Surprise 40
A liveaboard and work aboard vessel for a couple

Surprise 40 Prelim Profile.jpg (30608 bytes)

Surprise 40 - Preliminary Profile. There are still changes to be made.

Surprise 40 is part of a growing trend toward liveaboard voyaging and serious cruising yachts which have offices or work shops aboard so that the owners can earn their living afloat. She is a development of our line of Pinky sloops and schooners from 18 to 48 feet. The owners were pretty sure that 36 was too small and I was able to convince them that 48 feet was an awful lot of boat for two people even with offices.

This profile is very close to the final boat. The masts will be just a tiny bit larger in diameter. Probably the cabin just aft of the foremast will be a little further aft and the hatchway forward of the mast will probably be lower. The rig changes are due to these owners' unfamiliarity with unstayed rigs. For the sake of making them feel secure we went back and took the most conservative possible view of the calculations at every stage and were able to justify a slightly larger diameter in both masts.

There is an enormous amount of room and the vessel will be quite beautiful. The owners have, at this writing, just seen the rough preliminary drawing and are making very complementary remarks. Since I'm my own worst critic these are nice to hear.

Presently from forward she has a quite roomy head with a sitz-bath, shower and lots of storage space. There is a large galley with a Dickinson "Adriatic" diesel stove and its own cabin trunk and companion way for plenty of light and ventilation. Then there is a saloon with a table and two settee berths. There are also two pilot berths outboard. One or both of those could be used to put bookshelves and lockers in. The aft compartment has two large offices with a common area for printers, office supplies, etc. The engine is under the counter of one of these offices. At the aft end of this area is a double berth. The wheelhouse has seating for two and is just big enough for good watch keeping. There is a cockpit well in the aft deck. All the ports in the wheelhouse are round opening ones. At present the design assumes that we will use a trim tab on the rudder to steer while underway with a very small wheel or joystick in the wheelhouse for use when an autopilot or possible vane is not attached. At very slow speeds or entering port it will be best to steer from outside. This probably won't be done much as liveaboard couples tend to be more inclined to steer from the most protected position than weekenders. If you don't want to get out of the rain and cold then you want to stay out of the sun and heat. If you do steer from outside you will have to look through the wheelhouse ports to some extent to see ahead but this shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience. If it is you can substitute deck boxes to sit on instead of having a cockpit well.

The owners now think that they can have smaller offices than I showed. This will hopefully allow them extra room for a dedicated engine room with tool storage and maybe a work bench. The head will move aft to the starboard side opposite the engine room. If we can fit it in we will then be moving the main saloon up forward of the galley in the eyes of the ship where the forecastle was in the old pinkies. This is more traditional and, if we can work it in should be a really nice gathering place. Come to think of it this was how the original "Surprise" was laid out. The key to all this is probably going to be whether we can fit the saloon in up forward. We shall see.

I'd love to have this boat myself. After all we ran this business from the boat for many years. However with the press of design work today being much greater than earlier years I doubt that I could cram all my draftsmen and their families aboard here successfully!

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