Saturday, April 14, 2012

Boat designer?

I wish I could design a boat. Let me clarify, by confirming that I know absolutely nothing about boat design. But thanks to my mom, I know a tiny bit about interior design.
I definitely know what doesn’t work when I see it.
Let me clarify further. Shiloh is a Lagoon 410. A beautiful boat, designed and hand crafted in France. She sails well and is quite spacious, all things considered.
My issues are purely in terms of living functionality.
In 2004, Lagoon designers thought it was a good idea to position the engine under the aft cabin beds. This means that if there is any trouble with an engine, everything in that cabin needs to be quickly evacuated. Clothes, bedsheets, pillows and mattresses. Yes, mattresses. Not easy nor user friendly.
This is our bed when the engine needs attention.

Mattresses tossed in the hallway
 A few years after our model was built, Lagoon came up with a brilliant idea. The engines were moved to the back of the boat, accessed through the sugar scoop steps. No need to move beds, no filling the sleeping cabins with diesel fumes and oil stains.
Ah, the genius. Wasn’t this an obvious? I truly believe boat design has been wrongly placed solely in the hands of men. This is just a wild guess. I’m allowed some of those.
Open any cupboard and see that the insides have been left as unfinished rough fiberglass. This is where you store clothing, food, valuables. Would a woman have approved that design? I think not.
But then I am a newbie, a landlubber just converted, a learner. I will try not to complain. I am living on the ocean in paradise and I don’t have a boss. I think I might work on some ideas to send to boat manufacturers…


  1. Ooops, not practical at all ...

  2. Engines are are placed amidships for weight distribution. You don't want large amounts of weight in the ends as it makes the boat less sea-kindly by reducing reserve buoyancy in that end and increasing the boat's propensity to hobby-horse in a seaway.

    The interiors of cabinets and trunks are left without interiors to give better access to the inside of the hull, although the insert ruins access to substantial parts of the hull in modern boats anyway. Interior cabinetry still adds weight and reduces storage volume for little benefit.

    Engines have drifted to the stern of boats largely on the understanding that a woman is making the final purchase decision. :) Sea-kindliness takes a back seat to dock appeal. :) I'm sure that if salesmen at boat shows noticed the "admirals" inspecting the storage areas, you'd see interior cabinetry appear too.

  3. @jordan b - excellent response. My husband agrees with you completely. I suppose it was my idea to choose a catamaran over a monohull - and that was 90% aesthetic. You have a good point about the balancing of the boat and the positioning of the engine(s). Also, I suppose I did not consider the issue of access to the hulls when complaining about the interior of the cupboards! Thanks so much for visiting and for taking the time to write! Hope you'll follow along and bear with me, me complete naivete when it comes to the world of sailing.