In checking out this question of arches, either in person looking at some Hunters on land at my marina or by perusing ads, one reason I can see for using them is that there's no good (or acceptable) place to put the traveler for modern sailors. Placing them on the cabin top is a problem anymore -- not that that location has ever been great -- in that modern designs have so much going on with the cabin tops with line organizers, large wrap-around ports/windows, winches, hatches for ventilation (obviously a good thing), etc. Placing a traveler in that mix becomes awkward.
Few criusers want the traveler in the cockpit these days despite the advantages for sail control and single-handing, so the arch seems to be the way to go. Those first ones from Hunter were those awful fiberglass jobs that immediately grabbed the eye and created the term ROLL BAR for many (me included). The stainless versions do not stand out as much so are a little more acceptable aesthetically. So was there some Hunter bashing going on? Yes, but I tend to look at their designs with a broader eye to include the B&R rig and the clumsy hull/deck joint Hunter so often uses.
I know some high-end boats are going that way, and Bob Perry has used them, too. But my eye is too traditional for that look. In fact, I don't like the looks of many current cruisers -- just call me old. As for me, if I could easily put the mainsheet in the cockpit right in front of the wheel on my Pearson I'd do it since I single-hand so much.
SailorMitchSailing winged keels since 1989.
1.20.09 Bush's last day the end of an error !! Hopefully we still have a constitution and economy left by then.
"Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength." The Dalai Lama
good planets are hard to find-- a song by steve forbert
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging the future but by the past.-- Patrick Henry.