Cuddy boats are boats which have a small cabin. Such boats provide some shelter and amenities to the user, but lack a full cabin. They are not designed for extended trips, in other words. Many manufacturers of watercraft make cuddy boats, and it is also possible to modify an existing boat to add a cuddy if people want to increase the functionality of the boat. This can be done by a company which performs boat modifications, or by a sailor with construction skills who likes do it yourself projects.
These boats are commonly used for fishing and day trips. In these situations, having a cabin to shelter from the weather and store some equipment can be very useful, but a full cabin is not really necessary. Classically, the cuddy is low enough that it is difficult for a full grown adult to stand in, and it is generally relatively minimal, lacking expensive trim and other fancy features associated with more luxurious watercraft.
In a cuddy, there is room for a small head or bathroom, along with a small galley or kitchen. This can greatly increase passenger comfort on simple trips by providing a space to go to the bathroom and an area to prepare meals in case people get hungry or if they want to picnic on the water or on an island. A cuddy boat may also have a small berth which can be used for sleeping, depending on the design.
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By nature, cuddy boats are small. This makes them highly maneuverable, but can also be dangerous in heavy seas. They can be used on inland rivers and lakes, and are usually easy to pull to a location using a boat trailer. Models which are suitable for the open ocean may have some modifications, and their captains must heed small craft advisories when they are issued. These advisories, issued by weather services, indicate that the sea may be too rough for small boats to be safe.
A number of building materials can be used for cuddy boats, including wood, aluminum, and plastics. These boats can often be handled by a single person, whether the boat is powered with sails or a fueled motor, and their design makes them suitable for tight waterways in which boats may be required to execute snug turns. Cuddy boats also usually have a shallow draft, making them suitable for shallow waterways in which larger craft cannot navigate safely.