Paulo, I've been trying to pay attention to the location of the cockpit winches in the boats i'm most interested in. You don't see that many with the winches grouped so close to the helm as they are here. I like it from a solo'ing stance.
(anyone) I wonder if other companies are receptive to relocating winches similar to this? Are there any drawbacks to locating them in this way?
OPC, glad you are enjoying the thread again and contributing.
Just two comments before going into the subject. To you and all: regarding not repeating photos on quotes that regards photos that are immediately before or very near the post in question. If the photo is needed for a better comprehension, please post it. You don't need to post them all, just the one that matters, like in this case. It helps the discussion.
Regarding Bob Perry also to you and all, independently of what I think about the subject, this is a thread about boats and I absolutely don't want it and will not continue it if it becomes something nasty, aggressive out of topic with continuous chit chat and wise cracks, like happened to the steel boat thread.
Here we talk about boats not about persons. Regarding Bob Perry I am still waiting for a contributing post that does not try to contradict something that I, a post about a new boat were he actually express an opinion about it or about any technical feature on it and I would not say more. Off course I don't mean one of his boats.
Regarding your question:
I would say that there is a very clear tendency regarding putting winches at the reach of a solo sailor and that are most cruisers (with a little help from the wife). There is also a very clear tendency to reduce the number of winches on mass market cruising boats. That has to do with reducing costs but also because most sailors that sail those boats don't use them. If you look to all main market mass produced boats you will see that they have a winch near the wheels (on each side) but the rigging will not allow another winch to be installed. The only exception is Bavaria that has an option for a second winch on the cockpit but far away from the wheel.
But I guess that you are talking about performance boats and there the problem is different. All that does not have a purchase system for the main and that means pretty much all that are bigger than 40ft, have 4 winches on the cockpit (and normally two over the cabin) but here the ideal position is more complicated because in what regards racing or crewed sailing having all the winches grouped together is not a good idea.
I think that it is a very interesting discussion and I will get back to it after refreshing my memory with what the market has to offer in what regards performance cruisers, with some pictures.