Welcome Aboard: Meander’s Interior

Today, I’m going to try to do something a little different for a person of my temperament. I’m going to try to celebrate. After two weeks here in Cambridge, MD, we finally appear to be in control of our daily lives aboard this boat.

Because since our arrival about two weeks ago, our days have been dominated by pesky but needful little tasks and errands for which our previous location left us little means and energy.

Two paragraphs in, and I feel my tone slipping already.

It only seemed like exile

Our previous location was the Virginia marina where we found, bought, moved onto and lived for three weeks aboard Meander. It was about twenty-five miles from the nearest town of any size, requiring an hour-long round trip in our rent-a-car just to do laundry.

So, OK, when we were still in Upstate New York, Pam used to take hour-long round trips to do our shopping—by bus.

But the marina was also down a hill six miles away from the area’s nearest cellular antennas. The remote possibility of uploading a blog post in the moment a lifting wave might put us in fleeting sight of two bars would have been something, but we didn’t have that. We had a digital blackout.

And that, for people grown accustomed to twenty-first century technology to locate boat supplies, figure out the tax implications of owning a boat, or stay connected with friends, family and readers, was a backbreaker.

In response to these conditions, the goals we set ourselves in Virginia were few and basic. We kept ourselves to learning the boat, equipping the boat, and training ourselves to run the boat to levels barely sufficient to get it and ourselves out of there. And, eventually, get out of there we did.

The (stupid) little things count

After a three-day trip to the free wifi of the Cambridge Municipal Yacht Basin and the city’s more-or-less walkable grocery shopping (if you are used to long walks) and serviceable public transit, we set ourselves to the fine tuning needed to support a more comfortable routine on Meander.

Here are four stupid little things we’ve accomplished.

  • Measure a galley drawer. Make a stacking set of cardboard dividers to separate the kitchen knives and the flatware in it.

Top tier.


Bottom tier.

  • Measure the galley’s hopper-style plate locker. Make a cardboard insert to discourage the plates in it from getting hung up on its interior latch when closed.

Insert in upper left corner. “Motor oil” motif courtesy of Shell.

  • Measure the navigation table. Make another set of cardboard dividers to keep the charts in it from being crumpled and torn by all the other stuff we’ve stuffed in there with them.

Ther’s that motor oil box again toward the back.

  • Measure the clothing shelf on Pam’s side of the V-berth. Make a cardboard, uh, thingy to hang from it to store her wristwatch and reading glasses.

I don’t know what to call it.

Given that cardboard isn’t exactly marine-ready by nature, there’s suddenly a whole lot of it on this boat. But cutting up packing boxes is cheap, and mistakes therefore cost little. And I call my creations “prototypes” under the happy delusion that I might rebuild them with real materials one day.

Here’s another stupid thing, albeit a little larger.

  • Retrieve the “family car” known as our dinghy from the garage of a supportive relative in town and get it onto Meander.

And another, larger still.

  • Provide the Coast Guard, finally, the form that officially lets them know you legally own the boat you’re living on.

It’s funny how one piece of paper can cost you five weeks’ sleep.

And, finally:

  • Clean up the place, for crying out loud.

So, with these and several similar stupidly small but oddly time-intensive tasks behind us, the interior of our home on the water is finally ready to be shown off.


View from the companionway.


The saloon to port.


The saloon to starboard.


View aft to nav station and galley.


Galley. We still need to fine-tune for the drying dish towels hiding the oven.


This is how you open the refrigerator.


Nav station.


Quarterberth aft of nav station, deep enough to sleep one when not full of crap.


View forward to V-berth.




Honey’s interior decorating contribution, discreetly moved to a place outside on the stern where I hope with all my heart that a gust doesn’t take it into the water and away from the boat.


Honey: “You, sir, have no eye for the canine arts.”

11 thoughts on “Welcome Aboard: Meander’s Interior

    • The name plate tells me it is a Force 10 Cozy Cabin Heater, propane fueled, Model No. FT 100 PR OXD. It was on Meander when we bought her about six weeks ago, and the previous owners had her for at least ten years. So we assume the heater is at least that old, and I can’t say whether or not the specific model is still being made.

      Also, I’ve never lit it. But my wife watched our marine surveyor do it and she assures me it works. How well it works, we will soon find out as the temperature drops.


  1. Hello! I have been thinking about Pam’s side of the v berth and the little cubby you made for her watch.
    Our original owners screwed in a horizontal five pocket canvas pocket thing that looks like it could be a shoe holder, but who has only five shoes? I have searched Amazon but not found a match. I did find five pocket canvas aprons and they have all the pockets that you need. Are you opposed to using a drill to screw things in?
    I’m not sure how much space you’re willing to sacrifice but with the amount of space that you wound get with five whole pockets on an apron it might be worth it to check them out. Some are pretty cheap!

    We are looking for another little hammock for the galley. The boat came with hammocks in the two aft cabins but none in the galley. It would be nice to have a place in the galley for fruit, chips and bread. Everyone needs a few hammocks on the boat!


    • The idea of canvas hammocks and pockets all over the boat has been on Pam’s mind quite a while now. But until we get the money together for several things higher on our priority list, the coveted interior makeover featuring coordinated upholstery and extensive pocket storage will have to wait.

      Meanwhile, the “view aft to the nav station and galley” shows our first implementation of the idea: a hanging, orange set of six pockets we found in a thrift store, partially covered by our hats.

      We’ll be keeping our eyes open for more such interrim solutions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We love thrift shopping and our traveled almost always have that on the itinerary. Ireland and Portugal were terrible- think garage sales of the indigent, but Philly is a gold mine for thrift and vintage.
        Phill isn’t exactly on the sail there to tomorrow list. You have a lot of good locations nearby.
        Not that you have the room but have you heard of the free bookstore in Baltimore? I make a pilgrimage about once a year- all that my tiny living space can handle.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the tour!
    Just finished reading Honey’s version, what a cozy little place! Looks like a great adventure, and your cardboard box ideas are brilliant! 🙂 My hubby and I have considered someday retiring to a sailboat, it’s fun to see how you guys are doing it.


  3. Pingback: The Boat Tour – Step Inside Our Doghouse | Something Wagging This Way Comes

  4. Looks quite functional, thanks for the tour. It reminds me of the HGTV series “Tiny Houses.” I did notice there was no dishwasher, always a deal breaker for me.

    One question: why does Pam need a wrist watch. I haven’t seen anyone wear one for years.


    • We haven’t seen the HGTV series, but we have seen the books and are great fans of the tiny house concept. If Pam hadn’t had the thought five years ago to move onto a boat like Meander, we would probably be living in one now.

      Dishwasher? That’s whomever didn’t do the cooking. Usually, therefore, me.

      Finally, Pam still wears a wristwatch because we don’t carry our cell phone unless we’re expecting a call. (So anyone who wants to make first contact with us is better off using email; we’ll get the message faster that way.) Oh, and should Pam go snorkeling, the wristwatch is water-resistant to a depth of about sixty-five feet. We suspect it is smarter in that specific way than many smartphones.

      Liked by 1 person

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