Human comfort factors may be less important than Basic Performance comfort factors, but it can make the difference for many of us in the ability to continue cruising or to give it up. Perhaps it is not unfair to say that youth and passion can reduce the need for this category of amenities. This category certainly is highly personal though and lots of time spent coastal cruising will help you understand your requirements to some extent. However it is no surprise that we hear of many boaters refitting after some months of cruising, it’s sometimes hard to know what your own requirements are until you’ve been out there.
Some of these amenities to comfort include
- spaciousness below
- hot water
Refrigeration is essential to many, but there are ways to store food and adjust menus so you can eat well without it. With it you may find you need to run a generator or the engine more frequently.
Spaciousness below is convenient to have – but has to be balanced with the Sea Comfort Level and Ability to Point. (See Performance Factors)
Water-makers certainly add to comfort and the security of having water is valuable. However they are also the device most likely to break according to Practical-Sailor magazine. So regardless of whether or not you have one, it’s prudent to have some back up plans such as a rain-water cachement system.
On-tap-hot water is nice, but less significant in the tropics.
Showers are wonderful, but also increase the moisture below, use up your water, and can be provided on deck with black-bag-showers. I would certainly provide a rain-water catchment system before providing showers to the crew!
Another category of amenities would include electronic devices. Electronics for navigation are important, but it is easy but expensive to go way overboard on these systems. etc. etc. Some are relatively inexpensive such as a music system, some are very expensive such as integrated electronics systems and displays.
Most of these “stuff” decisions come down to desire versus dollars and desire versus power consumption. Come up with your own list and remember that if in doubt choose simplicity over luxury and you’ll save money, maintenance time, and may be able to cruise longer or sooner.