The Boat Tour – Step Inside Our Doghouse

Dogs used to live in houses outside in the yard.

Now many people have invited their dogs into their houses. And onto the furniture.

Are we going back the other way? With our new tiny boat, have we moved back into the doghouse with our dog?Honey the sailing golden retriever shows off her new home.

Take The Boat Tour

My husband gave his own little tour of Meander’s interior on his blog. I’m going to show off the boat from Honey’s perspective.

Here we are standing outside in the cockpit, looking forward in the cabin from the companionway (what you call the door at your home).

Yep, you can see us about everything just looking in.

And now you can understand why I got really worried while sailing the other day when I couldn’t see Honey from my spot behind the wheel.

Honey the golden retriever lies on the starboard settee.

When you said we’d be having company, I thought you meant real, live people. I’m so disappointed.

As you climb down the ladder into the cabin, you’ll see the galley (kitchen) on the left (or port side).


My person used to make me “go to my bed” when she was cooking in our old house. She doesn’t have to tell me that now. Because I couldn’t get under her feet while cooking if I tried.

Normally the kitchen is Honey’s favorite room in the house. But if you look closely, you’ll see there’s no room for a dog and human to stand together there.

The three burner stove is hidden under the counter, which slides behind the oven. The oven is big enough to make a pan of brownies. But since Honey doesn’t eat chocolate, she doesn’t care much about that.

The refrigerator (which we only use when we’re in the marina and have access to electricity; underway it’s an ice box cooler) is under the heavy wooden doors to the left.

To the right (or starboard) as you come down the ladder, you’ll see the navigation station and quarter berth (a small bed).

The navigation station in Meander.

Keep it neat, people. This is a very important spot for me.

The navigation station is like the office.

We keep charts in the desk. Notice the radio nearby and the electrical panels for managing shore power and batteries.

There’s a single bed that stretches deep under the cockpit which we’ve filled with all kinds of stuff.

Why is the quarter berth so important to Honey?

Because I’m not as strong as Mike.

When I have to bring Honey down into the cabin by myself, I gather her onto my lap, lean into the cabin, and gently “toss” her onto the quarter berth.

Then, once I’m below, I move the ladder so she can jump down the rest of the way.

After “tossing” Honey once into a box of stationery supplies and once into a camera bag, I’ve gotten very good at keeping the cushion neat and clean.

And Honey is very relieved.

But not as relieved as when my husband gently carries her down the ladder right to the floor.

Here’s a view of the ladder we have to carry Honey up and down several times a day.

A few of the companionway ladder looking aft.

We need to do something about that people. Get working on a way for me to walk up and down myself.

Most of the cabin is taken up by the saloon (pronounced “salon;” it’s what boat people call a living room).

Here’s the port side (left as you look forward).

Port side of the salon in a Pacific Seacraft 34.

It’s pretty crowded on this side. But I do like sleeping here when you get the berth set up.

The table in the center has leaves that lift up with enough room to seat six (if you really, really like six people). There’s storage behind and under the cushions.

And when you move the back cushion into place beside the seat, you make a double bed. That’s where Honey likes to sleep when it’s hot.

There’s a propane heater on the wall. So I suspect it’s where I’ll want to sleep when it’s cold.

The starboard side has another settee (sofa in boat speak) with storage behind and under it.

Honey the golden retriever rests on the starboard settee.

I don’t care if you need to get something out of the locker under my seat. I was here first.

The passageway down the center of the boat is wide enough to walk in. But not wide enough for Honey to turn around.

If she changes her mind, she has to back out to the bottom of the companionway ladder before she can turn around.

When she starts backing up, I go “beep, beep, beep.” I’m hoping to put backing up on cue.

Just forward of the saloon are two large lockers on the right (starboard) and the head (bathroom) on the left (port).

Here’s a look at the head which Honey has never been in.

The head or bathroom or a Pacific Seacraft 34.

Yeah, if you think I’m going to sit on that toilet set while you shower me with the sink faucet, you have another thing coming.

Yep, it’s tiny. You really do have to open the door just to flush (well, pump; marine heads don’t flush).

The shower head comes out of the sink faucet.

Now do you understand why we get so excited about a marina promising long, hot showers?

At the most forward part of the boat is a v-berth. Or at least it’s a “v” when you take out the platform in the middle.

Honey the golden retriever in the v-berth.

