Re: Large cockpit lazarette - how important?
I think you have to balance the 'storage space' against it's real practicality. Some of these super deep open cockpit locker areas just become black holes for things - difficult to retrieve when you need them, easy to lose things you thought you had. Unless the areas are properly sealed from the rest of the boat, keeping fuel and outboards there is a bit dodgy.. I think they can be improved by adding floors and shelving that allows organization, a place to store rarely used items out of sight, and keeps those regularly needed items actually 'reachable' from the cockpit without having to 'dive in' or risk straining something trying to lift it out.
The other attendant hazard of these huge lockers are the often equally large/heavy 'lids'.. imperative that these be securable in the open position.. they'll often balance there but something as simple as someone stepping aboard can tip the balance and have the lid come crashing down. A friend was quite seriously injured just that way on a Bene 375 when the wind pushed the locker lid onto his head.. the lid comprised the cockpit seat and the bulk of the coaming and had lots of weight and leverage.
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"