, I will certainly not argue with him regarding yacht design. There are some people on this forum who maybe can, but not I :)

    This is minimum ventilation I would have on a blue-water cruiser.

    I invite discussion on this subject please

  12. Paddy
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    Paddy Junior Member

    I disagree. There is a difference between needs and wants. Size of boat may be the reason for some failed projects, but it is not the only one. Any boat is a compromise, bigger boats involve compromises too, not just financial. Sure, that's a super looking galley that you've got, but it's a luxury that I can't afford. All the people that I know that have lived aboard have done so successfully on boats less than 45 feet.

    You will probably find a use for them, but need?, don't think so. Look at a boat with a 40 switch panel & decide how many of them you want. Leave a few spare, and have some 12V sockets for plugging in additional items. If you decide to do without this or that it is a lot easier to live without it. Just make sure that you understand the inconvenience.

    Well, if anyone is in Guam watch out for a free Steel boat with island berth and put the man in touch with me.

    This is really lame. It is only sensible to explore your ideas, even if only to find them unworkable. Besides, who knows nothing about boats? And who are the experts? With your attitude we'd still be living in caves, not daring such innovations as dugouts and lografts.
  13. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    you are talking as if you were going into space, building boats has been going on for thousands of years, I think the teathing problems have already been solved.
    Sea worthy boats with incredible space managemnt have long since gone along with thier designers but thier knowledge was written.
    Dont you think you are trying to re-invent the wheel?

    Have you been aboard the HMS Victory, Nelsons ship, in Southampon docks, incredible space management.

    There you can see all your folding/raising berths and fold away dining table to reveal cannons. Every piece of space is used for something.

    Stacking stuff under beds is nothin new. I think you should go to the boat show in Jan and have another look,-- see you at the Guinness bar.
  14. Finlander
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    Finlander Junior Member

    cannons and hooks

    That's it: Cannons! I hear that women love those!

    Wilma, have you thought about having a cannon on your yacht? :p

    Ok here's an easy idea to implement: If you have an appropriately proportioned main saloon area, then you might have some sturdy eyelets built-in for fastening big things occasionally. For example, you might want to briing home a special piece of antique furniture from somewhere exotic or maybe even a baby elephant from Africa... If nothing else, you can attach that cannon mentioned above.

    Sorry I can't think of any great examples for cargo, but maybe you get my drift anyway :?:


  15. M&M Ovenden
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    M&M Ovenden Senior Member

    If you want to implement something into a sturdy table, my vote goes to the bar/cellar box under the center of the table as pedestal. Makes a good solid base for the top and a fine encloser for the precious bottles.
    This is not really innovation, lots of good thing have already been done, just have to find them and fit them.
    An other idea I really like is from my grand mother's old table. It had small drawers in the ends fitted under the table top. It gives a nice solid thick look to the table and a great place to keep pencils, scissors, a pack of cards, small flashlitgh... any of those smalls things we never know where the are and nor where to keep them accessible.

    Cannons? I'm working on it. I think the best option for a forty footer is a potato cannon. Compact, efficient and a blast of fun....

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