The tiny cockpit.
“The advantage of a tiny cockpit is that everything falls to hand. The topping lift, which doubles as a lazyjack, cleats to starboard of the companionway and the headsail cleats on the bridgedeck and binoculars stow on the port bulkhead across from the binnacle. The centreboard, which doubles as an echo sounder in light airs, has its hoist cleated below the bridgedeck.”
“I set the single Gaz stove down into the locker space so that there was no need for a run of piping to the gas bottle. The essentials for a quick brew or other drinks are kept in the rack outboard from the stove. And, for cold nights at anchor among the mudflats, I have a Gaz radiant heater – wonderful for warmth and comfort.
Lining the hull for warmth.
“Plywood can be pretty cold stuff to lie against when going to sleep, so I have lined the hull with sheets of the closed cell foam that backpackers use for sleeping mats. On the starboard side, the cabin side is extended down below the sidedeck to give a reinforced girder round the hull where it is weakened by the cabin trunk. It also makes a good hand stowage above the bookcase. I’m pleased too with the holder for the dividers, which has saved me from stabbing my fingers many times!”
Maximum space down below.
According to Mrs Stock, “The great advantage of small boat cruising is that there’s almost no housekeeping to do. It’s quite literally ‘a place for everything, and everything in its place’. The centreboard dominates the cabin, dividing it in two, but there’s good sitting room and plenty of space in the galley.”
“Up the forepeak,” Charles continues, “you can see the Samson post stepped properly on the keel. The black bucket is where the chain stows. It has a rope lashing at the bitter end in case of emergencies. A curved top is put over the centreboard case to let it kick up at sea, but in port it has a flat top.”
“The cockpit is purposely tiny and is ideal for one person but is just big enough for two. Everything is to hand and you can easily see forward over the cabintop while sitting comfortably on a cushion. Shockcord lines on the tiller can be adjusted to steer the boat for short periods while checking the chart. I don’t like self-steering because the boat will sail on if you fall overboard, while a boat with her helm free will mostly tack, heave to and wait for you. Lives have been saved by this.”