Choosing the best layout for your cruising yacht

At Sirius, we pride ourselves on being able to give you the semi-custom boat you want; built and designed for you, how you intend to use the yacht, and where you plan to sail her.

Many manufacturers offer different layout options, but these may be limited to an en suite heads in the forward cabin or two cabins under the cockpit. On even our smallest sailboat we have 14 suggested layouts and you can modify, redesign or rearrange the interior of any Sirius to suit your needs. Whether you want an area dedicated as office space, a fold-away writing desk, a sauna, workshop or music room, we can help you create innovative solutions that work for you and your family or whoever you sail with.

Sirius Yachts - the 310DS has 14 suggested layouts
On even our 310 DS we have 14 suggested layouts and you can modify, redesign or rearrange the interior of any Sirius to suit your needs

We offer suggested layouts because they are exactly that, suggestions. If you can think of a different layout, we can create it for you. Ease of manufacture is not our concern, creating your perfect yacht is.

With so many options, how do you know what’s best for you? First, we are here to help. When you commit to commissioning a Sirius, we’re here for you every step of the way and we want you to have the boat that best works for you. If you have an idea, we may have already made a layout that works or there may be solutions you think you want and we can discuss why you want that and offer other suggestions.

We split the yacht’s interior into five rough areas:

  • in front of the forward bulkhead 
  • midships, beneath the saloon seating 
  • the technical space 
  • under the cockpit 
  • the raised saloon

Any area of the yacht can be customised or refined for you, but these five areas are where most changes take place. Before going any further, be aware that if you want a lifting swing keel, this will affect the layout options available. We have to fit the keel and engine in the best place for the boat, and that happens to be in the middle of the accommodation. You may want the simpler (and cheaper) option of a twin keel yacht and have more freedom to design the interior that you’ll use every day, rather than constrain your dreams with a lifting keel that you may use infrequently.

Where will you sleep? 

Sirius Yachts - choose the mid-cabin for a good nights sleep
If you prefer a large, low, rectangular bed with the minimum of motion then choosing the mid-cabin makes sense

There are two spaces where we usually fit the owner’s cabin: in front of the forward bulkhead or beneath the saloon seating. If you prefer a large, low, rectangular bed with the minimum of motion then choosing the mid-cabin makes sense, if you want a higher berth with the option of sleeping facing forward or aft or being able to enter the berth from the side, then making the forward cabin the owner’s cabin is your way forward (excuse the pun). If you want a lifting swing keel and the midships berth, you’ll have to move up to the 35 DS or 40 DS to have this, but the width of the keel box makes the berth smaller so it won’t be the king-size width you’ll usually find with our fixed keel versions.

Consider now who you will mostly sail with, as this will define the number of cabins and berths. If you sail alone or as a couple without guests, you may desire a one-suite layout, giving you the biggest possible cabin with the most layout options. Our 35 DS and 40 DS offer a three double-cabin layout but alternatively, on all our yachts you can choose two spacious cabins that rival each other and still have the option of converting the saloon into another double berth for extra guests.

If you only have occasional guests on board, do you want to dedicate a cabin to them or would that space be better served by making a bigger heads compartment with a separate shower compartment that will be used every day?

Do you need a bigger boat?

We haven’t talked about which model to choose because our yachts don’t conform to the traditional way of thinking about length and accommodation. If you want three cabins you have the choice of either the 35 DS or the 40 DS. If you want one or two cabins any of our three current models will be suitable, but choosing two cabins on the 310 DS will restrict the size of the technical space.

At this point, it helps to be selfish. Think about yourself, how you will use the boat and how much room you want on your boat, don’t think about your guests for a moment. Will you be in a harbour every night or spending time away from onshore toilets and showers? Consider whether combining the en suite heads and shower into one compartment suits your needs or if you’d rather keep the heads and shower separate – preferable if you’ll need the toilet when many people want showers. Thinking about your bathroom will help define the layout forward, and whether the heads compartment is in front of the bulkhead making the cabin smaller, or behind it, giving you a larger forecabin and more layout options. Forward we have fitted single berths, double vee-berths, bunk berths, double island berths, offset double berths and occasional pullman bunks depending on how the owner sees this area being used. If the owner’s cabin will be forward, you might consider moving the heads aft of the forward bulkhead, giving yourself more room and a bigger heads compartment. Doing this on the 310 DS does restrict your options for the midships space. If you’d like this as a double berth, having the heads forward of the bulkhead gives this cabin more room, it does make an excellent owner’s cabin though. If you don’t want to compromise on either mid or forward cabins then moving up to the 35 DS avoids this as you have the option of a completely separate shower compartment.

Sirius Yachts - she can be a floating office
Will she be a floating office, enabling you to work on the water?

