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post #8 of Old 01-03-2003
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Pearson vs Whitby

Alan, I''ve not used the archive search function on this BB but you might give it a whirl since C/C design & function has been discussed here before.

Some folks simply love a C/C design. They like the better view of the bow when docking (altho'' it puts the helmsman distant from ALL the docking lines, not much of a help when short-handed), they like sitting ''up'' (a bit more distant from the wind-blown waves and ''the wet''), they like the perceived privacy that a cockpit well provides down below - at least visually - to the boat''s interior (tho'' distance hasn''t changed an iota and we all host fewer night-time guests than we imagine when selecting a boat), and a C/C deck plan accommodates ketch/yawl rigs better as the strings & wires don''t encroach on the cockpit nor do the spars (altho'' split rigs are considered a bit like the buggy-whip today). Another somewhat bizarre preference to my mind is the desire many of us have for two heads in a 40'' +/- boat, as if we have more space than we need or can use but fewer systems to maintain than we''d like. For those with this inclination, a C/C design provides for a walk-thru on one side of the well while the other can be used for a 2nd ("master") head. I''m sure I''m missing some of the other benefits, subjective or objective, but these are what pop to mind.

For long-term cruising and offshore sailing, here are some ways in which I find the C/C design undesireable (at least, relatively speaking). Of course, there are great cruising boats with a C/C (or derivation thereof) deck plan and I don''t see this as a blanket condemnation...but I think all these points apply in the 35-40'' range:
1. Motion sickness is induced far more by roll than pitch, yet perched up higher and more near the center of the boat, a C/C design invites higher acceleration and more roll motion than further aft and down lower. Moreover, it tires the crew more since they must hang on/brace/work against more motion. And when the crew eventually has to go calling ''Ralph''...?
2. Further forward, the crew struggles more to see under the genoa when maintaining watch, is closer to the bow wave and deck spray - C/C deck plans offer by their nature a wetter cockpit - and therefore require a more elaborate cockpit dodger/enclosure (expense, windage).
3. Along with the taller, likely to be bigger/more extended enclosure, we have the hull/deck profile itself - taller in cross-section in order to provide passageway space past the cockpit well when moving between the cabins. Truth be told, we (long-term cruisers) all tend to overload our boats over time, including lots of stuff on the deck, tied to the lifelines, suspended from arches & poles back aft, attached to the spars, and more. As a result, we incrementally - and usually without noticing it - degrade boat performance under sail, and most especially in lighter winds and when sailing to windward. In truth, most cruisers avoid higher latitude sailing and seek temperate climates, which means more often sailing in variable conditions. Throw in a spate of bad fuel and you can quickly find a poor performing boat means you get to enjoy the benefits of remaining offshore an extra day or two when you''d rather have made it to your destination. But just in general, we all enjoy sailing a boat that''s more responsive and handles less like a pig. A C/C deck plan works against this, especially so as boat size goes below 40''. You''ll notice I haven''t even touched on the behavior of such a burdened boat at anchor (which is where you normally reside when cruising), especially in a frontal blow or when a squall rips thru the anchorage.
4. Where does the "stuff" go? We have 3 huge cockpit lockers on our 424 and they are mostly full when offshore. But then, we carry almost no jugs on deck (small gasoline jugs are the exception, for safety reasons), have no cabin or berth encumbered by gear nor settee/quarterberth cushion loaded up with "stuff", carry multiple emergency rations of water and diesel, and enjoy having storage space for all the extra rodes, anchors, big fenders & dock lines, offshore raft (not baking out on deck, where the crew would least like to go if the vessel is in distress) and ditch bag, folding bikes, awnings and the 101 other things used over time when away. (What was I saying about overloading our boats...?) C/C plans provide little such storage space simply because much of it is consumed by a passageway and 2nd head (or workshop, one of the best reasons FOR a C/C design).

There are other reasons for my view and of course, there are alternative views which are equally strongly held. In the end, it''s what you & your crew find most important for you and your cruising plans that matters, not what someone else (on this BB or at a boat show) *claims* you should believe. Hope this helps, if only a little.

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