personal · Photos

Let Me Show You Around

When Austin and I started talking about buying SVZV, the first thing I did was google sailboat interiors. I had been aboard SVZV once before but I didn’t have a clear memory of anything below deck and I wanted to get an idea of what my living situation would be like. Currently, after 8 months aboard SVZV, I still browse boat interiors regularly. I love seeing how each person organizes their space and makes it their own.

With that in mind, I figured I should give you guys a tour of our interior! Most of the excitement happens above deck, but below deck is what makes SVZV feel like home.


When I first started looking at boat interiors, I remember finding it difficult trying to orient myself during a walkthrough of someone’s boat. I would lose track of where the companion way was, if the galley was located on the port or starboard side, if the cabin I was looking at was located forward or aft of the boat. It’s easy to forget how foreign everything felt when I was first introduced to boating.

For any of you who are in similar shoes as I once found myself in, hopefully this makes it a bit easier to follow! I am going to start above deck in the cockpit (rear of boat), go into the lounge/galley (living area/ kitchen), walk towards the bow of the boat and show you the head (bathroom) on the starboard side of the boat (right side, when facing bow), then show you the main cabin.

1989 Beneteau Oceanis 430

1. Cockpit

Not a bad view to have outside of my front door

Our cockpit is a very popular spot on SVZV. Besides having the steering wheel and swim platform, it has cushioned seats with an ample amount of shade and plenty of opportunity to create more. We usually have the hatches to the companionway open to let in fresh air, light, and give Tuna access to the deck.

2. Lounge

Tried to get festive for fall

This is the view of our galley and lounge as entering from the companion way. One of my favorite, and sometimes least favorite, things about our lounge is the amount of light it gets. It opens up the space and creates positive energy. It also bakes the lounge if you don’t alternate which curtains you have open throughout the day. In the picture above I have the hatch to the companionway open and 2/5 curtains open in the lounge.

If you look closely you’ll find Tuna

Another awesome feature of this boat is it has tons of storage. In addition to the storage above the seating area, there are also two storage cubbies behind the cushions and two small drawers located on the side of the table. The boat also came with built in speakers above and below deck. This spot is my favorite for getting cozy and watching a movie.

The Nav Table houses the power switches to most of the lights/functions on SVZV. It also is home to the radio (both the VHF radio and the radio we use for music) and a meter that displays our battery charge. It’s called the “navigation table” because the table opens up to a small storage area, where you keep charts on a long journey and navigate your passage. Right now its mainly used for storage. The three small cubbies in the back have essentially become our “junk drawer”. It also just so happened to be the perfect corner to add a touch of personalization to.

3. Galley

Our galley has all the features of a “regular” kitchen. It has (in order from left to right) a pantry, an oven/stove, a sink (pumps both fresh water and salt water), and a refrigerator. We have tons of storage space and have many cabinets that are empty.

Our galley does an excellent job of providing the maximum amount of counter space possible. The sink covers double as cutting boards and the lid to the refrigerator turns into counter space when closed. The stove has two burners, which I find is perfect for making meals for two.

4. Forward Head

Marine heads are interesting. You manually pump a lever to flush and the contents either run off of the boat or into a holding tank. The #1 rule of using a marine head is, “do not throw toilet paper down the toilet”. We actually have a sign taped to the wall with directions for guests, and that rule is at the top, bolded, in a large font. Any thing flushed can clog the macerator or the hoses running to it and if it is set to flush overboard even more reason not to flush dirty tp out. The room is completely waterproof and designed so you can shower. We have a larger head in the main cabin which provides more space for showering.

5. Forward Cabin

View from very front of room facing stern of boat

The main cabin is incredible. It has a custom made memory foam mattress, and it’s honestly one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. We have two hatches directly above the bed, so the room cools down nicely at night whenever there is a breeze. I also get to fall asleep looking at the stars, every night. Like the lounge, the main cabin has a lot of extra storage. We haven’t established concrete uses for most of it yet. Currently, the ledges under the windows are primarily used as lounging spots for Tuna.

This corner of the room is where I get ready. I keep all of my makeup and after shower items in this cabinet and get ready in the mirror. It’s right under a hatch and next to a window, so it usually provides the perfect lighting.

That is the end of my grand tour! Although it doesn’t seem like a 43′ sailboat would provide a lot of space but I have found it is actually more than enough for two people, and a cat, to live comfortably. Let me know if there is anything I missed or you’re curious about.


