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  #1  
Old 03-03-2008
dch dch is offline
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center cockpit?

I currently own a Beneteau Idyll 11.5 with a traditional stern cockpit. My wife (the boss) really wants to get a center cockpit for our next boat which we will be purchasing within the next year. Her reasoning is that they simply have more room below. Besides aesthetics, are there any particular problems with a center cockpit as far as stability and such? I think they look a bit odd but other than that I am okay with it. Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,
DCH
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Old 03-03-2008
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You'll get a range of viewpoints, and there are significant differences between center cockpit designs (search this, ybw, sailinganarchy, and ruising BBs).

I owned a Colvic Countess 33 that had enormous interior space and a really useful walk-through to the aft cabin and head (my wife also liked that). It was a solid boat with a broader fin keel and smallish rig, and the center cockpit was not overly high, so it was kind and had good motion. I had also looked at other CCs and in some cases (e.g., Dufour) the much more stately aft cabins are a product of very high freeboard and cockpits, and it translates into more motion and some potential difficulty getting around deck and docking (some proponents like the higher position, though they probably also drive SUVs).

If you are on the weekender or short cruiser end of the scale, and value the space and domestic pleasures, there are a number of good CCs for you. If you prefer sailing closer to the water or want generally better performance, find the non-CC boat you really want that has enough charm and amenities to win over your wife.

Chris
Baltic 37 Brut
Volendam
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Old 03-03-2008
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Dch,
Doesn't matter what anyone here says, the Admiral has spoken.
Personally (and obviously) I'd go with a Gemini if what you want is space onboard a mid 30 foot range - oh, and damn fine speed to any point of sail a mono can do. It's also far more friendly that perched on top a mono in a center cockpit
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Old 03-03-2008
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Good discussion of pros/cons here:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...r-cockpit.html
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Old 03-03-2008
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DCH, I am with you on the odd looks. I'm not a fan...

Riz
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Old 03-03-2008
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I have a Beneteau 36 Center Cockpit. My wife really wanted it because of the below deck layout. It has a large aft cabin that you can access through the galley or through the head. Lots of privacy with the aft cabin and the private access to the head from the aft cabin is nice. The galley is huge with a lot of storage. Beneteau obviously uses women in their design team.

The price of this interior volume is loss of outside storage which is limited to three fairly small outside lockers. This was and is my biggest complaint about the design. There is always compromise in boat design, especially in the smaller sizes.

Having said this, we just finished (almost) a five month trip down the east coast and over to the Bahamas. We managed just fine with the available outside storage.

We sailed in high winds a lot while we were in the Abacos and tackled some pretty big seas crossing the gulf stream. The boat handled everything well. It is not as quite fast under sail as some of the aft cockpit similar sized boats, but this probably has more to do with the additional weight than the floorplan or the additional windage of the center cockpit design.

We left her in Jacksonville, Fla in Feb and plan to go back after Easter to bring her back to the Chesapeake when its a little warmer.

I am not sure what size range you are looking for, but my boat is probably one of the smaller center cockpit designs. Always remember the old saying: "If Mamas not happy, nobodys happy".

Herb DuBois
SV Split Decision
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Old 03-05-2008
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For the same reasons, the comfort of the admiral, the next boat will be a center cockpit. More space below, a nice aft cabin and on deck the cockpit can be used to run the boat while passengers can enjoy the aft deck.

I understand some have a good motion with the cockpit higher up and others don't ride so nice.
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Old 03-05-2008
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I am new to the center cockpit world and ...

on balance I think I like it. There certainly is nowhere to put fenders even on my Bristol 45.5 and the cockpit coamings are a bit low (to keep the profile lower I suspect), but the interior is really good. I like the separation of space on the boat and it is quite comfortable. On deck, the aft deck is a nice play to relax and gets one out of the cockpit which is a nice change.

A lot depends on the size and the particular design. I think it is much tougher to design an attractive center cockpit boat up to about 50 feet than an aft cockpit. I have a friend with a Moody 34.5 CC that is attractive, but a lot of mid 30 foot CCs are hideous (sorry to those who own them)
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Old 03-06-2008
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You might look at a Morgan center cockpit, the older or the newer model. Some 38ft Morgan- Catalinas are available. I think the interior looks great.
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