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

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

  1. Finlander
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Finlander Junior Member

    flush deck cockpits and sewage

    Actually, you probably have seen them, but you just didn't realize it. Below is a custom example, but there are many production models with this arrangement. It's kind of deceiving though, because the seating is built on top of the flush deck. Althought, in this case, there might be a shallow recessed cockpit floor, but it's hard to tell for sure.

    http://www.bruceroberts.com/public/HTML/descriptions/Roberts420_description.htm


    The disadvantage is that you can't easily build a pilothouse on top, because it's too high. So you're always exposed to the elements.

    I don't know about compost boat toilets, but my uncle has one in his summer home. The solid waste gets composted, but the liquid waste goes into a drainage field outside of the building.

    It's not a real messy job to remove the solid part, but it wouldn't be my favorite thing. Also, since there's no 'flushing' mechanism, it's best not to use the toilet right after someone else has been in there...that is, until it's been somewhat composted. heh heh But maybe a composting toilet for a boat is different?

    For those reasons, I opted for a sewage tank and drainage field for my summer cabin :)

    Kristian
     
  2. Wilma Ham
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    Wilma Ham Senior Member

    Thanks Jack, it looks that we are getting a sense of space being valuable in every part of our lives, on boats, on forums and in time to think about designs.
    It is interesting that caravans and motorhomes have the same space problems, but because they are on land they can when they stop add space to their interior by putting up tents or fold-outs and they have more easy access to provisionings as they can go shopping more often. However they certainly have solutions that are worth looking at.
    It is interesting to see how everything impacts on everything, such as sitting on deck makes it neccessary to put the sails up higher.
    In this case I think back to Murielle's comment about keeping certain spaces and their function seperate. I sometimes feel really uncomfortable in a cockpit if it is the working area and I am shunted as being part of the crew bacause the boys want to play with the sails, ropes and winches. I feel being in the way, have to duck when we tack to give room to the workers and stay out of the way of the tiller. Not easy to keep the wine in your glass.
    That was what was good about the bavaria although that solution had other problems, there was a distinct seperation of where the crew who sailed the boat sat and where the spectators and guests were situated. That seperation felt comfortable because I was out of the way. Now again it is a matter if it is worth it to cater for guests when they are on board and give them a nice place to sit when day sailing where they are out of the way. Is it greater to have a smaller work cockpit and have a bigger not so deep area for spectators when day sailing? I would like the latter because my own experiences of feeling in the way.
     
  3. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    With your permission, I'm going to run off on a bit of a tangent here, but bear with me.
    Am I correct in recalling that your sailing experince is limited to coastal cruising? I would VERY STRONGLY recommend that one of the 1st you should do is get some offshore sailing under your belt. You might hate it. Plenty of people do, for all sorts of reasons.
    I suggest this because I recalled the tale (somewhat embarrasingly told in out local paper) of a bloke who spent about a decade building his dream boat in order to sail around the world. He set off across the Tasman, heading for your parts, only to return a few days later. He couldn't cope with being out of sight of land. One dream ended.
    Given your somewhat ...err... specific desires, you are likely to have to sacrifice some of the more important ones (to you) in the inevitable compromise of the design spiral. If, however, you narrow your likely cruising grounds - even if it's to only one hemisphere! - then a number of those sacrificaes may not be necessary. Alternatively you could ship the boat across some of the larger bodies of water. etc etc - you get my jist....

    Of course, you may also develop a love of the open ocean, spurring you on to cast off and get going. If nothing else, you will learn about the things that are important to you whilst at sea....
     
  4. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Absalutely Will,-- I was going to say that the cockpit is more important than you would first immagine. Its where you are going to spend most of your time.

    For long passages 3 days or more you will be there --or some one will 24 hours a day. Personally I dont trust my wife to do her watch, she comes up for her watch in a night gown and holding her pillow. What I did was stretch myself out with a pillow under my head so I could see forward, I would then dose and wake constantly never more than minutes. You cant sleep any way the auto pilot keeps waking you, or you can buy a device that has a ring to it every 2-3-4 minutes and you have to push it to stop it.
    Any way 'that' cockpit was great for long passages and I sufferd on other boats that did not have that cockpit ability.
     
  5. Finlander
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    Finlander Junior Member

    cockpit

    Ha! I know the feeling exactly :rolleyes:

    When we sailed with friends on their boat, our wives weren't part of the watch rotation. It worked fine because there were at least two of us alternating.

    But for our own trips, I had to do it mostly alone. On many legs, I got about an-hour-or-two of uninterrupted sleep between checking on things. Sometimes I'd just quiz my wife to make sure she was paying attention.

