Space on all but the largest boats is always at a premium. You will rarely find a liveaboard boat that has a cabin dedicated only to living and one solely for dining.
One room usually serves as the combined liveaboard dining and living room, and this creates part of the charm of living aboard.
Your main cabin will usually be your kitchen, dining room and living room all rolled into one. Talk about cozy; it's kind of like the way the pioneers lived in log cabins in the early days of our country.
The main cabin in my CSY33 not only had all of the above, there was even room for a navigation station that I used as my desk and computer station. Talk about luxury!
One of the ways of creating more room below is to have tables that you can use all the time. You use the table not just for dining, but for homework or as a coffee table.
Here are some examples of boat tables.
There is some appeal in having a table that is always open and ready for use. My CSY33 had such a table, but it could also be used as a convertible table. Even with both leaves dropped down, it still had a usuable surface at all times. It made this space the perfect liveaboard dining/living room.
I chose to usually leave the table folded down in the main cabin. When guests were aboard the table leaves could be extended to create a huge dining room.
In the evening, the fixed base of the table provided support for a slide out platform that converted the adjacent settee into a double berth.
When both leaves of the table were open, six or seven people could sit around and chat or dine in the best liveaboard dining/living tradition.
This is a table that is deployed only when you need it. When you are not using it, the table is out of sight and out of the way. My Island Packet had this kind of table. When you were not using the table, it was hinged and folded up against some shelves on the forward bulkhead of the main cabin.
When you dropped the table down, it could be used either in half size as shown above, or you could fold it over again to stretch over to the port settee. It was easy for four or five people to sit around this table.
The convertible table is one that can usually be dropped and used as a platform to convert a settee into a double berth.
Many liveaboard meals are enjoyed in the cockpit of the boat. A cockpit table in smaller boats can easily serve all of the diners sitting in the cockpit, but can be removed or folded out of the way when not needed.
By Mike Miller, Copyright 2012-2022 Living-Aboard.com