I agree with the OP –
Engine and mechanical space is extremely important for long-term, long-distance cruisers.
The engine space in my boat
is pretty good – access from two sides through very large doors almost the same size as the walls, and you can crawl into it and reach most parts
of it ok. The cockpit
floor can be unbolted if you ever need access to the top of it. It is very well ventilated with two large blowers on a thermo switch, with large ducts out the transom. It is well lit, too.
I shouldn’t complain. But . . . If I could design a new boat
from scratch, starting from my boat
as a baseline, I wouldn’t change almost anything about the accommodation, galley
, or heads, but I would make the boat 2 or 3 meters longer in order to have more technical and storage
space, especially deck storage
and engine room. I would increase the engine room space by 1.5x, so that you could fully walk inside it. I would put in a work
bench with vice and really good tool storage. There would be plenty of room for installing new or different technical equipment
, and for storing parts
and materials and fluids.
is a big part of the life a long-term or long-distance cruiser. Whether this part of the cruising life is torture or not is largely determined by how accessible are the systems you need to maintain. With all due respect to the previous poster who wrote about v-belts and filters – there is a hell of a lot more to technical maintenance
of a cruising sailboat
than v-belts and filters.
Technical maintenance can even be a pleasure if your tools are stored in a convenient, accessible, and overseeable place, you have a complete and well-organized inventory of parts, and you have a nice place to work
(read – a real workbench with a vice). So the engine room is a key space on board, in my opinion. It is a shame that cruising sailboats these days are sold
by the bedroom, with technical and storage spaces squeezed until the pips squeak in order to increase the accommodation.