I think it was Nathaniel Herreshoff who once wrote that he could recognize a real sailing woman when she showed up at
a boat carrying but a small bag with a minimal amount of extra gear. Such a woman, however, is not the one I married.
When we go sailing we are prepared – no matter for hot weather, cold weather, wet weather, snow - you name it.
We also have food, utensils, and serving ware for practically any eventuality, not to mention sheets, blankets and
At 30 feet the Tartan 30 is by definition not a lot of boat to carry stuff. However, it does in fact have quite a bit
of storage space for its size; it is just difficult to get at some of it.
There are two quarterberths, which
is nice for sleeping capacity, but having two comes at the expense of seating capacity in the main cabin. Ayacucho is
a side-galley model, which has a galley counter that runs most of the entire length of the main cabin on the starboard side.
This means that there are no seats on that side to sit at the dining table, which leaves the practical seating capacity for
a meal at three. That was almost a show-stopper for buying this boat, having often been the guest who sat back on the
quarterberth when eating. Four for dinner comfortably should be a minimum. Tartan 30s also came with aft galleys,
which had a settee of sorts along the starboard side while the galley occupied the aft starboard corner of the cabin, where
the front of a quarterberth would have been. So the T30 choices are: sleep 4 and feed 3, or sleep 3 and feed 4.
I’m not a fan of using main saloon settees for sleeping unless in a pinch.
I pondered this situation for
hours and hours over months. There had to be some way to rearrange things to get another seat around the table
without giving up too much of something else. I’d make sketches of different ideas – often during
Monday staff meetings at work, but my ideas were usually unworkable when dimensions from memory proved to be off from reality.
One of my ideas was to make a dinette style seating arrangement on the port side, like a booth in a restaurant, but that would
require removing a large portion of the settee, which is the water tank.
There seemed to be no way to
accommodate the sink, the icebox, and the stove any differently than they already were. Someone from the Sailnet Tartan
List sent me pictures of his T30 that had been modified to put a double seat in place of the stove and sink, and move the
sink to cover half the icebox. That certainly solved the seating problem, but I couldn’t bring myself to give
up the stove and rely on just the grill hanging on the stern rail. Also, having the sink and its plumbing displace so
much of the icebox wouldn’t do.
So I started studying the idea of putting in a single seat in the stove
area and making it convertible by having the two-burner cook-top mounted in the seatback and hinging the seatback. Then
I’d have the seat and the stove but would give up the cupboard and drawer below the stove, which stored the pots, pans
and other kitchen items. I removed the cupboard doors and slid the drawer that was above the cupboard into the bottom
of the cupboard space to see if it could slide all the way in without hitting the slant of the hull. Okay there, so
at least I could save the drawer by putting it under the seat, but I was reluctant to press forward without some resolution
on where to put the pots and pans.