Ahhh, sleepy time.

Yep, we all sleep here together.

Honey has jumped up her on her on exactly three times. But it’s a big jump. So one of us usually lifts her up and down according to her whims.

Yep, she’s quite the little princess, isn’t she?

All our clothing is stored in shallow shelves along the sides of the berth (bed in boat speak). And at the pointy tip is a locker where the chain for the anchors are stored.

I was hoping Honey might like sleeping back in that little pointy area. And, in fact, she does curl up there when I’m reading before bed.

But once we’re all going to sleep, Honey claims her spot right in the middle, taking turns kicking one or the other of us while she chases squirrels in her sleep.

That’s the boat.

Hope you enjoyed the tour.

I’m certainly glad to have lots of pictures of Meander looking neat and tidy since we’re making a plan for hurricane Joaquin and may have to take down all the sails and other items on the deck and store them below.

If you have any influence with the weather gods, please ask them to send Joaquin safely out to sea.

Because I’d really hate to have to write a blog post about how we lost Honey’s new dog house so soon after moving aboard.

Your Turn: Any questions about life on Meander? Do you think your pets would love life on board or hate it?

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  1. Thanks for the tour, you have a cozy sweet space. Funny, my motorhome has been called a doghouse as well :->

    I was wondering what you would be doing in regards to the hurricane, if people generally just stay in the marina and ride it out?

    • When people call our mobile homes doghouses, I assume they’re just jealous. :)

      A marina is often the worst place to be in a storm. And this one isn’t very protected.

      Even if you do everything right, you never know if the other folks did and you can sustain a lot of damage when other boats break loose and smash into yours.

      Insurance companies found during Sandy that the boats that fared best were those that were hauled out of the water and tied down on dry land above the storm surge. The second best survival was by boats who carefully anchored in a protected area (called a hurricane hole). We don’t have experience anchoring and would probably be better lifting Meander out if we can find a yard that will take her and is in a safe spot.

      Hope you’re not having weather problems. It’s always less fun to deal with storms in a moving home than one that stays put.

  2. Torrey definitely thinks of our RV as her giant dog house. It’s her comfort spot. And yikes on the hurricane. Since we don’t watch the news I don’t know much about this storm. But be safe!!!

  3. Wow – tight quarters! I’m glad Honey is willing to share her dog house with you so you have somewhere to sleep. Hope everything goes well this weekend and Joaquin blows out to sea!

    • Now that the temps are going down, I’m glad the place is so small. Making dinner heated things right up. And once we all crawl into the v-berth, it will get pretty cozy.

      And from your mouth to the weather god’s ears. I’m already tired from having sails and dinghy seats in my living room. I’d really hate to have to move out too.

  4. I think I’d enjoy living on your boat. It would be fun to go to different places.
    I’m sure my bipeds would have finding a way for me to get up and down the ladder on my own at the top of their list of things to do!

    • You’re such a good traveler. I could really see you living on a beautiful canal barge and visiting all the beautiful French and Dutch towns.

  5. I don’t think we would like it. Mom was in a one room apartment for a month with one dog and three cats and they all started fighting with each other. We love our family, but we all enjoy having our own space too. Sure does look cozy, though.

    • We finally met the two GBGV dogs that were staying in the marina. They were both living on a boat about the size of ours with their two people.

      They seemed to enjoy it okay. But then again, the male kept on running away (pulling his leash behind him) every time another dog walked by. Maybe it was his way of agreeing with you, Emma, that he needed to live in a bigger space. :)

      • Probably not enough wabbits and squirrels to keep them busy on a boat? Amazing to run into two of them since there are only about 200 in the entire US! I wonder if they are relatives of mine from the UK, Debucher line?

        • I believe they came from Cool Spring kennels in Delaware.

          And yes, they were very distinctive. Thanks to getting to know you and Bailie, I recognized them immediately. Their people were very impressed. :)

  6. Oh what an adorable little home! I just love it. Some days I dream of snuggling up with the dogs in a smaller little space like that, though mine would probably be an earthship or a van. But thanks for the tour! Honey looks like she is very happy.

    • I think there’s something really primal in us that wants to enjoy protected and small spaces. Despite what the builders of Mc Mansions say. :)

      And I see the appeal of a camper van. If only I didn’t hate the combustion engine so much. Maybe I could outfit one someday with a sail on top so I could finally get to visit the desert.

