Dinghy cruisers are among the most ingenious people in the world – when it comes to using a very small boat as a cruise ship. Over the last couple of days, I have been busy making a boom tent for my boat – especially with the Semaine du Golfe in mind, also for other occasions when I need to camp for a night or two in my boat.
Everything in a boat needs to have several uses, and the tent structure is the rig of the boat. One end of the tent is supported by the mast, and the other is held up by a wooden support in the stern. In this way, no extra stress is put on the shrouds and forestay. The tent folds away into a very compact package and is lightweight, only the polytarp.
The next thing to go into is a compact mattress to go into the port side between the buoyancy tank and the centreboard well. The space is narrow, but I have tried it. My legs go under the thwart if the mattress isn’t too thick. I would be positioned with my head to the stern where there is the full width of the boat. I have a sleeping bag for summer use and clothing can be used as a pillow, all packed into a dry bag designed to keep clothing and bedding dry. The adventure is getting exciting!
After that, I will be making a small stern locker for everything to do with navigation (charts, Portland plotter, dividers, binoculars and sighting compass) and communications (VHF radio). The rest of the boat needs to be organised with a box for the galley and what will go into the fo’c’sle – which has to be lightweight and not exactly the ship’s riff-raff to kept in order under the threat of four dozen lashes of the cat! There will be some confusion between the crew, the midshipmen and the captain’s cabin. All that in twelve feet of length and five feet of beam!