Join Date: Dec 2006
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A nice vee berth is actually quite comfy at anchor, and a well designed one with a filler piece is certainly adequate for, if not downright conducive to, amorous endeavors. At least mine is.
Plus, it has other attractions. Being in the bow, the skipper is well attuned to his anchor rode and setting. It is also situated well away from the heat of machinery, and is usually well ventilated with it's own hatch. Make sure that hatch has a screen, or there will be more than just the two of you. An offset double forward means that someone is on the inside, someone on the outside. Inevitably, one will be forced to crawl over their partner in the middle of the night for some reason.
Many of the double berths you see are large quarter berths. These can be quite hot and stuffy at anchor unless the designer and builder have put some real thought into providing ventilation. They may be right next to the engine.
IMO, a boat needs both - comfy sea berths to ensure a well rested crew when underway, and a romantic place for nesting with a significant other while at anchor. There should be no need on a cruising boat for anyone to sleep where people sit down to eat. Convertible dinettes rarely make good double berths.
The B-40 scores on both of those points, and is pretty to boot. The Hinckley 49 has little to recommend it, except for initial build quality. It's ugly, slow, and not well laid out, again IMO.
A friend owns probably the best Bristol 41.1 in the world, but his is aft cockpit, which I believe is better in this size range. His forward cabin is lovely. Boats are more fun to steer from aft. When I drive my 42' to weather in chop, it seems most of the spray lands amidship, right where a center cockpit would be. In either configuration, the 41.1 is a very good boat.