Bonus: Tunas Cabin

Although she has access to the couch, our bed, and all surfaces aboard the boat she also enjoys a bed to herself

Tunas cabin is the starboard aft cabin. We use a large tub liter box with a lid, and put it on the floor. We chose this setup in an effort to prevent spillage when the boat gets rocky. Weather we are underway or tied to the mooring, the boat gets rocky and things spill. There are also two windows in the cabin and the door is right next to the companionway, so the circulation of fresh air helps with the smell.

We keep her food and water on a nonslip mat to prevent it from sliding around throughout the day. So far this set up has worked very well. Keeping her food elevated also helps keep her eating environment clean, despite being in the room with her liter box.

Boating 101

Top 5 Things I Should Be Doing Instead Of Writing This Post

I feel like people assume I’m over exaggerating when I say no to plans because we’re working on boat projects. To be fair, half of the time I’m truly just sitting around stressing about those projects… But that is a boat related activity nonetheless. To give you a better idea why we are frequently busy during the week and because I like making lists (mostly because I like lists), I thought I would give you a little glimpse into the top 5 things on our “To Do” list.

* I have these listed in order of importance. That order is subjective. Ask Austin and this order would be completely different and some, dare I say most, wouldn’t make the top 5. *

  1. Fix/Setup The Inverter.

As someone who has worked in admin since I graduated, and someone who has recently started a blog, being able to use a laptop on a boat would dramatically improve my life. I could not only work from home, making decent money without the stress of a dingy ride/ having to leave the boat during a storm, but I could watch Netflix, browse the internet, and enjoy some of the luxuries I have grown so accustomed to over the last two decades. (Ok closer to three decades, but that is neither here nor there.) Being able to use a conventional 3-prong outlet would also allow me to plug in whatever electronics I wanted (within reason)… I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it.

So, what’s wrong with the inverter and how do we fix it? I have NO idea. I have watched countless YouTube videos and have a pretty strong understanding of how an inverter works. That being said, I have no idea why ours doesn’t work. Is it wiring? Are we missing a part? I have no clue. I don’t even know where to begin looking for the problem. As a woman, I was not brought up tinkering with things. I was never encouraged to take things apart and put them back together. It frustrates be because Austin always has an idea of what the problem could be and where to find it. I have to take three extra steps to get to his starting point. But hey, I’m getting into it now and learning as I go. Better late than never!

2. Oven/Stove.

Currently we are using a single burner camp stove for all of our cooking. I’m so grateful to have that and have grown accustomed to using a single burner, but its still a huge pain in the ass. Having access to multiple burners and an oven would be a complete game changer for me. We would be able to have a much wider, healthier variety of meals. To me, nothing makes a place feel like a home quite like the smell of something baking in the oven. I love using cooking and baking as a creative outlet and I’m bummed that I don’t get to share that with Austin. He never complains, but its something that would be fulfilling for me.

How do we fix it? This part is pretty straightforward, just tedious. If we hooked it up to new propane tanks, it would probably work as is. But do a quick Google search of “Boat Fires”, and you’ll understand why we are taking these extra precautions. Essentially, we have to follow the gas pipes throughout the boat to make sure they’re not leaking. To do that, you put soap on the outside of the pipes and if you see bubbles… there’s a leak.

Why haven’t we done it yet? It’s hot as hell out here guys. I say that in every single post and I’m not kidding. It is hot all of the time. There are only two tiny little fans on the boat. This project will require hours of hunching over, drenched in sweat, looking for tinny little bubbles to appear. My eyes are stinging just thinking about it. Although its number two on my list of priorities, it’s a lot lower on Austin’s. It’s a two-person job and I can’t blame him for not being stoked to start on this project. As long as I have the camp stove, it hasn’t been worth stressing over this one.

We do have a camp stone with two burners but due to its size it has to be used outside.

3. Buy and Install New Water Pressure Regulator.

With all of the parts we are looking at an ~$80 purchase. As far as boat repairs go, this one is not too bad. With COVID, no job security, or guarantee of unemployment, we do have to prioritize our purchases. On top of the money, all of our deliveries are sent to our family’s house 45min away and take 1-2 weeks to reach the island. This project has proven to be more annoying than anything.

