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

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

  1. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "No more Annie Hills!"

    That ENDS your cruising life as any boat 40 to 60 ft will require loads of compromise.

    FAST FRED
     
  2. CapKos
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    CapKos Junior Member

    Hi Wilma,

    50 is the best age for a woman and for a men too :). I will be very happy if you find the formula, since I sailed more then 2600 miles this summer, but my wife only 6. Concerning Annie Hill I’m not advertising living like her, but some advises she do make sense.

    Starting with the size of the boat, most of the single-handed boats are between 30-33 fts. For a couple the size is about 40 fts. It could be scaring for a woman to reef a 60 sq.m main sail in a strong breeze (if not Lady Ellen), so for a man. I will be happy with a boat I can manage in all circumstances, if not I will be nervous, and this is not how to make my wife fill comfortable.

    The most important place of the boat is the cockpit. Believe me or not you spend most of Your time in the cockpit. Of course if raining is not so funny, but you do not live on a boat to spend the winter in UK – isn’t it? The cockpit must be large to sleep inside, dinner and do everything important for a family life. I will not replace the cockpit for a pilothouse – ever!
    The cockpit must give secure filling. Central cockpit is an excellent solution. Bimini, dodger and sprayhood could help enormously.

    Hatches have been discussed a lot here. I will like hatches, which not leak. This is a difficult job to find hatches like that, but the big size didn’t help, for sure. However the size is irrelevant, since you spend most of the time in the cockpit.

    Most of the people I know, who permanently live on a boat have no chart table. This takes a lot of space, and is not useful, for charts since never large enough. I will like a large diner table, where I can attach a chart in the case I needed, or work comfortably on my computer if needed or dinner and so. Second small tables in the back cabin where I can work on my computer if my wife likes to play music in the central part make sense.

    Technology is source of problems on a boat, since marine environment is for something. Pressured hot water is a problem, since pump breaks, hydraulic is a problem, electricity is a problem (wiring, powering and everything else). I know a men who have any staff on his boat starting from a coffee machine and finishing with air-conditioning, and this work for him, but this is rather exceptional, and I am average man, not exception. Of course now days we can not live without electricity, fridge (how cooling the bear?), but I will like to limit every technology to the possible minimum and have a peaceful life instead of sleep with a screw-driver in the hands.

    Have fun,
    CapKos
     
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  3. FAST FRED
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    . "Of course now days we can not live without electricity, fridge (how cooling the bear?), but I will like to limit every technology to the possible minimum and have a peaceful life instead of sleep with a screw-driver in the hands."

    The source of a fine Electric Free cruising fridge is as close as your friendly RV dealer.

    With a very large unit we get 3 weeks of cold beer , ice cream ect from a 20lb propane tank.

    On a sail boat it needs to be gymboled , and in a self venting/draining well.

    But all that is LOADS cheaper than a noisemaker ,batterys and refrigerator and the usual maintance.

    With our power boat its simply stuck on the self draining after deck , in a box to keep the rain out.

    Not great going outside getting breakfast stuff in the O Dark 30 AM ,
    but a sure delight when the sun goes over the yardarm & its time for beer & nachos!

    And the silence 24/7/360 is GOLDEN.

    FAST FRED
     
  4. Vega
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Vega Senior Member

    :p Hey man, I have liked your post. Good sense all the way.

    Regarding your wife, try to compromise in the choice of the boat (nice interior, nice to live in when moored or at the marina), sail to a very nice and protected cruising ground, fly your wife there, cruise gently with her there and when time is running short, send her back by airplane. Enjoy the cruising with her, and the sailing without;) .

    If this doesn't work, you don't need to change to a more agreeable boat, you need to “change” your wife:p


    Ps: Guys, I have a question regarding my poor English. When you say that a boat is moored does that always mean that it is hold by a dead weight, or you can say moored if you are staying at anchor?
     
  5. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    Hi Vega,

    Moored is either to a dock (US) or a quay (UK) or to a mooring buoy (dead weight) or pile. (plus these days a marina berth (UK) or finger pier (US) or pontoon).

    When she is laying to her own anchor and cable, it is said to be anchored.
     
  6. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Wilma - more and more (power)boats are being sold with little in the way of built in 'furniture'. Lounges, dining tables & chairs are regularly aftermarket add-ons. Usually they will be house-hold items that the buyer chooses themself.
    1. You need a relatively big boat to fit them in
    2. They need to be bolted down, which rather defeats the purpose
    3. Never seen such stuff in a sailboat - probably for the above 2 reasons, plus there's less sailors around who think that cruising is all about taking the house with you....

