Merlin was built with a lot of cruising, sailing and racing thinking. Our boat builder cruised for 10 years with his family on a smaller boat. He knew what was important, what was practical, what works or doesn’t. Greg had to add his sailing touch, mainly on the deck.
So here are few of Merlin’s hidden wonders which make our life on board simple and enjoyable:
It is not because you live on a boat that you should leave behind your love for cooking which implies pots, pans, a pressure cooker, baking trays and much more. All of these found a home on board in a very spacious large drawer on wheels.
A secret cellar
We have a long drawer under the saloon table where we store our good bottles of wine (limited number though). There they are lying flat, ageing slowly and easily accessible for sundowners.
Because we bought everything new, we have the manuals for all the equipment, instruments and special gear installed on board. While cruising the expensive internet connection doesn’t allow for downloading the manual to find a solution to an electrical bug or a mechanical problem, so the box of manuals was great to have. Not always the most inspiring reading but worth keeping them in a dry and secure spot.
Foam mattresses on top of lockers or wooden boards are nearly the norm on boats. Usually this doesn’t allow much ventilation, which in the tropics could be prone to fungal surprises. Our mattresses in the two front cabins are on top of a slat base that allows a good air circulation and no moisture build up.
Our “shop”, also called pantry by others, has an easy access (not in a locker under big cushions). Three shelves have the height for the tins; others have the height for big plastic boxes where we store our flour, pasta, rice etc. At the bottom of the shop, we have big open boxes for vegies like potatoes, onions etc. Simple and practical so I can easily ask the kids to go “shopping” for me.
Our main heads are electric, which proved to be a very valuable way of flushing especially with kids. We also have a powerful extractor fan which does some amazing magic, fundamental when you are 5 living in a small space!
It is hard to find a proper chart table in a new boat. Electronic charts are a way of navigating but it is always nice to have a paper backup. Personally, I love plotting my position when I do a long crossing. It gives me the impression of going forward in a scenery which could look alike every day. Our chart table is a proper desk offering lots of working space but can also store many charts.
What do you do with your plates once they are cleaned? They could drip dry in your sink for a while annoying everybody with their knocking noise. Greg insisted on having a drying rack (did he know while building that he would end up doing most of the dishes?). I enjoy it every day too as it frees up the galley space.
Next our sailing wonders...