Living in Tight Quarters

Living in Tight Quarters

Two of the most frequent questions we get is how much space do we live in- and how do we cope with living in such tight quarters?

How small a space are we talking about?  Mahi is 43 feet long, with a beam of 14 feet at its widest point.  Here is what the floor plan looks like:

Without measuring each area, We can safely guess that we live in an area somewhere between 100 and 200 square feet.  Compare that to our California house of almost 3,000 square feet.

Main salon functions as the living room, dining room and main hangout space

Yes, it is a floating tiny house.  It is cozy.  The entire square footage fits inside my entryway of my house back at home:

However, once you get use to it, cozy living is easy.  Less stuff means less to take care of.  Life is much simpler on the boat.

You become use to less privacy, and more creative about ways to obtain private time when you need it.  We have a rule on the boat that anyone can call a privacy time out.

Seven year old Ethan tends to ask for private time the most.  He is funny- Joe and are having coffee up in the cockpit, one of our daily rituals.  Ethan will come up the companionway to announce he needs “privacy.”  He then goes back below and shuts his cabin door.

Time ashore recharging the batteries.

For Joe or I, asking for private time means we need some alone time ashore to recharge.  I am easy- I recharge by hopping in the Dinghy and hiking to a beach to walk the shore.  Joe usually recharges by exploring new locations by land or sea.

Communication is vitally important in tight quarters for couples and all family members.  You have to work out frustrations before they get too big and talk things out to ensure continued onboard harmony.

Living in smaller quarters means you have less stuff.  But what you do have may be tucked away all over the boat.  One of Joe’s biggest pet peeves is that I have taken over our master shower as a storage garage.  We store my Sailrite sewing machine there, as well as the Rainman water maker, dock cart, extra sheets and traveling dufflebags, etc.

One day, when I edit more items off the boat, I plan to clear this space out.  Meanwhile, at anchor, we shower off the swimstep and if we are in a marina, we use the marina showers.  Cruising in the tropics, we can do this.

Ethan playing on deck at anchor.

On Mahi, especially at anchor, we also have other spots for hanging out.  There is always the cockpit for reading and enjoying the sunrises and sunsets.  Another favorite place is under the sunshade on the foredeck.

Under the foredeck sunshade is a favorite place to hang out.

Bottom line, you live more simply with less.  You become used to living in small spaces and become creative- and proactive- about getting your privacy needs met.  Open communication before any issues become large help to maintain harmony on the boat.

Let me know what other questions you have and I’ll address them in a future post.  😁



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