You know how many cabins you want, and you know the keel, next is the fun part, thinking about how you are going to use the boat. This will strongly inform the interior layout. For example, will she be a floating office, enabling you to work on the water? Will she be a home from home for a long term round the world voyage or will she be used for weeks away, hopping from harbour to harbour with the kids or grandchildren?

After Covid, many have discovered they can successfully work from home. But many others have realised that they can work remotely from anywhere, be that in the garden, on a beach or sailing on a yacht. We are tailoring office, video editing or graphics solutions for our customers who want to work and travel.

If you are retired, you can devote space on board to your other passions. If you are planning to work on board then an office may be a better option. Those with children at school age who are planning for voyaging life may want desk options to give them a private space to work.

Sirius Yachts - our smallest model has been built with a sauna
There are owners of our smallest model who sail with a two-person nordic dry sauna on board

Think about what you want on board and don’t let your imagination stop you. After all there are owners of our smallest model who sail with a two-person nordic dry sauna on board. Whether you want to fit a bath, a computer suite or a gun safe; perhaps you need space for playing the cello or electronic drums; or maybe you’d like a room for art or crafts or a meditation suite – whatever you want, we can make it happen for you.

You may need to be a little flexible with regards to which cabin you make your own, as your budget and the size of yacht you’re happy sailing may affect the layout options. Some spaces within the confines of the hull shape lend themselves better to one use than others. But we will work together to give you as much of what you want and what is physically possible within the size of yacht. We hate wasted space, so if we can convert a forward berth into an office with a computer, monitors and printers and still give you the option of a forward berth, we will.

What toys will you have in your bat cave? 

Sirius Yachts - workshop area
Sirius 310 DS – If you’re heading off to go world cruising, you may want to dedicate more room to your workshop area and the tools and machinery on board

The show-stopping technical space is another area that needs consideration. If you’re heading off to go world cruising, you may want to dedicate more room to your workshop area and the tools and machinery on board – you might want a generator, washing machine, watermaker and so on. That might be more of a priority than a rarely-used guest cabin for example. If you’re coastal cruising with boatyards rarely more than a few hours away, you could be more relaxed about how you use this space. We often talk about the sauna we installed – because it’s not often you’ll find one on anything short of a 40m superyacht – and it was in the technical space beneath the saloon of our smallest version that we fitted it.

The technical space is close to the engine, just where you need it for working with dirty components as it keeps them out of the saloon. On the twin-cabin 310DS, engine access is from the saloon or mid-cabin.

What lies beneath (the cockpit)

Those wanting three cabins will be donating this space to a double berth. Even so, there will still be room for a hull-depth cockpit locker. On other layouts, the technical space can also move aft and have access from the cockpit locker. In the cockpit lockers there is shelving as standard. If you have your own storage ideas, or want solutions to hold dinghies, outboards, hydro-generators or bicycles we can tailor this for you too. Space beneath the cockpit can be used for generators, batteries, systems (heating, hot water etc) and keeps all the noisy items together away from the main accommodation.

A higher level of living

We can customise every part of the yacht, whether you’d like an oak-finished interior or any other wood finish. The saloon table can be extendable, fixed or lowered to make either a day berth or to give extra accommodation when needed. We can also customise the veneer on the table. Whether it’s the yacht’s logo or a board for chess or backgammon, our craftsmen and women love the opportunity to show their skills off in a way everyone can see.

We can adapt the seating to the depth and backrest angle you’d like and It goes without saying that we can offer you any upholstery available. We can even change the foam if you’d like it softer or firmer than standard.

Sirius Yachts - we hand-build the galley just for you
The galley is an area that we hand-build just for you

The galley is an area that we hand-build just for you, according to your preference for a top- or front-opening fridge or freezer, also taking into account your preferred way of cooking, be that by gas or induction hob or microwave. We’ll put cupboards where you want them, fit dishwashers or wine fridges.

The navigation station is also heavily personalised in both size and shape. We still offer the option of an internal steering wheel, but many owners are choosing fly-by-wire autopilot controls and a removable handle on an engine throttle control to save space.

The ultimate personalisation

Sirius Yachts - small details are important
It’s the smaller day-to-day areas that we personalise which can make a real difference to your life on board

The main areas are where big differences can be made, but it’s the smaller day-to-day areas that we personalise which can make a real difference to your life on board. During the build, you’ll have locker space here at the factory and we invite you to bring your crockery, pots, pans glassware etc to leave with us during the build. This isn’t just a courtesy. We don’t just make sure your yacht keeps you safe, we want your crockery and glasses to be safe on board too, so we’ll hand-make the appropriate fiddles to hold everything in the drawers or lockers. This doesn’t only go for the boat’s equipment. If you have a favourite wine, whisky or gin we’ll make sure there is somewhere safe to keep it and whatever the bottle shape it will fit in your bottle lockers.

That’s what we love about our boats, if something is important to you, it’s important to us and we’ll do all we can to help keep it safe and help you achieve your dream.