Center Cockpits - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 11-19-2006 Thread Starter
ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,629
Thanks: 8
Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts
Rep Power: 16
Center Cockpits

I am thinking about buying the retirement boat in the next few years, for use cruising the Carribean, something along the lines of a Bristol 43.3. These are available in center and aft cockpit configurations. I would appreciate comments from owners of center cockpit designs as to the pluses and minuses of that configuration. I've never owned such, but they look comfortable for live aboard. What's the reality?
sailingfool is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 11-19-2006
camaraderie's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,877
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 16
For living aboard a center cockpit is wonderful. We've now had 3 and 2 aft cockpit boats and would never go back.
Like: Aft cabin and big bed & privacy, makes boat seem smaller when steering and visibility is excellent all around. Can fully enclose cockpit for a "sun room" . Lots of storage space below.
Dislike: Less on deck storage/lockers. Can't handle dock lines from the wheel. Tougher to rig wind vane. Tend to be a bit "clunky" looking under 40+ feet...though boats like the Bristols and Passports & Tayanas show that a pretty shear line is not an aft cockpit exclusive!
Many people talk about increased windage or a wet ride but I don't find this to be the case in terms of the boats I've owned. I see a lot more Condo-Aft cockpit boats sailing at anchor than Bristols!
The only thing I didn't like about Bristols was the centerboard for Blue-water. Not that lots haven't done it...just my own preference.
camaraderie is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 5 Old 11-19-2006
nelsonsmoody's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 58
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
I must agree with Camaraderie, I now have Moody 425 and could never go back. Similar threads on this subject:http:

center cockpits
nelsonsmoody is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 5 Old 11-19-2006
Super Fuzzy Moderator
tdw's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 16,830
Thanks: 15
Thanked 115 Times in 107 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Tougher to rig wind vane. .
In general I prefer the look of an aft cockpit and I prefer skippering an aft cockpit but for long term cruising a plus 40' centre cockpit has some great advantages. Privacy on a small boat is never easily found but having the shed out the back is a good step on the way. Under 40' centre cockpits with decent sized aft cabins can look like a floating brick while the better looking ones have next to useless aft cabins. Only major point I'd make about this debate is about security at anchor. When I bought my previous boat she had an undersized Danforth anchor with only about 5 metres of chain. Before I got that fixed we dragged a couple of times. Sleeping up front I heard the dragging anchor so all was well but doubt I would hear it if I was 40' further back.

That said, Cam, how did you overcome the wind vane self steering problem or did to just go electric ?

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation

Malo 39 Classic
tdw is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 5 Old 11-19-2006
camaraderie's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,877
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 16
TDW...Good point about the anchor noise. I find that unless the chain itself is playing out...I can't hear it even in the salon with the usual noise of radio/tv/chatter. I find that when conditions are rough enough to possibly drag me...I'm up in the cockpit anyway cause i get too nervous to sleep!
On the self steering...presently I am electric but we had our stern ladder moved to port/starboard stanchions last year so we could put a vane on when we wanted to. It is possible to run the steering lines up through turning blocks and to the wheel but the bimini/enclosure complicates things so we haven't done it yet. There are vanes that can work via the quadrant but our displacement/size rules these out. For now we rely on Mr. Simrad.
camaraderie is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What can you tell from the numbers? brazilnut Boat Review and Purchase Forum 10 07-01-2009 05:09 PM
Center cockpits +''s & -''s DelmarRey General Discussion (sailing related) 9 11-30-2002 06:43 AM
center cockpits jiffy feet Living Aboard 15 11-18-2002 08:20 AM
O''day and Irwin, cheap center cockpits?? freewill Boat Review and Purchase Forum 1 01-25-2001 06:39 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome