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Old 12-26-2012
JonEisberg JonEisberg is offline
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

IMHO, center cockpits really don't come into their own until you get up around 50-55 feet... In most boats much smaller than that, the tradeoffs of the result of designing the boat from the inside-out, and around the accommodation plan, are just too glaring, and often represent a significant compromise in the safety and security of the cockpit, and access to the deck...

Not to difficult to imagine what might happen to the occupants of the cockpit/fly bridge on this 50-footer, for example, during a knockdown... or, how much riskier the maneuver from cockpit to the deck in heavy weather would become, compared to doing so from most aft cockpits...



A few other downsides of CC designs that may not have been mentioned so far...

Because they are so often the result of the desire to increase interior volume, virtually all that volume is often dedicated to accommodation space. Those center island queen berths in the aft stateroom often extend right up to the transom, thus sacrificing that precious lazarette/sail locker space for stowage of deck gear that is a traditional feature of aft cockpit boats...

Many CC boats are likely to feature hydraulic steering... For those who might occasionally derive pleasure from taking the helm under sail, the lack of feedback or "feel" from hydraulic steering, is not a good thing...

From the helm of many CC boats, so close to the mast, it can be very difficult to view the jib's telltales... Again, for those who might actually enjoy sailing, not a good thing...

CC boats increase the difficulty, and reduce the effectiveness, of the use of windvane self-steering... A HUGE drawback in an offshore boat under 50-55', IMO...

A matter of personal taste, no doubt - but again, in most boats under 50', the aesthetics of the boat are likely to be seriously challenged by a CC design... Higher freeboard as a rule, then the additonal height of the cockpit and boom, slap on the de rigueur full enclosure/oxygen tent representing the Cherry on Top, many CC boats wind up acquiring that Wedding Cake look... That's simply not my style - adding height to a boat's lines, as opposed to length, rarely results in a good look...

Given a bit more time, I know I can think of several more of my own reasons for favoring an aft to a center cockpit, in the size range the OP is talking about... Now, if we're talking about something like an Oyster 625, that becomes a different conversation, altogether... (grin)
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