There is a whole community of people that make long voyages on boats that run in the 15 foot or less range. These microcruisers have a ton of practical knowledge that can be applied on bigger boats. As with many areas of life, simply taking another perspective (such as imagining you were living on a 15 foot or smaller boat and crossing oceans) and applying it to your situation highlights new possibilities.
One site I particularly enjoy is www.Microcruising.com. It is the site of Dave and Mindy Bolduc, whom have made the 65 miles of open ocean crossing between the Bahamas and Florida 7 times on a boat less than half the size of ours! Their boat, Little Cruiser, is 15 feet in length and has a beam of 4.5 feet. Checking out the pictures on their website, you get a feel for their world. Plus the pictures of the beaches feels oh so good.
Some of the quotes from their website that resonate with me include:
- We consider the anchors our most important safety equipment and our only insurance. Therefore we carry three, which might seem like a lot for such a small boat. They consist of a 4-pound Fortress, a 9-pound Danforth, and a monster 25-pound take-apart Luke storm anchor.
- One of the most important [considerations] is to be as self sufficient as possible and keep things simple. We carry almost everything we need to make repairs ourselves. Our boat is relatively simple, and we have no refrigeration or ice chest.
- We've found most produce keeps quite a long time in baskets. The rest of our food is in cans or dry form. Whenever we want a treat, like fresh meat or ice cream, we buy it locally and eat it right away.
- Be cautious and use common sense. The ocean can be a very beautiful place, but it also can be quite treacherous when conditions are wrong. Always be conscious of the weather.
- If it looks as if bad weather is on the way, stay in port until it's over. There's a big difference between venturing out in ten-foot breaking seas and sailing along comfortably in 4 foot swells a day or so later. It's better to postpone one's trip than become a statistic.
If you visit their site, also be sure to check out the section called "Famous Small Boats." It is full remarkable small vessels that have made incredible journeys.