Monday, July 25, 2011

Living in a Mini

Some people have asked what it's like to live in a minitransat, and I realized that I don't have that many pictures of the inside. So here's one, taken from the area in the bow sleeping area, looking towards the cockpit hatch.

Inside the mini
You can see the bulkhead just past my cozy sleeping bag, then there is the mast and the canards, followed by the the canting keel assembly and the famous keelbox with its 6:1 purchase pulley system. On larger boats, the canting is done by a hydraulic system; on my mini, it's done by attaching one of those yellow lines to a winch and cranking on it. The keelbox is open to the ocean, and despite my worries, not a single drop of water has come into the cabin through the keelbox.

I have various drybags for storing electronic equipment & clothing, and airtight containers for keeping food. The drybags have never been necessary, but they provide some peace of mind just in case the boat gets knocked down. The airtight containers are just to appease my bug-phobia. And I have an excellent Jetboil stove which can make a nice cup of tea within 4 minutes.
On shore with a dry-bag full of electronics
But I've spent more than 50% of the nights in bed & breakfasts throughout Europe. Even though cruising on a mini is kind of like backpacking through Europe (though with much higher adrenaline and excitement on windy days), I'm too old to rough it out inside the boat and there are some really nice bed & breakfasts along the way. 

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