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Old 24-11-2019, 18:02   #31
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

You might consider ditching the cooler. Anything not built in will be poorly insulated and the constant search for ice is a pain. Think like backpacking.


The dink is a pain. John Guzzwell got a good part of the way thru his circumnavigation aboard Trekka with no dink at all. Consider a Sevylor cheap PVC blow-up style. Less than $100 and they pack small. NOT durable but would probably last a summer with care aand a patch kit. If not, off to Walmart for another. Otherwise a Redcrest is about as small as they get.
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Old 24-11-2019, 18:26   #32
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

Welcome to the cruising life!

Ditto what JasonS said about the PVC pipe propane locker. We have one on our 31' Cape Dory. Easy to make/mount. The only thing we added to it was a small vent hole near the bottom that points overboard for the (uncommon) leaky propane bottle.

Even on a 21', you may have room on the rail for a wooden OB motor mount for a small dinghy motor. You can put the motor there in bad weather or when you're away from the boat so you don't have to put a gasoline source in a locker. You can also install a long-shank padlock thru the holes in the motor mounting screws to deter theives.

One small deep cycle battery is all you need. Replace any incandescent light bulbs with LEDS and, if not already there, install a 12V female cigarette lighter socket and you can plug in a charger for your phone and/or tablet PC.

The little solar panels are nice. But your main battery should be fine if you run the engine now and then to keep it topped. On my old boat in the 1980s (Bristol 26), I just had one small deep cycle and no solar panel. The battery charged off the 9.9 hp OB motor. If you have no battery meter, a very small voltmeter is handy to check charge level.

I'm familiar with your planned cruising grounds. Wonderful! It can get puffy, so maybe have reef points installed on your sails if you don't already have them.

An anchor and rode takes up space, but a small Fortress aluminum anchor can be hung on the bow pulpit or stored in chocks on deck. I think the fortress for your boat weighs only 7 lbs and has plenty of holding power in a variety of bottoms.

Not sure if the bucket is legal in harbors, unless you're at a slip and can walk it up to a toilet to dump. Some harbormasters and Coast Guard can be fussy about sewage.

Cruising in small sailboats can be a joy. You can get in shallower anchorages that the big boats can't. You can easily single hand it and you won't have the bills and worries that come with the larger, more complicated boats.

Enjoy looking forward to your first cruising season.

Terry and Jenn
Northeast Harbor, ME
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
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Old 24-11-2019, 19:08   #33
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

A "camp stove" has no place on a boat...of any size, big or small. I encourage you to upgrade to an Origo stove. Cooking, or at the minimum hot water for coffee/oatmeal/whatever makes living aboard much more pleasant.

Rather than try to add more power with solar panels, which truly there is not much space for on a small boat, focus on reducing your need for volts and amps. Install LED bulbs. Use handheld devices (GPS, VHF, cell phone, flashlights, etc). What do you need extra electricity for?

Your inboard yanmar is a gem. Take good care of it and you will have no troubles. That is an excellent engine. With only one cyclinder, there are hardly any moving parts.

Get yourself a high output LED flashlight (around 1000 lumens). They are no longer expensive, and you will appreciate the strength some dark night.

A tent fly (with poles) makes a good sun tent. The poles can be positioned for lots of headroom beneath. A sagging, sad, suntent is not much good.

One good, oversized anchor is better than a bunch of smaller ones. You'll sleep better too. Add at least 20 feet of oversize chain and 200 feet of new rode. An anchor line, which holds your boat and sometimes your life, is not a place to skimp.

I was going to suggest an avon redcrest (inflatable) as a dinghy for getting ashore when anchored. But I doubt you have space for an avon. your boat IS the dinghy.

And finally, please remember, LESS IS MORE. A good lesson for us all!

You have a great looking boat there. I think you are going to have a great summer aboard. Best of luck to you!

