I am continually dumbfounded by cruising yacht designs that are touted as ‘world cruisers.’ This moniker implies a yacht that is fit to sail the world’s oceans with some level of self-sufficiency, while also acting as a platform for seeking out extraordinary places and situations. But almost without exception these designs, whether they are custom one-offs or from a series, are sold pretty much on available accommodation. It is sort of like selling a house based on the number of bedrooms it has.
The problem is that in order to justify what I believe to be a ‘world cruiser’ (and for you to cruise comfortably and safely) some accommodation has to be sacrificed for bulk stowage of all kinds of big and heavy stuff. You need two dinghies (preferably inflatables that can be broken down and stowed below) and ditto of outboards; spare anchors and rodes; spare propeller and prop pulling tools; awnings; diving gear (for recreation and repairs); a downwind sail and various spare running rigging; shore lines… I can go on and on.
Then there is the other equipment that can make world cruising a more interesting activity than just sailing: The diving gear already mentioned (and that means with a compressor); two inflatable kayaks and two inflatable SUPs; kite boarding gear; camping and skiing gear if you are so inclined – again, go on and on. Oh yes, and what about the fruit and vegetables for a month?
So where do you put all this stuff if you have a double bunk right up in the forepeak? This is a useless arrangement for sleeping at sea but perfect for a Mediterranean mooring. But then that is not what we are talking about!
Most boats also boast lazarettes for miscellaneous equipment – fine if you are an aspiring Houdini and don’t mind bruised knuckles continually finding something after off-loading everything on top of it. These create more frustration than solutions.
My suggestion is if you have a ‘world cruiser’ boat design as I have described above, you can do yourself a favor by inviting two less people to go cruising and stripping out the accommodation forward down to the hull. Make brackets for the main items so they can be securely battened down. A generous fore hatch is also needed and this needs to be a robust arrangement as the hatch coamings and surrounding hardware will take a beating hauling gear in and out as needed. Both of my Pelagics have walk-in forepeaks from the main accommodation space that begin not far from the main mast position and provide ample and easily accessible storage for all of our safety and recreational equipment.