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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

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