Idle Queen as I found her
Idle Queen as I found her.  She looks pretty good from this side.

It seems that one of the universal problems aboard small boats is not having enough room–not having enough storage space for clothes; tools; toys; spares; fuel; awnings; safety gear; etc…  Immediately after finding a storage solution for a particular piece of gear, a new thing arrives that just has to be kept somewhere aboard and the challenge of finding a place to put it begins.  I strive to keep my boat as simple as possible, but it still seems that there is never enough room aboard.  When the space is shared, such as when guests come aboard, the problem compounds.  The obvious solution to this problem is to have a bigger boat.  A boat just a few feet longer than the current one sounds about right to a lot of people.  This is such a common phenomenon that there is even a name for it:  three-foot-itis.  Three-foot-itis is when a boat owner decides that his or her current boat is inadequate, but that a boat three feet longer would be just the ticket.  There is no other solution in the owner’s mind.  A bigger boat must be found.

I succumbed to the above described boat-owner’s malady and have been working on Idle Queen for a while now.  Idle Queen is a Dreadnought 32 built by the Dreadnought Boatworks of Carpentaria, California.  She is three feet longer than Sirocco.

Deck view of Idle queen
Idle Queen as I found her–the view on deck


The space problem was just one part of what drove me to this boat, however.  Cost was the other driving force.  Everyone knows that bigger boats are more expensive, but in this case, I took a big step down.  Sirocco, my last boat, is a beautifully finished boat.  She has teak trim and bronze fittings and beautiful joinery.  Idle Queen is home-finished with plywood and plexiglass and latex paint.  I found her moldering in the back of a boatyard.  She had been for sale so long that the sign had faded and broken.  She is heavily-built and practical though.  Because of her rough-and-ready working finish I won’t feel bad keeping her going with whatever I happen to scrounge or buy when things break.  I don’t have to worry about a “yacht quality” finish.   Strong and cheap will do it.

Idle Queen as I found her--not in pristine condition...
Idle Queen as I found her–not in pristine condition…

I will start getting some more pictures up in the near future and maybe some videos to document progress on Idle Queen‘s rehabilitation.  My goal is to have a safe, strong, inexpensive voyaging yacht with this project.

Idle Queen dinette
The dinette in Idle Queen on the first day that I went to see her. It was a bit depressing below and difficult to breathe because of all the mold in the air.
Idle Queen cockpit
Cockpit view of Idle Queen when I found her. This photo does not show the pool of water that was in the forward corner of the cockpit slowly leaking into the diesel fill.

2 thoughts on “3-foot-itis

  1. I noticed your mold comment and have a related question. I am evaluating the need for a small solar powered device which could keep a sealed boat at or below 50% relative humidity indefinitely without consuming any power from the the battery or fuel. I personally find mold smells objectionable so I may be putting to much value on controlling humidity below the mold level. Your thoughts on the need and value of such a device would be greatly appreciated.

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