    Imagine cutting a section thru a sailboat. Now draw a box inside that. That box is where you could fit "bought" or movable furniture. All the space around it is wasted.

    Not my terminology is all somewhat house-like. That's casue that's where it all belongs.... not on a boat.....

    Vega - I'd disagree with CC about the term 'moored". Here in Oz, we'd generally consider such a boat to be 'on a mooring' (deadweight I think you called it). Not so much 'at anchor' as this implies a less permanent position. Then again, I wouldn't argue that a boat can't be moored against a jetty (pier or whatever!) or morred in its marina berth....:confused:
     
  7. Wilma Ham
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    Wilma Ham Senior Member

    Well, I am sort of taking my house with me. I am not thinking about store bought furniture, but furniture that is tailor made for the shapes of the boat and then installed but not part of the boat. That means an easy change without totally demolishing the boat. John and I are planning to visit a factory here in north NZ which builds furniture for yachts which they then ship to the US to install. Easy to get at the hull, just unscrew the furniture or easy to upgrade, just unscrew the furniture and put new stuff in. That is what I mean, has that ever been done in boats anybody else has seen?

    CapKos and Paulo, have your wifes been on an ocean trip and did they get scared? I think to start off with a gentle sailing experience and then go a bit further to more open sea each time will work for me as I am getting more confident. I do agree that a cockpit is lovely on a nice summer afternoon, but as I said before when I am on watch at night on the big ocean sitting inside would add greatly to my feeling of safety and comfort. And safewalrus inside in my nighty I promose to keep my eyes open and glued to the radar. Once sailing in the tropics or calmly in Alaska I can see myself enjoying the outside elements. I want a choice.
    Paulo and CapKos could you ask please if your wifes would be more comfortable if you had an inside pilot house and they wouldn't have to be outside when on the ocean or in bad weather? I think for me it would make a huge difference.
     
  8. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "I am not thinking about store bought furniture, but furniture that is tailor made for the shapes of the boat and then installed but not part of the boat. That means an easy change without totally demolishing the boat."

    The problem with this approach is the probable loss of most of the storage volume required for any extended trip.

    Most "yacht furniture" if built over traps , lockers and all sorts of useable stowage space.

    The concept of tossing in "universal" furniture migt be fine in a 95 to 250 ft boat ,but at 45 ft youre liable to be sleeping with a box of provisions or spairs.

    FAST FRED
     
  9. CapKos
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    CapKos Junior Member

    Hi,
    Fast Fred, gas fridge is an interesting solution, but I have no experience and no knowledge on it.

    Vega, thank you for the suggestions :). This works but slowly!

    Wilma I asked my wife, but she has no idea. I guess that in the case of bad weather she will stay down :). BTW Globetrotter 45 designed from Sponberg who is active member of the group fits in my opinion well to most of futures discussed here, including a pilot house, excellent U-shaped galley, central master cabin and large heads with separated shower.

    http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/Globetrotter45.htm

    All the best,
    CapKos
     
  10. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    Hello Wilma, I guess I can not call my wife a sailor, cause, if possible, she is just inside reading and avoiding any activity related with driving the boat:p If not for this small detail I would say that she is quite experienced; she has sailed something like 7000 miles (while reading, she is quite a reader).


    Of course she is afraid of anything that goes over 25k of wind and more than 3 meter waves. I have to say that even if afraid her confidence in me is quite flattering and never questions my decisions in what regards seaworthiness. In these conditions, she and my son get seasick, so I know that for them, it is not agreeable.

    She likes to do small sail journeys (4 to 5 hours) but she doesn't like sailing days with 18 hour and she hates legs with 24 or 36 hours, even if she will not refuse them to arrive to some nice cruising ground.

    I found out, some years ago, that it is much better for both of us if she goes by plane and I pick her near the cruising grounds. That way she will not do what she doesn't like to do, and I have a lot more fun sailing the boat, because it is not agreeable to sail with someone who is not enjoying the ride.

    About Ocean trips, even if normally I choose to stay away from the coast, she never made an Ocean trip longer than 48 hours and she is afraid of it. With the boat I have now (36ft) I don´t want to force her, because, even if in the summer time the boat can handle ocean passages, I know that if I get some not so nice weather, she would be very frightened, even if it was not a problem for the boat or me.

    I am waiting for the next (bigger) boat to try a passage with her. If I sail to Azores, I would prefer to do it solo, and fly her there.

