The holes in the deck- had basically like roulon grommets that the lines led through to the turning blocks. At each end. So where they entered at the base if the mast- and remerged at the cabintop.
The only thing making any contact with the lines other than the hardware you alway see were the rulon or whatever it was grommets. The - what I've been calling gutters- weren't in contact with the lines anywhere- and there were scuppers that drained them into the cockpit. The added friction was minimal over a conventional aft setup. I didn't notice it at all. I also dislike the electric winches. This was a bene 456- not really that small. It had an electric winch for the main- and not feeling what was happening nerve racked me all the time. I didn't like it. I'd rather grind grind grind. But I'm 34 and way more fit than most of the country. Or most humans.
I find the added friction of lines led aft hasn't ever been sufficient for me to bother to complain about it. It's far less significant than the difference between a boom that's end or mid sheeted. If it were significant like that I'd gripe.
I leave the cockpit anyway. And for me the fact that I've got "cluttered" decks is way way more a drawback than a tiny bit of additional friction from routing everything aft. Regardless of te way one goes about it.
The friction feels way different than any stress or strain on equipment- so it diesn affect the lines ability to telegraph trouble to me.
I've got no idea how long that boat was tinkered with til it was "right" but it was... Right. It made a lasting impression on me- "when I grow up my boat is going to be just like this one" the guy who Owned the boat said he had seen it done on a Swan 61? A big swan. He was a real German freres fan. But it's hard to fault a guy for that. Maybe it was a halberg rassy. Anyway- that where he saw it done and replicated it. I don't know if he ever saw exactly how it was done on that boat or if he just had to wing it. But it was well executed.
Thanks for the explanation, but I guess it must just be me... I remain completely baffled by the rationale for creating numerous openings in the cabin top, simply to run lines aft inside the cabin
for a relatively short distance, and then exiting up to the cabin top again, when they could seemingly be led so much more directly along the cabin top itself...
In an amusing coincidence, the April issue of SAIL addresses the very issue of running lines aft... Editor Peter Neilsen's column sings the praises of keeping such things simple, and in a Viewpoint column on page 26, Ben Ericksen explains "Why I'll Never Lead My Lines Aft"...
So, I guess perhaps Dave/Auspicious and I are not the only dinosaurs out there with such a minority point of view, after all... (grin)