(PS. Picture attached is my little Tanzer 22 from years ago. I sailed that thing everywhere, often with 4 people staying overnight for days at a time).
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Old 24-11-2019, 21:44   #34
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

I think you need a bigger boat.
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Old 25-11-2019, 04:17   #35
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

Origo stove will teach you patience. Slow to heat anything. Some find the smell nauseating. Had one, don't care for another.
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Old 25-11-2019, 09:25   #36
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

I've been happy with this burner: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The gas bottles are small - and as has been said, easily stored in a PVC tube on the rail, or even a 5 gallon bucket with an air vent and a lid.

My feeling has always been, the smaller the boat, the bigger the experience. Good luck, and setting up the boat can be half the fun-
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Old 25-11-2019, 09:34   #37
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

You also might consider looking at a folding bimini top, instead of a boom tent. Being able to sail with the bimini up, enjoying cool shade on hot days, and also being kept dry from rain, is a big comfort and space-expander on a smaller boat. With your boom in place, it might be worthwile to measure how much vertical clearance for a bimini top that you might have. Also nice for sleeping in the cockpit.
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Old 25-11-2019, 10:11   #38
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

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Originally Posted by JasonS View Post
For storage of your propane or butane buy a 25" piece of 4" PVC and get two end caps, and two or three stainless steel bands. Affix this to an aft stanchion outside the boat. That will hold 3 1lb propane canisters and cost you a few dollars to make. Much safer than storing propane in the boat.
Good point, propane is dangerous and cumbersome to store and use.

An Origo stove is a simple, self contained installation...no plumbing. Fuel is cheap and easy to store. On a small boat, an origo is really great.

I don't want to start a flame war, but you will find that people have strong opinions on propane vs origo. Choose wisely.
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Old 25-11-2019, 10:12   #39
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

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No an Engel is a compressor system. An Engel will get below zero and keep ice cream hard in the tropics, but they are very expensive.
A peltier plate is what your describing and they will cool things off, but are extremely inefficient for the cooling they provide.

However for the OP. You are very quickly going to run out of room, I wouldn’t buy anything or buy things you know you have to have, like a life vest, then go out for awhile and decide, or your going to end up with a lot of stuff that you just don’t have room for.
I know cause I did on an Island Packet 38, I have as much stuff in storage now as I do on the boat it seems.
You are correct. I didn't even read the Engel. I doubt someone with the OP's intent he would want the expense. In his area a Peltier may be ok and not a lot of battery drain.
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Old 25-11-2019, 12:54   #40
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

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Oh ye of little faith if he is young and keen a summer away camping will be a grate experience and he follows in some great footsteps with simple cruising

I suspect he's going to be feeling a lot older after a summer on that thing. A porta potty in the bow makes about as much sense as having a mechanical bull on board
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Old 25-11-2019, 13:22   #41
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

I just bought a Cape Dory 28 and sailed her from Stuart, Florida to Georgetown, Bahamas bound for Puerto Rico. Had the similar space problems as you although a 28 footer is bigger than a 20 footer! The Cape Dory was / is equipped with a two burner, alcohol fueled, non-gimbaled stove. I substituted for this with a charger / full sine wave inverter (Xantrex Freedom XC 1000 – $545 Amazon) - takes up very little space – and a $72 microwave oven (small!). The microwave oven takes 4 minutes to boil a pint of water for coffee and draws 930 watts through the inverter. If you ran the microwave for 30 minutes each day, that would be less than 40 Ah at 12 volts. A single solar panel or running your engine for 30 to 40 minutes replaces the power used. The power storage is a pair of West Marine AGM’s. No propane, no alcohol and you can use it when underway at sea.

For refrigeration I am using a Dometic CFX28 (Amazon $690). Now this would likely be too big for your 20 footer but it is very portable and can be lifted onto a bunk / couch at anchor and set on the floor when under passage. These options were not even dreamed of in 1981 when the Cape Dory was built.
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Old 25-11-2019, 16:43   #42
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

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I suspect he's going to be feeling a lot older after a summer on that thing. A porta potty in the bow makes about as much sense as having a mechanical bull on board
Roger Taylor has been happily at it for years. https://junkrigassociation.org/resou...r%20Taylor.pdf

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Old 25-11-2019, 21:21   #43
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