  7. It’s cozy even if a little small. I’m not sure I could live on boat full time unless I had a yacht for all my stuff. The cabin looks very nicely decorated and the head is prettier than I imagined. Continue having fun. Do you have room for a hold up ramp for honey?

    • We have more stuff than you’d think. It’s all hidden away in little nooks and crannies. :)

      And yes, we have a ramp to help Honey get on and off the boat. It’s been a life saver.It might even work inside the cabin now that we’ve gotten things put away.

      Stay tuned for more. :)

  8. SO cool!! I loved the tour!
    It’s certainly cozy, but looks like an awesome adventure. :-) I bet you could teach Honey to climb that ladder given enough time, and your “beep, beep” is awesome!

    • We’ll figure something out. But for now, it’s kinda nice being able to put Honey safe below and not have to worry about her climbing back up.

      The other day we were sailing home in high-ish winds to beat a thunderstorm. We put Honey below when it started to rain harder and I was relieved not to have to worry about stepping on her as I braced myself while steering hard into the wind. :)

  9. Thanks for the tour. Very different from any boats I’ve been on. Your housekeeping skills must be challenged or do you just clean as you go?

    • One thing I love about the boat is having to keep things neat and orderly as we go. You can’t survive otherwise.

      But I can’t say I’m doing great keeping up with the dog hair. I don’t even have a vacuum cleaner. I just sweep it up with a broom.

      And yes, the Pacific Seacraft is a pretty distinctive looking boat. A lot of the features are meant to be safe at sea.

  10. I love you and I’m so happy that you are following your dream and enjoying life on the sea. Your boat is very cute and seems like it has everything that you need to be as comfortable as you can be.

    How is Honey with the pottying? Has she learned to go on a patch on the boat yet, or do you have to ferry her back and forth to land? How will that work when you undertake long bouts of sailing?

    • I have not tried to get Honey to potty on the boat. We’re sailing short enough distances during the day that we can take her off in the morning and evening.

      But I have kept her from spending time on the forward part of the boat. When we do need to get her to potty on the boat, I’m hoping that her unfamiliarity with the forward deck will help.

      In truth, I’m not hopeful that she’ll do it. This pup can hold it a good long time. And she’s really fond of grass and dirt. I guess we’ll see.

  11. Oh Pamela, thank you for such a thorough, fascinating tour! It’s really quite amazing how different life on a boat is. I can’t believe HOW SMALL your spaces are – certainly not for claustrophobics! lol

    It looks and sounds like Honey is adjusting well to all the changes, which is absolutely impressive of her. What a sweetheart. We’re blowing good wishes your way for Joaquin to head back out to sea! Stay safe!

  12. Thanks so much for the tour! We are blowing hard to the east to push Joaquin out to sea.

  13. That looks so cool! What an adventure!

  14. Wow, that space is quite impressive and so well organized and put together. Kudos for navigating it daily. Happy weekend and stay safe with the storm coming. :)

  15. Even though it’s small, it looks magical! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  16. Thanks for the tour! It’s rather compact living, isn’t it? I don’t know that I could adjust to it at this stage in my life.

    I’ve been thinking about you guys all morning, hoping you have someplace safe and warm to wait out these storms. We’re about 3 hours northwest of Charleston and it’s been pouring off and on since very early this morning.

  17. What a beautiful boat. How is Honey doing when you’re sailing? No motion sickness I hope. Hope all went well during the visit with Joaquin. Charleston was hit with an enormous amount of rain but we’re dry and doing well. #blessed

    • So glad to see you commenting around the inter webs. I guess it means you’ve been hunkered down. Happy to know you’re not floating somewhere. I’ve been thinking about you and your family ever since I saw how hard South Carolina was hit.

      Honey does well under sail. No signs of seasickness. But she does like to stay very close to us.

      When I’m at the wheel, she often cuddles up on the seat behind me.

      Last week we were racing a thunderstorm home to the marina when it started to rain so we put her below. She seemed a little startled by the boat heeling (leaning over) in high winds. But she mostly napped quietly. #hallelujah :)

  18. Pamela: I have been following Mike’s blog and finally found yours. My husband Steve and I have been cruising for about 7 months. We are in NC right now and will be setting sail for “warm and happy” in a few days. You are a much better dog mom than me. I left my two dog babies behind. I miss them terribly but