What does the interior of a cruising sailboat look like? It is the curiosity of all beginners approaching a boating vacation. SAIL School presents a series of weekly videos curated by our experts to explain both basic and advanced concepts. All videos will also be available on our SAIL Journal youtube channel This first episode, illustrates what the interior of a cruising sailboat looks like, which will be explained by the skipper, as usual, when guests are welcomed on board.
Learn about the interior of a cruising sailboat, with video from SAILING School
In the first episode of “SAILING SCHOOL,” our instructors Alberto Cossu and Jules Mazars, manager of Dufour Yacht, illustrate are structured interiors of a cruising sailboat. Sailboats are all different, but many of the elements illustrated are common and similar in all boats. For those boarding for the first time, it is important to know the nomenclature and understand why some equipment is positioned a certain way. Cruising sailboats are organized to optimize living, stowage space, and are structured to ensure comfort and safety even while sailing in waves and heeling boats.
Subdivision of spaces below deck
The inner part of the boat is called the below deck, accessed from the hatch and ladder, holding on to the handrails . The spaces are divided into areas, sometimes divided by actual doors, or separated only logically by a curtain or divider. In this video we will see an example and understand what they are:
- The dinette Is the common area in which the the sofas, the center table, the tilting kitchen mounted on pivots, and the refrigerator or icebox. Throughout the boat, the edges of the furniture are chamfered so you don’t get hurt, and there are always supports (called, in fact, handrails) to hold on to.
- Lockers and lockers are the equivalents of lockers and chests, on boats they are all lockable, or have gravity locks, so that even when the boat is heeled, they do not accidentally open spilling cargo.
- The engine compartment is usually housed under the descent ladders, and should always be accessible for checks before setting sail.
- The chart table is a separate small table with a flap usually dedicated to the skipper, where nautical charts and other frequently used safety equipment (such as compass, binoculars, cell phone, logbook, pilot book…) are kept. It is called a chart table because before the advent of GPS it was devoted exclusively to consulting nautical charts, and it was more generously sized. Today, being used less frequently, it is often retractable, or optional.
- The bilge houses wine cellar Often under the dunnage , which is the floor of the dinette, space is found for bottle holders or carriers. It is good to place the heaviest, non-perishable loads as low as possible.
- The bathroom (or bathrooms, modern boats have more than one)
- The crew berths and the master cabin , which is simply the largest cabin, so called because it is often reserved for the owner. Not in the video, but large cruising boats also have a separate canbina, called the skipper’s or sailor’s canbina, typically the smallest and most uncomfortable, sometimes with direct access from a deck hatch.
The stowage in shared spaces
On a boat, spaces are often shared, and no matter how large the sailboat is, the gestoine of space is critical. The skipper will be responsible for explaining all available spaces and arranging stowage of luggage, provisions, kitchen equipment, and safety equipment along with his own of the crew. All crew need to know where basic items are located, and which areas in the lockers (cupboards) and lockers are common, and which are private, and what they are used for. The strategy for not losing objects is to utiilate a rational approach to dedicated compartments .