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I just bought a Cape Dory 28 and sailed her from Stuart, Florida to Georgetown, Bahamas bound for Puerto Rico. Had the similar space problems as you although a 28 footer is bigger than a 20 footer! The Cape Dory was / is equipped with a two burner, alcohol fueled, non-gimbaled stove. I substituted for this with a charger / full sine wave inverter (Xantrex Freedom XC 1000 – $545 Amazon) - takes up very little space – and a $72 microwave oven (small!). The microwave oven takes 4 minutes to boil a pint of water for coffee and draws 930 watts through the inverter. If you ran the microwave for 30 minutes each day, that would be less than 40 Ah at 12 volts. A single solar panel or running your engine for 30 to 40 minutes replaces the power used. The power storage is a pair of West Marine AGM’s. No propane, no alcohol and you can use it when underway at sea.
So...you are recommending running the engine 30 minutes a day just to boil water and cook dinner? That just seems like a bad idea to me, sorry.

And if the engine won't start...go hungry?

I'm a fan of KISS...keep it simple, sailor. An origo is about the simplest device you can have on a boat. A month's worth of cooking fuel (every day, every meal) fits in a gallon jug. When Jessica Watson made her famous trip (around the world, non stop) she had enough meth (alcohol) leftover "to go around again".

While I agree with some the of the technical recommendations being posted here about wonderful gear for cooking, cooling (food), and dinghies...I am reminded of my own days on my little Tanzer 22...its really, really small. There just is no space for any of that extra, unnecessary stuff. Great stuff, yes, but not on a little boat.

I was reminded about small boat sailing this summer, as I cruised on my daughter's Siren 17. A one burner origo, with pot, cutlery, bowls, fuel, etc, went into a milk crate. Another crate was all the food. That was the whole galley.

I do like having a dinghy at anchor. I had an avon redcrest on my C&C25 and it filled the hanging locker. No outboard, no floor, no seat...really stripped down...just oars. Worth its weight in gold, for sure.
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Old 25-11-2019, 21:45   #44
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

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I suspect he's going to be feeling a lot older after a summer on that thing. A porta potty in the bow makes about as much sense as having a mechanical bull on board
As a young man, I sailed on many boats with no head, or tiny head (that I would never want use). But toilets were about the last thing on my mind. I was set on adventure. I don't recall ever thinking about the head. And we had tons of fun and adventures and memories. I recall having a roll of 2 ply TP in a zip lock bag, just in case, LOL!!!

Heads (and toilets in general) are a concern for old men. That's me now. I want my next boat to have a luxurious head (with hot shower). My head (the one on top of my shoulders) used to be filled with thoughts of young ladies, sailing fast, and sometimes cool cars. Those thoughts have been replaced by thoughts of satisfying bowel movements, investment income, and trying to remember my password. When you are young, live large. There will be toilets when you get there. probably.

And of course if you want any ladies to come for a sail, you better have a very clean/nice head with PRIVACY, and someplace to get changed in private. If you meet a girl who needs none of that...put a ring on it!!!
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Old 26-11-2019, 05:51   #45
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Re: 21ft Sailboat - How to Manage Living?

We too started off with a Tanzer 22. That was in 1981. In the following years with my wife and two daughters, we sailed the boat all over the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina sounds. Our dinghy was an Achilles LT-2 without the floor. It lived in the port cockpit locker and was pushed with oars. We cooked on a Svea 123 stove and later on a Coleman two burner propane stove in the cockpit. Navigation was by Chartbook and compass. The electronics were a 6 channel VHF, depthfinder, and speedometer. Ice kept beer, cokes, and food cool. The head was a porta-potty. After the kids left for college and work, the two of us traveled in the Tanzer the length of the Tennessee River and from North Carolina to Florida. Over the years we replaced the VHF and added a handheld GPS. We still own the boat and sail it on a mountain lake. And yes, I gave her a ring.

I am an old man now (68) and our current boat is a Pacific Seacraft 34 with a Groco Type K head with a door. https://irish-eyes-to-the-bahamas.blogspot.com/

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