We have a Centre Cockpit 35 footer, and love it.
When we bought her we had discussed the pros and cons of aft cockpit vs Centre Cockpit and had no real prejudice either way. Now after months of cruising I can say that for us the design works.
Is the cockpit small??
Yes but this gives the boat A snug and protected feel offshore, and I believe it helps makes for a drier boat. Plus at anchorage, the rear deck area means that you end up with two separate outside 'living areas', I can fish off the back or top up the outboard with fuel, while my wife is reading in the cockpit with a glass of wine
Combining the two together in one cockpit would result in displeasure. Being a 35 footer generally someone else in the anchorage has the bigger boat for sundowners for 12
Is the cockpit harder to get out of??
Yes. On a boat designed to sail oceans that is kind of the point
I do have to step out of the cockpit carefully to help with lines etc coming into a marina, but it has never really been a deal breaker.........
Also yes, but even on our 35 footer, it has been big enough for the 3 of us without any problems, the big aft cabin once again means that you have another very useable and comfortable space for booking reading and relaxing. Our aft cabin means our boat feels like home, It is far more liveable than the V-Berth on alot of 40+ Aft Cockpit boats.
Is the boat ugly???
Please. Compared to the 'squat' look of a 35ft modern high volume aft cockpit production boat? I think you are in dangerous territory calling anyone's boat ugly.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we believe she is a gorgeous boat.
The Centre Cockpit Hallberg-Rassy's are to me some of the most beautiful yachts sailing the oceans. If like some of the more racing orientated members above, you prefer yachts that look like spaceships with sails then maybe they are not to your taste
On some designs perhaps yes. Ours is not as bad as some and well to be honest I have never really found it too much of an issue.
Like all things boat design it comes down a compromise between competing needs. It depends on how you want to use the boat, and what you believe would work best for you. I tend to think Centre Cockpit tends to lend itself more to serious cruising. A bit of research will show you most Centre Cockpit designs are aimed at this section of the market( Yes there are plenty of aft cockpit boats in that category too). I would not buy a CC as a party boat, a day sailor, or social racing boat.....