Regarding how "unsuitable" our boat is for our needs... I don't agree.
34 is seaworthy
enough for a family
to go around the world by way of Cape Horn. It has been done, on the same size sistership! This is not counting the dozens of other circumnavigations, and hundreds if not thousands of major passages made on Searunners in general. They are certainly in the top 5 of the most seaworthy
of all designs of either variety, if you count successful, safe, sea miles, over 45 years, by mostly husband & wife crews.
For us, cruising was more about the diving
in clear tropical water
, and just living an adventurous anchored out life. We lived on Delphys as our ONLY home for over 12 years, spent thousands of nights on the hook, (100% solar
out NUMEROUS hurricanes, visited well over 20 countries, and covered something well over 20,000 miles... (Although, that was never the point).
For us "the point" was about leisurely walks on shore to "mingle", the thousands of hours spent free diving
for dinner, and hundreds of visits from our cruising friends in the anchorage, to share that dinner with us. As much as possible of this, was in a mellow, friendly, clear water
, tropical place. THAT was OUR point... Searunners are GREAT for this!
Compared to a 34' monohull
... It just couldn't do OUR "seasteading" lifestyle at all, (EQUALLY EQUIPPED), without total kayos living conditions, with stuff mounded all over on deck
, tied to the lifelines
, and/or no room left below.
On our boat, without crowding or ANY stacking of one thing on the other...
TOTALLY WITHIN THE AMAS: We have an inflatable kayak
, 6 empty water jugs, 3 empty fuel
jugs, the "bagged" Fortress hurricane anchor
, 600' parachute rode
, a complete dinghy
accessories/seat & oars kit, the garden sprayer shower
, clothes washing
bucket, clear bottomed viewing bucket, 2 @14' long awning poles, fishing
poles, 2 spear guns
, a SCUBA
tank, an 8 HP OB motor
, the spinnaker
& sock in a bag, 4 large fenders, a bin of boat spares, an epoxy
repair kit, misc. crab pot floats, 6 life jackets, Padded waterproof backpack, telescoping & folding dolly, etc. ALL this @ under 200 pounds per hull, for safety
Up on deck
, we have ONLY one thing tied down on the entire boat, it is the deflated & strapped down 9.6" RIB
on it's cradle
, which is utterly storm proven here. It is easily launched with the roller on the back of the wing.
The three "dry hatch/self draining & vented wing anchor
lockers, contain 3 of the 4 anchors, their rodes/chain, ALL dock
lines & extra long spares, the hull bottom maintenance
kit, and both my & my wifes dive gear
& 4 wet suits, boots, fins, etc.
None of this large, wet, and/or stinky stuff goes below, or decreases the space below, NOR is it piled on top of a lot of other stuff in a cockpit
Below the 6' + SQUARE cockpit
, in this middle 1/3rd of the boat, is all of the explosive fluids in a draining sub floor & LP tank in the same area. The dinghy motor
tank goes here too. Further down, under this sub floor, is space for the 5 tool boxes, batteries, engine
, ALL tankage, hurricane
rodes, HUGE awning, etc. This puts the really HEAVY stuff, which equals a large portion of the weight of the boat, easily accessible, at or below the WL, in the middle 1/3rd of the boat. Regarding motion & knockdowns, it is the most seaworthy arrangement in multihulls to date!
The front cabin
has a dedicated head
compartment, with it's 30 gallon holding tank
below the sole, made out of the glassed hull itself. Then comes the sit down dressing area. This "vanity" has both a seat & sink/counter, as well as 2 off season clothes storage
areas in the wings, that are the size of the trunk in a mid sized car! almost in the middle of the boat, under the cockpit seats, there are two 4' wide by 7' long bunks... each with sitting headroom
, lights, and fans.
In the back cabin
there are 2 nav and/or galley
areas of about 4' X 4' each. further back is the "sterncastle", that seats 4 comfortably. There has a sliding table, with the refrigerator
under the sole, "in the coolest place". There is a rolled up cushion further back that makes the floor into yet another bunk. (The best place for off watch, when going to windward in 40 knots & 15' seas). YUCK!
In these conditions we stand watch under the hard dodger
that connects to a complete cockpit enclosure, for relative comfort.
It's not only suitable... It is the best layout of any 34' boat I have ever seen, for the type of cruising that we choose to do. The "just @ 3' draft" with the board up, allows us to anchor in FAR more circumstances than with deeper draft
, as well as far more hurricane tie off options. (We can run the East Coast ICW
with no marina stays)! Our regular speed of 8 or 9 knots, (even to windward), when others would be going 5 or 6, has been both fun AND a great safety
feature! It allows us to out run a lot of bad weather
, and our "Trinidad to Beaufort
NC sail" in just 12 sea days, (during H season), would've been much more dangerous on a boat that doesn't really sail well.
It is NOT, however, a good marina boat, or good in cold winters. It isn't soundproof at all, and is hard to heat or air condition, (although we have done both). This is why, when we had to go back to work, we rented a house to keep the boat in cruising mode. This is where she really shines, and we now cruise
locally as much as we can... Until the next BIG one!
Starting 21 years ago, right after we got married...
Because we lived in a camper while we built a house out of pocket "ourselves", and then built the boat. The cost of ALL of this was relatively low. (Like $5,000 to $8,000 per year) When money
got low, we stopped spending money
on the project
When the boat was done, we sold the house at a profit for the "cruising kitty", and she became our only home. Because we NEVER use debt, on the house or the boat, we could pull up and "go" at will. Because we had no health
, or boat insurance
, and no jobs at the time... (= no income
taxes), our expenses were solely food
and boat maintenance
. While cruising, we always avoided marinas
. There were occasional inland trips, like inland Guatemala
, Areciebo PR, all over Eleuthera, etc. and this is where I wish the most that we had had more money to spend.
While we were certainly among the least funded cruisers we met, (especially those over 50), we managed to "live cheap" while enjoying life at the same time. Our having a boat design that so perfectly lends itself to the "seasteading" lifestyle, was a large reason that it has worked so well for us.