Lake Union Swift: Sleeping aboard?

Not sure how many Lake Union Swift / Tenderly XPs have been built yet, but it checks quite a few of the boxes in what I'm looking for.

I'm curious if anyone has an opinion on whether the bench seating is wide enough for a 5' 9" man, 180 lbs, to stretch out and snooze on, in a sleeping bag.  Obviously it's not idea for a camp cruiser, but that wouldn't be its primary role.  However, on occasion, when the weather is calm and warm, I'd love to have the option for a single night under the stars.  Having the boat heel toward the side I'm lying on would hopefully enough to keep me in place.  If there's sufficient width.

Any thoughts?

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RE: Lake Union Swift: Sleeping aboard?

That's funny, because I was DEFINITELY thinking about sleeping aboard the Lake Union Swift when I drew it. I'd contemplating using ours for something like the Everglades Challenge. 

Loads of dry storage for camp-cruising. As you say, most of the time you'd pitch a tent on the beach. But if you had lightweight panels to span the footwell at the level of the seats, you could sleep aboard. (If people can sleep aboard Mirror Dinghies, they can definitely sleep aboard a Lake Union Swift.)

Sailing Dinghy Kit by Chesapeake Light Craft

Someone sleeping aboard a Mirror Dinghy, albeit with the boat beached.

RE: Lake Union Swift: Sleeping aboard?


I've slept on cockpit seats that narrow (on my side), and I reckon I am somewhat more "diametrically enhanced" than are you, but I don't know how well that would work in a boat this small.  With your weight on one side like that, it might put the gun'l down pretty close to the water with some risk of water sloping aboard to disturb your otherwise pleasant dreams.  I guess you could try to compensate by shifting some weight to the opposite side, but that could get to be a tricky balancing act.

I think John's idea of bridging the gap between the seats would probably work better, maybe something made up of slats held together by cord so you could roll it up to stow?  Unless it's really cold, I'd skip the sleeping bag in favor of a good wool blanket with a torso length backpacker's closed cell foam pad (or two) between you and the flat.  If you're sleeping on your side, you really don't need a "full length" sleeping space.

If your Swift had the lug rig, you might be able to make a good tent by using mast for a ridge pole, held up my a couple of vertical supports, maybe one in the mast step and the other some sort of scissors arrangement aft.  I've been thinking of doing something like this with my Passagemaker, if I can figure out how to arrange a large enough flat area on which to sleep.

Ain't nothing quite like sleeping aboard anchored out in some snug cove....


RE: Lake Union Swift: Sleeping aboard?

   If anyone has an idea for sleeping on the skerry please share :P

RE: Lake Union Swift: Sleeping aboard?

   Thanks folks!  Very glad to have John's confirmation that he had this in mind when drawing it up, and the idea of corded slats that could be stowed away but that would bridge the footwell sounds great.  Luxurious even!

My favorite memories from sailing the family's 30' boat in the Chesapeake as a kid are those nites I slept out in the cockpit.

The Lake Union Swift is in my future.

RE: Lake Union Swift: Sleeping aboard?

Another way of handling it.


RE: Lake Union Swift: Sleeping aboard?

   I’ll second Michael's wool blanket, although mine is fleece and I use a sheet too. The notion of being cocooned in a sleeping bag in a boat that could swamp or capsize gives me the willies. No, it freaks me out!
Think mine is queen size. Depending on the temps it will fold in half or thirds depending on how cold it might get.

RE: Lake Union Swift: Sleeping aboard?


I have contemplated this myself. My eldest and I have talked about doing a lake erie islands trip and sleeping aboard. We think we may add a re-enforced piece of marine plywood that is removable into the forward section. The section would have floatation and a few hatches for storage. Additionally there would be "underclamps" for lack of a better term that would keep the floatation and gear attached to the rest of the boat in the event of a capsize.

for the "tent" bit we have thought about tying up the spars and having them form the crest of the tent about 5' up the mast with the forward section having a lot of overlap to keep out rain around the mast.

I have spacered inwales so I have a heck of a lot of points to tie down on.

The issue I have with camping is that I get close to maxing out the weight of the skerry, hence the extra flotation. 145 for me and 220 for my son brings our other weight to... checks math... 85 lbs. So a minimalist camping trip!

RE: Lake Union Swift: Sleeping aboard?

   Yeah I was considering tying flotation under the inwales. I had not figured out a neat way to carry plywood to lay down but now that you mention it the forward part of the boat will be all storage for gear. I guess I could make that a semi permanent deck.  My only other worry is sleeping up high on the boat and stability. 

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