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badadim 07-07-2007 10:34 AM

Center Cockpit vs. Aft Cockpit.
What are the advantages and the disadvantages of center and aft cockpits? What is the purpose of each?
Appreciate input from those who have experience of sailing both types.

wallybygolly 07-07-2007 10:56 AM

The main difference between the two is that the center cockpit allows for an aft cabin, while an aft cockpit allows for (generally) more interior saloon room. Though, note that center cockpits are usually for 40' and up...I have never seen an center cockpit that was below that.

I own a CAL 30 (aft cockpit) and have sailed from Honolulu to Cali on a CAL/Vader 49 (center cockpit). From personal experiance, the center cockpit allows for more deck storage as well (wind generator, solar panels, outboard/tender, etc.

I'm sure I'm missing a million things, but thats the basics, I believe.

HerbDB 07-07-2007 11:05 AM

I have a 36' Center Cockpit Beneteau. What you gain is interior room, the compromise it that you lose outside storage and the cockpit is generally smaller.

CapnHand 07-07-2007 11:18 AM


Originally Posted by wallybygolly
Though, note that center cockpits are usually for 40' and up...I have never seen an center cockpit that was below that.

Slikkers made the S2 9.2 in a center cockpit version. Used Boat Review: The S-2 9.2A/C

camaraderie 07-07-2007 11:24 AM

Wally...take a look at the ODay 32 as well. addition to the nice, spouse friendly aft also steer the boat from a higher, more central position and I find that to be an advantage in keeping you dry as well as there is less bouncing around than at the ends of a boat. On the is harder when docking since you must leave the cockpit to tend the you need crew.

sailaway21 07-07-2007 12:17 PM

A center cockpit tends to make for a more seaworthy boat, especially if it's on the smaller side. Not the least benefit is a substantially more comfortable ride in weather. If the teeter-totter is moving violently up and down, riding in the center of it is going to be far less violent than out on the end.

md7a 07-07-2007 03:29 PM

I have a center cockpit on my Searunner 25 trimaran, and love it. Here's a short list of advantages:
1.) With the mast (almost) in the cockpit, singlehanded reefing is easier because I don't have to leave the cockpit to secure the main.
2.) A trimaran's center hull is narrow, so having 2 shorter cabin trunks and the center cockpit I don't have to shuffle sideways or stoop and scramble down a long narrow salon.
3.) Again, trimaran-specific, but keeping the heavy stuff in the middle makes the boat move easier over waves.
4.) A high center cockpit on a small boat leaves lots of room below the sole for tankage, motor, and other heavy or smelly stuff you don't really want under your bunk or settee.
5.) Centerboard is out of the way under the cockpit, not in the middle of the salon.
6.) The head can be a long way from the galley

a.) higher freeboard & more windage
b.) more complex steering (tiller is not really an option, outboard placement is a problem)

Sapperwhite 07-07-2007 04:09 PM

Center cockpit monohulls don't have to be big, Nor'sea 27 comes in aft and center cockpit configurations. The center cockpit has a little aft cabin berth, and it appears to be more enclosed, or "contained" in the cockpit. It might actually improve your safety to be in a tight little cockpit in any stink weather, rather than exposed from the stern. You also would work the boat from a central location.
On small boats though, an aft cockpit would give you more cabin room, rather than having two small, split up cabins. Imagine having to leave that neat little aft cabin to climb through the cockpit just to get to the head. This of course wouldn't be the case on bigger boats, but I'm talking about this boat in particular.

Nor'Sea 27

kd3pc 07-07-2007 07:11 PM

On the Beneteau 36 Center Console it allowed the same hull as the 361 to support a full size master berth in the aft cabin, which gave a lot of privacy to both cabins...

No downsides that I found...cockpit was still useful and plenty of room for us.


badadim 07-08-2007 07:12 PM

Does anyone know why Beneteau stoped production of smaller CC's?

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