    About the cockpit, she stays outside only if the weather is really fine (sun and not too much wind), otherwise she will be inside....reading.

    And I guess that with you it will be the same (I don't know about the reading, though), so what is important is:

    If I (or your husband) had a pilot house sailboat (and I want to have one), would I prefer to be outside in the cockpit or inside?

    Well, for the sort of answers you have got in this thread it looks like sailboat sailors are outdoor men. I would prefer to be outside most of the time, at least while sailing, except under rain or at night, under reduced sail and if doing an Oceanpassage. Even so, only if the skies where not full of stars and the night warm. In this case I’d rather take my small naps in the cockpit which, as someone has pointed out, should be big enough to have space to lie there.
     
  11. Arvy
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Arvy Senior Member

    Hi wilma,

    This is the first time I reply to this thread, but i can understand perfectly well what you mean with having the possibility to stay inside when the weather is not so nice ;) or in the middle of the night on watch alone with the big blue ocean around you, in the cold, perhaps rain and so on.

    I was designing a 48 foot sailingyacht, with a small pilothouse (about the size of a small cockpit), a sort of like a doghouse, but it can be closed. Inside the doghouse there were to come seats (don't know how to call them in english, bunks I think) that can be tilted, so you can sit/laydown straigth. Furthermore repeaters for most equipment and a wheel stand. Of course the doghouse has the ability to be heated :D

    This doghouse will cost a little bit of space in your cabin, but the cabin can be much larger then with a real pilothouse (or decksaloon). And when having pets (like we do have cats, and wanting to take them along, the extra door in the companionway can act as a way to keep them inside the boat :D

    I got this idea from a 56 foot yacht see http://www.kmy.nl/download/__a4_vdst56_web.pdf for a description of it, it was a van der stadt design, built by K&M Yachtbuilders. I was on this yacht I think a month after the building was completed, and I loved this particular feature of this boat.

    Unfortunately we had to abandon the idea of the 48 footer due to the needed budget (almost all drawings were done.. so maybe in a couple of years we can pick it up again) and started working on a 34 footer, with a mucht smaller budgetneed hehe. This feater on a 34 footer will be very impractical with the more limited space.

    Grtz
    Arvy
     
  12. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Wilma - ideal use of a wheelhouse, in good weather open the windows in poor close them - your dry and comfortable (leave getting cold and wet to the nuts who like racing) you only NEED to get wet in short bursts when going outside -not sure about the nighty tho'! Oh yes don't keep your head permanently 'in' the radar frequent glances are better less eye strain and gives the plot chance to develope (you also get to use your other senses too)

    Moored can also mean lying to more than one anchor, even when they are your own! But it is normally accepted as lying to somebody elses gear either bouyed or jetty/dock/quay
     
  13. kingofsportsIII
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    kingofsportsIII Junior Member

    one perspective . . .

    Some tips to make her feel right at home: 1) Double the amount of money you wanted to spend on the boat and build a really huge and spacious three story 100'+ trimaran in a place like the Philippines out of low cost materials at 1/6 the cost of building a similar boat in a first world country; 2) have two large decks of living space with lots of windows and storage space so she doesn't have to leave anything at home; 3) double the size of tha galley and fill it with all the modern cooking appliances; 4) hire a crew of four to do 90% of the upkeep and maintenance; 5) install a hot tub; 6) have the crew take the boat to somewhere in the tropics with light seas and calm anchorages and fly togehter to meet up with the boat for a month at a time. . in the end it should look something like http://www.sur.ph/specs.htm.

    . . . alternatively, take your life partner out for a maiden voyage on one of the roughest and coldest days of the year to insure a miserable seasick experience which will guarentee you will have a place in the future to be alone with your mistress or mates for an uninterupted poker game.
     
  14. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    You jest of course! either you don't know "Western women" or you wish to be severly slapped for your Chavanistic attitude - OK you don't get many women who actually go to sea, but those who do normally beat the hell out of most men (and what the hell is wrong with a little bit of comfort - I draw the line at chintz curtains but there again I'd do that ashore) You know there is only one thing worse than a Male Chaovanistic Pig and that's a woman who won't do as she's told :D :D :p
     

  15. CapKos
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    CapKos Junior Member

    I asked the opinion of two girls about the pilothouse. One is professional fisherwoman and has a 25 fts. sailing boat she sailed happily with her 3 child’s. The second is professional boat builder and also has a sailing boat of about the same size. Bout agreed that didn’t like pilot hoses because have no sense to what happen outside. Amazingly the same replay could be already found in some of the man’s replies here.
     
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