Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What is tiny anyway?

The wrong man for the job, a Caribbean earthquake, and something on the subject of mass extinction...

The other day I came across someone going on about how difficult it is living in a tiny space (spelled s-a-i-l-b-o-a-t) and as I'm currently writing about how to make a 26-foot boat more livable over at VolksCruiser I thought it worth checking out to see how someone else might be handling the same set of issues.

As it happens, the tiny space in question was actually a modern 42-foot sailboat.

So, not expecting to find any tips, solutions or cunning plans on making a small living space more livable from that source but it did get me thinking.

Being an old fart, who's been doing this gig for more decades than I prefer to dwell on, one thing I've learned is that the bigger the boat the less inclined it is to have a great use of space.

Two of my favorite production designs are Philippe Harlé's Tonic and the Sangria NV/Fantasia from Jeanneau because they both had an incredible use of space in a small envelope. The Tonic at 23' and Sangria NV/Fantasia at 27' were both innovative and comfortable cruisers which had interiors that might surprise some for their size or, if a Dr Who fan, bring up thoughts of TARDIS.

Which brings me back to that 42-footer and terms we use to denote size these days. For me at least, I categorize sailboats along these lines:

  • Small (20-29 feet)
  • Medium (30-39 feet)
  • Large 40- 49 feet)
  • BFB (50 or more)
  • Tiny (19 feet or less)
Admittedly, I do come from a time when the average cruising boat out cruising was somewhere around 30 foot, the $500 a month cruising budget was a reality, and a candy bar cost ten cents. But, at least for me, when I hear someone referring to their boat as "tiny" I expect it to be something like Yann Quenet just crossed the Atlantic in and not something over 40 feet.

Listening to Rodrigo y Gabriela

So it goes...