    Unfortunately, we didn't have a good cockpit, so I almost had to stand-up to see anything. The next boat will have a cockpit that's better suited for viewing from a resting position--longitudinally, on either side.
     
  6. antonfourie
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    antonfourie Senior Member

    Have a look at www.wally.com for some ideas on cockpits and cabin skylights
     
  7. Finlander
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    Finlander Junior Member

    I'm now convinced that I need to add another 40-feet to my 40-footer :p
     
  8. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    I'm a big fan of the Wally's - but I think their cockpits sre suited more to the Med than than Alaska...
     
  9. Wilma Ham
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    Wilma Ham Senior Member

    Unfortunately I do only have coastal sailing experience and i agree that there is no substitute for the real experience but we are working on it to do a passage making in December when our business allows time off. And then we have to find the right area with no hurricanes although John likes to baptise me by fire. I couldn't get through to the link of www.wallys but I understand that a cockpit with room to stretch out on the seats, so you can make yourself comfortable is great for on watch. What else makes a good cockpit in your eyes?
    I didn't get the point about the cockpit that wasn't good, Finlander, why did you have to stand up? Was it because it was too low and you couldn't see over the cabin top? And what do you have to do to get a cockpit from which you can have a good overview?
    How do you make yourself comfortable on those hard seats? How do you prevent cushions or squabs to fall overboard or slip of the seats whenever you move?
    What is the reason that we are not good on watch at night? Is it because we don't take it seriously or are we not that comfortable and confident at night? I have never sailed for long periods at night so I don't know much at all about that part of sailing to be honest. But I can imagine that being comfortable and warm in the cockpit at night would be on my wishlist.
     
  10. Finlander
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    Finlander Junior Member

    measurements

    The berth was across the back of the wheelhouse. I could see forward reasonably well, but I couldn't see anything behind without almost standing up. And since we're only traveling at roughly twice walking speed, it's just as important to see what's behind.

    It's probably a good idea to take some measurements of boats to which you have access. For example...

    +++The measurement between cockpit seat and cabin top is important. If the cabin top is too high in relation to the seat, then you'll always need to strain for a good view when sitting.

    +++If the cockpit floor is too high, in relation to the cabin top, then you'll need a higher dodger profile--might not be very pretty.

    +++Also, measure seat to floor--with cushions if available. If the seat is too high, then your feet will always dangle. It might be uncomfortable, plus you won't be able to stabilize yourself.

    +++Always be aware of the passthrough sizes on center cockpit models. A wide cockpit floor means narrower passthroughs. You might want to measure widths in that critical area, since it'll affect your design.

    You can sort of model these relations using furniture in your house. Cockpit floor width and length can be approximated using square tiles in your kitchen floor, if you've got them. A table and chair can do the rest.

    Once you've been on some more boats and gotten some measurements, you'll have a baseline. Ultimately, it's what you're most comfortable with.


    It wasn't meant as a general statement :)

    In our case, I was always afraid my wife would forget to re-check the compass heading, which is very important when sailing either near shorelines or shipping lanes. We had an autopilot, but it's still important to check.

    Also, there are certain decisions to be made when weather changes. Or just having a general feeling for anticipated drift due to wind and currents, etc.. Again, these are most important when sailing in narrow windows.

    She likes sailing, but that part isn't her favorite. I don't really mind though. We each have our things we're good at.

    Regards,
    Kristian
     
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  11. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    hmmm... indeeeeed.
    I for instance am apparently good at polishing the hull, antifouling, engine oil changes.
    My wife excells in the art of afternoon naps, sunbaking and reading a good book.

    Ah - the joys of cruising:p
     
  12. Ari
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Ari Patience s/o Genius

    Ah..but I still enjoy to have my wife with me on those journeys..I had tried one long journey without her..I never know that I'm going to missed her so much..I won't do it again..eventhough it is common for me to be away for a few months while on duty all over Asia..when on vacation and she is not around..I do really missed her..so nevermind..'I'll do the polishing..!' 'anything else dear..?' heh,,heh,,heh..:D

    Ari.
     
  13. bhabanism
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    bhabanism Junior Member

    To big a thread! 13 pages and I will still post, for I have not read all post as they are like essays - this post if for thoses who has less time.
    For a craft to be comfortable -
    1. It should have less vibration & Noise
    2. It must be spacious
    3. The bulkwarks should be strong (which I dont find in many boats)
    4. Prefer a boarder ship if you wanna stay in it for longer hours as its rolling frequency will be lesser.
    5. Use roll stabilising mechanism for the craft and also in the furnitures.

    Thats all.
     
  14. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Furniture with roll stabilisation - now that's something I'd like to see...:D
     

  15. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Ari - yes of course - I couldn't imagine the thought of cruising without my (far better) other half.
     
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