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

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

  1. Wilma Ham
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    Wilma Ham Senior Member

    Thanks for the links, they are great to help me visualise what you are talking about. And thanks CapKos and Paulo for introducing some female input here and your answers. It is really helpful for me to know what women think and do on boats and what you yourself like and dislike.
    It is interesting the difference in people wanting to sail outside in all weather or the one that want some comfort in bad weather. And it is interesting the reactions certain ideas create. It seems to bring out some exesparation in some of you, but you have that ashore too, some men want to do their sport alone and some like to share with female company. That is perfectly fine, and those men and sports I am not seeking and our boat will not appeal to them. I am getting clear that the boat i want is for certain couples only and I am not aiming to get through to all sailors.
    Arvy, I like the idea of your reclining chairs, you mean you flatten them when you want to sleep on them, could you explain them a bit more? And yes I like the pilot house on the vander stadt.
    CapKos, when the professional fisher women is working, does she have a pilot house on her fishing boat and if so does she like the shelter when she is out working? And if she has a closed in pilot house on teh fishing boat, does she miss not having out side senses to steer or drive the boat?
     
  2. CapKos
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    CapKos Junior Member

    Hi Willma,
    I suppose she has no pilothouse, since most of the professional fishing boats here haven’t. Most of the hard work must be done out of the pilothouse anyway. However, a motorboat is very different from a sailing boat, and you do not need actually sensing the wind and adjusting the boat accordingly (or at list no in the same extend). Well those 2 cases are rather exceptions. The average woman I guest more likely my wife will be happy outside, when the weather is good but stay in the cabin in bad weather. Pilothouse will change nothing.

    All the best,
    CapKos
     
  3. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Practicality

    Hi Willma, I think that the first reality is that a boat is a life support system and that accommodations should be a secondary consideration after seaworthiness. I have several thousand miles at sea and have weathered two hurricanes. I also have found that in rough going, midship or quarter berths are the place that crew members can get adequate rest even under the worst conditions. As for a full sized sink, it may be nice but also will require a lot more water to fill. We have a bath tub on our boat, but only use the shower for short "sea showers" underway. Most places where you would stop for fuel have showers that you can use as long as you like. The boating lifestyle doesn't really compare with shoreside life styles and some things have to be given up in order to enjoy cruising to the fullest. With each shoreside amenity that you want on your boat, add a foot to the length and several thousand dollars to the price. That's life afloat.
     
  4. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Greenseas - admire your spartan lifestyle but it really ain't neccessary as this forum is proving - as for your big sink with lots of water, ever heard of a smaller bowl inside the sink - 'tis what most people do in this country if not the world, and if it spills (it happens on boats y'now) it don't go very far. thats one reason for the fullsize sink, you gets to choose the size of what goes into it, and also can use the space for other stuff - yeah! a multitask device! Your small sink 'a la yottie' can be used for one thing only, ain't big enough for anything else!
     
  5. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Amenities

    So OK Walrus, move a couple of chaise lounges to the after deck, toss in a couple of coffee tables for the finger sandwiches and tea if you want. Then sit at anchor all week end because that stuff is definitely going to rearrange itself in anything but flat calm. I'll opt for safety and seaworthiness any day and a boat with a bath tub isn't exactly spartan. As far as the sinks go, galley sinks are small but deep to keep water from splashing out under way.
     
  6. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    Humm, I guess you have misunderstood me. I love Women Company, in sports and elsewhere. My usual partner in sailing long trips is my 18 old daughter. I love to sail with her.

    I just feel guilty in having a lot of fun when the rest of the crew is miserably seasick (my wife and my son).:p

    Wilma, in a sailboat, when the weather is really bad, you have more need to be outside, to take care of the boat. You have to be outside to feel the wind and boat movements, to decide when you have to take one more reef or to decide if it is better to take out one of the sails and also to be able to steer safely the boat in the waves.

    I think you should go to one of those offshore sail schools and have some experience. Go with them and stay some days offshore, preferably not in the summer. After that I will bet that a lot of things will be a lot more clear to you, and you will be in a much better position to know how the interior and the cockpit of a sailboat should be.

