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A comfortable ships watch from the companionway

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What is the issue?
The companionway is a natural place on a vessel to sit and use as a watch point. This is particularly the case for the cruising couple where there is not too much comings and goings to obstruct plus the off-watch are typically resting below decks. With a good spray dodger the site offers protection from the elements and almost instant access to either the cockpit or the navigation table that typically resides below decks. Although the position has the occasional blind spot, depending upon the spray dodger visor locations, these may easily be overcome by some occasional leanings back and forth.
The real issue with this location is you invariably sit upon the raised bottom frame slot for the washboards. This can be very uncomfortable after any length of time. Even when a bridge deck is available to physically sit upon, one’s legs still fall uncomfortably over the washboards frame into the cabin, tending to cut off circulation.

Why address this?
This position offers both a natural and excellent position to mount a watch in settled conditions. Facilitating this makes the boat more comfortable and makes mounting a watch that much easier.

How to address this?
Tailor a cushioned stool for the location as presented and add a natural grab holds to the coach roof to support the location as it would be unsafe without them – see figure 1.
It would be unsafe just to make the stool alone. When seated in that position the natural inclination is to grab the front edge of the companion way hatch if the vessel was to pitch up. As the lid typically slides back without resistance it will cause anyone relying on it for support to fall back badly into the cockpit sole and perhaps injure themselves. Hence the grab-hold presented in figure 1 is highly recommended.

However, apart from this it is an excellent, small and easy to store boat optimisation.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

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