Cuddy (cabin)

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Entrance to the cuddy of a scow
Inside the cuddy of the scow above

A cuddy is a small room or cupboard, particularly on a boat.[1] Sometimes a cuddy refers to a small but cosy hut.[2] The origin of the term is not clear. Cuddy was in use in colonial America as early as 1655.[3] The term may derive from the Dutch kajuit, meaning a small cabin, or from the French cahute, meaning a hut.[4]

Nautical uses[edit]

The term cuddy is used particularly in nautical contexts. In the 19th century, it referred to a saloon cabin at the stern of immigrant ships, where wealthy immigrants could travel in greater comfort than the steerage passengers below.[2]

A cuddy boat is a boat with a small shelter cabin with maybe a small head. It may have a small berth also. The cuddy on cuddy boats is usually not tall enough to stand in. Typical lengths of cuddy boats range from 18 to 28 feet (5.5 to 8.5 m). The term "cuddy cabin" is still somewhat used (cuddy itself can mean cabin) and is a common term among small boaters.[5] Cuddy boats are popular as recreational boats with people who want a little shelter and storage space but do not want to upgrade to a full cabin boat. Cuddy cabin fishing boats are also used as near-shore fishing boats.[6]


  1. ^ cuddy Oxford dictionary. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b John Wilson (2012) The voyage out - Cabin and steerage, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Updated 13 July 2012.
  3. ^ Records of the colony or jurisdiction of New Haven, from May, 1653, to the union. Together with New Haven code of 1656. Hartford: Printed by Case, Lockwood and Co. 1858. p. 134.
  4. ^ cubbyhole Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  5. ^ U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (2013) Boating Skills and Seamanship, 14th Edition, McGraw-Hill, page 20–21. ISBN 9780071829328.
  6. ^ Spira, Jeff (2007) Saltwater Angler's Guide to Southern California Wilderness Adventures Press, page 402. ISBN 9781932098402.