I am all too aware that it's easy for me to get whimsical about small cosy spaces, what with having (an albeit small) house and all. So bear that in mind... ;-)
A few weekends ago, whilst at Battlebridge Basin having helped crew Granny Buttons there (things I learned - plastic flowers float, Christine is lovely and however hard I tried to avoid politics, I failed), I got to see inside Arrow's (I may have the name wrong) boatman's cabin, courtesy of Sandra, the owner. I realised I hadn't really experienced being inside one for a while, and it's quiet an ingenious setup. Curiously there's no diagrams with dimensions out there on the web, even rough ones, although there are plans to buy. I could do my own measurements if I ever needed too, although it more or less sizes itself.
Chris & I in the pub in Sunbury had been discussing small cabin layouts with regard to working boats (or at least having a large open bow section), and in some ways the rear 10' of Tortoise's cabin in a modern version of the boatman's cabin - on one side rear door & dinette (could be replaced by bunks), on other side toilet, kitchen & stove - all the basics. The remaining cabin in my case is more beds/seats & bookshelves, but that could easily be outside, with lockers that can form beds needed, clothed over at night. A 30' boat with a cruiser stern, 10' cabin and 12' deck might look a bit strange, and I won't be rushing to do it, but would be interesting...
Meanwhile, Bones brings to my attention that Leviathan is still for sale - I'd seen the same interior pictures two years ago, and very inspiring they are too - that woodwork is amazing. Curves aren't necessarily as space efficient as I need for Tortoise, but there's plenty of time & opportunity for aesthetic improvements to the interior, and even the odd curve, who knows?
(images copyright nb Leviathan/narrowboatshop.com)
Meanwhile I quite like this bender-as-cabin arrangement, nice doors, too (esp the rearwards one), even if the photographer (of NB Epiphany) wasn't entirely convinced. One 'one day' job for me is a folding front cratch type thing, inspired by this yurt door:
Addendum - a couple of notes for my own benefit, really:
a few days after writing this post, I found a book in a local charity shop - Living Large in Small Spaces - a photographic study of various flats in New York, from 100 sq ft to 1000 (1000 sq ft is small to some, but not others - my house is 770 sq ft, for example, and canal boats will go from 108 - mine - to around 300). It's all very arty, of course, and the ephasis is on design rather than pure practicality - not that those are necessarily diametrically opposed.
I'm also reminded of Erja's flat in Helsinki; the bed was in a bed-sized alcove on the wall opposite the windows, the 3rd side of the alcove being a tiny bathroom. It was a nice place, and it worked, and I also remember even the bed was flexible - the deep single bed folded out to a thinner - but comfortable - double. Since on boats storing 'spare' seating/sleeping cusions is a pain, that's worth bearing in mind.
Appropriately enough elsewehere in the same book acquisitions was 'No More Clutter' by Sue Kay - which promises the key to the small space stuff. I'm not convinced - I'm currently buying more storage drawers for screws and the like, and it does seem I have to buy more to see less... it's working, though.
Edit II; a couple of interesting links:
The art of living in small spaces