Why is it so high on your priorities list? Well, unfortunately, we cant use fresh water on the boat without it. Have you ever washed your dishes in salt water? Its gnarly. And while I have become more accustomed to public showers, I never can get quite as clean as I would if no one was watching me. I also have quite a few plants to water and take care of. We have been refilling and hauling a 5gal water jug to/from shore for necessities. Luckily the part has been ordered and is en route!

4. Interior Upholstery.

Although I love our boats interior and the feeling of being in an old school ship, the upholstery is soo drab. It’s grey (I believe it was once blue), dull, and stained. I want redo the curtains and the cushion covers. Overall, this should be pretty easy to figure out. I am by no means an expert seamstress, but with a sewing machine I’m sure I could do a great job. This project is, again, time consuming. I will have to get the fabric, measure/cut it, find a friend with a sewing machine, bring all of the materials there, sew it all together, bring it back to the boat, install everything and hope for the best. Luckily, Pinterest has some incredible resources on redoing your interior that I am planning to use as a guide.

You can get a idea of our cushion covers and blinds.. you can also see the camp stove we have been using. Plus little Tuna!

5. Move the Mooring. Again.

So after our 6 month struggle to move our mooring block, it turns out we moved it ~50 yards off from its approved location. To register our mooring, the harbormaster will come to the mooring field with a GPS to ensure we are in our assigned location. Due to people illegally moving moorings, they are now very strict about the blocks placement. If you are following my blog, you know all that goes into moving a mooring block. So we’ve gotta go through getting the skiff, getting the dive gear, getting the lift bags, finding a driver for the skiff, moving the block, and re installing the gear one last time (hopefully).


I have to be honest with you guys. I’ve been feeling lazy, like I should be accomplishing so much more with my time. I’ve been feeling guilty for prioritizing SVZV over my social life. I’ve been embarrassed that I have a never ending todo list that I can’t get a handle on. But after typing this out I’m starting to realize I deserve to be stressed out! I deserve to be a little overwhelmed and I deserve to take the time needed to accomplish all of these projects. This is more responsibility than I’ve ever had in my life and it has been a learning curve learning how to balance “boat life” with my “real life”.

Looking at where we are from where we started back in February, we have come a really long way. I’m actually so proud of all we have accomplished so far. Next I’ll have to come out with a list of “projects we have completed”. See, I told you lists rock!

Uncategorized

Deadliest Catch

We woke up at 3:30am on a warm summer morning. We struggled to get out of bed, get dressed, and head out the door. Although I was excited to go for a morning sail and fish for some Ono, I also strongly believed the fish still would have been there if we left at 6am instead. But you know what they say.. the early bird catches the worm, or the 40lb fish in this case.

It was still dark out when we pulled up to our friends boat. He had Tupac blasting, champagne chilling in the fridge, and was ready to get this show on the road. I, on the other hand, was proud I even remembered to zip my pants. We got everything ready to go, threw the mooring line off of the boat, and headed south towards Kaho’olawe.

The crisp morning air blew against my face, filling me with energy and excitement as the bow of the boat broke through the waves taking us towards our destination. I took over the helm allowing Austin and our friend T to set up the poles. We had two poles with massive reels out, each had a large rapala on the end that dove down ~30ft when casted into the water. So we threw out our lines, tightened the drag on our poles, and waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

By this time I’m a few mimosas deep and enjoying the gorgeous views surrounding me. This was the first time anyone trusted me at the helm unsupervised. Which, in retrospect, after the mimosas, might have been questionable.. but boy was I having fun. Then I heard it.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

The line took off, moving with more speed and strength then I had ever seen. I couldn’t even form words. All I could muster was “f-f-fish!”

I have never seen Austin move so fast. With the speed and determination of a NBA player going after the ball during a championship game, he sprinted to the pole holder attached to the starboard side of the boat. Moving quickly and seemingly without effort he grabbed the pole and inserted it into a fishing belt. Then he started to reel.

He reeled and he reeled and he kept reeling it in.

My arms were sore just watching this happen.

“I see it!”

“What is it!?”

“Bring it up man!”

“Almost got it!”

PLOP

Below my feet, flopping around on deck was the biggest fish I had ever witnessed anyone catch in real life. We caught an Ono!!

After cleaning him up and filleting him, we took half of him home and had enough meat for the two of us to eat for a week. I love fishing, but after that experience I’m determined to keep catching big fish. Next time maybe I’ll even reel it in myself.

Stoked