Although not recognized as a formal class of craft, so to speak, the cuddy is, by far, almost everyones favorite small boat.To put this into perspective would take a lot of time to research because the number of boats in service worldwide is probably in the hundreds of millions. After all, there are whole villages in Indonesia and Thailand that exist nowhere else, but on the water. Their homes are not only built on floating family rafts, but their craft are their primary means of transportation.Youve no doubt seen versions of some of these long craft on television specials that discuss various lifestyles. Indeed, some years ago, the Travel Channel did feature this type water culture as its Global Trekker made his way around the world.Usually, these craft are narrow beam, but deep and high-walled craft that are up to 30 or more feet long and that are usually powered by, believe it or not, a converted car engine. They are tiller steered as the propeller acts as the rudder/tiller and moves the craft. Its even possible you might find their version of a cuddy-styled craft running on some of the rivers or estuaries of those areas as they might have covered part of their craft with a roof to make a small cabin for protection from the weather.In the rest of the world, though, you would start with say a powerboat either stern-drive or outboard with controls amidships. The wheel could be on the left or right and there should be some sort of windscreen or windshield, also amidships. At this point, you have rudimentary bowrider because theres an area in front of the windscreen where you can either mount individual fishing chairs or a full bench-style seat with stowage.The key difference between this type of boat and the real bowrider is that the windshield of the bowrider is either a two-piece affair with direct access to the bow or is a swing-away windshield that lets you unlatch and walk through it to the bow area.What would happen, though, if you were to take the bowrider area and cover it with a deck that stretched from the point of the prow right back to the windshield and were you to weather-proof it, as well, possibly adding some portholes for passengers who chose to ride in the now-passenger compartment? You would have a cuddy.A cuddy, according to every definition weve seen and a number of manufacturers queried, is any boat with a separate cabin in the bow. It can be used for people or stowage; it just depends on the tastes of the skipper.Most small cuddy boats are laid out pretty in pretty much the same manner, if they are used for passengers. There is a small enclosed head with ventilation and a chemical tank that should be discharged properly and there is likely to be a small galley area and table for meals. The area also doubles as a sleeping area at night. There is also likely to be extra stowage either below the seats or below the galley.A cuddy can be a stern-drive or use an outboard. The choice is up to the owner, although if the owner chooses a stern-drive then there will be a second housing in back of the skipper that is the housing cover for the stern drive. An outboard is easier to mount in this instance and doesnt cut any valuable space from the rear.