Comfortable sea berths are essential on an offshore passage and there should be at least one all-weather bunk for the person off watch. As we normally spend most of our day sitting, serious thought should also be given to comfortable seating both in the main cabin and cockpit. One aspect that is easily neglected if planning to sail with crew is to have two heads compartments.
Good insulation as well as adequate ventilation with sufficient hatches and dorade boxes for rough weather are features often missing on production boats built for temperate climates. They are vital for cruising in the tropics. Good ventilation and sound insulation are essential for the engine room.
A well thought-out galley should be a priority. Compact, U or L-shaped galleys are to be preferred over open-plan ones. There should be sufficient storage space in the immediate area of the galley so that all essential items are within easy reach.
Good cockpit protection was one of the main items mentioned by the surveyed captains when questioned about essential features on an offshore cruising boat. Some designers have managed to provide this useful feature by incorporating a hard dodger without spoiling the overall looks of the boat, but the majority
Shelter in the forward section of the cockpit is an essential design feature