Weather Helmed

an adventure in renewing the spirit and living the dream…on a sailboat

Weather Helmed


January 11th, 2010 · 9 Comments · Boat Work, First Mates, Life on the Boat, Preparing for the trip, The beginning

I know it’s hard for most people to imagine how we live in such a *ridiculously* small place.  I just measured the boat (i.e. I asked Matt) and our living space is effectively 30 feet long by 12.5 feet wide.  Yeah – it’s small.  I know that tonight probably isn’t the best time to take you on a tour since Matt is in the middle of fiberglassing the knees, but whatever.  This is our home and I thought you might like to see it 🙂

This is what I see when I first come into the cabin (the “homey” part of the boat) from the companionway (the opening that acts as our “front door.”)  Straight ahead at the far back is the entrance to the v-berth, that’s the “bedroom” that is directly under the front of the boat, hence the V shape.   The big white pole in the middle of the cabin is the mast.  Yes, the mast that is on top of the boat comes through the cabin of the boat and is secured just below the floor of the cabin.  The table-like structure where Matt is standing is actually a table, but folded in half.  It doubles in size when in it’s proper position.  It also folds up against the wall which is why that strap is back there, hanging on the wall right behind Matt’s head.

On another day, my view looked like this:

Once you step down into the cabin, the quarterberth (“QB”) – aka our bedroom – is immediately on the left. Doesn’t it look cozy?:

Directly across from the QB, as in 2.5 feet away, are the wet locker and our tool locker.  The wet locker (apologies for the blurry photo) is where we keep our foul weather gear, our life jackets (PFD’s), boots, etc.  The tool locker, well, you guessed.

Just forward of the QB is the galley (i.e. kitchen).  The space to stand in the galley is approx. 3 ft x 2.5 ft.  But, that puts you in easy range to access the sink, stove/oven, and icebox (fridge).  Like everything else, it’s cozy:

Right across from the galley is the nav table where we keep our charts, computers, etc.  It also houses the electrical panel and our radios:

Ahead of the galley and nav table, the boat opens up slightly.  This area would be considered our living room/dining room/guest bedroom.  On either side of the boat, there are cushions (currently covered with pea-green sheets) that are our settees (i.e. couches).  On the left side, the settee can pull out to become a bed approx the size of a twin and a half bed – perfect for sleeping two!! ha.  The other settee can sleep one.  Underneath the settees are our water tanks – two 75 gallon tanks.  Above and behind the settees are bookshelves and cabinets.  They’re there in one photo and not in the other one because Matt had to pull all that stuff out to fix the knees.  The table is biased to the left side, but folds out so people on both settees can use it:

Just past the left settee as you enter the narrow “hallway,” there’s the head (i.e. the bathroom).  Now the clearance on the bathroom is about 1 foot between YOUR feet on the pot and the door.  You pretty much have enough room to turn around and do the deed and that’s it.  I would liken it to a closet, but every closet I’ve ever been in is about twice as big as this.  The toilet flushes by using water from the ocean to either push stuff into our holding tank or back out into the ocean.  It’s the cycle of nature 🙂

There are more lockers directly across from the head and we’ve been keeping our clothes there.  I never thought my entire wardrobe could fit in a space 15×30 INCHES.  (I have the top shelf, Matt the bottom ones):

Just above this locker, there is a strange little storage area that, oddly enough, is PERFECT as a liquor cabinet (and the occasional bottle of olive oil):

About six inches past the head and lockers, there’s the V-berth.  Right now, it’s the equivalent of our garage.  We’ve stored everything in there while Matt has been working on the knees.  So all the books, wood, etc. etc. that would go behind the settees is in the V-berth, not to mention numerous other things we simply haven’t yet found storage for.  Under normal circumstances, the V-berth could sleep 2 people although the front of the boat is not exactly the most comfortable place to be while sailing 🙂

The view from the v-berth looking back into the cabin:

Standing in the center of the cabin looking towards the companionway:

Welcome to our home!!

When can you come for dinner?

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9 Comments so far ↓

  • Syzygy Sailing » unromantic update

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  • Phil

    Great tour! Thanks. Just remember, it’s all going to be worth it when you arrive in some amazing tropical land and are kicking back with an umbrella drink seeing things you never dreamed of, like a Fijian Kava ceremony and BBQ. Didn’t know you had your own site–very nice, and it doesn’t smell like fiberglass.

  • Karen

    haha yes, Phil, you won’t have to worry about seeing pages and pages of boring boat-work details on my blog! 🙂

  • Jana

    OH.MY.GOSH!! You are so much more adventurous than I!! lol. WOW. Seriously, I’m not sure how you’re doing this “indefinitely,” but I’m super excited that you are so I can live through you . . while I sit in my 2200 sq/ft land-loving house and enjoy all the amenities it has to offer 😉 I can’t wait to hear more stories along your journey!

  • Lara

    I know it is small compared to an apartment, but you guys have way more space than we do! I envy all the storage compartments and seating area and love the u-shaped kitchen. My boyfriend Brian showed me the Sygyzy site a few weeks ago. Good luck to the both of you. I hope you make the launch date. We’ve pushed ours back already (several times); now we are aiming for February.

  • Cheri

    Hi Karen!! Wowza!! You are a brave girl! 😉 I’m so excited to read along with your journey! How fun….and what stories you’ll have to tell your children! 🙂

  • Dana Maulshagen

    Hi Karen,
    I just wanted to say hi, and thank you for keeping us updated on the boat. It was so nice to get the tour! Matt is so lucky to have you around to keep his spirits up. We’ll be hoping that you have the knees, or whatever it is that’s broken, fixed and ready to go in February.
    Dana, Rob and Eve

  • Define “Crazy”

    […] think that years spent getting rid of most of one’s possessions, quitting one’s job, moving onto a boat, and preparing to head out into the big blue sea would be significant enough to make me feel a bit […]

  • Janelle

    Great tour!!!! I love that you started your own blog. I admire you!!!

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