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post #32 of Old 03-25-2009
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Okay, here's what I wanted to mention last night but didn't have the time. Sorry about that, Ron...

In designs of bygone decades, V-berths used to be the "owners" bunks, i.e. the most spacious/comfortable bunks on the boat where the owners/parents/adults would bed down. Often the head was found immediately aft of the v-berth cabin, to one side or the other, with a nice hanging locker opposite the head.

At least, this was generally the case in aft-cockpit boats. Center cockpit boats were usually configured with an owner's cabin aft, but they still usually had a nice spacious v-berth cabin as well for guests.

The design trends lately have been toward longer boats with finer entries at the bow, and fewer and fewer center-cockpit boats in the mid-size range anymore. I've been aboard quite a few of these boats at the shows over the past many years and as this trend has taken hold, I've noticed a related trend appearing: The ever-shrinking v-berth.

I have been aboard boats in the 40-foot range with smaller v-berths bunks than our 31 footer. This is not just a result of the designers trying to incorporate a bit of "walk-around" the berth (by which I mean access to the bunk from the sides, not just the trailing edge). It is as much a result of the fact that there is very little volume in the bow sections of a modern fine-entry boat.

Consequently, many of the v-berths today are barely more than single bunks, unlike the spacious doubles of the past that were typical even in boats as small as mid-20-footers.

This is not all bad. Many of the boats that suffer from this problem, now incorporate an "owner's" cabin aft, under the cockpit (which accounts for all that freeboard), often with a second aft head. So the v-berth has become more of a guest or kids cabin.

Getting back to the topic of this thread, the point I want to make is that pullman-style berths would actually be a much better choice for many of the fine-bowed modern designs. Especially those that are incorporating two heads into the design. With a pullman, that second head can be moved up into the less voluminous bow sections -- the toilet, sink and shower stall are better suited to this tight triangular shape anyway.

The standard complaints about pullmans (access for the outboard individual when the bunk is shared) is a bit moot because the modern designs typically have their owner's cabin aft. The pullman becomes a guest or kids cabin, with the added advantage that there is enough headroom for an over-under bunk that can be used for family arrangements.

And with the second head aft, there really is no worry about being able to use the lav while underway. The forward head would largely get used at anchor or on the downwind legs.

Maybe in coming years we will see a resurgence of the pullman berth?

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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

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