Making a Boat a Home: The Art of Decorating A Boat

When living on a boat, function must always take precedence over form, so the phrase "interior decorating" is laughable.

August 23, 2013

Windtraveler- boat interior

Asante, a Brewer 44, has an inviting, cozy cabin. Brittany Meyers

Many of you write us asking what the inside of our boat looks like. I’ve got some older pictures posted on our “Boat” page, but – as I mentioned back in the British Virgin Islands - we have been doing some redecorating, so things look a little different.

Let me start by saying that I am the type of person who revels in her surroundings. I need to live in a nice space. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy or perfectly coordinated, but a clean, cosy and organized living space is a must for me. Some might call it a a trait of the “fairer sex”, but believe me when I say I’ve met several women who could care less about their boat’s interiors. To each his own. But for me? It’s gotta look nice and it’s gotta be comfortable. To me, comfort is synonymous with happy cruising. Call it OCD, call it ‘being anal’ call it what you will – but clutter and chaos make me edgy, antsy and all out of sorts. Luckily, we bought a boat with so much storage we still have a load of empty spaces, so being clutter-free is not a problem for us. Point for the bigger boat…

Even still, when living on a boat function must always take precedence over form, so the phrase “interior decorating” is laughable. While there are plenty of ways to personalize and get creative, when it comes to a boat’s insides, for the most part, what you see is what you get. There’s no moving things around or rearranging furniture and your affinity for feng shui will have to fly out the porthole. You must be very mindful of anything frivolous and non-essential that you mount, place or hang, lest they become projectiles on a rough passage. That said, the inside of a boat and how “pretty” it looks should be the least of your concerns when boat shopping, but still – gorgeous interiors have sold more of their fair share of shoddy boats so it goes to show that not everyone is all function out here.


I like to think of us as a little of both (form and function); sure Scott could care less about our new throw pillows or the colors of our bedspread, but he also knows these things make me happy and so he let’s me go about my meager decorating attempts with little resistance. I tend to veer away from the “nautical” theme that so many seem to favor out here…after all, we do live on a boat, I don’t think we need lighthouse pillows and seashell wall accents to punctuate it – but that’s us. To personalize our space, we added some cheap non-skid floor mats, some professionally framed posters that have special meaning to us (we are from Chicago, we met and married in St. Joe). We also added some nice, colorful throw pillows, some custom baskets and storage containers and a few special knick-knacks we’ve collected here and there throughout the islands. Everything is mounted either with industrial strength velcro or museum putty (I love the stuff!!!) and we have been in pretty rough seas with nary a casualty. “A place for everything and everything in its place” as they say…

So with no further ado, here are some pics and a little tour of how we made our boat our home…

Our navigation station with all of Isla’s toys underneath. We plan on converting this to a forward facing nav station with a seat…to be continued…


This is looking aft at the expanded view of our walk-through – TONS of storage here. Full engine access is to the right.

Aft cabin. Again, tons of storage, king sized bed and we each have a built in “night stand” of sorts (not pictured)

Another view of the aft head – we have old fashioned rum labels mounted on wood on the starboard side – you can only see one but there are four. Very cool and brighten up the bathroom.


Our galley. As much as I despise cooking, I love this galley. Huge refrigerator with top and bottom door access as well as a HUGE locker for pots, pans and all the other kitchen equipment I hardly ever use.

Isla’s room. The one place where clutter reigns. She loves her little area and we are firm believers that while you CAN have too many toys, you can never have too many books!

When two people, with the same life long dream of sailing around the world find each other, there’s only one thing to do… make it happen!
Scott and Brittany departed in 2010 with big plans to “see the world” from the deck of their sailboat. After sailing from Chicago to Trinidad via the “thorny path”, they are now back at it with their first baby and second boat. Check out all the juice at .


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