    Regards

    Paulo
     
  7. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Ah yes but Vega a man of your experience should know that 'livaboards' spend most of their time in port! and with that in mind Greenseas 'so what's in a week to look for favourable weather - tis nothing, and as for sinks see above! big catches the splashes, it also keeps the kettle from going walkabout, so do fiddles but you don't want it on the stove all the time do you?
     
  8. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    I think this advice from Vega is the best there has been. There are plenty of people offering 'passage berths' or 'mile building' trips where you will be guarenteed to go offshore for a decent period. Don't go on a course that only offers you 36 hours or so at sea. That is the worst time interval there is. Go for long enough to get into the stride of it, and see how things work out.
     
  9. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Good solution

    I agree whole heartedly with Vega. Extended offshore passages will, indeed, allow you to see a lot more about accommodations needs than trying to figure it out at the dock. This is especially true when you're standing square watches and the wife's turn comes up. I like to have everything that I need in the cockpit where it can be easily gotten to. This includes a secure holder for a hot thermos of coffee or soup and a few sandwiches along with everything that I need for navigation and vessel handling. Our cockpit is enclosed on 3 sides by a bimini with vinyl windows so it's great for keeping dry in heavy weather, yet being able to see everything necessary. My wife has yet to learn that the cockpit table isn't for potted plants.......on top of my charts.
     
  10. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Big sink can do that too!;)
     
  11. Wilma Ham
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    Wilma Ham Senior Member

    Thanks safewalrus for helping me to explain the advantages of the combination sinks and it proves that it is not always easy to explain ideas. I agree that a passage will give me a sense of how I will use certain things, but being a person with little experience also has an advantage that I look with a certain perspective that you will lose once you gain experience. Most designers might have to work with women like me, who would fancy potplants, larger kitchens, windows and more comfortable cockpits and deckseats. I am not saying this to be unreasonable but this is what might make a boat more attractive if sport/racing is not the primarily aim of the lifestyle aboard.

    Now this is not be be a wisecrack, but Greenseas have you ever taken your wife's fancy for potplants seriously and tried to create a space for the plants AND your charts. You might dismiss this and say how do you sail with plants trashing around, I say it might deserve a thought.
     
  12. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    :p :p :p
     
  13. Wilma Ham
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    Wilma Ham Senior Member

    Paulo, I knew you would like it?! Now see what happens.
     
  14. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Charts first, plants, maybe

    The common sense approach 5to boats is that the layout and amenities have to satisfy an entire crew. Unless you are talking large yachts, big windows and heavy seas don't go together unless those large expanses are covered. Most space on a well designed vessel is designated for one thing or another specifically with some left over for random storage. Anything that can be flung about in moderate seas will be. This also includes furniture on big ships as we all know. I do like plants.....of the eating variety and do carry some potted vegetables to supplement fresh produce on long voyages. They are a pain and in the way. They also don't do to well stuffed in a locker in a plastic bag to keep the dirt from spilling. The plants stay ashore.
     

  15. Wilma Ham
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    Wilma Ham Senior Member

    Greenseas I didn't want to be too flippant, but I am seriously looking why women are not drawn to living on or talking ablout boats. From where I sit it seems such a wonderful lifestyle and boats are fascinating. I just looked at a thread about huge seas and I must say the pictures scared me to death. There was however one post that says, good sailing boats are designed to withstand the weather and that immediately puts me more at ease. I know that the talk is all about safety and lack of space and that is important, but it all focuses on the bad things and it doesn't seem to encourage to look at what is possible. We talked before about the tiller in the cockpit and the chart table which are for most people (women) a pain and in the way too, just like the herbs (for men), however we did talk about what is possible there and it encouraged me that certain lay-out solutions are possible if we think outside what already exists.
    The herbs by the way give yummy healthy food, as the chart table cum breakfast bar will get us where we want to go. So lets take time away from the rig to think about a solution where the plants are not in the way.
     
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